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AdSense in Chaos October 2008

wacky things happening

   
5:58 pm on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Noticed my CTR was in the toilet today so I looked at the site and I'm seeing off topid AdSense Link units, vertical skyscrapers that don't even say Google Ads where a leaderboard used to be, it's totally off the charts.

Is anyone else seeing this broken behavior?

6:14 pm on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ken_b is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



I'm seeing some low value ads, but they're fairly well targeted. AdLinks seem fine.
6:58 pm on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Been seeing this for a while; reduced CTR, further reduced CPM, don't have foggy idea as to why except that the world is focused on their $ and not on buying. Haven't been able to 'optimize' my way out of this one, (not that any of us really could ever really have any $ control over Adsense).
8:22 pm on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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On several of our key sites which push millions of pvs a month I have seen a sharp decrease in ctr across many areas over the last week.

My feeling is that the economic panic is starting to impact our users. Less buying = less clicking.

9:16 pm on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I was able to fix the problem with the leaderboard turning into a skyscraper, but the Adlink units are going off the deep end on many pages.

How can the other ads be on target but the link units be on a different planet?

Very odd.

9:34 pm on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So I'm not the only one who's noticed that AdSense is getting quirky with the ads displayed.
10:32 pm on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting weirdly unrelated ads targeted only to the year in my copyright date. Of all the on-page keywords to choose from, why choose the date? Adsense does go a bit nuts sometimes.
11:54 pm on Oct 9, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So I'm not the only one who's noticed that AdSense is getting quirky with the ads displayed.

It felt to me that Google was experimenting with the topic detector algorithm in the past weeks or so on a few of my sites, with unfortunately really bad results, but it seems to be back to its old self now. It was a frustrating experience.

2:14 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just noticing a major drop in my earnings over the past 4-5 days. Noticed it coming on at the start of this week. All of my ad's are displaying fine as it relates to the content of the page. If this continues.. well, maybe I will have to eventually go and get a job. Now we don't want that. :( :)
12:55 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Me too but September's earnings have been 50% less the last few years for me.
1:56 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Well I'm way up, and targeting seems okay, at least on my halloween stuff, but I do have a set of pages on another site that have been around for a few months where all the sudden the ad links seem to have 'forgotten' what the pages are about - they just display the search box thingy you get when the ad links block doesn't know what to display.

I tried temporarily putting a 468x60 there, and THOSE ads are perfectly targeted (but I don't like having more than one ad block, so I'm not going to keep it there) So then I put the ad links back, and it's still the search.

Used to work just fine, and I haven't made any changes to those pages at all.

So my conclusion is that it's possible there's something hinky going on with ad links.

5:34 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I don't know if it's related or not but it looks to me that in last 6-10 days or so the click through rate is half the normal, noticed it on a site with around 10 000 uniques a day.

The earnings are probably affected by holidays, I think there should be a bigger advertisers activity during holidays. It should result in a better payment per click because of more competition.

Edited: I meant "advertisers* activity" ^.

[edited by: adrianTNT at 5:40 pm (utc) on Oct. 10, 2008]

11:46 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My CTR and CPM both have been down by 2/3 for over three weeks now. But the CTR and CPM for AdSense Search are up right where they have always been.
1:57 am on Oct 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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CTR down by half during the last four days here as well.

Maybe Google are deliberately lowering our share of the click revenue and taking more for themselves, due to the global credit crunch meltdown armagedon apocolypse crisis.

[edited by: Richie0x at 2:05 am (utc) on Oct. 11, 2008]

5:23 am on Oct 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Maybe Google are deliberately lowering our share of the click revenue and taking more for themselves, due to the global credit crunch meltdown armagedon apocolypse crisis.

wow. you're an optimist I see...

5:49 am on Oct 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I can add that we are quite a way down on the CTR, earnings have been holding but the last few days things have taken a real dip and we are off 30% in revenue. Our main site gets 8 - 10k uniques per day and last month WAS our best month ever after coming off some nasty smart pricing. Now we have this reduced CTR issue to deal with.... My best guess and only slightly educated guess is that it is related to world events and lack consumer confidence. Users spot adsense blocks but they are not even browsing them because they are not in shopping mode in any way, this is going to impact on some sites much more than others of course.
4:34 pm on Oct 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have 17,333 uniques per day, and my site contains information that people always need and use regardless of the economy. I have noticed lately that the same old AdSense ads are running. Perhaps this is why AdSense Content CTR and CPM have tanked, but it certainly doesn't account for the CTR and CPM for AdSense for Search. In fact, those are better than normal! The same ads are running in the search results pages as in the content pages, so it doesn't make sense (no pun intended). This problem, for me, has been ongoing for almost four weeks now. I don't see any end in sight. Now I wish I had diversified a lot sooner and not depended so heavily on Google. So I'm busy doing that now.
9:08 pm on Oct 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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'Now I wish I had diversified a lot sooner and not depended so heavily on Google. So I'm busy doing that now.'

With what, if I may ask? Another ad network or soliciting direct ads?

11:13 pm on Oct 11, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Since mine is a culinary site, I am using coupon ads from mysavings.com and brandcaster. I have also contacted Dart for publishers...still waiting to hear from them. This is in addition to Casale Media and Value Click that I have used for a long time. I will probably begin using AdBrite also.

While checking Google ads today, I found 4th of July ads in the Christmas section!

12:20 pm on Oct 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I see, thanks for the details on your ad strategy. I haven't heard of any of those alternative ad networks ever coming close to earnings of Adsense though. But am hopeful for you!
2:41 pm on Oct 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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YW, Marcus. I had never heard of them coming close either, but they are probably good additions to help make up for the severe revenue loss with AdSense.
3:04 pm on Oct 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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AdSense at its worst has been much better than anything else I've tried which is why AdSense is dialing back your earnings, they've been leaving money on the table.

I think the way they've been dialing earnings back has been ham-handed and looks too much like what it really is, giving publishers reason to suspect and complain.

11:41 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Wow, me too. I am seeing ads that do not say they are from Google. They look like the generic "click me" ads you see on sites like Yahoo, etc.

The funny thing is, I see them on my PC but, NOT on my laptop!?! What on Earth?

Sometimes, I actually see my normal targeted ad and then right before my eyes, it changes to some wacky ad with no "Ads by Google".

Is this adsense working with some other ad company? Could it be some kind or virus on my PC? This is nuts.

12:30 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I have been having a consistent problem on some of many pages, where instead of showing ads related to the content of my site (travel niche), I get ads for First Aid, CPR and Emergency Response stuff. (These are not public service ads.)

I've had three series of e-mails between me and AS support over this. The first cleared up the problem after two days, and worked for about a month. The second took a week, then worked for about two/three weeks. The third series resulted in AS support asking me to implement AS weighting/ignore tags around key sections of my content. Tried that, but the problem continues, and is spreading to other pages. I'll e-mail support with a slew of affected URLs tomorrow morning.

FWIW, at first, I kinda saw how the AS got the first aid stuff, as there were some threads on my discussion board and pages on my site about staying safe on one's trip. But I eliminated AS ads on those pages, so the spider shouldn't be seeing those.

Also, in the latest series of e-mails, AS support confirmed that the spider does categorize my site for its particular type of niche travel. (Yes, AS does categorize websites by topic, I learned.) So where's it is still getting First Aid ads on some of these pages, which don't reference anything closely related to that topic, I do not know.

[edited by: Malibucreek at 12:32 am (utc) on Oct. 14, 2008]

12:54 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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jdmjayden, maybe you are aware of this but ... there is some kind of virus that installs in browser and replaces google ads with other ads in same size format but usually ads not approved by google, like errors and maybe adult.
It installs under Internet explorer "Internet Options > Programs > Manage add-ons" .
I cannot remember object name but you should have a look.
Antivirus didn't detect that and I was able to uninstall it easy from browser.
I found it again after few months.

CTR is still going down for me, something is happening.

EDIT:
-----
Maybe Google decided to show more "Placement" targeted ads than "Contextual" ads, and users seing same ad about same old "Product Z" they will start to ignore it, resulting in lower click thrugh rate.

[edited by: adrianTNT at 1:05 am (utc) on Oct. 14, 2008]

2:21 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ok, this is the situation I've been having with one of my newer sites.

The home page is displaying ads about ecommerce sites, but every other page displays the exact ads it should. I have basically the same title, description, keywords, etc. on all pages of the site.

Why do you all think that just the home page is affected with the completely wrong ad content, while all other pages are dead on?

3:33 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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WolfLover, I was under the impression that ads were targeted from the meta tags also, but I did have a problem recently with mortuary ads and geneaology ads appearing on my culinary home page. I had added a snippet of an article with a link to it on my site. The article referred to "Grandmother's Passing." I moved the snippet to the bottom of the page, and that didn't help either. When I removed it from the page completely, all the non-related ads disappeared. As far as I know, it was just two words in the body of the page that triggered ads that were not suitable for my site content. Touchy...touchy....touchy.
5:14 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I get about 30000 uniques per day on a tech site ..

impressions are slightly down due to a PR change .. site went from PR 5 to 4

But clicks and CTR and CPM are at worst levels ..

Aug was best month for me .. Sep was OK .. October is turning out to be a nightmare !

Wats happ ?

6:14 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



After my earlier post in this thread things have returned to better levels and today will be close to an all time high. Having said that the CTR is still down, I'm looking at how well targeted the ads are .... not in some cases. Maybe it's inventory related.
7:14 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Now I wish I had diversified a lot sooner and not depended so heavily on Google.

We did a big push for diversifying our income streams a few years back. It helps stabilize our bottom line when things start to go haywire elsewhere.

Here is the revenue breakdown we use:

Adsense: 50%
CPM Banners: 15%
Text-link (CPM): 20%
Affiliate Programs: 15%

The CPM programs really help when the economy of clickers starts to slow down, or the relevance of our ads changes all of a sudden. Those programs still earn consistent with traffic... like clockwork.

Affiliate programs are hit or miss depending on the product/niche and what is going on in the market, but they can help balance out your income as well.

Hope this helps.

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