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I was curious if I really was singled out for this heads-up email or if everyone else was receiving this email too.
Anyone have any information, in general, about the changes? I looked on the JenSense site but didnt' see any info about this.
[edited by: martinibuster at 10:24 pm (utc) on June 19, 2009]
[edit reason] Pls See TOS about Email Quotes. Thx. [/edit]
I swear. Over the years every time I get to this certain amount of monthly income Adsense changes the rules and yanks the rug from under my feet.
The crux of the matter for me is that the email stated that they (Adsense) "noticed" that the Smart Pricing changes would have a "noticeable" (negative) impact on my site's income.
The more I look at the email the more I have to assume that it is a legitimate communication.
My real question is, was this a generic letter that was sent to pretty much all Adsense participants or is this an email just sent to only a small subset of participants.
From the response to this thread, I would have to believe it is the latter. Which is bad news for me.
Broadway, since they "noticed" that changes would have a negative impact, I would hope that they also told you how to rectify the possible future problem. I mean, otherwise, why bother even telling you, right? What would be the point? If they didn't suggest any remedies, and the email is pointless, then I'd re-question if it was legit or not.
There may not be any remedies if a site is inherently likely to convert poorly for advertisers. Take Google's classic Smart Pricing example of "a camera review" vs. "a page of photo tips." Is it Google's place to tell the owner of a photo-tips site that he ought to change his emphasis to camera reviews? Would Google want to be seen as dictating a site's editorial focus? For that matter, what if a .co.uk forum catered to West Indian immigrants, and rich Tories converted better for AdSense advertisers. Would Google even dare to suggest that the forum owner play down the West Indian connection and add a forum for well-heeled Oxbridge graduates?
So much for remedies. Why would Google give advance warning that a change in Smart Pricing might hurt the publisher? That's a good question, but the members of this forum who demand transparency and better communications from Google would probably consider it a good thing, and one could argue that being given a "Heads up!" at least offers the AdSense publisher a chance to seek other types of revenue before the AdSense money stream dries up. Also, if Google did want the publisher to have an opportunity to seek remedies (including remedies of the kind mentioned above that Google isn't in a position to dictate or even suggest), advance warning could be useful to both the publisher and Google.
Having said all this, I remain skeptical about the legitimacy of the e-mail that Broadway received. No one else has reported such an e-mail, and there's no mention of a change to Smart Pricing on the "Inside AdSense" blog. I don't see anything about a change in the "Inside AdWords" or Webmaster World AdWords forum, either. If Google did intend to change Smart Pricing in a way that would benefit advertisers, you'd think Google would be trumpeting that news to its customers.
Contrary to what I posted earlier, there were two links in the email. One was for more information about Smart Pricing. The page the link went to was one page of the Google Adwords Help topic. Specifically answer #134761 - "What is Smart Pricing?"
The other linked to adsense.blogspot (the Inside Adsense Blog). The page was titled "The facts about smart pricing." The page was dated October 28, 2005. This page really doesn't contain any information of any substance either.
I agree the email did seem pointless. It was a heads up that some negative event will happen to my site (during a time frame of the "next few weeks") but offered zero remedy. The last line of the email stated "Thank you for your understanding." However, instead of "love, the Adsense team" they only put "sincerely."
They barely acknowledge Smartpricing's existence when it comes to informing Adsense Publishers (different story with Adwords) In fact, have you ever seen any Google Adsense Blog updates on Smartpricing? Or an ASA respond to us on issues of Smartpricing?
[edited by: Scurramunga at 2:11 am (utc) on June 21, 2009]
Anyway, I've had a response from Adsense. Talk about a canned response. Here I've forwarded them a copy of email that discusses impending doom and gloom for my site. Their response relates that they are "happy to confirm" that the email is legitimate. I guess sensitivity training isn't part of the Adsense curriculum.
Anyway, my site's stats have not yet "noticeably" changed.
[edited by: Broadway at 3:00 pm (utc) on June 24, 2009]
The same is true on the AdSense side. Some business models just won't work. Either they are inherently bad earners, or Google just plain doesn't want 'em. We already know forums don't work particularly well, for example.
The unusual thing here is that they let you know. While I'm sure feel like you're being unfairly singled out, you could also look at it as an early warning system.
If you want to keep AdSense on your site, I suggest you get some consultation on what it might take to do that - look at your site, your traffic, and so forth.
You could also go out and look for other monetization ideas. Sell direct ads (time consuming, but potentially more stable and more lucrative) and/or affiliate ads, and, if your traffic warrants it, CPM marketing.
Their response relates that they are "happy to confirm" that the email is legitimate.
I'm amazed that they answered and that the email is legitimate, I would not have expected either.
I guess that on one hand it's nice they gave you a heads up, but their response style sure could use some tweaking.
Good luck Broadway!
That said, and not knowing your niche, it might well not be the end of the world.
I've seen my AdSense income dropping. But that's been offset by more and more requests to purchase ad space directly from me without going through a middle man.
Until just recently I've just ignore those direct purchase requests. But no more, the offers are just getting to be too many to ignore.
It'll be fun to see how that works out.
At any rate, if you haven't been selling ads directly, maybe give it a shot, you might be pleasantly surprised by the response.