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Anyone Else Seeing Low CTR in January?

January way down for me....

     
2:37 pm on Jan 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I was just wondering if I am alone in this? Januarys earnings are down about 25% from January of last year and from last month.

Impressions are about the same, but the CTR and therefore the ECPM is way down.

This made me think that my ads were not as relevant, but when I look at them, they are relevant for the most part. Always get an ad here and there that could be better.

Why do you think that visitors are not clicking as much as they normally do?

2:42 pm on Jan 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Januarys earnings are down about 25% from January of last year and from last month.

That hasn't been my experience. My traffic is actually down quite a bit from a year ago, but my income is up a fair amount.

... but when I look at them, ...
Don't forget that you are seeing ads served for your location, in other places folks may see a very different set of ads.
3:27 pm on Jan 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Impressions are about the same, but the CTR and therefore the ECPM is way down.

That's been my experience, too. On the brighter side, EPC continues to be stronger than it was a year ago.

For my topic (which attracts readers who are researching discretionary purchases), it stands to reason that clickthroughs would be off a bit, given the state of the economy and the fact that my readers have no pressing need to commit to purchases right now. They can get the information they need from my pages, and they're likely to click only when they're ready to act on that information.

8:14 pm on Jan 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Sad, sad drop compared to last year. Note the thread that links AdSense problems with the credit crunch:

[webmasterworld.com...]

8:41 pm on Jan 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Each day, the eCPM is with few cents lower...
I wonder where is the bootom :(

Traffic is high, so.. no problem here!

9:09 pm on Jan 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just like Mentat. eCPM keeps diminishing with every single day. I'm just a few months away from paying G to display ads.
9:36 pm on Jan 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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eCPM stabilized, only a very little bit below December average.

In this days, even a stoped down trend is a good message.

9:47 pm on Jan 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I tend not to look a eCPMs too much since I have a large widget gallery from where I encourage my industry to download and use my quality images on their own sites rather than using inferior quality scans etc, therefore my eCPMs do tend to fluctuate depending who's building lots of new pages etc.

Having written that my earnings not only have seemed to stabilise at present but are actually increasing slightly and with better EPCs...yikes, should I have written that?

7:08 am on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My CTR drop down about 25%. Maybe its because I have added some new websites this month.
8:25 am on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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that's my eCPM in the last days

2.35 (01.01.09)
.
.
.

1.83
1.80
1.76
1.73
1.85
1.77
1.73
1.71
1.65

We are talking about a site with 1 mil+ visitors/day, with a lot of advertisers.
I belive this is the "Smart Pricing" on a Killing Spree..

[edited by: Mentat at 8:25 am (utc) on Jan. 27, 2009]

12:17 pm on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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"1 mil+ visitors/day"?

How do you get such huge amount of visitors?

3:45 pm on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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It's an 6 year old site, Google Premium Publisher...
I see somethnig strange in Google Analytics, for yesterday traffic:

- bounce rate +10% (this was a constant for years)
- time on site -50% !

Nothing changed on site...

7:43 pm on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I too have noticed a huge drop off in both CTR and eCPM, though nothing on the measure of traffic of Mentat. However, it does appear that G is having issues with the content side of the equation again. Too bad, because December was a record month for me and I was hoping the trend would continue.

Part of this, I'm sure, is to advertisers slowing their spending, though I'm not certain that corresponds to lower click-through in any meaningful way. since we can only guess as to what's going on, mine is that G is having internal problems serving ads or are disallowing clicks at an unprecedented rate.

7:57 pm on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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fearlessrick, that is the part that I don't understand. My traffic is the same as it has always been, but the CTR would not have anything to do with advertisers spending less right?
8:03 pm on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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CTR would not have anything to do with advertisers spending less right?

My experience has been that when the apparently higher paying ads drop out you get less well targeted ads that draw fewer clicks. So, yes, advertisers spending less could well affect CTR.

At least that seems to be what I see on my site.

8:05 pm on Jan 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I guess there are up and down of adsense CTR anyway, maybe it's economic problem or just temporary problem, but I think if u have constant and huge targted traffic then everything is ok, it just a matter of earning big or small.

I guess real problem is my websites' traffic are way too low, that's why I will be worried when everytime CTR drop.

12:23 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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but the CTR would not have anything to do with advertisers spending less right?

- folks want to be careful with their money so there's no reason to click if they're not gonna buy ?

- lay offs = heavier workload for those not laid off = no time to click on ads ?

- casual clickers in the office suddenly realize the boss is monitoring productivity so they're staying focussed on their jobs to avoid the boot ?

12:53 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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not the case for me.

anyway, u should see the bigger picture. try not to be affected by the day-to-day fluctuation.

in stock market speaking, u need to be "investor" who invest for the long term, rather than "trader" who speculate the market daily.

7:01 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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hmmm I've talked with my Adsense rep.
The problem is the financial crisis..

He sent me some financial info of my account and the resume looks like this:
- In 2008 Q4, I had 40-60% target placement, now it's only 12%
- this means thet there are more page views for "bulk" (contextual) AND cheaper.

=> lower eCPM

Let's hope January it will be the worst month!

7:03 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I see low CTR, Low CPC, and of course low earning. The only way to compensate this is to have more visitors in my websites.
7:09 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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January has been quite bad, down around 30% as compared to last month. I had a strong Q4 2008 with growth each month, now that's gone. I just hope it gets better because it's not looking that way right now. Oh, and my traffic is up at least 10% too (over last month). It's like a kick in the teeth from Google. In this case I suspect they're just the middle man... I think there are less advertisers right now. I didn't see this in Jan/08 so I'm not sure if it's just the economy or what....
10:12 am on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Just to add, I'm also seeing a drop in ctr and thus ecpm and impressions are up if anything.

I keep hearing business people on the news saying that in 2009 the goal will to be just to survive.

I'm starting to think that way to, that way you won't get too upset by poor figures. Roll on 2010!

1:24 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have seen a small increase in ctr but offset by a drop in ecpm. Hopefully the dollar/sterling exchange rate will compensate when I get paid.
1:35 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Our ctr started dropping in Nov 08 and hasnt stopped since across all sites covering thousands of topic ranges.

Our epc began to drop at the same time. We are also seeing a similar drop in ctr with other ad networks but a increase in epc with them which we originally saw with Google but now its a freight train going down.

We have a rep, we do big numbers as well, it doesnt matter.

2:40 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Low earnings, low CTR, low traffic. Everything is down and I have no idea what to do.
3:23 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a very slight (and statistically insignificant) uptick in CTR this month, compared to December's. EPC and eCPM are about the same.

For my topic, I'd normally expect a bigger improvement in January, but it's pretty clear that the economy is having an impact on my AdSense revenues (as it is on my affiliate earnings).

4:47 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Here's some ridiculous number from my adsense account

I have checked my website's stat today, one of my website got 243 unique visitors this month but only has 42 ad impressions in adsense account.

The second I own have 62 unique visitors, but only have 14 ad impressions.

The third site has 338 unique visitors but only has 142 ad impressions.

The forth site has 213 unique visitors but only has 87 ad impressions.

The fifth site has 237 unique visitors but only has 66 ad impressions.

Anyone has checked out your website stat? Google's stat is far different from the stat provided by hostgator.

5:35 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My CTR is pretty far down, but I'm having a targeting issue that I'm working on getting fixed. It's also typically one of the slowest months of the year for me.
6:43 pm on Jan 29, 2009 (gmt 0)

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January has always been a good year for us, and income typically spikes up after the slow holiday season

But this year is starting very slow, despite a 5% increase in EPC compared to Jan 2008 and 30% increase compared to Jan 2007.

Our eCPM is the culprit - diving 21% compared to Jan 2007 and 33% compared to Jan 2006. Traffic this year is only slightly more than last year's

CTR -- it's hard to compare CTR with the change in policy where only the ad is now clickable as against the old policy where the entire ad area can be clicked on. Our current CTR is lower by 25-40% compared to the January months of 2006-08

12:15 am on Jan 30, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Our CTR, eCPM tanked since Monday this week. Not sure why but after looking as the ads it seems to me that the targetting is completly off track. Management decided to pull Adsense from those pages. Lets see how it goes.
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