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CTR dives

CTR Down Sharpely - No changes to site



2:16 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi All.

On the sites I am running Adsense on my CTR since the beginning of September has reduced sharpely - The first few days Google seemed to be having some reporting problems but the trend has continued.

Anyone else experiencing this? - I have not made any changes to the site that would affect CTR and my Stats are now very depressing :(


2:39 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have noticed this also. Judging from the ads being displayed, I'm not surprised. A lot more PSAs and less targeted ads as well.

This seems to happen every so often for a few days at a time.


3:06 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm not seeing the trend in our site. In fact, our CTR has been fairly constant since August and no precipitous ups or downs whatsoever. There was only one day (Aug 23) when CTR increased by 28% from average but other than that it's mostly a relatively flat line.

For the first 2 days of September, the CTR is even on the higher side of our range


3:18 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Not here either.

We send a newsletter on Tuesdays and both impressions and CTR increase very considerably as a result, this happened as expected yesterday.


4:33 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I also noticed this on my site,
It is showing a lot more PSA now. In August I almost never had PSAs on my front page, and now I'm having them almost the whole time


4:41 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Mmm - I am not having PSA, just a sudden reduction in CTR beginning on September 1st and continuing.

It will probably(hopefully) all sort itself out.


5:25 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Our CTR has been pretty constant, falling within a 0.5% range boundary of 2.5% except at weekends, when I think our users are really bored (it is a website devoted to people who will be in the workplace) and click a little more. The biggest change we saw was changing from banner to tower which doubled our CTR. I'd really like to hear what people think about the new leaderboard, I'm a little averse to trying it if its no different in CTR.

Placement is an interesting issue too - except the stats don't let me tell whats best yet - haven't tried to phpadsnew to googleads yet incase they produce weird effects. I reckon the left hand side of the screen works well (tower fully visible) - anyone find higher CTR with the right hand side?

I also notice that a few more spurious ads appeared over the last few days - and my CPC dropped like a stone - so I excluded them from showing and it seems to have restored. I suspect AdWords felans are using just-relevant but very low CPC words to get shown more - but their low CTRs should eliminate them, unless they persistantly alter their wording to avoid elimination.


5:54 pm on Sep 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

We saw a 37% jump in CTR when we switched from skyscraper to leaderboard. We're now moving towards the leaderboard for most of our pages. The rest will remain as skyscraper. Our site's design does not work well for the big rectangle thingy.

I did all sorts of calculations, trending and graphs to analyze how Adsense is performing on our site. However, all my charts and computations were lost on my partner, as his only concern was the amount we would receive at the end of the month. Afterall, he says, it is the bottomline that counts.


1:48 am on Sep 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This is an interesting thread because folks are seeing a decrease here but the adwords group is showing an increase. Hmmm.


1:15 am on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

yes, my CTR is down a full percentage point.


8:23 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

This is very strange - I've a constant CTR for about the last ten days. Then, today suddenly it has crashed to half of what it normally is. I know that AdSense has been having outages - when the javascript fails, does Google know or does an absent adpanel still record as an 'impression'?

If it's the latter, that would immediately make sense of my stats. Otherwise, I don't what to conclude.

Marketing Guy

8:27 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Anyone seen a dip in traffic since the major virus panics over the past week or two?

A lot of company networks could be restricted or down, therefore reducing common surfing time.

Or people are just not connecting at home at all (my landlords are genuinely scared to connect to the net right now! But computers scare them at the best of times!;)).



10:26 pm on Sep 5, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I have seen a modest but measurable drop in traffic over the 20 or so sites I manage the last few weeks. I think it's fear of the worms, restrictions on campus, government and corporate networks and the very lousy performance many users are experiencing. In the D.C. area, the Web hardly works at all this week. I don't know if there is a DDoS attack on the name servers or what but it is almost impossible to get any pages to come up.

As for per-click revenue, remember that AdSense has 100,000 advertisers across an incredibly wide range of businesses. I'm not sure any of us represent a big enough sample to draw any conclusions at all. For all I know, e-z loan sites are advertising wildly while car parts dealers are cutting back. Or the reverse.

My biggest site covers every imaginable topic and it basically chugs along at pretty much the same level day in and day out. I think the broad range of topics levels out the peaks and valleys more targeted sites experience.

Enough. It's Friday.


11:25 am on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member zeus is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

CTR is about 0.3-0.5 here with 35.000 imp. but the payout has droped buy 50%, maybe the ads has been bad or they realy have droped the payout I dont know.



11:37 am on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

me too! me too!

Click thru rates have dropped over the past 5 days... significantly. I have too many pages to hazard a guess as to why... However, impressions have increased. So, it could just be that all the new pages showing to users have not been spidered yet and have thrown off the percentages... I hope things improve. With the increase in page views, I was hoping for much more $$$$.


12:07 pm on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

There is something going on here.

My impressions have stayed the same but my CTR has dropped by 50% over the last 48hours after being relatively stable for 2 months

Ads showing appear to be the same. No PSAs. Impressions are high enough for this not to be a statistical blip.

I know in the past that reporting has been slow to update, but this has gone past the "it will catch up tomorrow' stage.

Wonder if they are knocking out some of my clicks as part of a mis-directed fraudulent click thing.

I've sent an enquiry to G, but not that hopeful of a response.

I guess I'll have to do what I advise others to do - build more pages.

Curses - I hate having to take my own advice


12:52 pm on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

>>There is something going on here.

I agree. There is something odd happening

>>My impressions have stayed the same but my CTR has dropped by 50% over the last 48hours after being relatively stable for 2 months.

My impressions have been going up - I would like to think that it is due to improved SEO, but who knows!

CTR has dropped, not as drastically as yours but dropped never the less.

When measured on daily CPM on 7 day moving average (the figure that I feel is most accurate in telling you what is going on) the figure is about a 10% drop.

CPC is in fact holding up, and it is CTR that has fallen. I have not made any changes to advert format, colour, etc, so as far as I can see the fall in CTR is at Googles end rather than mine.

Like you, my figures are large enough to be statistically sound.

As you say odd


3:40 pm on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I am measuring over a 7 day moving average as well - but the dip here was so alarming that it threw the stats out completely.

Today seems back to normal - but Saturday and Sunday were way off the mark. Like the sad obsessive that I am, I was 'all over it' as soon as I noticed but couldn't find anything to explain it. I checked all my sites and everything was as it should be.

The last time a saw a drop this bad, it turned out be my fault - I had posted up a new server side include and only tested it in Opera - for some reason the Adsense div didn't show in IE. I lost a whole day thinking 'don't worry, it will fix itself'. Since then, I am a little more twitchy than before.

As today seems to be back to normal, I am going to put it down to a Google reporting glitch and get on with my life.


9:38 pm on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just to throw a wrench in this... over the past few days, my CTR has TRIPLED, though my revenues have 'only' increased by around 50-70%.

If there's anything certain about AdSense, it's variability ;)

Seriously, I've found that my impressions, clickthrus, and revenues vary so hugely from day to day and week to week, I just have decided to smile and accept whatever I get.

I should note, however, that my sites (with AdSense on most pages) are getting under 2,000 page views per day, so with a number that low, variability is actually not so surprising.


9:51 pm on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My CTR has only improved over the last few days and thats as a result of playing around with the colours I use :)

Amazing what a colour change can do.


10:13 pm on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yep, color change tripled my CTR.


11:38 pm on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Have been seeing some wild swings here recently, and today seeing a large number of "charity ads" being served. Also ad response seems really slow today. Not usual to what we expect for sure. have to believe something going on....but traditionally google has recovered fairly quickly from problems.


2:40 am on Sep 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

In 70+ days of adsense on my site, the three days with the lowest click through rates have occured in the last 8 days. Even with rising impressions, seeing lower earnings.


4:01 am on Sep 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Well, we are seeing the same thing here. Clicks and Impressions are going up. CTR is decreasing. Earnings per 1000 impressions has dropped and now is flatlined. Earnings per click has bottomed the first of the month with an increase of 4.6% since then but is still 2% shy of our earning per click from last month.


2:44 am on Sep 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Errr....so ppl apart from those who have changed colors or added new pages ; is every1 seeing a drop?

does this mean that the people are getting "immune" to the targetted, content based, geo-targetted, text based links on which we were all so delighted.

some1 plz say i am wrong


3:17 am on Sep 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

..."apart from those who have changed colors or added new pages; is every1 seeing a drop?"

No drop on our site. Impression and CTR has been rock steady to rising and, more importantly, our revenue per click through has doubled. As a result, our total daily revenue during the past three weeks is double what it was for the eight week period before.


4:02 am on Sep 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

One point to remember is you will only get clicks or impressions if someone out there is paying for the ads. Once peoples Adwords budgets have gone you will see a drop in hits .. ie if someone is in a "bid war" for keywords that your site generates you will get the clicks and the cash. Once all the ads/promotions are served your clicks will go down. If 20 people are bidding for CAR SALES the price and clicks are gonna go up. Once all those bids have gone your clicks are gonna drop.


5:27 am on Sep 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Seeing the opposite trend on my site. My CTR has remained constant..I haven't changed ad position, type, colour or anything and my EPC is up over 20% this last week. And my stats are statistically valid. It really varies from site to site. Google is keeping us on our toes ;)



5:41 am on Sep 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

My CTR is down a fraction of a percentage point since the first of the month, but not enough to be worrying. (I'd guess the slight CTR drop is partly the result of students visiting my travel site to view photos and research homework at this time of year. More schoolchildren = more readers who aren't in the market to buy travel.)

AdSense revenues and effective CPM have dropped more noticeably in September, probably because we're heading into a quieter season for many leisure-travel products and services. My hotel affiliate revenues, on the other hand, are stronger than ever as independent travelers make plans for the shoulder season. That just goes to show the benefits of having more than one source of revenue.


1:13 pm on Sep 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

CTR and clicks roughly the same, on all page, perhaps a modest drop. Earnings have cratered. AdWords bids must have dropped. 9-8 reply e-mail from AdSense groups says there payout policy has not changed.


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