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It's NOT ALWAYS the Economy.

...however handy that is as an excuse.

     
8:08 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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The lousy economy is not the only possible cause for a drop in earnings.

It does make for an easy excuse though.

Why on earth look for things you might have screwed up, or can make better when you can blame every flop on something mostly beyond your control, like the economy.

But...

Sometimes what seem like simple changes on a website/page can have a significant negative effect on earnings.

Sometimes the "best laid plans" simply aren't.

It's entirely possible to block ads from a source that was propping up the EPC on your site/pages.

etc, etc.

8:30 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Good point Ken. There is no denying it's true that some industries are less resilient than others, and for them it truly is the economy. I know of some niches consisting of mom and pop advertisers that have pretty much collapsed. Nevertheless, it might not be the economy that's affecting your earnings so it's good to not allow an opportunity to improve slip away by taking steps to identify and diagnose.

1. Part of figuring out what went wrong consists of understanding who your advertisers are and what their financial condition is.

2. Some parts of a website perform better than others. Use channels to track the different areas of your site. Identify the high earning areas and go granular with channels to identify the highest earning pages. Channels provide a good way to track click trends. This way you can quickly identify what part of your site experienced the earnings collapse and diagnose what caused it. This is difficult to do if you don't know what part of your site is ailing.

Now here is where I believe webmasters fail. Before doing anything else, monitor the earnings (not ctr or ecpm) for that channel for at least a week, but two weeks and longer may be better. The longer you monitor the better the chances you will correctly diagnose the problem. Don't get hung up on CTR or EPC. Focus on earnings first, CTR second.

3. Typical causes of collapse include a change in keyword query trends. Compare your day to day trends for keywords used to access your site. Sometimes they are not stable, which can affect the "clickiness" of your visitors.

4. Another cause for earnings collapse are irrelevant ads. Using channels to identify the location of the earnings drop, review the ads and weed out possible culprits. Ask trusted webmaster friends in different states to view your ads and report what they are seeing. They may see ads you do not.

5. Some earning collapses are an illusion. Analyzing your AdSense stats on a day to day basis can be misleading. AdSense earnings can be unstable, rising and falling wildly day to day. Step back and view the weekly and monthly trends. The ups and downs tend to even out.

What are other causes?

[edited by: martinibuster at 9:46 pm (utc) on Feb. 19, 2009]

9:42 pm on Feb 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Competition.
1:28 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Some earning collapses are an illusion

Yes! We sure get a lot of threads around here about CTR or eCPM being off for a day, a weekend, a week. Or a day this year vs. a same last year... It's micro-goofy-managment.
11:21 am on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If there is a drop in the CPC/EPC, then it is the economy..Otherwise, the fault's all mine...
12:03 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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My student (See "reached $10 a day" thread) makes something better than I.

He has 3 times better eCPM than I.
His eCPM is like one of my best sites with a very similar theme one year ago.

He reached now first time $18 a day.

He has reached now about 1/6 of my daily earnings average.

So with the right talent and right themes, it's even now possilbe to built up income with AdSense and reach from month to month new record earnings.

12:11 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Jetteroheller, I think time is ripe for me to become your student's student :)
3:22 pm on Feb 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've decided economy be damned and taking some bold action this year; prepping my mainstay money earner for a conversion to WordPress. Will have the same essential look, but the ads will be totally different sizes and placements (I get a lot of repeat business on that site so there's probably some blindness) plus areas for user feedback and some other new ideas I have.

On the risk side, there's a slight but real chance that a new url structure could (temporarily) mess up my fantastic search engine position for that site, even though I will have all the redirects in place.

On the positive side, over the long term, it'll be a lot easier to maintain, expand, and market this way.

It could fail miserably, or it take off like crazy. But, no guts, no glory.

9:15 am on Feb 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Pretty much everything is smoked $$$ wise except.

US/CA

UK/FR/DE/IT

CH/IN

Or is there something or somewhere I don't know?

8:11 pm on Feb 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yeah well,

when I first heard "it's the economy" I swept it aside.

Then came 2 months of doing what martinibuster just said and more ( *gah*... way more )

and then I had to realize.

Apart of stuff I knew we could do better... ( working on it )

All I see is a drastic decrease in EPC. You know... ad prices. Big guys cutting back on network ads, stop inflating prices and there you have it.

...

After all...

Hey, it just *might* the economy(TM)
( for us at least )

9:44 pm on Feb 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hey, it just *might* the economy(TM)

Cool, you can have that one. I'll trademark "Hey, it just might *be* the economy"!

11:29 pm on Feb 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

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darn... I wanted that one! you know it was an honest mistake...!

*cough* ...now if you'll excuse me, gotta check 2 months worth of reports for the rest of them honest mistakes...

 

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