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Impact of Global Financial Market Chaos on AdSense Revenue

     
5:56 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Up/Down/Same?

So far I don't see any changes. No advertisers have pulled out or backed off.

You?

p/g

6:04 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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So far no changes, same trend since August
6:08 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm on a downward trend but itís hard to tell if itís because of the financial crisis or not. I had my best month in August 08 and then itís been going down since. Itís possible Iíve been smartpriced.
6:21 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Traffic about the same as October 2007, yet CTR is down 30%. This is not being set off by the increase of EPC (+15%). Overall eCPM dropped to a new, previously unseen level for me (which is the real disaster).

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.

6:45 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I'm on a downward trend but itís hard to tell if itís because of the financial crisis or not.

ditto

I guess Google is feeling the financial pressure, too.

yeah...

but they're here to make me filthy rich...

aren't they?...

says so in their TOS... page #36A (subsection 2):

"We, Google Addcents are here to make you filthy rich".

8:15 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Feels like I just fell down a mine shaft. There again I did make a few blunders earlier on in the year which resulted in pages dropping out the index. Too many factors to consider and the financial chaos is probably only a small part of it.

Still.. we soldier on!

9:21 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've been riding the up-wave since the end of September. Enjoying it, no doubt, but just a little afraid of meeting a great white shark somewhere along the line that will tear me to shreds.
10:24 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Just a weird thought - if ad inventory is being devalued so quickly (ours definitely has reached new lows), do you think there comes a point where you just pull the ads, make the site more user-friendly and collect lots of bookmarks/recommendations? Then the pulling of the ads could be seen as "marketing investment" in the broader sense. Especially if the ads were a side dish to your main business anyway.

(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?)

Thoughts, anyone?

11:27 am on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Srange indeed.

Clicks down about 20 % from last month. Down from the summer. Impressions about the same or slightly lower. EPC on the upside by as much as 80%

Yea, I'm waiting for that shark attack too. Things are too good.

12:23 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Zett, I'm with you.

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.

2:17 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My AdSense CTR is down, but EPC is up significantly.

Display ads (handled by a rep firm) are bringing in record revenues.

2:58 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Here's a thought, if AdSense earnings are affected for whatever reason and the result is CPC payouts are reduced, then taking advantage of the flip side of the coin is probably advisable. If CPC prices are low, then selling products and/or services and advertising them with AdWords is going to be more lucrative than normal because the bid prices are going to be lower than normal. So I reckon, sell stuff and market it with AdWords, and provide content and capitalize with (among other things) AdSense. That way whichever way the seesaw tips, you can still take advantage of the situation.
3:00 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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(to clarify, I don't mean all on the same website. The two strategies should be kept to separate sites to avoid a nasty email from Google)
3:24 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Been pretty good so far. Increase in visitors doesn't help show up any major differences in earnings due to more visitors means more clicks, generally. However today, CTR is over 50% down than usual.
5:03 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Wouldn't the epc be down if it were economy related? Advertisers paying less in advertising. Then again they may be paying more in hopes of increasing sales.

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.

5:09 pm on Oct 10, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Trend is UP, 'tis the nature of my niche. The summer / fall tends to be a good time in my niche, this year is the best ever in terms of AdSense performance and revenue. I set a record last month and am on track for another this month. But I'm not sitting around waiting for money to roll in either, I'm tweaking, building, etc. all the time.
4:14 am on Oct 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Last week was my best week in ages, just goes to show miracles happen.
5:18 am on Oct 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Lost 10% of my CTR and 10% of my overall click price.

Not too bad, plenty of revenue to survive just not going to be a big banking year.

9:06 pm on Oct 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

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In general, this financial cataclysm is going to effect us all adversely. How quickly is a matter of debate but the #*$! has hit the fan.

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).

12:49 am on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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SnowDevil's idea is good if you're already set up to sell things with AdWords, starting a whole new business in this environment doesn't appeal to me.

I have already been pulling ads from the lower CTR pages hoping to gain some bookmarks/IBL, zett's rationale makes it seem even smarter.

7:38 am on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Ditto - I am down ~20% (revenue). Yet, the same # of page views, CTR and overall number of clicks are down slightly but revenue per click is down around 25%.

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).

3:25 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Advertising expenditures normally drop in a recession, so it's reasonable to assume that ad budgets will drop overall.

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.

4:37 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Does it really help to pull AdSense ads from pages with a very low CTR? If so, why?
5:12 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Does it really help to pull AdSense ads from pages with a very low CTR? If so, why?

It increased my revenue immediately and significantly. "Why?" remains a mystery. Any theories?

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.

7:23 pm on Oct 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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.

12:38 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Revenue is definitely down and I suspect the credit crisis is to blame for it.
1:27 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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First nine days of the month, big fluctuations in CTR, much more so than normal, though mostly down, and corresponding fluctuation in earnings.

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.

8:39 am on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Spent the last week tweaking in the hope that I can kick start something without any joy. It's getting to the point I'm scared to log in and check my account - probably best not to anyway as it distracts me from scouring the job vacancies.
3:30 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Here's a fun one - I had some sites with one 728x90 ad block (that was in rotation with some affiliate ads) and one set of ad links that displays all the time. 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. Wish I'd done it long ago - who'd a thunk ad links could perform so well?
4:20 pm on Oct 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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?

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