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More clicks, less money

     
9:49 pm on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Is anybody else experiencing this problem? I don't have a problem generating clicks, but the money is nowhere near what it used to be. I was earning twice as much money this time last year with the amount of clicks I'm getting on a daily basis, it's maddening. It's almost as if the amount of money I earn per click has dramatically reduced, which it probably has going by my earnings in the last few months. But why?
11:28 pm on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Lots of people are reporting it; nobody has a definitive answer. My guess is that increased bot traffic has caused AdSense/AdWords to be a little over zealous in their smart pricing, but it's just a guess, and yours is as good as mine.
11:46 pm on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@netmeg,
As an advertiser, are you aware of any "time of day" pricing discounts or premiums with these ads?
I have no idea how adwords works other than supposedly being a highest bid thing, for certain keywords?
11:59 pm on Feb 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There's no simple answer and if you do a little research, such as the source of the traffic, that might answer a lot. Based on the location of the traffic, which SE or website is sending them, etc. all factors into the costs.

The other possibility which is simple AdSense economics, too much page view inventory to the ads that your site is showing. The OP claims to be getting more traffic, which in most cases runs ad prices down, not up, if there's an abundance of page views in the network.

It could also be simple real world economics coming into play such as the price of gas dropping and other costs such as shipping products is less. If prices of products go down so do the amount they're willing to pay.

Lots of possible factors, including the source of your new traffic.

The ads shown are relative to the location of the ad viewer so if you're showing ads to increasing traffic from some location in the world where the economy is lower, and the exchange rate is really bad, then they pay appropriately for the ads to show in their location.

Also, has AdSense started showing different ads to your site, have one of your pages stopped showing ads or shows PSAs?

Changes in site SEO can cause all sorts of hell in earnings.

If something changes there's usually an answer if you look hard enough.

Good luck figuring it out.
12:47 am on Feb 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have a very simple-minded question: What is Google's percentage cut from the proceeds of a click?

In other words, if an advertiser is charged one dollar ($1.00) for a particular click, how much of that one dollar does Google keep for itself, and how much does the publisher receive?

This seems like it would be an important basic piece of information, but I don't remember seeing an answer anywhere. Maybe it's such common knowledge that nobody ever bothers to mention it.
12:52 am on Feb 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I think we get 68% but it can vary.
1:04 am on Feb 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I read it varies; the minimum percentage is 32% that needs to cover Google fees; the maximum is 68% (which comes from 100-32%). Depending on your website performance, the fee can and does change. That's why it's normal that Adsense publishers see fluctuations in earnings. The best publishers get 68% but their sites need to bring the best results / ROI for advertisers.
1:45 am on Feb 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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too much page view inventory to the ads that your site is showing


That's one of the main things that I have learned. The more pages I add, the lower the CTR. So I quit adding pages awhile ago.

This seems like it would be an important basic piece of information, but I don't remember seeing an answer anywhere.


It is in your account under Settings -> Account Information

The best publishers get 68% but their sites need to bring the best results / ROI for advertisers.


Some sites may have a separate deal, but the vast majority of publishers receive the same percentage of revenue. If your site is not sending quality traffic that converts for the advertiser, then you are subject to smart pricing, which lowers the amount per click that you are paid, not the percentage. So if an advertiser bids $1 per click, it doesn't mean that he pays $1 per click. A lot of factors are in play, but if your traffic is poor, he may only pay $.50 per click even though he has bid $1. You receive 68% of that $.50 or $.34. If your traffic were better quality and he bid and paid the $1, then you would receive 68% ($.68). Same percentage per click but less money per click for lesser quality traffic.
3:01 am on Feb 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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That's one of the main things that I have learned. The more pages I add, the lower the CTR. So I quit adding pages awhile ago


It doesn't work like that, you should add more pages to take traffic from other sites.

When I talk inventory, it's visitors, the number of pages you have doesn't impact the global number of people surfing.

Each visit to any page in the ad system is a hit, the more hits the more total ad impressions, that's the inventory they have to offer and if there's suddenly a ton of traffic but bad traffic, then prices plunge.

Depending on your website performance, the fee can and does change.


Yes, but Google only takes a percentage of that fee

If the adwords advertiser got charged a dollar, you get roughly $68. It the advertiser gets charged a dime, you probably get $0.06. It's not a situation where Google charges a dollar and you get a dime.

If you really want to know how it works, set up a test with AdWords and see how much you get charged vs. get paid. I did this in the early years and click my own ad so I wasn't defrauding anyone. I wasn't stupid enough to do this from my IP, I had some help with that experiment.

I also worked with some premium publisher back in the day and they only earned a slight bit more than we did, at least that was the case.

It's really a function of the type of site, the type of keywords, how good your SEO works, what type of visitors it attracts, etc. so it's not simple to figure out, it's complicated, but it can earn a boatload of money.

I've done it, others here have done it, but things change over time and if you sit still on the same site when it goes south that's not good. After a reasonable amount of time I'd suggest asking for someone to review your site and see if they spot anything.

Hell, one guy I helped got about 300% more traffic and a relative increase in earnings in just a few weeks and he swore his SEO was spot on. Someone else refused to make my suggested changes and got no results. ;)

Not like I know any magic but I've done it so many times I just know to check all the simple stuff first, titles, H1s, alt tags, etc. and make sure they use the right words in the right order.

People tend to just write poorly for SEO and use personal pronouns like HE, IT, THEY, THAT, etc. instead of repeating the noun phrases, the actual keyword. Search engines aren't smart enough to semantically know that 'it' means blue widget. Plus, writing more explicit text makes it easier for ESL to read and translate into foreign languages with fewer misunderstandings of intent.

Add all that together, and your SEO improves and AdSense improves.

It's not quite the same anymore but AdSense targeting used to be the window into your site's SEO soul, but now that they throw other crap ads in all the time it's not as good as it used to be. When my AdSense was 100% spot on, my SEO rocked, and my SE rankings were through the roof.

YMMV
3:10 am on Feb 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It doesn't work like that, you should add more pages to take traffic from other sites


It works like that for me. I am in a different situation from many people here.
4:31 am on Feb 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I find that hard to believe as websites all play by the same rules.

Number of pages does not mean page inventory, traffic does.

However, new pages may pay less until they've proven their value to the end user. That's the only thing I can think that might impact earnings.

Please explain if you think you have something different.
12:45 pm on Feb 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I agree with incrediBILL, unless you have no information added on those pages for the user or pages that you add have lack of UX, you are better off without adsense on them at all, at least until you put great content on the where your users can go and learn or read or do something that can be useful for them in some ways. I have had this experience with some of my sites and my client sites.

The best way to go about it IMO, is to check bounce rate on those new pages and also refer to GWT for CTR, because usually pages without reasonably good content or without textual content at all, will have really hight Bounce rate and very low CTR.

Now adsense needs content to which it can relate, again without content adsense will do a lot of wired things like place adds that are irrelevant or somewhat relevant or relevant to other parts of the content found on your site and not that page in particular, which in return gives you lower CPC, CTR and RPM. There are many more factors, like GEO targeting of your audience, but the first three are crucial, well at least for me, may be for other here too.
1:42 pm on Feb 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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As an advertiser, are you aware of any "time of day" pricing discounts or premiums with these ads?


Yes, it's called dayparting, and plenty of advertisers do it, but not all by a longshot. You can't really ever understand the ups and downs of AdSense unless you get familiar with AdWords; that's just the way it is.

I have a very simple-minded question: What is Google's percentage cut from the proceeds of a click?


Assuming you are not a premium publisher nor have any other negotiated deal, you are likely getting 68% of any AdSense for Content click and 51% for any AdSense for Search click. It tells you your percentage in your account information.

It really helps to know who your audience is. I originally made assumptions about who was visiting my sites, and once I started actually interacting with them through email and social media, I found out that I was totally wrong. That altered the way I wrote for the site, and some of the content I publish, and I'm reasonably sure that ended up increasing my earnings.
2:38 am on Feb 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Check the Platform report on Adsense and compare your CPMs for Desktop vs. Mobile. I'm still getting the same CPMs for desktop that I was a year ago but Mobile is half of what it was a year ago.
If you drill down further using Ad Type you might notice that Rich Media ads on Desktop is where a lot of money comes from but not on Mobile.
11:13 pm on Feb 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It really helps to know who your audience is.


IMHO that's it, at the end of the day. To me at least, failing that is just chasing the ambulance when it comes to ad revenue (AdSense or otherwise). Even tons of great Google human traffic is not always relevant (not to mention tap/click-happy social media referral floods.)

In my experience with a diverse portfolio, if traffic growth/quality is not audience-relevant, might as well be no growth at all.

I actually kill off/funnel away content areas occasionally on purpose, as NOT to encourage more irrelevant traffic, which can spill over to main content and lower its value (mainly to deter irrelevant user engagement and unnecessary resource-hogging interactivity -- more AdSense love is a bi-product of that!) I think of it as setting up a controlled bush fire in order to save the larger forest.

But of course, as with everything, everyone's mileage varies. :)
11:21 am on Feb 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Content is king in my opinion. The better the quality the article the more chances you have of keeping people on the website. If your website falls into a niche category and you have optimised every article so that It will only be found by people using relevant search terms then I don't think you have to worry too much about non-related hits, in other words people who are finding your website when they really don't have any interest in the content.

The only place on my website where I may find people visiting from search engines who are not really interested in the content in this forum, but when people are posting different stuff in the off topic category you can't really do anything about that. But really, for me, the forum Google AdSense only account for a very small part of my revenue. However, I don't look upon this as being a bad thing because in my mind it means people are too busy using the forum for what is intended for, rather than clicking on ads because they're not interested in what other members have got to say. My revenue comes from AdSense units placed on my article pages. I've been testing a few ads in different positions since posting this thread. I'm finding that rectangular units posted below the fold and floated left or right into a paragraph of text that contains content that you have seen people searching for well get quite a few clicks. I don't often use paid software for analysis, but I did purchase some software a few weeks ago that shows you exactly where people are clicking on your webpages. So you can see how how many clicks individual AdSense units have received which is quite handy. If after a month and I've units, hasn't received a single click, you might as well do away with it and find a better position.

However, I'm finding lots of people are clicking on photographs, probably expecting them to get bigger, although there are plenty big enough already. So creating a rectangular AdSense unit that is much the same size as a photo, then putting it in the same position as a photo often generates clicks for you. I would also advise people not to overlook Google text link units. The good thing is you can have up to 3 text units alongside your regular Google AdSense units. Because this software shows you where people are clicking, I have found that anchor links placed within my articles pointing to other articles generate a lot of clicks, it's almost as if people are drawn to clicking on these links that are obviously slightly different from the rest of the text. I found that placing Google text links fairly close to my anchor text and often generate a little bit of money, not an awful lot but it certainly adds up at the end of the month.

I'm going to experiment with different types of ad placements for the next few months and see where I get the most money from, I think that's the best way of maximising your profits
12:21 pm on Feb 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

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What kind of software do you use for monitoring clicking on Adunits?
6:19 am on Feb 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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<mods note>
I removed a few posts that were getting personal and off topic. We're not here to judge how people run their sites, we're here to discuss AdSense.

Keep it on the topic at hand and be respectful to other members. Discuss the topic, not the people posting, or other posts will be removed as well.
</mods note?
 

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