Mentat, many people don't realize this, but there are a million factors that can affect CTR. Here are a few:
- Proportion of visitors from different countries. You may have the same traffic, but where is it coming from? Don't assume, check analytics. You'd be surprised. I've had times where my traffic has grown 5% in a given month, but my US traffic has actually decreased by 10%.
- High paying advertisers may no longer be showing ads, or the interest in the advertiser has waned.
- Holidays - This weekend is Easter weekend in the US, and quite a few people are on spring break for the next couple weeks. This means depending on your demographics (young, old, etc.) you can experience a huge CTR and CPC drop.
- Weather can affect things. Depending on the weather, some people may decide to shut off the computer and do other things.
- Major news events - Instead of visiting your site, users may go read the major news events happening right now around the world. Even if they visit your site still, They may not stay around as long.
I agree with eek2121 with the following caveat, when someone is not at their computer and, by extension, not visiting your website, then they are not a variable in the actual CTR calculation in much the same way as people who don't visit your site are not part of your total traffic numbers.
Having said that, if weather is keeping your best clickers out shoveling the sidewalk rather than inside clicking on your ads while your other, less monetizable, traffic is still surfing, then it can definitely become evident at times as a lower than normal CTR. Viewing CTR historically can reveal some of this by highlighting what is normally present but not present during a certain event (such as abnormally low traffic from a weather-impacted region).
I think the important point though is that CTR in general is impacted by a great many factors and on that I totally agree.
I tend to use another measurement for day-to-day simplicity which is revenue per visitor. Many of the same factors still apply but it's simpler than trying to figure out how Google counts ad impressions for one thing. It also gets me out of the "how many ads can I shove down my visitor's throat" mentality and keeps me understanding that the real reason my website is there is for the people who visit it, not the number of ad impression I can serve to each. Makes me tend to focus on a quality experience and tweaking my presentation rather that adding more ad slots to get my numbers up. But that's just my way of thinking so YRMV.
There are SO MANY factors on the advertiser, publisher and user side that there's just no way I expect any metrics to be static from day to day. You really have to take a month over month view, if only to keep your sanity.
"Advertisers have proven reluctant to pay as much for ads on mobile screens compared to Google's bread-and-butter desktop ads, which have been the main revenue generator at the firm."
The majority of my visitors still use desktops, but mobile is increasing all the time. My page CTR is lowest on high-end mobile devices and this report also says that advertisers pay least for ads on mobile devices.
This year has been a disaster so far and there are still no signs of a recovery. I am now at the stage where I don't think it will recover.
Google are also serving up ads that have nothing to do with my content whatsoever. And what is supposed to constitute Interest Based Ads? When I read a news article about Pele, the former Brazilian footballer, do I really want to see ads for guest houses and hotels in Rio de Janeiro on my site about Southeast Asia? That doesn't constitute an interest.
Either Easter weekend started yesterday or something went wrong in Adsense again. This morning I had a bunch of non-English language adverts on my site. Earnings down this week and it is a trend since the start of the month.
I was doing great for a few days. Then Google broke things yet again (and, yes, I do think they actually do break things). Now I'm being hit with off-topic ads and ads that are not in English. Why is it so hard to at least do the proper language targeting?
Traffic and earnings are normal for a Saturday. One observation is that I seem to do better with mobile devices on weekends and when the weather is good. This trend is has been pretty stable over the last year or so and after going to a responsive design. It's a great balancing act that allows for more stable earnings regardless of whether people tend to be stuck at their desks or are out and about in the sun.
I'm on mark today to obliterate any day this month. Weekends are good, just not this good. The Adsense ups and downs for me continue. It's still lining up to be one of my all time low months, but more like today could make it a close finish.
CPE ads blow. Typically i get well paying american CPC ads which average well north of a buck a click, for some reason Google has flooded my main site with dozens of CPE ads (which average 10-20 cents a click), and my CPC has suffered as a result.
What exactly are CPE ads? Please elaborate. Yesterday I had the most ever clicks on one of my sites, but I am pretty convinced google does have some kind of auto shutoff built in. I say that because I had 0 clicks in the last 3-4 hours of yesterday which makes no sense given how well the day was going.
Yesterday up 5% vs same day last week. This month so far up 17% vs same day last month. Last month up 18% vs month before.
I've added a lot of quality content on my website the past 3 months coupled with some Google Adsense optimization tips and I'm getting good results. Got another boat load of content to put up in the coming months. Looking forward to the results after that.