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Analysis of how US Thanksgiving affected AdSense earnings

Were people surfing on their day off, or too busy eating turkey?

     
6:14 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Looking at my stats, I first thought things had tanked - the majority of my visitors are US-based. But once I calculated it out, it actually wasn't as bad as I would have thought, and an increase in CPM helped it out a bit. Here is what I found, when compared to the previous Thursday.

Total earnings: Down about 33%
Impressions: Down about 65%
CPM: Up about 25%

The rise in CPM *really* surprised me. I guess people were hoping to get an early start on the biggest shopping time of the year. Most holidays show that CPM drops off significantly as people lower bids or pause campaigns for the holidays. If only my impressions were at their normal levels, I would have had an extremely good day.

Although it is still very early in the day, CPM is also higher than normal, right at Thursday's levels as well.

What are others seeing for total earnings, impressions and CPM for Thursday (Thanksgiving) compared to the previous Thursday?

6:24 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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From where I'm sitting there is nothing in the metrics to suggest that this Thursday was any different in any way. Pretty ordinary, pretty mundane, pretty cool.
6:29 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I did great. Clicks up, impressions up, earnings up.

Today on the other hand is not looking good.

6:30 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Exactly an average day for the month, in all ways.

Somewhat of a surprize.

6:32 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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People are at the stores. This is the biggest shopping day for brick and morter shops of the year. It would make since that online stuff might be down. I'm sure online traffic is down generaly. Also a lot of people are off work and work is the only place the go online. Of course as always there are always exceptions. Somebody may have their biggest day today.
7:38 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi Jenstar

I was asking my self the same question...my variations from Thursday 18 to Thursday 25 are:

Impressions: Down
CPM: Up
cpc: No Var
CTR: UP

Regards,

Wilmer

7:45 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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This is what I wrote in other thread earlier.

I hate holiday, especially a US holiday

Earning dropped 50% although it's EPM was slightly increased.

7:51 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Hi

Earnings down - circa 20% as some of my traffic is US.

Sorry to be ignorant to the goings on over that side of the water - but was thanksgiving just yesterday? Should today and this weekend be normal days? I was reading somewhere that it is a weekend thing?

Educate me - please!

7:55 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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started on Nov. 24.

CPM up, CTR up and impressions down. earning up slightly.

7:55 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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UK_Web_Guy

Thanksgiving was yesterday (Thursday), lots of folks off visiting families etc. But today, the day after, is traditionaly the biggest real world shopping day of the year in the USA.

My guess is that today could actually be worse for some sites. But there isthe possibility that if folks don't find what they want in the stores today, they might flood online tonite and this weekend to find what they want.

8:09 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanksgiving, and other holidays will give each of us a different ride. It just depends on the type of content we have. This is the first Thanksgiving since I added AdSense.

I experienced, as I have in every year since my main site was first online, a dramatic increase in site traffic during the week prior to Thanksgiving. If prior patterns continue, I'll have the same increase in the week before Christmas. In the past this has always given a rise to the overall traffic in the months that follow as more of the new visitors bookmark the site or pages within and return through the year. Also, it seems that some of them email their friends about something they've found, which adds to the traffic during the year.

Now, with all that said:
Impressions: Up by 2 to 3 times average
Clicks: Approximately 2 times average
eCPM: varied (1/2 average up to average)
Earnings: varied (average up to twice average)

And, Thanksgiving day was back to average in every respect.

8:10 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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As I said in another thread, I love the eating part but not the income part of the holidays. My business websites are down:

Impressions = -41%
No. of clicks = -46%
CTR = -7%
Revenue = -42%

Only the CPM did not change. Oh well ... it's a good thing the pre-holiday November saw very good earnings.

Then next month, Christmas, Hanukkah and other festivals. Arrgh!

9:23 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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F*.... get out of the stores and go back to your computers :)

Not to bad. Better than last Thanksgiving, but i dont think anyone can compare, because we all have made major changes between then and now.

9:33 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Traffic was down slightly, but CPM was higher than average, so revenues weren't too bad. Total earnings were comparable to the other Thursdays in November, except for last week's (which was my highest Thursday of the month).

Today is looking slower than a typical Friday, although it's hard to know because Google's stats aren't real-time. I suspect that the day will end up quieter than most Fridays, since a lot of people visit site pages during business hours (which means they're probably researching their vacations at work, and the Friday after Thanksgiving is a day off for many people in the U.S.).

10:42 pm on Nov 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

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- earnings up 10%
- impressions normal
- CTR up 10%
- CPM up 10%

A pleasant surprise.

7:21 am on Nov 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I've long since given up worrying about the performance on individual days - good or bad. There are just so many factors involved that are completely beyond anybody's control. Some days you get poor site traffic, but lots of clicks on high paying ads, some days you get high visitor numbers and they all click on ads that pay $0.01.

The overall trend for me is a month on month increase in earnings, and thats just fine :)

Just for the record:-
page impressions 59% of November average
CTR no significant difference
ECPM very slightly up
earnings 60% of November average

My site is a medical information site, and I do best when all the Americans are sat at their desks surfing in company time, so I'm expecting a low earnings weekend. I have had a good month on average though - and IMHO that's what counts, as opposed to one single datapoint.

8:12 am on Nov 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Yes, it will be different for each of us depending upon the type of site we have. I have a couple of "service" sites rather than "product" offerings. My Thursday and Friday earnings are are esentially down 45% with impressions down about 20%.

It's sad but I expected a drop over the holidays. If I was offering an electronics product site I would expect things to go up.

5:25 pm on Nov 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Now with Black Friday data:

Impressions: Down 30%
CPM: Up about 10%
Total earnings: average

6:21 pm on Nov 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanksgiving in the USA, as noted, was on Thursday, but it is really a four day event (Thursday-Sunday). Traditionally, Friday is the kick-off for the Christmas shopping season here so retail sales in the "brick and mortar" stores is huge. Wal-Mart along has projected that they will sell US$1 Billion in goods and sercice on Friday alone.

As always, your site results will reflect your users. Since we are a business-to-business site and our typical user is on holiday for Thanksgiving, we see a sharp drop in AdSense earnings. But since I'm on holiday also, it still nice to get some earnings while not working.

6:25 pm on Nov 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Total desaster for me:
Thursday: 10% less earnings,
Friday: 40% less. Very low CPM.
Clicks are ok. It seems, Google doesn't serve the best ads these days.

The worst: We do not have any holiday here. Maybe it is the "No more budget at the end of month"-problem. At least I hope so.

10:25 pm on Nov 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanksgiving day Thursday (and also Friday) were quite surprising in that my income was better than normal week-days, both Thurs & Fri. Anyone know why? It's odd since other holidays thruout the year reduce my stats and income by approx 50%.

Still another reason it's surprising is my websites are more targeted toward average weekday kind of stuff, and definately not holiday or weekend visitors generally speaking. Almost always a sharp dropoff on weekends, and Friday is normally the slowest day of the 5 week-days for me.

11:48 pm on Nov 27, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thursday

- earnings up 10%
- impressions normal
- CTR up 10%
- CPM up 10%

Friday

- earnings up 20%
- impressions up 15%
- CTR down 4%
- CPM down 10%

Saturday - looking like Friday....

I'm seeing no rhyme or reason - bizarro

12:21 am on Nov 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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This was my Thanksgiving Thursday

Impressions down 18 %
CTR almost the same
CPM doubled.

6:30 am on Nov 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Thanksgiving Compared to the previous Thursday:

Thanksgiving traffic 20% of previous Thursday
Earnings 17% of previous Thursday
CPM 60% of previous Thursday
CTR down 2% from previous Thursday

I'd pretty much say it sucked for me, but I expected it as most of my traffic comes via informational sites about depressing topics that are specific to the US.

Friday was pretty much like a Saturday would be for me (typically the worst day of the week) and Saturday has been about 50% better than a normal Saturday.

11:06 pm on Nov 28, 2004 (gmt 0)

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All measures down as expected by some 20% BUT CPM, due to a couple of clicks at some very high paying units. That saved the day for me and I was up in earnings as compared to any other Thursday (which is my third strongest day every week).

hunderdown

3:49 pm on Nov 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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For the holiday weekend as a whole, traffic was down, but my total earnings were up, which could be due to my having removed some pages that had very low CTR (which seems to lead to increases in EPC under smart pricing....)

Best weekend in months, actually.

4:52 pm on Nov 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I had pretty same days during Thursday - Saturday, even though 95% of my traffic is US (shoppers).

Sunday was good. Impressions up, CTR up, CPM up.

8:09 pm on Nov 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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We started to see a loss of income on Wed., income 2/3rds of normal, linked to a loss in traffic as people started out early for the holiday.

Then Thur. we lost about 1/2 our traffic and more than 1/2 our daily average income for Thursday.

Friday, the traffic was about the same as other Friday's, but the income was lower by 1/3rd. I think we lost out on some business traffic that day, accounting for the loss.

Saturday bounced back, though, we had the highest Sat. of the month (by about 10%), and Sunday was fine, too.

No question we lost the business people starting Wed. as people left work early, etc. Thursday.

It actually knocked our monthly average down - this is the first month we've lost ground since we started, but we've only lost about 5%.

I wasn't totally surprised by it.

But I am dreading the Christmas season now! We are going to be hurting near the end of the month! Just when we need the money the most, too.

Any suggestions for topics that people surf for during the holidays?

Hunter

8:58 pm on Nov 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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"Any suggestions for topics that people surf for during the holidays? "

Santa Claus?

9:05 pm on Nov 29, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Now the holiday period is over things are back to normal again :)
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