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What does this mean?

     

internetheaven

7:58 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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As I mentioned in another thread, my CTR simply dropped off a cliff on the 12th of February. It's like Google aren't tracking clicks anymore for my site.

[webmasterworld.com...]

Anyway, yesterday I linked together my Analytics and Adsense accounts. And whilst my Adsense stats show no earnings as usual (where there used to be $100+ per day) my Analytics stats keep showing $5-$10 worth of earnings ... which magically disappear several minutes later?

i.e. as I've been sat here today clicking refresh on the Analytics page, it has been saying things like $4.71 earnings just half an hour ago. Now ... $0.00 earnings. It's been doing that since yesterday. Saying money is being earned, then vanishing. $2.34 has popped up as I've been writing this, but I'm willing to bet that in a few minutes, that will vanish too.

My Adsense account says nothing about all these phantom earnings. It says I've earned a grand total of $0.40 from over 1000 visitors today. Which is just nonsense based on this site's long history on Adsense.

So what does this mean? Does this mean that my ads are getting clicked on, but Adsense is blocking the registration of any earnings. Or does it mean that Analytics is broken when attempt to link it with an Adsense account? Or is there a third/fourth/fifth option?

internetheaven

8:01 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Yep. It now says $0.00 in Analytics.

And yes. I've raised this on the official Adsense boards and emailed support. But if my past experience with Adsense support is anything to go by, I'll be getting a templated response in the next few days saying that they can't reveal anything about anything to anyone.

not2easy

8:32 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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When did you last configure an AdSense ad? I ask because I recently found they had stopped tracking ads that were showing without mentioning it anywhere. The reason? Because I had not configured a color for visited links in some of my ads.

internetheaven

9:44 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The reason? Because I had not configured a color for visited links in some of my ads.


Ummm ... what? Seriously?

I changed the site to the new 300x250 ads around the start of January. Surely they're not going to stop tracking clicks after the 12th of Feb because I haven't gone in and tinkered with the colours in the past 6 weeks?

not2easy

10:30 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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No, their change was prior to that but it doesn't hurt to check status.

netmeg

10:51 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Generally when money is taken back, it's because the clicks have been deemed to be invalid.

internetheaven

11:30 pm on Feb 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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But like not2easy said - the clicks would still show. There would just be no earnings. Analytics is showing earnings and clicks that disappear ... Adsense is showing no (or just 1-2) earnings and clicks.

netmeg

12:12 am on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



Nobody here can answer this with any certainty. You need to contact support.

Chapman

3:03 pm on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member



I've been observing this "pull back" scenario for awhile now and others like HuskyPup have also mentioned it. Here's my take on it:

One of my sites relates to fine art and while I show hundreds of ads that are well targeted, I also end up showing ads that I look at as "confused targeting".

Most those ads are offering products or services of a non-online nature, with conversion categories I label as unlikely, impractical, impossible and illegal.

Any advertiser that has an online presence can have a conversion from anywhere in the world, however, if the advertiser is offering a service in a localized area, a conversion from well outside that area would be pretty much impossible. Example: a house painter or landscaper in Texas who's ad is clicked on by someone in Canada or Europe.

I also inadvertently show ads for heavy industrial trucks and equipment where someone clicking on the ad from overseas would make the conversion possibility rather impractical.

Many targeted ads I show are for art galleries where nothing is sold unless the gallery is visited in person. A click from someone very distant would make a conversion pretty unlikely.

And finally, some ads shown are for electronics equipment or technologies where a click from other parts of the world would create a conversion opportunity that would be illegal.

Now I don't know as much as I should about AdWords but, I think it is entirely possible that Google may now be putting two and two together and striking any clicks/revenue that may fall into category situations similar to those I've theorized on here and that "pull backs" may not only come from invalid or fraudulent clicks.

netmeg

3:43 pm on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



I had a significant clawback one time to the point where I asked support about it, and in that case they told me it was an advertiser that was breaking the rules. We also don't get paid if the advertisers don't pay (and don't forget there's a lot of AdWords accounts that get hacked just to run up short term ad campaigns that the account owners don't end up having to pay for)

internetheaven

8:52 pm on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Example: a house painter or landscaper in Texas who's ad is clicked on by someone in Canada or Europe.


The landscaper in Texas can target "Texas" in Adwords. Surely their stupidity for targeting Canada should not be the Adsense publisher's problem?

netmeg

9:14 pm on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



Lots of people don't know how to use AdWords properly. Lots of mistargeted traffic isn't paid. I periodically get bursts of Chinese traffic on my fireworks sites. For a while, Google had problems with the targeting and was showing ads for Display Booths and whatnot.

And yea, it's not the publisher's fault, but it's the publisher's problem, because publishers rank lower than users and advertisers in terms of priorities. That's what you get in exchange for Google giving you code you can set and forget. That's the product they offer.

(Personally, in your case, your traffic drop off was extreme enough that I'd be looking for some technical problem, if you're absolutely sure your traffic hasn't changed in ANY way. But again - a heat map solution will help ascertain this)

internetheaven

11:20 pm on Feb 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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But again - a heat map solution will help ascertain this


I've been using ClickDensity. It doesn't seem to register clicks done over the Adsense panels. The Adsense ads seem to be "frames" of some sort though. Does this defeat heatmap software?

netmeg

1:02 am on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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



It worked for me with Crazy Egg - I don't think it got them all, but I got enough info to make some placement changes.

internetheaven

2:19 am on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



I've found a mouse movement tracking company! They record what each user does on the page. Sadly, it doesn't record what ad the user saw when they landed on the page, just where they moved their mouse. Free trial ... looks excellent! Hopefully this will provide some answers.

Play_Bach

2:48 am on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



To second netmeg's suggestion, I don't understand why you're not asking AdSense about this direct? If I was down to $1 a day from $100 I'd be on the horn. What do you have to lose?

ember

4:19 am on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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To second netmeg's suggestion, I don't understand why you're not asking AdSense about this direct? If I was down to $1 a day from $100 I'd be on the horn. What do you have to lose?


I think he said earlier that he'd contacted support and hadn't heard back yet. I think we'll all be interested to hear what they say.

Play_Bach

4:32 am on Feb 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member play_bach is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member



@ember
Yes you're right, missed that. Thanks!