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Do ad earnings drop as pages get older ?

100% click value for x days, then 70% for x days etc.

     
9:40 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Does fresh content get full click value and the percentage you receive from clicks decrease as pages get older?

It's not impossible to imagine, I've seen some things in my stats that hint at it but as you know... proving it would be another beast.

Thoughts ?

10:16 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No. No evidence at all in my 4 year experience.
10:43 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I do not think so. I have thousands of untouched pages since years and I did not notice that. If the content is valid, it will last forever.
11:53 pm on Mar 31, 2008 (gmt 0)

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How would google determine the age?
You change a tiny little bit of the original HTML w/o touching the actual content and boom! it's already a brand new page?
Google could surely do it via some similarity score like it probably does with duplicate content, but it would be expensive for them to implement and - as already said here many times - really wouldn't make sense.
1:51 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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All valid points but Google knows when they first crawled a page, no code needed.

If not by page, perhaps by site? If a site isn't updated in say 3 months or more... is there any chance earnings per click may fall a little from age alone ?

Does anyone have an old untouched site that gets the same traffic today it used to get long ago ?

2:02 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My experience with AdSense has been that as long as the traffic holds up as a page ages the income seems to hold up as well.
2:13 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Maybe ....

According to google The more time passes without new “back links”, the worse your page scores. H=L/log(F+2)

Historic Link Score = Links score (Links to v.s. Links from) divided by the time that has passed since google bot last processed the document.

... also...

the update ranking might affect your results as the pages are never updated

Update ranking (U) = a function of “update frequency score” (UF) and “update amount score” (UA)

The text further explains that the updates depend upon these factors:

1) the number of (”new” or unique) pages associated with a document over time.
2) the number of pages referring to the document.
3) the percentage of the (visual content) page that is changed.
4) the period of time that has passed since the visible content changed.

.... also ...

If your content doesn't change and people realise this and quickly click away your page might be considered as 'stale' by google.

"The search engine may monitor the number of times that a document is selected (from a set of search results) and/or the amount of time (one or more) users spend accessing the document."

So yeah, old topics might lose ranking in google, and maybe, (just maybe) there is a relationship with the adverts posted on the page. It would make logical sence...

3:01 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No. Not in my experience. What would be the point doing that across the board? Some topics go stale but that would be reflected in a decline in visitors, but not necessarily in a decline in any kind of metric of quality.
7:15 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There is a decline in quality though Martinibuster - stale content (possibly outdated).

When someone finds a page that is visibly outdated they may be more likely to click on an ad, hence a page with lower value which leads to a lower earning per click.

I've ignored this idea for ages, but its worth looking into since it's relatively measurable (If you have an old site or three that have been ignored but maintained traffic and serp position).

7:48 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I don't think so. I have seen both EPC decreases and increases over time on mostly unchanged (yet unique and attractive) content. Page age may be a factor, but a very very small one.
7:50 am on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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There is a decline in quality though Martinibuster - stale content (possibly outdated).

Yes, I suggested that in my post immediately preceding yours.

You say:

When someone finds a page that is visibly outdated they may be more likely to click on an ad, hence a page with lower value...

I have to note that everything after the word "hence" is not justified by any cause and effect stated in the first half of the sentence. A "page with lower value"? Why? Is it because the clicker won't convert? The statement lacks the explanation of why that page should be judged as low value.

Let's take a look at the Why
The problem as I see it is the theory posits that the quality of the page as measured by it's staleness, has something to do with the value of the click. I don't think it works that way, and the following is the why of it. It can be summed up in the phrase, "Sorry Charlie we want tuna that taste good, not tuna with good taste" but I will go into substantially more detail. ;)

First you have to think about the value of the click. What gives a click value? The likelihood of it converting to a sale. Where does Google receive this data? Part of it is from the AdWords conversion data. But also, a probable source of that data comes from the data collected by Google Analytics. If you read their FAQ you will see that they use that data to primarily improve their PPC product. What that means is that because AdSense is part of the PPC ecosystem, GA can be reasonably assumed to play a role in formulating algorithms for conversions and so on. It's not a total guesstimating algo, they have data to work with in terms of what queries a visitor uses to access a site, what links they're following to get to the ad, and using that to figure out how that fits into a matrix that determines whether they fit into a consumer bucket, student bucket, etc., etc. which in turn can determine the likelihood of that clicker turning into a buyer. A reminder, getting to the "Thank you" page is generally the goal of the PPC process.

What is a good click?
Getting back to the value of the click, what does that really mean? What is a good click? A good click is a click that leads to a sale. I can tell you from personal experience that I have sections of a site that are product reviews and those do really well. I have sections of a site that feature places where you can buy widgets, and those do really well, too. I have professionally written articles about technical professional processes, ways of doing things... those do really poorly. Those professionally written articles are cited throughout the web, and not from any effort on my part, either. They were independently discovered and linked to because they are high quality content with information professionals can use to improve themselves. But it sucks for AdSense. And it's not just those articles, the earnings suckiness repeats across other sites featuring citation-worthy quality content as well. This is content so good that news station websites and newspapers independently, without any help from me, cite the pages and give them links. But they suck at AdSense.

So what's the deal? Why is my high quality content delivering such poor earnings? Because the topic sucks for selling anything. I will say this, topic, and how consumer-focused that topic is will play a big role in how much that click is worth. Consistently, sections that face the consumer do well. Consistently, pages that are helpful and useful are great for attracting links and raising the prestige and authority of the site but they suck big time at putting bread on the table.

Let's get back to the issue of age, in particular a stale page, with a hypothetical but reasonably plausible example. Suppose you have someone looking for a CSS editor. They land on an old page that reviews a CSS editor that only works on Windows 95/98 and is no longer available for sale. However, it has years of old links pointing to it, many from high quality websites including universities where the authors of those pages have graduated and moved on. Although it's a musty old page, utterly useless for someone looking to BUY a CSS Editor Software, the page ranks and the consumer keeps visiting. The intent to buy is there. The page faces the consumer. In my opinion this is the ideal situation for the entrepreneur who wants high value clicks. The content the consumer is looking for is in the ads, and they will click, and they will buy. The ultimate determinant of what makes that click valuable is if the advertiser is happy. If the advertiser is happy with that click because it converts at a reasonable rate (let's say 5% of clicks through that stale web page convert), those pages are going to rock.

Now here's my disclaimer. Google is not all powerful, so I am certain there are situations, there must be, where data is missing and Google cannot come up with a reasonable estimate of the value of that click. I think it's entirely possible. But in terms of age of the page, I don't think it plays a role, it's too open to variations and exceptions to use as a meaningful metric, certainly not on the order of user intent when they visit a site riding on a well known "sales" money phrase, as well as the consumer focus of the content. :) YMMV.

5:52 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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i think that you could experience declining click values, that looks like it was because of the age, but it is actually something else.

as martinibuster said, when you create a page, google takes all sorts of things into consideration about that page and where to set the click value. its an educated guess based on huge amounts of conversion data.

your page, or your site, however, might be underperforming others like yours, and as time passes, and google discovers the true click value of your pages, they might discount clicks as time goes on.

in short, you might be attracting traffic that does not convert as well as pages/sites like yours.

7:54 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google gives new pages the benefit of the doubt in some cases. (Could be based on a good account, demand, how often advertisers in sector blacklist publishers, or whatever.)

But it has no performance stats for the page. If the page doesn't perform, it concludes the value is lower and can logically lower the payout per click. Smartpricing kicks in very quickly in some cases, and it's incremental, not dramatic.

p/g

8:14 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Imagine somebldy writes a review for a notebook 2004.

It's a complete new model

People visiting this page 2004 have a great value for companies selling new notebooks.

Same review 2008, who are now the visitors?
Poor people trying to find some independent information about an 4 year ole used notebook available at Ebay for $120.

9:51 pm on Apr 1, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Imagine a site about Vatican Museums in 2004. That site will be still valid in 2008 and in 2010, at least the Sistine Chapel collapse. For example

There will be new advertisers as well as the people visiting the site.

Lots of Wikipedia articles will be the same in 2050 asthey are now

4:21 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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As I was reading, I was thinking the same as Pepito, some pages don't get stale or outdated. I have many pages on my sites that will still be relevant 100 years from now. The info is what it is and won't ever change. I do however get a much higher eCPM, and much higher number of visitors, on new pages then they go down to "normal" after a few weeks. I guess it depends on the type of page, some make more on new pages, others don't.
6:56 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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No, this definitely does not happen. Just because something is "not impossible to imagine" doesn't make it so.

Also, you're not distinguishing between fresh content and brand new URLs. There may of course be changes as AdSense learns how to target a new page, but I'm sure it's not related to the actual age of the page or the freshness of the content.

8:28 pm on Apr 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Not in my experience.