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Strange sudden drop in CTR starting on May 30th.

It happened across all of my sites on that exact date.

     
11:17 pm on Jun 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Traffic across all of my sites is as consistent as it gets, and I've made no significant changes of any kind.

Yet, starting on May 30th, the CTR on all of the sites I use Adsense on dropped suddenly by about 1%-2% of what it has been for the years before that.

There was no gradual decline or anything... just a sudden CTR drop starting on May 30th exactly.

I'm trying to figure out if Adsense implemented anything new on (or around) that date that would have caused this, but I can't find anything.

I also can't find anyone reporting anything similar.

So uh... any ideas?
11:23 pm on June 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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the CTR on all of the sites I use Adsense on dropped suddenly by about 1%-2%


My sites are pretty consistent however 1-2% is even within my spread of usually up to 5-6% normally, 10% at a stretch and anything over that I start to question and come here to ask.
11:32 pm on June 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Keep up with Google as they just changed their UI on the SERPs which is messing with traffic and just rolled out Caffeine with officially sucks as it messes with long tails.

Not to mention the fact that as MSIE loses dominance, under 60% for most sites, the other browsers seem to have a lower CTR, makes no sense why but the stats don't lie.
11:46 pm on June 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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My sites are pretty consistent however 1-2% is even within my spread of usually up to 5-6% normally, 10% at a stretch and anything over that I start to question and come here to ask.


I hear ya, but with me... there is seriously no "spread." CTR has been super consistent for years, which is why this seems so strange.

Keep up with Google as they just changed their UI on the SERPs which is messing with traffic and just rolled out Caffeine with officially sucks as it messes with long tails.


That would make some sense, but traffic is perfectly normal and consistent on all of my sites.

Something wacky about May 30th exactly... no idea what it is.
2:14 am on June 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Its all gone to potty. Honestly its getting worse.
More space given to other advertisers may be the best answer.
2:26 am on June 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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More space given to other advertisers may be the best answer.

And I've already been moving in that direction. I've been turning down 3 or 4 offers a month for direct advertising because I've been convinced it'll be too much of a hassle to keep up with. Some of these people are offering me more than what I can realistically make these days with Adsense so they're getting calls from me now.

I'm not in this to get rich but I've got to at least make a living.
4:42 pm on June 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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For me it was April 1. I think they stagger these things to keep people from noticing, and having them all screaming at the same time.

Today's CTR is a record low, 1/3 of what it used to be, and dropping. It has become time to seriously consider ALL alternatives.

You work your butt off, and then misguided whim enters the picture, and there is nothing you can do. You are forced to think creatively. Just as AdSense's status quo has changed, so must yours, or you will be left by the wayside. Good luck to all.
5:00 pm on June 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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May average is just about equal to our June CTR to date. May is 10% higher than April.

and I've made no significant changes of any kind.


Maybe its time to shake things up a bit -- change the color, change the ad format, even change the placement of the ads.

One thing I've learned from Adsense is never be on a standstill. If you think things have been going ok, if there's a dip, then it's time to make some adjustments. So far this approach works for us
6:31 pm on June 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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yep CTR steady downhill since a few weeks ago.
7:39 pm on June 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

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More space given to other advertisers may be the best answer.


For the first time since Adsense launch in 2003 I've begun dropping Adsense from certain pages and replacing with alternate advertising. I had no choice. It was that bad.
12:03 am on June 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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For the first time since Adsense launch in 2003 I've begun dropping Adsense from certain pages and replacing with alternate advertising


We went the opposite route and dropped the other ad networks and gave some of our premium spots back to Adsense exclusively. We had been using several ad networks and rotating them on some of our premium spots.

The change boosted our eCPM, increased the CTR and our revenues as well.
12:39 am on June 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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We went the opposite route and dropped the other ad networks and gave some of our premium spots back to Adsense exclusively. We had been using several ad networks and rotating them on some of our premium spots.


You had removed adsense for awhile, now brought adsense back and you noticed an increase in ecpm? Interesting, maybe I'll try that after I drop adsense for awhile. Maybe they'll forget my site metrics and I can go back to 2003-2009 earnings numbers :)
1:31 am on June 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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So far I'm on track to at least double my best year (2008) And my traffic is about double too (not just from G; Facebook as well) So I'm good.
3:24 am on June 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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netmeg, what about FaceBook? Are you advertising on there or do you get a lot of traffic from your business FaceBook page?
9:32 am on June 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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JasonDX ... not totally removed, just added other ad networks

For example, for our medium rectangle above the fold, previously that was exclusively Adsense. However, in an effort not to put all our eggs in one basket, we rotated in that medium rectangle about 2-3 other ad agencies plus our own advertisers and affiliate programs. We serve our ads through OpenX so it is easy to add/remove other campaigns

Our eCPM remained high, but only half of what it was around 2006. Worse, it kept on falling.

We decided to remove all the others and left only Adsense. That stopped the freefalling of eCPM and revenues -- which have since increased instead.

Try it and experiment
2:12 pm on June 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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netmeg, what about FaceBook? Are you advertising on there or do you get a lot of traffic from your business FaceBook page?


I'm not advertising for my own (event) site. I did several new things this year, most of which were to make the site easier to share. I added a blog section this year, mainly to give updates, and set it up to feed to the FB page and to twitter. There are "like" buttons in various places on the site, so that when people click on them, their friends see it in their stream and come check it out too. There are social media buttons, so that people can share a particular event to their own facebook page, and a lot more people are doing that this year than last year. Does this all contribute directly to more AdSense revenue? Probably not, at least not the last time I looked at my Analytics. But it does contribute to more traffic, more links, more return visits, and I'm convinced that helps the overall "health" of the site.

My G traffic is about 160% of last year too, that helps, specially since my Yahoo traffic has pretty much totally disappeared.

I do have clients advertising on Facebook, with mixed results. I haven't had time to really get into that yet, but I'm definitely planning on it. I suspect it works better for some types of products and services than others.
 

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