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New domain name, earnings 1/4

     
3:41 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hey guys.

We've just rebranded our website and have a new domain name. It's a pretty busy website with tens of millions of impressions per month. As far as I know, I don't have to inform Google of the change of URL?

The new domain we acquired, was also accepted to Adsense in the past by the old owner of the domain, but we're obviously using our current account.

Anyway, today has been a bit of a shock, as earnings are just terrible. So bad that if it were to continue this way, we'd lose everything we've worked hard to build.

Very early days obviously, but I wanted to check there isn't something I've overlooked?

Any advice would be great,

Paul

3:56 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I assume you are redirecting the old domain to the new domain?

If so, I don't know what would account for the difference in traffic.

Was the previous owner of your new domain name banned or anything?

4:12 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Yeah we're 301 redirecting traffic. Traffic is the same as a normal day.

Adsense was running on the domain when we acquired it.

I guess part of the issue is that the advertisers targeting us, we'd have lost switching domains. I will give it a week before contacting Google.

4:58 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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See how it goes for a week and if the earnings are this bad, switch back to the old domain and 301 redirect the new domain to the old and get their traffic.

BTW, did you check the new domain for being a "bad domain"? is it, or your new IP flagged in any DNSBL lists for spam, being hacked or anything else?

Lots of things can impact a domain, including your rebranding messing up your previous SEO work, I'd start digging.

6:09 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Do you see the same ads as before?

In my experience Google takes a while (up to three months) to serve targeted ads. We have noticed that even on new pages on an existing domain; heck, we did even see that for pages where the ads had been removed for a while. Don't hold your breath waiting for your earnings to recover!

10:45 am on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Maybe it's something to do with smart pricing?
For example perhaps your old domain has built up a certain 'quality score' and the new one has a lower score at the moment.
12:20 pm on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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check in google webmaster tools, Under site configuration --> change of address. You can define the New Site address there so that google knows your new site address for old domain.
Hope this helps.

Thanks
Rajiv

2:46 pm on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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I strongly doubt smartpricing is a gradual thing that can slowly make your revenue lower.
Smartpricing is a trigger that dramatically affects you as a publisher and that by an significant order of magnitude.

What I did see in the past on acquired domains is that they might have dislikes for certain URLs and even show PSAs on a certain URLs while exactly the same content on another quite similar but still just not the same URL on the same domain was OK. Contacting adsense support back when they still answered fixed it with a claim of it being "unblocked".

2:52 pm on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Is your domain name off-topic? That can have an impact. Even when it's on-topic, there can be strings in the url that throw your targeting off because it makes a word within a word.
11:56 pm on Oct 2, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Funnily enough my old URL had the word "Forums" in it, which I figured probably caused us to earn less than we would without it in the domain.

The new name, is ambiguous, like "google". To a search engine, it wouldn't mean anything. But then neither did our old domain, which was "ambiguous forums".

12:25 am on Oct 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Always expect rebranding to cost you money, lots of money, before things pick back up. You should have a damn good reason to do it if your business is already a success.

That doesn't mean that it isn't a good long term strategy, but you need to make sure you are in a position ot weather the downturn before the recovery.

12:56 am on Oct 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately it does take a bit of experience and quiet a handful of manual remapping to really make a switchover effective.
8:32 am on Oct 4, 2009 (gmt 0)

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oops. posted in wrong thread. deleted.
9:03 am on Oct 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Usedagain I understand how to switch my website over. The ranks are all being transferred and traffic is just fine.

Adsense is just being a son of a bitch. I have no idea how I can suddenly be earning so much less. It appeared to be recovering and then today BAM, all time low ecpm so far.

Because the website is so busy, the server costs are thousands per month. I really need to figure out what's going on.

When I registered with adsense, I did so with the old URL. The previous owner of the current domain had registered it for adsense. Could that be an issue in any way? I feel like I'm clutching at straws.

Bigdave, the URL had the word forums in it and I was sick and tired of being turned away by companies who failed to even read past the URL. Since the rebranding the response from other companies has been completely different. The entire move has been a massive success so far but Adsense is a mess. And that's the one area that I wasn't expecting.

We did it with another website not long ago, though for very different reasons and adsense didn't have any issues at all. It just continued as it was. I really don't understand what the problem is.

Any advice or pointers would be greatly appreciated.