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October 2013 AdSense Earnings and Observations

Haunting Tales of AdSense That Would Spook Any Webmaster!

     
6:08 pm on Oct 1, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Good bye September! What will October bring? Ups, downs, and everything in-between...
9:41 am on Oct 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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As reported earlier in this thread, I was getting around $20 per day with 1500 visits per day using Bing.

Putting Adsense on seems to be a complete waste of time....$0.70 from only 1 click in 24hrs. Targeting is off theme and I suspect Google shows ads based on the Users history rather than the page content in order to improve the advertisers experience rather than the publisher. This will always result in a very poor CTR. I have always found that if your site is about widgets and even if you advertise "free money", getting people to move off theme is very difficult. The few that do will be very high quality leads..... Great for the advertiser. With Bing you can control the theme of the ads and thus the far higher CTR..... Great for the Publisher.

The next experiment I have done is to simply put up a Custom Search Box. Out of around 1500 visits, despite putting the Box in their faces with the query pre installed, only 120 people used it, this produced 44 clicks and $2.
The CTR is good but few people are interested in using another search box, they would rather return to their original Google search. The ads return was only about 5 cents per click.

I accept these are brief and crude experiments, but initial findings make me wonder if continuing with adsense is worth it? From our experience, a busy site of around 20,000 uniques per day can easily make $300 with Bing, along with other revenue streams topping that total up.

Unless, by showing Bing ads, Google reduces your organic rankings, then there seems little incentive to use Adsense. The main reasons seem to be:
1) Google, understandably, puts the advertiser first and thus CTR is poor.
2) I still think Adsense presentation is so familiar that people automatically ignore it. I seem to remember from many years ago that only 10% of users click a sponsored ad on the google search pages. Most people don't trust the ads to be high quality as they are 'bought'. Users seem to have always preferred the organic results, as those sites are perceived to have 'earn't their ranking'.

Am I missing something?
3:15 pm on Oct 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Am I missing something?

I've been seeing too many complains about absurd lows, very good webmasters with clean, white hat sites, quality content. Besides it's too unstable, and regarding this it appears to me G is making LOTS of tests and this involves rolling out changes and leaving it running for a while making webmasters suffer.

What I mean I'm pretty sure you are doing tests while G is doing their own and this affects any kind of conclusion you can come up to. I've made tests myself and since Panda-Penguin I decided to do nothing, surprise things have been fixing themselves except from most part of 2013, it seems like it's almost a problem in general.

I agree on making tests, I'm just saying it's too difficult to find out something while G is playing with the dice.
5:03 pm on Oct 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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G's at it again right now, rolling out new stuff and ads aren't showing up or are hanging on pages. Just saw new changes in Analytics so who knows what else is afoot. Adsense, Analytics and ad serving all just went belly up for a couple of minutes at least.
7:53 pm on Oct 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Weird, my stats show 90% of what I make in a whole day, the funny thing is that number is there since 10AM and it's frozen now. I could say I should sleep for the rest of the day ha ha
9:09 pm on Oct 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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AdSense is hosed. Lots of luck to anybody trying to understand the program anymore, it's gone off the rails.
12:08 am on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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My revenue is back to normal now. Phew!
5:44 am on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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They found the bug!
22 oct - the best day of the month!
8:44 am on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Mentat
Are you saying, along with others, that for the past few days the adsense revenue has not been normal or correct, whilst your traffic etc has remained stable?

Do you think I should give Adsense another go, having tested it over the last few days and perhaps not had correct results?
10:51 am on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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in the past week, the eCPM was very low.
Yesterday was a boost, today seems fine also.
BTW, I've switched to Async tags for Adsense and DPF.
3:58 pm on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Todays RPM is double yesterdays. The trip to Google must of helped. :)

For the most part AdSense offered the same old suggestions but they did have a few new Ideas to try out.

It's worth taking G up on the programs they offer to publishers, they have always been very helpful and are not to be confused with Google search.
5:29 pm on Oct 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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They found the bug!


And infected me with it, an absolutely diabolical Wednesday, CTR and EPC at all time lows.
5:41 pm on Oct 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Too good to be true...
Today eCM is abysmal...
8:14 pm on Oct 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Bad day today :( CPC is really low. Anyone else having the same issue?
8:22 pm on Oct 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Bad day today, yesterday, day before that, all of Oct. I'm with Play_Bach.

AdSense is hosed. Lots of luck to anybody trying to understand the program anymore, it's gone off the rails.
10:06 pm on Oct 24, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Unless this is stuck, it's a terrible day
1:39 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It's official, today sucks big time
2:32 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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It's official, today sucks big time
Not here, and doing well too.
6:50 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I was doing well prior to Google launching redesigned ads on Sept 19th. My RPM has dropped to 50% of what it was, overnight. And then, on Oct 4-5th, it dropped another 20%. So now my RPM is 30% of what it was. And I am absolutely sure this has nothing to do with my traffic, sites or whatever. The RPM was very stable for months, and now it's getting worse each day.

The interesting thing that I notice (as someone already said in here) - is that in the early morning, CPC and CTR are somewhat "normal", and at the end of the day, they just get ridiculous.

Yesterday I did the changes Frost_Angel wrote about - no impact so far, will see how it goes.

Anyone have any ideas on whether these issues are going to be fixed and we should expect to get back to our "regular" earnings? What are your thoughts on this - will G fix this?
7:11 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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> What are your thoughts on this - will G fix this?

Unless there's a miracle, this will be my worst AdSense month ever in the nine years I've been with the program. And if my account is typical, then AdSense is losing money because I'm losing money. Maybe some bean counter will speak up at the Plex and let them know revenues are way off and AdSense will go back to text ads that work, but I'm not counting on it. As far as I can tell, whomever is in charge there is making one bad decision after another.
8:09 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I would never think Adsense is losing money when publishers lose money. Honestly, when my CTR dropped overnight and CPC drop followed right after, my first thought was that because CTR drops and G would lose because of it, they just give publishers a much lower cut (hence the drop in CPC) to compensate for their loss. So I think they actually are doing the same amount or maybe even higher than before. I do not think they would keep the non-performing changes up for so long if they were losing anything...

I am pretty sure there were algo changes not only visual changes... something in how they treat clicks or count clicks or whatever. The impact cannot be that high on so many publishers just because the design has changed - not such huge impact I think.

I somehow have a little hope they would get something fixed or rolled back to make publishers happier, although if they are not loosing anything themselves, why would they :-/

Horrible month for me as well, and RPM is still going down little by little each day.
10:54 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In my experience, ad presentation changes, in the form of colour and layout, can make as much as a 10% difference, but this is rare. I am new to Adsense, but have 10 years experience of other networks where there is a lot of flexibility on how you can present the ads.

From what members are saying here, in order to achieve over 10% swings, my guess would be that if the publisher has not had significant changes in the quality of traffic and the ads are still in the same place on the page, then it is probably the ads themselves that are causing the problem. If Adsense are showing a much broader range of ads, based on the Users history, then the chance of the ads being clicked dramatically falls. e.g. The chance of a user on a recruitment website, clicking an Ad for a garden Shed, is almost nil. BUT, if a click does happen, it probably is a high quality one for the advertiser.

I wonder if this time of year is very relevant. Google will want to attract advertisers for the Christmas period so turning down the 'cost per sale' is important. If Adsense is making the ads more biased towards the User history, I suspect this improves the experience for the advertiser, as per the above example.

In short, the more on theme the ads are, the better for the publisher, but not so good for the advertiser.

It is impossible to know (I think) what ads are actually being served up on our pages. If members here are having big drops in income (assuming they have a reasonably high traffic level per day to base observations upon), then the one unknown must be the actual ads appearing? In my experience, the more off theme the ad, the less income for the publisher.
11:33 am on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I noticed a significant drop with the new text ads when they removed the underlines, now they don't look like links. Really a dumb move and something you don't and won't see on Google search. Jumbo size the font all you want AdSense, still doesn't tell the viewer as much as an underline does.
12:27 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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[zdnet.com...]
12:49 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for link netmeg (as always!). Worth reading.
1:07 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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very interesting read nutmeg - many thanks for sharing.
2:52 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Thanks netmeg. Apparently this terrible situation is more widespread than I had thought. BTW, good seeing you in here again... seems like it's been awhile.
3:12 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Every now and then I get fed up. But I usually come back eventually.
3:15 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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netmeg has been tearing it up on the invite only AdSense forum :)

Thanks for the link, a good read and another reason to diversify ad revenue sources.

This might also explain all the new ad designs.
3:45 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Good find netmeg

Thursday was my best day since 24th August with both CTR and ECPM at reasonable levels considering the miniscule volume of traffic G sends me these days ever since the January image grab.

Surely someone at The Plex has noticed that G earnings from gallery sites has plunged ever since the grab? No matter what some around here may say, some gallery sites were on good USD four figure earnings per month, keeping searchers on Google images all the time, meanwhile not serving any ads as many expected them to, cannot be conducive to their overall income?

Or am I missing something blatantly simple?
4:33 pm on Oct 25, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Play_Bach,

I want to notify you of something. Since your observation and opinion of my site that you are certainly entitled to, I took the image down next to my ads. Please pay attention Play_bach that I am not critizing you at all and actually value your opinion although I don't feel we see eye to eye (Lets be honest here). The reason I put the image on the left hand side of the ads was to actually cut down on invalid clicks from mobile views and not to try and take what you consider "Fizzy drinks by your quote of Willy Wonker". Hence if you cut down on invalid clicks the RPM will rise agreed? Just to do another one of my mathematical experiments with adsense that I already done 18 months ago I thought "Lets see if I am really the bad guy and my mind is wrong and take the image away and instead leave white space for mobile viewers to scroll down instead?". The result is that my RPM is rising fast over $100 and CTR is also rising with no image. The image was correctly in format with Google terms with borders seperating the image from the ads with enough space etc. The image was also in my opinion mathematically geared by myself to help Apple iphone users not to click on the ads. What is happening now is CTR and RPM is rising fast and I may soon run with the flow or get smart priced? my feeling is I will run with the flow because we are in VERY ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY in 2013 and even though you may not know it yet, some people know how you even think! Luckily I think positive with Google and only want their best interests at heart.
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