For many of us, Adsense seems broken. In fact, arguably, even for Google Adsense seems broken if revenue performance is any indicator (see the 2013 Report to Shareholders here [investor.google.com
...] and note the performance of the "Google Member Network Websites" which had negative growth in the first three quarters of 2013
Add to that some analyses by industry pundits (http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com/mt/archives/2013/10/analysis_what_future.php) which tracks a continuing decline in both Adsense and Adwords revenue since the introduction of Panda.
More specifically to Adsense publishers is that many of us are seeing clicks taken back in greater numbers than ever before. My main site is an outdoors-oriented forum and scores between 500,000 and 1.5 million on Alexa depending upon the season so I am not "big". But I am seeing clicks scraped back to zero twice in one day. Meanwhile Google gives us vague information about why this is going on.
And I'm not the only one.
One big issue for me is that we operate in what is essentially a vacuum of information about our site's performance as far as Adsense is concerned. We have no data on what ads were clicked, who clicked them, why they were scraped off, or even which specific clicks were scraped off.
With this paucity of data from Google publishers have created a paradigm designed to make them believe that they have control over things. But when it comes to Adsense, I suspect that any control is illusory at best. But I can see the temptation. So we talk about positioning, content, design, performance, hosting, etc.
But at the moment some of us - and perhaps most of us - are faced with issues over which there is zero control.
1. Traffic is not the issue.
2. Ad visibility is not the issue.
3. Ad placement is not the issue.
4. Content is not the issue.
The issue is that even though visitors are seeing ads and clicking on ads we are not getting any real information about why those clicks are not generating earnings.
So is there a way we can track the data we can
get and see if we can come up with a way to analyze that data and get some useful information from it? And is that information that we can use to either determine that there is something we can change or if it's a problem on Google's end?
So, to that end I've implemented a routine in which I document the "Performance" report from Google at more regular intervals and paste them into a database-based note-taking tool called "CherryTree" which is available for Linux, Mac and Windows workstations (I use Linux). It is available for free (open source) here: [giuspen.com
I suppose I could just jot them down, but where's the fun in that?
About 9 months ago I implemented an analytical tool that is separate from Google called "Piwik". Piwik gives me far more than Google Analytics in greater detail. With Piwik I can determine who exactly is active and what they are looking at in real time
! Including IP address, operating system, browser, plug-ins in that broser, whether that visitor is a returning visitor or new visitor, and what mobile device they are using. Piwik is available free (open source) here: [piwik.org
Piwik installs into your web page code and CherryTree installs into your workstation. Piwik is robust and scalable to quite large web sites.
What I really want is something that will track clicks in real time. If anyone knows anything that will do that I'd love to hear about it.