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Well, some of my sites are in a moderate luxury services niche, so I guess a lot of people are postponing their purchasing decisions right now until the economy gets better. They are interested (traffic is the same), but they are not clicking (CTR down).
With regards to ad quality, I have not noticed a lot of changes. However, I see that Google apparently has loosened their grip on the quality lever a bit. Recently, I saw a number of ads where display URL is different from the real landing page URL (e.g. "joesqualitywidgets.com" in the ad, "somecrapserver.com" in the landing page). Also, a few MFAs seem to make their way back into the game.
I guess Google is feeling the financial pressure, too.
My sites, folks, my sites.
I'm on a downward trend but itís hard to tell if itís because of the financial crisis or not.
I guess Google is feeling the financial pressure, too.
but they're here to make me filthy rich...
says so in their TOS... page #36A (subsection 2):
"We, Google Addcents are here to make you filthy rich".
(OK, you'd still be losing hard cash, but as I said - instead of putting MORE ads to compensate for loss in eCPM and CTR, maybe the right reaction is to reduce ads?)
My CTR is also significally down this month, like my affiliate bookings. My audience seems not to be in buying (or booking) mood right now.
But what I did (yesterday, incidentally) was not pulling the ads, but increasing the fun factor by shifting content and placing some additional features much more prominently (which could have been overlooked in the past).
Result: Clicks per visitor is further down (ca. 15 % yesterday compared to the beginning of October, today even worse so far), but pageviews per visitor are 30 % up.
This way money is still rolling in, and visitors are spending more time on my site (what I take as a sign of pleasure) which could also lead to some bookmarks/recommendations.
Click through wouldn't be as significant a meter to judge the economy, unless all the ads said "Buy This". People will click for information whether they are planning to buy or not.
Zett's view is interesting, and logical but only if your earnings are reduced to almost 0. Plan long term, plan to be in this business after five years of rubbish earnings. Do that and in 6 years time you will be king.
Aim your business to the East and Europe, the USA is going down the pan. The USA have failed to grasp the massive impact of this financial problem. Europe IS reacting in unison.I never thought I'd say this but the European Union is delivering the goods. The Uk is leading the way (so embarassed to admit this!). Apologies to Gordon Brown (grovel, grovel).
The downward trend started around 10/2.
I have ~50% visitors and advertisers from Europe so I am sure at least a portion of the drop can be contributed to Euro dropping several percent in value (vs USD).
Note the use of italics, however: Advertising budgets won't be eliminated; they'll just be spent more wisely, and trends that have already been in place will be accelerated. For example, an October 12 NEW YORK TIMES article [nytimes.com] reports that "Newspapers' Web revenue is stalling," and that the average newspaper is fetching CPMs of about US $1.00 for ads on inside (non-home) pages. If you're an advertiser of, say, home sinus-pressure monitors (note to moderator: that's an imaginary product), you find it more cost-effective to buy ads on health sites or sites about sinus pain than on general news papes of the PIGVILLE PRESS. Your overall budget may drop, and the PIGVILLE PRESS may see a loss of revenue from ads for sinus-pressure monitors, but owners of sites about health (and especially about sinus pain) may be doing very well indeed--not in spite of a recession, but (to some degree) because of a recession that forces advertisers to spend money more selectively.
The same trends that affect non-AdSense display ads may also have an impact on AdSense. Advertisers have better tools and more control over their ads than they did a few years ago, and the days of simply throwing ads into the ether and accepting clicks from any and all sources may be over.
Does it really help to pull AdSense ads from pages with a very low CTR? If so, why?
I removed ads from high traffic pages that were getting virtually zero CTR and saw an immediate rise in overall revenue. I'm a bit more reluctant to pull ads from pages with a merely low CTR.
Last week was my best week in ages, just goes to show miracles happen.
Last week was great for me too. But then back down this week.
I think we are getting hit pretty hard from the rollout of the "auto-complete" in the search box. It has taken quite a bite out of our long-tail traffic. So that combined with lower ad earnings is starting to put the pinch on us. I'd have to say we are down about 33% in revenues since the summer... Unfortunately.
From Friday till now, CTR back to normal and EPC UP. What started out looking like a month with earnings down 20-30% now may be close to average...
I guess Google is giving me extra revenue to make sure I stay with them. Yes, I know that's far-fetched, but no more so than the usual theory we hear about lower earnings: "Google is keeping more for themselves."
Actually, I have no idea why any of this is happening.
The ad links were getting a ton more clicks than the leaderboard, so I finally took the leaderboard off a couple days ago. EPC and eCPM is now through the roof on those link units; tons of clicks well over a buck a pop.
Co-incidentally I've refrained from commenting about this since my AdLinks have been performing extraordinarily well too!
Insofar as I can see no change in advertisers so what's happened/been changed?