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"Upcoming changes to Smart Pricing"

What's this about?

     
9:30 pm on Jun 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've received email from Adsense (the email somehow isn't dated but I assume it's from today or yesterday). It states that in coming weeks there will be changes to the Smart Pricing system, but doesn't say what (or precisely when it will happen).

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.

Thanks

[edited by: martinibuster at 10:24 pm (utc) on June 19, 2009]
[edit reason] Pls See TOS about Email Quotes. Thx. [/edit]

9:31 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Does that mean it will become "Smarter Pricing?"
9:40 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Broadway, I did not receive an email from Google. Are you sure it's genuinely from G and not a spam email?
9:45 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have no idea. I really don't know how to check the validity of email.

I guess I could forward it to Adsense to see what they say. Does anyone know a proper address to send it to?

10:27 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Why would a spammer send this out?
11:00 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Motive ...

Is there a link in it ?
-> might be malware on the other end
-> might be a "login" on the other side that grabs your adsense credentials and changes where you check gets sent next time...

Even if the link isn;t there it might be recon to see how many read the mail etc.

11:18 pm on June 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

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There's no real link in it. The expanded header looks similar to other Adsense communications. Anyway I've forwarded it to adsense-support(at)google(dot)com for confirmation.

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.

12:56 am on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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New and improved 'Smart Pricing".

Check the header on the email..

1:18 am on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I did look at the header...

>>The expanded header looks similar to other Adsense communications.<<

1:37 am on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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*hides in a corner*
2:05 am on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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When reviewing the text above I see that my original post required editing.

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.

2:50 am on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I expect many future cases of PTSD: Post Traumatic SmartPricing Disorder.
3:15 am on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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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.
3:37 am on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well, I assume you're wondering if anyone else received it.

I have not as yet.

FarmBoy

3:51 am on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I did not get it either.
7:25 am on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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no email here
2:40 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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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.

2:54 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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dazzlindonna,
No, there was absolutely nothing constructive about the email. It talked about "refinements" and "improvements" they are making to the Smart Pricing "calculations." There was no mention about any steps I should or could take to avoid the upcoming pitfall for my site.

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."

7:25 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I haven't received an email like that either.
7:46 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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my advice: burn the email.
it sounds bad, whatever it is. delete that sucker as quick as you can and then hopefully it won't count.
7:54 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Unless other publishers report getting a similar e-mail (or unless AdSense Support confirms that it's real), I'd dismiss it as a nasty practical joke.
8:35 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Well the Adsense people have been working hard lately to provide features often requested on this forum (different font, font size, analytics tracking, allowed sites, ad review, ad planner, etc), and since more information on the smart pricing status of a site is one of them, maybe this is one way they're tackling the issue (not that great IMO, just some type of "score" would be best). Who knows?
8:50 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I wrote an article on the impact of CPC ads in the future, too bad I can't link to here :( it would be perfect

my advice: burn the email.
it sounds bad, whatever it is. delete that sucker as quick as you can and then hopefully it won't count

Haha, ignore it and HOPEFULLY it will go away :)

9:26 pm on June 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

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No email here
2:10 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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If Adsense ever made changes to Smartpricing, publishers would be last to know. Can't see why they would send us an email about anything to do with Smartpricing.

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]

3:50 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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At a stretch, you could forward it to phishing@google.com and see what they say.
5:19 am on June 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I have not received any such email.
2:09 pm on June 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I've been away for a few days. I have a cabin located where there is no cell phone reception (and of course no internet). Now with the digital TV conversion, not even TV reception (thanks US government).

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]

2:29 pm on June 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I was just posting in the AdWords forum that there are some business models that just plain won't work with AdWords, because Google has decided they don't want them.

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.

6:38 pm on June 24, 2009 (gmt 0)

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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.

This 39 message thread spans 2 pages: 39