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Google is offering your site on a cpm basis w/o really telling you

Open an adwords account

2:52 am on Sep 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I recently started a few adwords promotions and from fooling around I noticed that adsense sites are being offered on a CPM basis. I wasn't trying to advertise that way so I never completed the process. But I'd like to know more how it works. Especially as a publisher.

I did notice something about CPM in a few threads, but didn't quite realized how this looked from the adwords end of things until really going through it.

What are my advertisers who are paying me for other ads being offered behind my back on google adwords? How do I find my site's CPM rate on adwords?

If you're a publisher you NEED to know what Google is telling your advertisers.

I also noted that they are giving out information on how much ad inventory in pageviews I'm offering and how it compares to my competitors.

Considering the adwords and adsense accounts are separate, it isn't fair to publishers the way they are handling this at all.

3:13 am on Sept 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Information about CPM ads was in the control panel for publishers... it has been around since the spring, so it is not "new". When they updated their terms and policies in July, many of the changes were specific to CPM ads. So they definitely weren't hiding it.

I have gone through site targeting, and the metrics they give you are pretty broad, ie. 0-10k and 10k-100k. They don't tell you specifics of CPMs either.

Here is more on it from the advertiser point of view:

And a lot more in the AdWords forum.

3:14 am on Sept 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I understand your beef, but I don't think Google is going to show ads if their take (eCPM) is lower with banner ads. They can compute their revenue via CPC % CTR and if it makes more sense to show banners, they can. It should only be to your benefit.

In theory.

3:38 am on Sept 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the help. I wish I had the time to navigate adwords and read up old posts at WW...but in the meantime an advertiser has been trying to renegotiate a contract and he works with adwords. From some lines he dropped it got me thinking. And after seeing it from the adwords vantage point, I realized where his talk is coming from.

The one question I'm trying to understand, is there a quick way of determining CPM for a site? Is it just guess work to determine how often an ad displays. Or does Google offer premium (or regular) advertisers an easy number that they can see?

5:39 am on Sept 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Clark, it's simple mathematics. CTR equated with your page/ad views. Nothing is being hidden here. I don't have the time or patience to explain in more detail. Keep reading and learning...
8:13 am on Sept 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Here are some quotes I found after searching for CPM in AdSense Support.

Because CPM ads compete against CPC ads in the AdWords auction, we'll always choose the highest-performing ad for your page.

So, like mike schmitz said, in theory publishers shouldn't be making less because of CPM ads.

The eCPM column in your reports will display the effective CPM of your combined CPC and CPM activity.

Since CPC and CPM are combined, I'm not sure how one would derive either using "simple mathematics" as spaceylacie said. eCPM equals Earnings / (Impressions / 1000) but the CTR has no bearing on that figure.

7:04 pm on Sept 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

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From the Google help file:
Effective CPM - Cost per 1000 impressions. From a publisher's perspective, CPM is a useful way to compare revenue across different channels and advertising programs. It is calculated by dividing total earnings by the number of impressions in thousands. For example, if a publisher earned $180 from 45,000 impressions, the CPM would equal $180/45, or $4.00.

So if you have 3 ad units on a page displaying 12 ads inside them, and that page is displayed 1000 times, is the impressions calculated as 1000? Or 3000? Or 12000? If you have a PSA, is that *NOT* counted even though you gave google the space?

Some of those answers are here:

Impression - The number of impressions is the number of times an ad is displayed on Google or on sites or products in Google's ad network. A page impression is counted each time an ad unit is displayed on a publisher's site. Page impressions are used when calculating reports for AdSense publishers, rather than ad impressions.

I don't know why on the adsense help they even mention "an ad is displayed on Google". Why does a publisher care? But we do care if PSAs count or not. I've noticed times when one ad in a unit is a PSA and another is a real ad. How does that count?

And don't come back to me saying that Google gives you an option to remove PSAs. It's a kludge and regardless, if PSAs on my site are showing, it should count as an impression. Not to mention that I've set up the alt ads and still seen PSAs sometimes.

The adwords help system on the other hand defines CPM as


This stands for cost-per-thousand impressions. A CPM pricing model means advertisers pay for impressions received.

What does that mean? I doubt they are rolling it up per ad unit in that case. So they are showing the statistic that makes Google look better instead of being consistent with their definitions across the board. And they are quite vague in my opinion.

But that isn't what concerns me. My issue is how the stats they are giving out affects regular banner advertisers. If adsense is undercutting your main advertisers on your very own site, that is a problem.

As a publisher, I want to know how Google is reporting my site to adwords advertisers. We have url channels. I want to see a report per domain of what they are showing advertisers. 0-10k, 10k-100k. And I'm still not clear if they pop up a CPM "advise" like a regular ad...telling advertisers to up their CPM to $30CPM (or whatever). But if they do, I want to see that same info in a report on adsense. NOT to do so is unfair to the publisher.

To say it another way. Google, if you have data about my websites and are showing it to your advertisers, I expect you to extend me the courtesy to provide me with the same information on my very own site.

Hope I was clearer this time.