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New AdSense Advisor

   
5:29 pm on Nov 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Hi All,

Our previous ASA is transitioning to a new role within Google, so I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be your new ASA.

I really look forward to working with you.

Fire away!

ASA

7:30 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)



Zett, this thread went off topic a long time ago (see the original post). Still, why don't we let the moderators do the moderating?
8:06 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)



If Google wants to at least have a look at the topic of Publisher side filtering, as mentioned by ASA, then why should we stand in Google's way? What can it harm to at least discuss the topic of CPC minimum bid filtering being in the hands of the Publisher? It does not harm Google in any way for us to talk about it.
9:34 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)



I don't feel it's gone so far off topic after all ASA did write in his second post:

My plan was just to start posting. I know you won't hesitate to tell me how I can improve.

I believe we're all just airing some grievances and suggestions since no one's listened to us for ages, if ever.

There's some good stuff coming out, the plex should be pleased that we've stopped complaining and trying to be constructive, after all, it surely benefits both ways?

10:01 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I'm definitely listening, but I have another question for you.

What about the effect on advertisers? We as publishers should all care about increasing advertiser spend in the Google Content Network.

How do you think advertisers would react to the idea of letting publishers set a minimum bid? Do you think it would increase or decrease advertiser spend in the Content Network overall?

ASA

10:24 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Thinking out loud here:

Regarding minimum bids, I think it would need to be at least by site and possibly by page. That's a rats nest waiting to be built. Some sites just by their very nature and type of content dictate that what's good for one site isn't good for another site owned by the same person. The same could be said for individual pages within a site. It could prove to be a nightmare to keep up with, maintain, whatever - possibly another fulltime job if one's sites are large. If it were available I'd probably set mine way too low at times and way to high at other times. Visitors interests change from day to day and so do which advertisers are being shown to them. I don't really have the time to keep up with all that turmoil.

What would advertisers think? I'm not really sure but I think that some would find they're getting a real deal and others might just get disgusted.

10:40 pm on Nov 20, 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 think I've changed my mind on this minimum price thing.

It might be really good for me if my competitors had an easy way to price themselves out of the market.

What would advertisers think?

I'm not an advertiser, but I read plenty of their comments in the AdWords forum. It seems like a good number think the program is getting constantly more difficult to manage.

Tossing them another hoop to jump through might be the last straw for some, and some others, who stay in the program, might just take the easy route and go with publisher sites that don't throw up these barriers.

If too many jump ship, that could be bad for everyone.

Those who stay and choose to limit their ads to sites that don't throw up these barriers could benefit themselves and those publisher sites.

Some won't mind the new barrier to business, especially if the hassle gets handled by some 3rd party management outfit.

10:51 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)



If I am an advertiser/AdWords buyer, and the site I want my ads on costs me 10 cents to get on that site, it would just be more info for me. I would then be able to decide if I want to pay 10 cents to get on that site or not.

If I am an AdWords buyer and the page that I want to get my ads on, costs me 15 cents, then I know what I have to bid to get on that page. If I bid 15 cents to get on that page, and my ad does NOT show up on that page, then I know that other people have filled the ad block/s and I will have to bid higher to get my ad onto that page. Seems like a simple thing to me.

How can this be a bad thing?

11:07 pm on Nov 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member hobbs is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



ASA, are you sure you're one of the foot soldiers? Cauz you sound like an executive talking about disadvantages of micro management.

To answer your question, generally the success of any new feature application depends on Google's implementation, you control the complexity level which sets the pace of advertiser adoption.

Gentlemen and ladies, I believe you've just been given a chair at Camelot's round table.

12:00 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

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



1) Advertisers can't do placement (a.k.a. site-specific) bidding for CPC ads, can they? Until they can, displaying a minimum bid for the publisher's ad slot won't accomplish much unless the publisher is getting a significant number of non-contextual CPM ads.

signor_john - yes, we can do CPC placement ads now.

12:25 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



yes, we can do CPC placement ads now.

Good call, netmeg. The only combination you won't generally see is a contextually targeted CPM ad.

ASA

12:38 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Forgive me if I missed a few post but wasn't the minimum EPC in the very beginning 5 cents? Was it really a huge impediment to the marketplace? Was it management hell for publishers? Was there really an improvement when it was lowered to 1 cent? I think it was lowered to 1 cent when Adsense got more international, but for those with north american and european sites, we mostly saw the apparition of MFA sites and arbitragers.
2:00 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)



How do you think advertisers would react to the idea of letting publishers set a minimum bid? Do you think it would increase or decrease advertiser spend in the Content Network overall?

Depends if you're talking about CPC or CPM ads:

- CPC ads aren't targetable by site (unless something has changed recently), so--except in the tiniest niches--low-bidding advertisers might not see much impact.

- With CPM ads, on the other hand, low-bidding advertisers might see greater impact, depending on how many publishers bothered to set minimums. But the impact might not be any greater than, say, publishers opting out of CPM ads (as sometimes happens now) or "image" ads (a choice that has been available for several years).

If and when placement-targeted CPM ads become a greater part of the AdSense mix, publisher-set minimums might have some value (at least for CPM ads). Still, I agree with Martinibuster's comment about supply, demand, and pricing. Cheap "fight belly fat" text ads are like remnant display ads: They're useful for monetizing impressions that otherwise would go to waste. And if they occur too often, they're a symptom of a disease, not a disease in themselves.

2:35 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)



yes, we can do CPC placement ads now.

Aha! Maybe that's why some publishers have seen better ads and a big EPC increase this year. And it may help to explain why others have seen ad quality and their average EPC go down.

Ultimately, advertisers pay what they think impressions or clicks are worth, and publishers who want the ability to set minimums may be looking for the wrong solution.

2:38 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Gentlemen and ladies, I believe you've just been given a chair at Camelot's round table.

Could be.

Or it could be an energetic employee who will soon find out that input forwarded by the current ASA sits around and gathers dust.

Nothing personal against this ASA and I know this sounds very pessimistic, but something about this just doesn't add up.

Companies pay a lot of money for "focus groups" to learn about their products and services. This WW forum is basically a free ongoing focus group with actual users/publishers.

This is November, 2008. The problems and symptoms of problems we're discussing here have been discussed again and again for months - years in some cases.

By now, the upper echelons of Google AdSense should be way past getting a forwarded list of 5 top requests. They should know, for one example, publishers here want a better and bigger filter and should be examining why - "what is it about the ads we're serving that seem to be so unpopular in many situations with publishers?"

Don't let me ruin the party though, go ahead and keep the discussions going as much as you guys want. But my unease detector is sensing something's amiss. I hope no one is getting their expectations up too high as a result of all this recent discussion.

FarmBoy

2:45 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member farmboy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Ultimately, advertisers pay what they think impressions or clicks are worth...

I think advertisers pay as little as necessary to accomplish what they want to accomplish. I doubt there are many advertisers who know each click is worth $X who wouldn't jump at the opportunity to pay <$X.

FarmBoy

2:59 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)



Farmboy, advertisers will pay $X if they think the clicks are worth $X and $X is what need to pay because that's what other advertisers are bidding. They won't pay $X if they think a click is worth <$X and the publisher has set $X as a minimum.
3:06 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I hope no one is getting their expectations up too high as a result of all this recent discussion.

I must agree with you there. I've seen the same phenomenon on other affiliate forums over a great many years. We get all excited that someone is finally listening and then...

...nothing.

The liaison person gets tranferred to "more important duties".

3:24 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



"what is it about the ads we're serving that seem to be so unpopular in many situations with publishers?"

Well said. In my case, I haven't replaced the Adsense program with other PPC advertising programs. Instead, I've decided to build a lot of new sites around Amazon products during the year 2008, without any ads on it.

Creating an additional revenue stream because of declining Adsense income is always good, but it became a necessity: Adsense EPC down, USD down, I'm in Europe. I'm in the Adsense program since July 2003, and EPC now is about 12% of what it was in the early years.

It all gives me mixed feelings. My new Amazon product sites are great and lucrative, but also, I haven't found encouragement from Adsense earnings to build any new informational sites with Adsense, and building informational sites is where my passion lies. A couple of these websites are mentioned in literature, I'm sure this will not happen with the websites I build around Amazon products. But I had to.

For 2009, I will have to make the decision again. Let's hope new Adsense filtering or other control mechanisms will help. Of course, even more Quality Control on the Adwords side would also definitely help.

Thanks ASA, for listening so far in this thread, and thinking with us.

3:40 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



AdSenseAdvisor,
We have thousands of pages of content and it would be impossible for us to set a minimum bid for each of the advertisers. We do get at times low clicks of a few cents but the overall experience is that it balance it out with some of the high value clicks. For us it really doesn't matter much.

Asinah

PS: Welcome to WW ! -)

4:22 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



what is it about the ads we're serving that seem to be so unpopular in many situations with publishers?"

Our problem is fairly straightforward although the cause is unknown. 99/100 visitors to our sites do NOT click on adsense, and that tells me that they are not adding to the visitor experience. Our CTR is approaching a 66% drop from past years, and that's not acceptable.

So, whether it's junk ads, repeated ads (I see the same ads on a lot of pages on my sites even though the topics vary), whatever, our visitors are voting.

...and we're listening. We filled up our filter to get rid of junk ads as best we could (which isn't very well), and our CTR's are still low, and we are still getting "find [keyword] ads, which I believe people have learned are not useful to them.

We are about half way to our goal of cutting adsense impressions by a minimum of 50%. My bet is we won't lose half our adsense income, but we feel that over all, we'll replace them with our own product information or one or two other programs.

Our goal is also to reduce adsense so that it consists of no more than one third of our web based revenues, down from NINETY percent about 15 months ago.

Lest one wonder, adsense has been great for us, our sites are high quality, some in high value click niches, etc, but when CTR drops, revenue drops, and CPM drops, what exactly are we to do? We move on until such time as the remaining adsense impressions rebound in terms of ctr/revenue/cpm.

It's great to see these discussions, and the why's and wherefores discussed, AND potential solutions, but I can sum it up this way.

We are in this for results. Features, additional control, reporting, minimums, screeing, etc are ONLY of interest to me to the extent that they improve the results, WITHOUT requiring huge additional staff involvement.

I think it's pretty simple. We have alternatives. We'll make use of them. It's business, and we want business results, and not more bells and whistles per se.

We do our jobs, which is to provide visitors with a positive user experience, and we expect google to do its job which is to provide high quality, meaningful ads to our visitors that will also contribute to our bottom line.

...WE can provide quality meaningful ads if google can't or won't. But a 66% drop in CTR without apparent cause at our end (no, we aren't a "repeat visitors" type of site) is something that SCREAMS for attention.

Our visitors WERE interested in adsense ads, and now they don't like what the see. Bad results result.

4:23 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Wait, if the minimum bid was public, wouldn't that effectively expose the % that AdSense is paying us? I mean, if you set the bid by what YOU receive, it will suffice to log in as advertiser to see the same bid after the application of the "Google tax". I think there will be webmaster riots when some learn they get shaken down for 50% or more, for example.

To me it seems that adding a minimum bid is one of those things Google is afraid of doing precisely because they do NOT want to allow any more transparency.

Am I missing something?

4:37 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



This is something I read AFTER I posted my comment - coming from an article by theregister (UK site).

It expresses a view similar to mine regarding transparency:

...Even in the face of a probing DoJ, Google insists that its ad platform is an auction - that advertisers set their own prices. But the AdWords auction is hardly a free market. You can't bid your way to the top of Google's search results page. Each bid is crunched by algorithms hidden inside the Google chocolate factory. Ad placement depends on ever-changing Google math that's not only outside the advertiser's control - it's outside the advertiser's line of sight.

AdWords is an auction where you don't know the rules, the rules are always shifting, and you don't quite understand what you're bidding for. Ultimately, you're at the mercy of the auction house. AdWords is famous for The Google Slap, where search ads suddenly vanish from results pages as Mountain View decides your current bid isn't worthy...

4:47 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Here's the link to the article in the register [theregister.co.uk].
4:58 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



With every new feature and improvement my earnings have consistently gone down. So I think even if Google gives me an ability to set a minimum CPC, somehow I will be smart-prized and bamboozled to earn even lesser.
5:05 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



Most (all) here hate arbitrageurs..Have you guys considered what a field day arbitrageurs could have if they KNEW how much they had to PAY and how much they could EXPECT from their sites..

Pls do remember that not all arbitrageurs have one page (ad only sites), there are quite a few sophisticated arbitrageurs with info. sites also or pseudo info. sites..

8:36 am on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



Please make Western Union payments more widely available.

They already have a global infrastructure. Its fast and cheap - ideal for anywhere you do not do EFT. Why not just offer it globally, or globally except for countries where you offer EFT?

3:58 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)



Wait, if the minimum bid was public, wouldn't that effectively expose the % that AdSense is paying us?....I think there will be webmaster riots when some learn they get shaken down for 50% or more, for example.

You seem to be assuming that all clicks are at the minimum bid, and that bids are the only factor used in allocating ads. Neither is true.

4:38 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



You seem to be assuming that all clicks are at the minimum bid, and that bids are the only factor used in allocating ads. Neither is true.

No, actually I am not assuming that. Perhaps, I am an idiot, but I think if you fix the minimum bid on your end AND you make it public (i.e. announce it), when you look at your MINIMUM bid from the other (advertiser's) side, you will see a difference. That difference will show you the percentage that Google is withholding, will it not?

Again, this doesn't mean anything in terms of actual spending - this is just minimum bids, on both sides. If this information is made public, that is.

4:46 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



Setting minimum bids isn't going to provide the control over what ads show on one's site that people think it will. Isn't this kind of obvious?
4:51 pm on Nov 21, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



when you look at your MINIMUM bid from the other (advertiser's) side

The only minimum bid on the advertiser side is set by google and it's the same for everyone. Besides minimums and maximums won't tell you the google cut, I don't think, because they do not reflect what is actually spent in an auction or pseudo-not-really-auction-butlookslikeone google situation.

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