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plummet in adsense earnings

     
1:15 am on Jun 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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First post here, great forum, first off.

Anyway, about two months ago, I put up a site about free webhosting companies and picking the right one. I had a lot of interest in the site at first, partially because I run a free host, and partially because the adsense ads paid dearly. I averaged about 70-80 cents per click.

Welcome back to reality.

I took the ads off for a month to experiment with CPA advertising. It didn't work out very well, and I went back to adsense, expecting a decent 70-80 cents like usual. Boy, was I wrong. Since I put the ads back on, I have been making 4-5 cents a click, about a 2000% drop. I thought that it might have just been a fluctuation, and that I was overreacting, but it hasn't changed. The exact same ads, but 1/20 of the profit. I emailed google today, and they haven't respodned yet. Has anyone had something similar happen, because at this point, I doubt it is a fluctuation. I really have no clue why the same ads are worth so much less than they were a month ago. I have experimented with keywords and everything, but I am still getting the abysmal rates. If anyone has any ideas on how I can get my CPC up even a little, I would really appreciate it.

1:18 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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wow, that is a prety big drop. never had it happen to me
(always was down around 3-4c, lol. well, maby not that low, but you know)

do post a pharaphrase of what google responds with

1:58 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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could the advertisers have changed their bid amounts or possibly choose not to show ads on your site with the new site targeting that Google offers adwords advertisers?
2:54 am on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The keyword here is free.
7:17 pm on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The keyword here is free.

Um, no, it's not.
It was still the same site, and I was making 20 times more on the SAME ADS beforehand. Free isn't the issue here, as the content hasn't changed.

I'm still awaiting G's response, I'll post back when they reply.

7:20 pm on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It does seem as though Google is fiddling with the value of words/clicks and other factors (like impressions). But we'll just never know the details. Even if I bothered to crunch all these numbers in a spreadsheet it wouldn't tell me much and sadly wouldn't change the bottom line.
9:02 pm on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Isn't this the smart pricing that we've all heard about?
9:04 pm on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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note to self: do not remove adsense.
9:23 pm on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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geniusgoalie, if your site offer free hosting, you will more likely see lower CPM from adsense.

Also, why did you change if it aint broke. You could have just created a different page to experiment.

What a mistake!

9:40 pm on June 9, 2005 (gmt 0)

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i wonder how many AdWords advertisers learned to put free as a negative keyword for all campaigns.
1:50 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'll bet you're banging your head on the desk "why did I take Adsense off...." over and over

Perhaps some other site is now getting the high paying ads you once had, maybe the advertiser got smart and cut his CPC amount when he saw his ROI was less than his credit card bill, you had a golden goose and shot it in the head so now we'll never know for sure.

2:03 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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He didn't shoot it in the head. He just put it in the barn for a month, and when he took it back out it laid regular old eggs instead of golden ones.
2:26 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I can relate. I too have a web hosting resource site and was getting between $1-$2 per click on adsense ads about a 6 months ago. I took them off and went with Commission Junction CPA ads for the last 6 months. This week I put back the adsense ads and I'm averaging about 5 cents a click. From $1.50 average to 5 cents. now thats quite a drop. Web hosting keywords have traditionally done very well, so I'm not sure what the deal is with this.

If the keywords "web hosting" are going for 5 cents a click I can make a fortune by buying that type of traffic and making the sale on my site.

2:31 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it was one advertiser, because all of my clicks seemed to be in the 50-90 cent range (according to the adsense click tracker/analyzer I use). I think a better analogy would be:

I had about 5 chickens laying golden eggs. I put them in the barn for a month, but when they came out, they had formed an APEC-like pact amongst eachother that neither of them would lay golden eggs for me anymore, so they would all have a much better ROI, and so I get stuck with normal eggs, at least for the time being.

Google's response was quite generic. I am fairly convinced though that at this point in time, it is mostly due to keyword inflation (I came to this conclusion because adwords bids have decreased by about 30% average too). Hopefully it will make its way back up again.

2:34 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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surfer67, what a similar situation. I really hope that these rates go back up for the sake of both of our wallets.
2:35 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Maybe they are bidding on similiar yet obscure keyword combinations with no competition and so pay less? I read that on the Adwords board I believe.
2:39 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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The entire advertising world--online, print, b'cast, etc is in flux now. Large perturbations are working themselves through the system with segments experimenting with different media. It will be like this for a while, on top of Adsense being just two years old and having its own growing pains.

Still the "Wild West." Only slightly fewer varmints and rattlesnakes.

3:07 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure about this, but I do think the keyword "free" is being penalized, maybe the newest smart pricing.

I moved all the free stuff on my sites to separate domain names. This helped EPC on my money makers.

3:09 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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geniusgoalie, are your adsense ads mainly web hosting companies? How long has it been since you put them back up?
3:45 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't think you can rule out a fluctuation until you give it more time. I go through these down swings every couple of months for a week or so at a time. In my case the cost per click drops to about 30%, stays there, then eventually everything "normals" back out.

Although I have noticed a decline in the cost per click, this has been slow and over the course of the last two years. I would imagine that my site has simply gotten larger and therefore less specific/targeted.

I only say this because you have been using adsense for a relatively short period of time. Keep in mind that with adsense, you can't look at daily earnings, you can't test new ad formats for a day or so. Think in months, not days. If you start logging in and checking your stats every couple of hours then you will end up running in the streets naked, screaming, and crying. At least that what happened to me.

4:43 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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If you start logging in and checking your stats every couple of hours then you will end up running in the streets naked, screaming, and crying. At least that what happened to me.
Oh my, not even close. The worst has been an occasional mild consternation and a slight feeling of guilt that I might be doing something more productive. But checking my stats every couple of hours has been good for me, mostly.

When I feel like a panic I check the threads here and a few other forums to see if it's just me, and so far it never has been.

True though that a longer-term outlook is best.

6:47 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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With about 3300 pages, on almost every topic, I think the only weirdness there might be to my data is the fact that I'm a 'small portal'- I think google favors big niche (one topic) sites - so anyway, my aggregate data reflects the averages from many different topics

I've seen two big changes in my AdSense results since March

1. decrease in pay I get per click from about $0.22 to about $0.09
2. decrease in CTR from about 25.5% to 5.7%

These changes happened gradually over a month or so- and I noticed also that the ads AdSense places are less relevant than they used to be- they appear to be using partial matching to serve them whereas they used to use exact match- maybe they're serving more, less targeted, so they can serve the cheaper ones? Dunno

B

7:01 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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looking at Overture's bid tool, I see some bids for web hosting as high as 4 bucks. That negative keyword stuff scares me -- I wish they would have some kind of keyword tool so we could see what the most negative keywords are..

BBCarter: maybe try to break your site into many smaller sites, according to the theme/content of each of them, to counteract this?

8:05 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't get much traffic to that subject but what i have gotten over the last couple of weeks has been averaging $.75

Give it at least 2 weeks if you haven't already. sometimes it takes G a while to get things calibrated right.

5:07 pm on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I am in the same boat but don't remember ever removing adsense from my site. I began running adsense right after the buzz about how the rates went crashing down. For the past month, on a newer site, I've had a 5.7% ctr. One day I got 13 clicks and only made .88 cents. Today so far I have 1 click for 1 cent.

WHAT IS GOING ON?

5:20 pm on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You need more clickers!

I didn't know that there was a negative keyword filter. I bet 'free' is right up with the most popular. Think about the words used to filter email spam, these are probably the same words being filtered on Adwords.

6:46 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Hi Folks.

I have a horse ad classifieds website with 100,000-110,000 page views daily. I feel like I'm not earning much with Adsenses, especially, looking at my June stats. On every page I show a 720 banner at the top and a 468 banner at the bottom, i.e. 6 text ads per page. Now, below are my stats for June, that suspiciously dropping down. Two questions.

(1) Is anyone else having the same problem?
(2) Overall, what do you think about the earnings figures? Are they low or average?

Date Ad unit impressions Clicks Ad unit CTR Ad unit eCPM [?] Your earnings
Wednesday, June 1, 2005 167,449 603 0.4% $0.30 $50.12
Thursday, June 2, 2005 162,001 507 0.3% $0.24 $39.39
Friday, June 3, 2005 154,470 520 0.3% $0.28 $42.57
Saturday, June 4, 2005 121,729 420 0.3% $0.26 $31.70
Sunday, June 5, 2005 125,876 468 0.4% $0.29 $36.15
Monday, June 6, 2005 149,013 474 0.3% $0.24 $36.39
Tuesday, June 7, 2005 144,899 433 0.3% $0.23 $33.06
Wednesday, June 8, 2005 139,030 403 0.3% $0.20 $28.34
Thursday, June 9, 2005 133,507 370 0.3% $0.19 $25.81

7:02 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A CPM of 20 cents is really quite low. The good thing is, with the amount of traffic you're getting, you can still do a lot of things to increase your earnings significantly. For instance, your CTR of .3% can still be improved drastically. Just go through the many threads posted here on how to increase CTR. The EPC is largely dependent on how much your advertisers are willing to pay for clicks that they get. Try to find out which of them are big spenders and 'bias' the writing of your articles to fish them out!
7:04 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You should work on the ad placement.

Your CTR is low.

Try to add AdLinks at a good position

7:32 am on June 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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You might try droping the banner at the bottom. I tried running two banner on my site once and my epc went way down.
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