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Does someone also noticed a huge decrease in earnings in 2011?

More clicks and impressions but less money..



1:13 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I noticed a steady drop of earnings since the beginning of the year. My impressions and clicks are going up but not the earnings. Some days are terrible, for example 250 clicks for 30-40 bucks only.

I use banner and text ads. I noticed the banner ads are generated by doubleclick (even though I have not signed up for doubleclick ads). As far as I know you make money only if there is a conversion while using doubleclick. Does it mean I dont get paid if someone click on one of my banner ads and they dont buy?

Does someone knows what works better for a travel site - banner ads or text ads? As I said I use combo but i noticed many many adwords and chrome ads on my site. I was thinking to turn off the banner ads so that way I can get rid of this massive google ads.

I have a feeling that Google is paying less and less % to publishers as time goes by, no matter how much efforts you make to keep your site running, growing and useful.


3:55 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I agree, was going to post much the same point. Years ago I'd make say $10 a day. Years later and I have the premium advertisers (same as on TV), far more visitors, and still on $10!

I hadnt checked on the figures yor years so when I did and realised, it was a big shock. The advertisers dont even pay a cent for the massive targeted exposure and an amount for a click that is just a steal.


3:58 am on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

I guess one could block/filter google.com as a 'competitor'.

I would happily turn away all ads paying less than say 50 cents / click. It's just not worthwhile to cluter up my site for no return.


5:12 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I dunno, my earnings have grown every year (except 2009) since 2005. Last year they more than doubled, and I'm way ahead for this year.

What has dropped WAY down is CTR, and there are probably a variety of reasons for that. In my case, the EPC went up so much that it has more than covered it.

You want to look at WHAT has dropped for you - traffic? EPC? CTR? Are you getting traffic from different sources than before? Have all your pages decreased in earning, or only some? Do you know which are you best earning pages? Have you tried losing an ad unit to see if more competition for the spot drives pricing up? Does your site drive traffic to advertisers that has a good potential for conversion to sales? Are you putting your site with its ads in the view of potential clickers when they're at the exact right point in their buying cycle? Man, so many questions, so little time. The standard answer is to say Google is taking a bigger cut. Well, maybe, but until you've gone into very sharp detail over what's going on on YOUR end, I don't think that's a very useful explanation.


8:17 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

My experience is similar to Netmeg's. CTR is down, EPC is up. Year-over-Year earnings are also up.


8:42 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Netmeg and Atomic, are you sites travel related?


10:45 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

VR - mine is, maybe that's why we have a similar experience.

I get big companies' ads, but clearly they don't pay much :(

Travel has had tough economic times.


11:10 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Nope. Food if you can beleive it.


11:38 pm on Apr 15, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Even in tough recessions, people keep eating. They may not travel as much.


12:29 am on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I'm in a lot of niches, what they are is irrelevant; we were talking about your claim that Google is taking more % of your ad money. I personally don't think they are, but it wouldn't surprise me if you end up competing with them in the travel niche.


5:43 pm on Apr 16, 2011 (gmt 0)


I have a site in the travel niche, and i would say stick with text ads only. Image ads seem to be more google spam, branding by large advertiser and other wasted impressions.

Larger text ad allow for individual hotel who are willing to pay more per click, then a middle man services who only earn 10%.

Matter of fact i block all large middle man sites.

to a hotel in a city trying to earn a customer $.80 per click is reasonable with a hotel room that cost $160 a night on a 3-4 night stay.

While a middle man company only earn industry standard of 10% of the booking so they are not willing to bid as high

Online travel companies know online advertising better then individual hotels and how to squeeze as much as they can out of their dollars "i.e. less money for you", and how to best possible adwords competitors.

block your expedias, booking.com, bookit, kayak, etc and allow direct hotels, airlines, travel agents, reality company to get access to that space and you earning will increase big time.

remember more then price affect bidding and which ad get shown. an Expedia with million of click a day can out rank a medium hotel who's goal is 50 clicks a day even if they are bidding more "tested this myself, even bidding at $1.00 per click, brand name advertiser beat me out for top spots for less money on my own site"

also consider trying a affiliate product.

I have had a ton of success with a private branding solution provided by a company call ihsadvantage.

They give you a private branding hotel booking engine "that allows "Cnames" and even have a hotel page builder to help you get on site SEO for hotels. Expedia also offers a private branding and it by far converts more, but ihsadvantage give you control, you can set booking fees "even as high as $100 per booking if you want", and you get the email address of all people who booked through your private branding site, and the best part is they pay your cut of the booking fee each week "not each month, each week"!

instead of passing off your travel traffic to adsense capture it for you self. Find what ad appear the most, learn from them, them replace that adsense unit with text affiliate offers to your own private brand.

I had pages about a specific hotel, i created ad directly relating to that hotel in that adsense spot that deep linked to my private brand and instead of $.35 a click i made $50 a conversion "with a 5% conversion ratio", and that page is now ranked in Google directly "not high". I made over $1,000 off that one page alone this yeah vs a few dollars from Adsense in the past year LMAO.

Also note that google is trying hard to enter the travel market and is trying to get in the middle of visitors and your site looking for travel products. "Google Place for query that don't mention travel", Google Places hotel ads, etc.

Your earning will drop in the future unless you employ tactic to capture your customers and beat Google to them "or at least before they start search for travel on google", or make your self as a point of reference.

I use facebook fan page, capture email from hotel bookings and inquires, send out newletters, and enage the fan page.

I also created my own Places map with hotels listed linking to my private brand and provide people with a way to share. I create top hotel list for areas and encourage people to share, and i warn visitor about booking hotels through google advertising, alerting them that "the top bider, not best/closest hotel is shown in their results, and to warn people to check my list, and map before booking" AND it works.

Google, and other parties are trying to squeeze travel affiliates out of the way, to increase thier profits, and you are seeing a early sign of it.

damn this was a long post, sorry.

This advice probably won't work for all niches, but it's successful in travel and my niche.


4:57 am on Apr 17, 2011 (gmt 0)

CMidd - very much appreciate your post; lots to think about.

Can you give a clue about your niche ?


7:26 pm on Apr 19, 2011 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks for the post CMidd.

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