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Adsense Imps Drop to Half - Traffic Remains Same

Earnings drop to 1/4,What is going on?

     
2:42 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In first though my traffic were down. But then noticed traffic was ok. However this january 2008 my earnings are only a 25% of past month december (that was a regular month). For instance: If december earnings were 400, this month barely reach 100. So my earnings droped to 1/4 than used to be historically. Dramatic...

Adsense Impressions were just half than normal (so If I used to have some 200.000 monthly went to under 100.000 this january even when my traffic remained constant)

So I have tons of things to worry about

1) Why adsense is showing so few impressions compared to last year media?

2) Why my earnings dropped that way? (I could understand to have half earnings due to impressions but I have a quarter than I used to)

3) How do I fix that?

6:25 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You shouldn't have mentioned your traffic drop in your post, it just complicates thing for nothing as it is not related. A simple 50% drop in Adsense revenues is a clearer way to start.
6:41 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If Google says your traffic was cut in half but YOU say your traffic was constant, sorry but I have to believe Google. There are just too many spiders and scrapers out there, many masquerading as humans, and you'd have to convince me you can tell one from the other.
8:14 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ad impressions and traffic are something completely different and have only a partial relation. It could be that the ad inventory in your niche is very low.
10:08 am on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'd start by asking how you measure your traffic to make sure the difference between ad impressions and what you think the number is, isn't down to robot / spider visits.

Next up have you done any changes to your site recently that could have corrupted your adsense code or page code that is preventing adsense from displaying properly?

Do a surf of your site in IE, is everything displaying ok?

View the Page Source from your server in IE / Firefox. Look at the adsense code. Has it been tampered with? (ie has your site been hacked.)

I use Google Analytics to track visitors and the number of page views its reports are pretty close to the Adsense Page Impression statistic.

6:27 pm on Jan 30, 2008 (gmt 0)

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jomaxx: ok, I don't trust you either. But webalizer doesn't lie, my traffic is even growing, not decreasing. And as I noticed in adsense forums many other people is having same issue.

dirkji:


Ad impressions and traffic are something completely different and have only a partial relation.

A partial relation that worked constantly in last 24 months. Certain amount of traffic = certain page impressions = certain income.

Thank you ftwb05 I measure traffic in webalizer, so I know when traffic grows or decrease. Until december 2007 that was directly reflected on adsense reports.
Visits by robots were always counted in past as in present so that makes no difference. I also trak stats with other software, nothing changed in traffic. The only thing is Adsense decided to pay less.

code is ok, everything displaying ok. Tons of adsense users complaining by same issue in Adsense help forum
[groups.google.com...]

Do a surf of your site in IE, is everything displaying ok?

I don't use Google Analytics.

Besides, I see ads showing properly, diversified, everything normal except my earnings.

1:05 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Silverbytes wrote:

In first though my traffic were down. But then noticed traffic was ok. (...)

Adsense Impressions were just half than normal (so If I used to have some 200.000 monthly went to under 100.000 this january even when my traffic remained constant)

Just a possibility: If you are using the "Allowed Sites [google.com]" feature, look at your account -> AdSense Setup -> Allowed Sites -> Unauthorized Sites.

If the "Unauthorized" list includes some of your sites, you should include them in the "Allowed" list, without "www.".

For the "Allowed Sites" list:

www.example.com --> wrong (unauthorizes other subdomains)
example.com --> right (allows all subdomains)

1:42 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Your advise is fair, but sadly I'm not using that feature precisely, to avoid situations. I don't even have sites filtered so anybody is welcome to show ads in those sites.

What I really see is that now you can choose to pay for clicks in site oriented campaigns, what makes me think that while sites showing adsense ads used to receive payments for impressions, now as people can pick to pay only for clicks is it logical to expect very few clicks, thus very few cash in those adsense site owners, and probably that is affecting me directly. Just a thought...

2:52 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Wondering about it I remember to switch from ads images and text to show only text ads one month ago aprox. And one month ago to this date matches the income drop.

May that be a cause?

3:01 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I remember to switch from ads images and text to show only text ads one month ago

I tried that once for a few days, thinking my users would be happy without the tacky images banners that are clashing with the site design, but my earnings took a dive, so I put them back up. They seem to work, or maybe, at least place a support price that people need to bid over.

3:06 am on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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May that be a cause?

Could be. I made that switch on some pages and saw an immediate and BIG drop in income. So I promptly (well after a few days) switched back and the income returned just as promptly.

Not proof of course, but seems similar.

12:24 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Well, seems like I have work to do putting it back. I know you can manage that directly from adsense panel now, but perhaps would be easier to find and replace the correct parameter in html code...

However when I did, I remember someone saying exactly the opposite: that encouraged me to take off images, but I don't have anything to loose.

So I'll give it a shot and post back in some days again.

4:11 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I measure traffic in webalizer, so I know when traffic grows or decrease.

*mwahahaha* (sorry)

bots included? webalizer is inaccurate as hell. you must exclude at least the most common bots (goog,yahoo,msn) in your server-side webalizer.config before you derive any conclusions. bots accounting for up to 40% of traffic (esp. visits and kilobytes) is unfortunately not unusual.

secondly, half the traffic resulting in quarter the income is not uncommon. i call it the "double punishment". if one of the stats is really low, it draws down the other metrics as well.

5:17 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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half the traffic resulting in quarter the income is not uncommon

Hmmmm, I'm more familiar with the "traffic doubling, earnings only increasing 50%" phenomena.

6:18 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm pointing to the moon but you are looking at finger, not the moon.

Webalizer combined with other third party software gives you an idea of what is happening. Regardless how much bots comes, same thing happened on last 24 months so they don't appear all at once in this month. That said, I'm taking same parameters so there is not reason to think this month all traffic are bots and not human. Conclusion: traffic is normal as always, but adsense impressions not.

8:03 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No, unfortunately the conclusion is, you don't know. What you say is suggestive that traffic is steady, but I have always found AdSense stats to be extremely reliable and IMO those numbers carry more weight.

Try putting a tracking image on your pages -- generated by Javascript, with a random string at the end to act as a "cachebuster". THEN you'll have a pretty good idea of how many human pageviews are generated on your site in a day.

8:10 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Nope.
8:19 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My impressions are half of what they were in January 2007 yet January 2008 earnings at 90 %. The only thing that may have kept the numbers up was that I have only been running an average of 2 ads a page down from three last year so I may have had less smart pricing as there may have been better conversion for the advertisers this year.
On the downside, I have had a brutal decline in traffic since Sept, partly due to to redesign and an attempt at moving away from a movie directory to having movie content. It was the worst year yet. Livesearch dropped my site completely and even Yahoo rankings tanked. Meanwhile Googles everflux caused traffic from them to ebb and flow like a tide as opposed to the steady rise i saw the first 3 years.
FWIW
Good luck
8:35 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have always found AdSense stats to be extremely reliable

Now, that's a very STRONG statement.

Care to explain why you think that the stats provided by Google are reliable? To which other metrics do you compare those stats? How do these data sets relate to the Adsense data?

My experience (yep, my experience!) is that the Google figures do carry some errors. Looking at the variance coefficient for various daily metrics (be it revenue, EPC, eCPM, CTR) I find that the data is random at best. Only when looking at 90 days moving averages (better: 200 days moving averages) the data becomes somewhat reliable. Even the exchange rate USD-EUR is more solid and predictable.

And then there are those glitches that are never explained. One day last spring the clicks from site targeted ads went through the roof. Clearly a glitch. There is no other rational explanation. No doubt about that. Guess what - this error in the data set has -up to now- not been fixed. There still is the incorrect data online.

Now, how reliable do I think the data by Google is?

Again: this is MY experience. =I= do not believe that their data is very reliable. Quite the contrary. I think my server log files are (when all the bots are ignored upon analysis) more reliable.

9:03 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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People can argue interminably about which is more accurate (their logfile analyser, Webalyzer, AdSense, etc.), but the debate won't be conclusive and won't explain why the OP's earnings have dropped to 25% of their previous level.

Also, unless you're getting a lot of CPM ads from AdSense, the accuracy of Google's click tracking is what really matters. (And it seems reasonable to assume that Google would do a decent job of counting valid clicks, since it gets paid for clicks just as we do.)

9:30 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Zett, I was specifically referring to page impressions, not anything to do with revenue. I watch my logs quite closely and am well aware of how different measurements work and where the sources of error are, and so far I am four years "glitch-free".
9:37 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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You may want to check your code and make sure you were not hacked, I have heard from many webmasters that have had there sites hacked and adsense code swapped out, so your raw logs may show the proper stats but your not serving all your impressions to google. Just something I would look into asap to rule out.

Another possible reason is Google looked into your traffic and decided the source was no longer valid and is now ignoring it.

10:23 pm on Jan 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think AdSense has changed their method of determining what is a valid ad impression. My ad impressions figure in AdSense is about 80% of previous levels. However at the same time, CTR and eCPM went up. That tells me they are discounting some ad impressions, however the clicks were valid so they still count.

My web server stats don't indicate a 20% drop in visitors, so my assumption is that AdSense changed something. Meanwhile, revenue is up so it's really a moot point.

2:25 am on Feb 2, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I agree tim222, but it's just my revenue is affected instead. Swithched from text only ads to text and image ads and nothing really changed at all, this far (just 1 day from switch back) is exactly the same thing.
I'll give it a week to compare...