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Traffic is the same, I don't have image ads enabled and I can't be targeted by anybody - at least that's what I believe.
I'm tired of chasing up to see which irrelevant or badly worded ad(s) might be the culprit. I am tired. So tired of trying to keep track without the necessary tools - tools which would make the job easy, if only they were of the calibre of tool that you find in Adwords.
I'm just sick of the whole thing. I give up.
[edited by: Scurramunga at 7:35 pm (utc) on Mar. 17, 2009]
There are so many difficult aspects:
- You just don't know how this recession will play out (fear of unknown)
- You cannot really do anything about it (helplessness)
One positive thing is that there are some stats out there recently which indicate that some parts of economy are actually on the upswing.
Well before fears of recession were regarded as imminent, I braced myself for the worst and surely enough the worst began unfolding since December/Jan 2009, as overall ad revenue performance (of my account) went into steady decline. As bad as that has been, it was very well expected, as ad inventory coupled with buyer confidence drops in many sectors and niches, including mine. The result of falling ad inventory would cause less advertiser competition and lower buyer confidence might cause a drop in ctr which I have observed to some extent and fully accept.
However, it's these sudden 'overnight' downward drops of CTR that are so perplexing. In my view, they are so odd because they completely buck the current trend for consistently poor overall performance and earnings, which I have experienced. They are odd because they literally happen overnight and are so severe, at a time when searches for my product are stable.
Can it be argued that world economic conditions on the 15th of March 2009 have suddenly deteriorated further beyond the trend of the past month ? To such an unprecedented manner as to result in such modification of user habits and ad inventory? All overnight?
In fact I have observed these sudden CTR downturns during better days when economic conditions were strong. The only notable pattern here is they they seemed occur during times when traffic is stable, making it difficult to analyse root causes without effective tools. I think that this is the whole point of my rant. We just don't know anything and we won't because we cannot test without tools. As most of you have pointed out; Most of us are in the same boat. Frustrating isn't it?
For those not familiar with VB, the code above will give you a random number from 3 to 100
seeing historic performance for the site at the network, this would have been unthinkable only half a year ago.
And it's not because they got better...
Their rates are the same.
It's AdSense that's producing 20-30% of the rates it used to.
Google is a black box. Which is fine as long as they are better than their competition but... once they're *not*, I don't see why we'd stay with them. If the trends continue we'll slowly replace all ads on the site.
We can always put them back ( if we want to )...
as we did with ads from this alternative network.
But right now what we see with AdSense is:
- ad targeting is off, it's nowhere near the usual quality
- either because there's no inventory or some other problem
- CTR is lower
- ad costs are lower as well, put the two together:
- record low eCPMs with every new week
- lack of info, especially on publishers' share
- lack of control