I just accidentally clicked an ad on Youtube. When I do a Youtube search on desktop version, the results appear then after a couple of seconds two ads which look just like the results appear and push down the other results.
I wonder if Google are removing invalid clicks that appear on their own sites. I doubt it.
If you are getting Amazon Web Services IP addresses in your visitor logs, block the IP range and see if that doesn't improve the stability of your statistics. I blocked 54.186.xxx.xxx and my invalid clicks almost went away completely. Looks pretty much back to normal.
Too early to tell for sure, but I can't see much of a downside to blocking that range (for me, at least). YMMV.
I had the biggest clawback I've seen. I'm used to seeing $10 swiped back pretty quick, but this was about double that. Perhaps I don't check stats enough to see other ones. The point is there was a massive amount of money (clicks apparently) and within 30 minutes, it's gone. It's so wacky I expect it. If I'm up, then there is a problem because I'm not supposed to be that up. I'm sure I'm just one of many with this experience. It's one site but this troubling me. It's one of my longest running ad units in fact.
About an hour to go and much less up-and-down. A few clicks taken back but ended the day about on track. Impressions way up, traffic up. Postings up. And, for once this month, I don't view the Performance Report as a science fiction novel.
As expected new lows for clicks, CTR and RPM not even achieving 50% of their averages so far this year.
It's an unmitigated disaster zone and before anyone says "use a different advertising source", there is not an alternative for me, I need global and I am too small these days for many programmes.
Thank heavens for real-world business, Google's annihilated my sector and I don't mean just me.
At this level I'll be joining JCKline next month at possible minimum payout level, I'll see how the next few days go however it looks like a complete removal which will be a real PITA on some of my older sites.
While many of us were getting extra clicks (taken back) or even click-bombs, you're getting none. This runs contrary to what many of us have experienced and I wonder why. Since my field is network engineering and I'm only a "publisher" because of a lifelong interest in the subject matter of my forum, I'm not going to ask the usual questions you get here ("have you modified your ads' locations, size, type, etc?") But I wonder:
1) Are your page views higher? Lower? Are you getting any "earnings" at all (even pennies) for impressions? 2) Are you watching the Performance Reports for click shaving? 3) Are the websites all authorized (if they're not, the ads will appear but you'll get no credit for them)? Check again. 4. Have you had a third party check your sites to make sure the ads look right? 5. Are you (or your hosting service) blockint traffic?
It just seems strange to me (and, I'm sure, to you). If you're getting earnings posted by Google for impressions (basically pageviews) then you should be getting *some* clicks; even by accident.
My problems seem to have disappeared when I blocked one IP range of AWS. It took 13 days of hell (and a tip from netmeg) but it appears to be over. Let's see if we can't figure your issue out, now.
Only a few days ago I had almost USD 11.00 taken back by Google from a seemingly legitimate Canadian user, every click they made they took back.
1) Page views are my new average after removing my galleries, I did get USD 0.03 for 70 impressions from Turkey this morning!
2) Only in AdSense reports, I do not use any of Google's tools, not for at least 3-4 years.
3) All authorised.
4) Yep, all are fine.
5) No blocking, the USA accounts for maybe 35% of my visitors, the remainder are global.
I used to have tens of thousand of PVs per day then 2011/12 Google seemingly took a total dislike to my well-known gallery programme and sent it from #1 to almost total oblivion, then on 28th January 2013 with its image grab it chopped it back to about 5,000 PVs per day and since then it had gone downhill even further until this January varying between 2-3,000 PVs per day.
I removed the gallery at the beginning of February, the only one of its type on The Net I might add, and since then the PVs have been pretty constant in the 1,500 per day range with clicks averaging 30ish a day.
In my peak season I was getting 1,000 clicks per day but like many others have posted things have all been downhill, for instance these are my February figures, not my busiest month, but very indicative of what's been happening:
Feb 2014 - 29 clicks per day Feb 2013 - 63 clicks per day Feb 2012 - 81 clicks per day Feb 2011 - 163 clicks per day Feb 2010 - 190 clicks per day Feb 2009 - 210 clicks per day Feb 2008 - 292 clicks per day Feb 2007 - 384 clicks per day Feb 2006 - 444 clicks per day
And G wonders why so many of us are so pi$$ed off with them when we've done nothing wrong but be hammered by them. All the sites have unique articles and unique images, well did have, many have been removed leaving only my corporate sales brochure sites.
All new sites, or updated sites, are not having AdSense included.
@Redbar -- The first thing that pops out is the radical reduction in traffic you cite which is not particularly an Adsense issue and I'll try to keep from crossing too far over into the discussion of SERPS in this post for that reason. One simple equation applies here though. Less Traffic = Less Revenue (or at least, less opportunities to earn revenue). And, I'm sure you don't need reminding of that fact but it is a fundamental in this discussion.
Given what you posted, my gut reaction is that there is something very niche-related driving your down-slide. I won't argue that G is making it tougher and tougher on image-centric sites, and I won't argue that upheavals in the SERPS have given more than a few webmasters fits (for good reason).
Given the difficulty in discussing niches here, it would be hard for anyone to nail this down given the information available but one has to ask if something dramatic (other than SERP upheavals) is happening in your target industry/niche? New competitors? Is your product becoming less relevant across the global marketplace? Etc.
Change is happening around you, so the question becomes, how are you responding to the change? Sounds like you have removed things, are cutting back so to speak? I can't criticize such a move but I can wonder if it was the right move.
Hey, the Hula Hoop just doesn't sell like it once did. Things change. Wham-o went on to create new fads like the Hacky Sack after the hooping craze subsided. I doubt anyone expected sales of a silly plastic hoop (25 million units in the first four months) to go on like that forever. Would be nice but we don't live in a world like that. I'm not trying to criticize. I'm trying to understand. When things go south, the tendency is to try and adjust. Scaling back is one form of adjustment. What else have you tried? Again, this does not look like it's entirely or even mostly an Adsense issue. At least to me.
Yes, a radical reduction in traffic thanks to scrapers and an awful SERPs plus Google stealing all my images, like many others, and sending 80% less traffic.
Was there anything wrong with my images and coding, a resounding NO since they are all up there on other people's sites, Google did that over a number of years, not me.
Of course this reduction in traffic has led to a reduction in earnings to both myself and Google, obviously they don't give a fig otherwise they'd have done something about it years ago.
Overall our real-world business is up substantially, initially we only started including AdSense 10 years ago to give trade advertisers the opportunity to advertise on our sites since they were, and mainly still are, the most popular sites for our widgets globally.
Since the downturn of 2008 we have seen a dramatic change in the way business has been conducted however Google's scattergun behaviour has angered many within the industry to the extent that many do not want to know anything about them, me included, and what makes this all even worse is that I used to work with Google in the late 1990s developing the algo!
To be honest I'm totally and utterly fed-up with Google's attitudes, it tells us to create unique content-rich sites for visitors, which we already had before Google, and then it rips us off by hotlinking and claiming fair usage since those images were in the public domain.
I predicted in January that I would have AdSense-free sites by May such were the abysmal earnings, however now it looks as though this may be April.
So, for anyone who feels they are secure with AdSense think again, my highest-ever cheque was USD 18,000+ in one month with several months in the USD 10,000+ range...going by today's earnings so far I have USD 1.50, that doesn't even make the monthly payout, therefore I'm just going to let things run until the end of March and then remove the ads off all sites and take my last payment.
@Redbar -- I have complained extensively about Google in the past and am no fan of the status quo over there as you may remember from past posts. Your complaints though are based on traffic reduction and I'm betting that if you hadn't lost such significant levels of traffic, you'd be making a lot less noise about Adsense right now. You've said you're leaving the program which is fine by me but is there some other purpose to your comments or is this just a place to vent. I mean, if you're trying to fix a problem with your earnings, that's on point here. There are people here interested in helping (mainly because real solutions tend to be broadly applicable to the community at large).
If though, your comments are simply an attempt to foster malcontent then it's not worth the time to respond.
for anyone who feels they are secure with AdSense think again
Security is an illusion. Who told you otherwise? One good solar flare and your widget sales are gonna drop like a rock. Reality sucks sometimes. All we can do is take responsibility for our part in that and do what we can to survive it. Occasionally, some thrive in it. Good for them. It's the exception, not the rule and throwing poison in the well won't make the water any more drinkable.
I'm not venting I'm stating factual history insofar as I am concerned with AdSense.
Interestingly I had sticky conversations with several senior members before I removed my galleries. I was well-known to them and they to me since I used to be a senior member of many years before changing my moniker.
I estimated that minimum earnings should be $8-16 a day and sure enough for the past few weeks it has been doing precisely that. What I never envisaged happening as of the last couple of days was virtually a wiping-out of any earnings with clicks halving.
Obviously Google will never give us the reason why but after 8 weeks suddenly a slashing in two meanwhile others are seeing extreme click bombing and other idiosyncrasies.
Of course my reduction in earnings has revolved around the massive reduction in traffic I have had from Google but how nicely that was contrived by them! How soon people forget that only just a few years ago Google was telling everyone to optimise, label and mark-up their images correctly for better Image SERPs placement, in fact I actually wrote the de facto standard for this here on WebmasterWorld.
Then what ensued? Google says "Thank you mugs", you've done the job for us and now we're going to claim them all as fair usage...I feel that most of us who have/or had intensive image site have the right to vent about it, our work efforts were stolen without any recompense whatsoever, not that my sites were originally constructed with that in mind anyway but when the possibility of AdSense monetisation came along many of us were extremely happy to get into that boat to justify all our efforts.
Leaving that aside it actually leaves sites similar to mine in a very difficult situation with regards to search engines. Why should we bother expending so much effort to give it away for free when we are actually not being allowed to monetise them since Google, and Bing, simply scrape us?
What is next for the plundering I have to ask?
So, considering the abberations Google has obviously been having this week I am going to leave AdSense on my sites to see if it recovers back to the $8-16 day, if it does then fine, if it stays as per the past couple of days until the end of the month then it's gone, I'm not an advertsing sheet for Google.
As to how to increase traffic and thereby increase advertsing earnings when images are so central to my industry, I haven't a clue as yet, however it's really frustrating knowing what was there was so easily taken away and absolutely nothing could be done about it.
This week has been a weak Adsense week for me too and at the moment I'm chalking it up to a mid-month slump I've seen many times before while at the same time acknowledging that there's no denying the program has problems.
We've discussed before how semantic markup and image optimization are enabling Google to convert our content into their content. You'll get no argument from me that it's beyond troubling. I personally wish we (you and I) could have a more open conversation on this because I hear the frustration but can only guess at your specific circumstances.
I don't know for example if there might be some social media avenues that can turn your traffic woes around or at least offset some of that loss. Pic of the day on Facebook or some such thing. I'm fairly certain of one thing though, if a business has made it's mark with images in the past, it's gonna take (or already has required) some serious adjustments to keep pace with what's going on out there right now. So much has changed or is changing and it's not just Google that's changing.
I once wrote an image viewer program and thought, this would be a cool addition to a new service Kodak was offering at the time (putting your photos onto CD for you). The app lived on the cd and auto-launched when you put the CD in your drive. It was obsolete before I even finished it though. Soon Kodak and others were providing an image viewer on their CD's and had no use for my product. Of course, now days, Windows Explorer has image gallery functionality built right into it and so do other OS's as well. So, so much for that idea (not to mention storing photos on CD's, does anyone to that anymore?)
And we all know what happened to Kodak in all of this, right? Times are changing and not even the giants have been immune to the new environment.
BTW, have you gleaned any insights from looking at National Geographic? What do they know that we don't?
The problem for me is that after the AWS debacle my Performance Reports are completely out of whack; including 41 clicks that G has never managed to take back (?). So there is no way for me (at least) to know what's going on until the end of the month when I can check how much was credited to my account (payments). Last month (Feb) payments were 25% lower than the "earnings" report. I won't have any idea until April.
The good news? My invalid clicks and take-backs have declined from 20 to 25 down to 1 or 2 a day since banning that 54.186. range.
A look back at my visitors indicates that I had somewhere around 70 unique visitors a day from that AWS subnet!
Yea I have at least 950 extra clicks that never got removed (all from one day and one channel, too) and of course that goes on my "permanent record" - I really wish Google would fix their accounting. My OCD can't handle it.
I do not see click reductions (50 000/day) even at the end of the month, but I see a very aggressive eCPM throttling vs traffic and an erratic eCPM. The end result is -50% revenue in the 12 months. Each 2 weeks the ugly Panda is visiting me to take the toll.
Lower traffic every day + a lower payment => disaster.
They want to break the spirit of spammers? They seems to be too good at this game!
My click shaving has dropped to such low levels that I can't see it (if it's there at all). I'd have to refresh the Performance Report more often. Not to say that they aren't out there still, but banning that one AWS subnet has certainly done wonders for many of us.
Spoke too soon, today I'm getting clicks with no or fewer pageviews. A couple were taken back but a new one appeared. Only a couple cents at a time though, very minimal; probably would not even notice it if I weren't watching.
CPC's are very low today which may mean the bots have no interest in doing their dirty work. If they know to go after high-paying clicks, then it would make sense they'd rather do their dirty work when the auction is hot. It's a Sunday, middle of the month. Maybe they're taking the day off to move operations to a new hosting environment, getting ready for the next phase of the attack. Maybe they're watching this board and know the gig is up on AWS. Lot of maybe's obviously. I think keeping a close eye on this is gonna be important for at least the near future.
We're too small to make a dent in the AWS thing, but if word spreads, whoever coded it or commissioned it will no doubt move it somewhere else. It has occurred to me they might not be too happy with me (and I'm not exactly low profile) But like everything else, it is what it is.
The US economy is headed into the crapper and adword advertizers are not spending like they used to. You can check other forums and people all over are earning less with adsense. Supply and demand is reality and the demand is not there.