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disappointing results

ad results, favors advertiser

     
11:18 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I joined Adsense about 1 month ago not knowing what to expect. I have a site that serves about 100K impressions per day, has 30K registered users and gets 2000+ daily unique visitors. What should a site like this pay? I am reading about people here making 1000's of dollars/month. I made a few hundred bucks, barely enough to pay the electric bill.

After less than 1 month my daily return is 1/3 of what it was when I started despite the fact my CTR is about the same (a couple hundred/day). What are reasonable CTR and CPC numbers? My average CPC is less than a nickel.

Why is it advertisers can set bids and daily limits but publishers have no control over what they can charge? There is a cost to publish, the cost is the labor to organize and maintain the ads plus the users lost due to annoying advertising. Publishers should be able to set the minimum price for showing an ad. If someone is only willing to pay 5 cents for a click, I don't want to show their ad. I'd rather show nothing.

This system heavily favors publishers. If Yahoo wants a tip on a competive edge in the Adsense space, offer a true auction for pricing between both advertisers and publishers.

What are others seeing?

11:33 pm on Mar 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think I know what the problem is. You get 100k pageviews a day but only 2000 unique daily visitors. So this means that on average every visitor views 50 pages - which is a lot. Probably many of your visitors also come back every day.

This isn't really a good scenario to make high profits with Adsense.

I think it's better that you join a CPM based program such as FastClick, Burst Media, Casale Media, ...

This allows you to generate a certain amount of revenue for every 1000 pageviews. Lets say that the program pays you $0.50CPM : (3 000 000 pageviews a month / 1000) * $0.5CPM = $1500

12:38 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A couple hundred clicks on 100k impressions sound low to me - are you getting relevent ads, or a lot of garbage?

I don't know how long you have followed the discussion here, but generally speaking, sites that used to get relatively high CPM and PPC have seen it drop like a rock in the past 2 months. Sites that have see lower PPC seem to be doing fine.

There are many theories, but the bottom line is that the PPC is getting pushed downward to the $.05 floor by a variety of factors.

I also see a lot of variation - like 5:1 swing in earnings - with steady traffic.

Diversification seems like the right approach.

1:05 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the prompt reply. I get the same 20 ads over and over again. Targeted ads (also read 'repetitive') are not good for sites that get repeat visitors.

I just signed with Burst, but was taken aback by the large number of default (i.e. non-paying ads). Still, I made twice as much on Burst than Adsense without even trying.

But still I think these numbers are low. Is $1500/month a reasonable expectation for this site? That's 5 times what Adsense is paying.

thanks

1:10 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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re: $1500 - if you asked me in Jan/Feb I would have said - no problem. Now - not so sure.
1:29 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It depends on site topic. I can't reach that number on one of my sites with 5000+ uniques a day.
1:31 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I cant make it with 13k daily visitors... it's all about the topic.
2:12 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How many AdSense units are you serving per page?
2:22 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Another thing is your site a php board, like phpbb or vbulletin, they tend to give real low CTR if it is and you want your CTR to go 5X put the ads right after the first post :) and you will see great results.
2:47 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Warning: Something to keep in mind if you have lots of page views per visitor is that the CPM networks will generally only show 2 to 3 ads per visitor. After that they'll go to default ads or PSAs. Also they generally want only USA traffic.

A site with 100,000 impressions but only a few thousand visitors probably should be looking at selling subscriptions, signing members, charging for archive views or otherwise trying to get readers to pay for the content.

Unfortunately, PPC has been falling steadily for many content sites and is now in the single digits in many cases. It's a tough situation. Many of us will have to start letting people go if this continues.

4:03 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A site with 100,000 impressions but only a few thousand visitors probably should be looking at selling subscriptions, signing members, charging for archive views or otherwise trying to get readers to pay for the content.

Sponsorships can work, too, in certain cases. I know a guy who runs a very active community site about a [widget-related] hobby, and last I heard, he was selling small flat-rate sponsor ads to widget manufacturers for several hundred dollars per month each. In a situation like that, the toughest sale may be to the first advertiser, because once company #1 is on board, the others may not want to be left out.

4:10 am on Mar 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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adsenseless,
I strongly agree with this statement, "Publishers should be able to set the minimum price for showing an ad."

In fact, that's normally how it works, like in the real advertising world. I am planning to start selling space on my site to likely prospects. I expect that the work selling and setting up the ads will be less than what I have put into adsense.

The one good thing I have learned from adsense is that I can generate good traffic and leverage my site. In the long run, I probably have little need for a "middle man" which is all Google really is.

I'm sure they'll cry real tears when I am gone.