Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 18.212.222.217

Forum Moderators: martinibuster

Message Too Old, No Replies

Almost exactly the same earnings every month

This is so unlikely something has to be wrong.

     
10:20 am on May 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


My adsense earnings usually vary a fair bit from month to month - not wildly so but, for example, from February to April last year earnings in the best month were one and a half times the worst. This makes sense because there is a seasonal element to both the amount of traffic and the sources of traffic.

Over the last three months my earnings have been the same to with 0.5%, and it looks like this month is heading the same way.

Any ideas about whether I should be worried?
12:05 pm on May 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 29, 2001
posts:1135
votes: 41


Over the last three months my earnings have been the same to with 0.5%


Yes, this can make one wonder.. I have suspected for a long time that Google is well aware of what you are going to earn...
4:20 pm on May 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member redbar is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Oct 14, 2013
posts:3121
votes: 450


Any ideas about whether I should be worried?


Worried about what? Unlike me at least they're letting you earn something!
4:33 pm on May 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


@Edge, you are implying its a fix? The thought did cross my mind, but it seems paranoid, and opinion on WW has always firmly be against suggestions that there may be earnings ceilings etc.
4:37 pm on May 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:13010
votes: 222


My stuff is seasonal and as such follows a pattern, but month to month - only one time in all my history of AdSense have two months been that close. That's why I can never buy into the idea of a fix or ceiling, because I just don't see it.
5:18 pm on May 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


@netmeg, I would have agreed with you earlier, but three months in a row that close is quite a coincidence.

You know the saying "once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is a conspiracy"?
6:48 pm on May 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:13010
votes: 222


Yea, but I still find it hard to swallow.

Your earnings are essentially the same - are your other metrics the same? Traffic, impressions, pageviews, visits, clicks, CTR, EPC, device share - are all those the same too?
8:03 pm on May 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 10, 2004
posts:568
votes: 0


Ah, just wait until you get EXACTLY (to the penny) the same earnings two months in a row. Before some "smarty pants" asks. No i didn't earn 0.00!
6:47 am on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


@netmeg, yes, about 20% variations in page views, and similar in other metrics - except device share which is not much changed (the site mostly gets desktop traffic - people use it from work, or when doing fairly serious research/learning).
12:44 pm on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:13010
votes: 222


Well 20% isn't "the same" by any stretch. I guess I'd probably see if I could change something to shake it up. I still think it's a coincidence, because I can't think of a benefit to anyone (you, Google, the advertiser, the users) in keeping your earnings the same every month.
1:24 pm on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

joined:Dec 29, 2001
posts:1135
votes: 41


you are implying its a fix?
I have no behind the scene technical evidence to support a "fix" only a recorded historical traffic and earnings pattern to draw conclusions from. However, I am very comfortable proposing that Google has both the technology and motive to manipulate traffic and earnings in the interest of Google.

The thought did cross my mind, but it seems paranoid
'...when you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.' Sherlock Holmes

I can't think of a benefit to anyone (you, Google, the advertiser, the users) in keeping your earnings the same every month.
Very true but in concept capping your partners earnings could increase YOUR earnings.

Google is a business and a very public one run by human beings. So flawed in reason, motive and fairness we can be..
1:44 pm on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


I can think of three possibilities:
1) Its just a coincidence - improbable, but improbably things happen, especially as there are millions of adsense users
2) Google is capping earnings - aside from netmegs objects, I cannot see Google as a business indulging in that, especially as they have stated they take a fixed percentage.
3) Someone inside Google is manipulating the system to their personal benefit

Maybe I have a suspicious mind, but taking small amounts from lots of accounts (e.g. by diverting credit for some clicks to another account and site) would be the sort of thing that is hard to spot, and it could be done entirely within the add system (so no need to mess around with accounting systems which tend to be more highly scrutinised). Its high risk, but if you took a few percent from thousands (or hundreds of thousands) or accounts....
2:49 pm on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:13010
votes: 222


But but but... I have sites that over the course of the year (because of their seasonality) vary between mid three figures a month to mid to high five figures a month. I have others that have more steady traffic and the variations are far less - but they still vary. Wouldn't you think they'd be capping some of that - if they are gonna cap at all?

At any rate, you could always try asking support - they won't admit anything of course, but at least you're letting them know you noticed.
3:04 pm on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 13, 2005
posts:252
votes: 6


I remembered a similar scenario that happened to me, so took a look at past earnings. I think I even posted here something about one of the two occurances below, but can't find it now.

Talking about monthly earnings in the mid $XXX range.

Earnings Jun 2011: 100%
Earnings Jul 2011: 99.67% of Jun 2011

Earnings Aug 2013: 100%
Earnings Sep 2013: 99.56% of Aug 2013
Earnings Oct 2013: 99.997922696% of Aug 2013

So, with FICTIONTAL numbers:
Earnings Aug 2013: $520.00
Earnings Sep 2013: $517.71
Earnings Oct 2013: $519.989198
3:27 pm on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Mar 30, 2005
posts:13010
votes: 222


Did you stay at that spot, or eventually go up or down?
3:49 pm on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Full Member

10+ Year Member

joined:May 13, 2005
posts:252
votes: 6


Did you stay at that spot, or eventually go up or down?

Normally there is a 5-10% fluctuation of month-to-month earnings - due to removing/adding back Adsense code, adding new sites, seasonal changes, Adsense performance etc.

Spotted yet another one:
Earnings May 2013: 100%
Earnings Jun 2013: 100.127% of May 2013
Earnings Jul 2013: 102.32% of May 2013, 102.198% of Jun 2013

[Edited: added Jul 2013, too]
7:10 pm on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


My site is is the same earnings range as @radix. Its well down from its peak earnings (its gone from my largest source of income to being a bit more than I need to pay my utility bills) and I no longer put much effort into it (it is evergreen content so its does not need much maintenance). just the sort of site you would pick if you wanted to find one that did not have a close eye kept on it.

Wouldn't you think they'd be capping some of that - if they are gonna cap at all?


Not if "they", which need not be Google corporately, wanted to pick sites that would not notice oddities. Sites that produce high five figures incomes, or sites that are actively maintained are too likely to have owners who will notice.

I doubt enough that many people read the Adsense forum for such coincidences to be likely in the pool, and we already have three three month low variation runs (my one and radix's two) and one two month exact run.
10:32 pm on May 11, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts:1299
votes: 380


It's not just adsense, they also seem to be able to send the exact number of converting buyers to one of my membership based sites. By exact, I mean +/- 1 sale week to week. Same with traffic numbers day to day. One Monday will be 1520 visits, the next 1520 visits, the next 1523. No kidding! After large updates, those figures are usually cut by double digit %, then resume that same nearly exact pattern. I've been reporting this pattern for many, many months (last two years) . Nothing natural about the web these days. "Throttling" as tedster used to say...but much more precision every day. Not sure how they do it, but I do know why. I also gave up trying to fight it. Headed back to the job market soon. The web is dead, just like the wild west.
3:42 am on May 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:9053
votes: 752


Think about it, kiddies. Just commonsense. Follow the money.

Who pays what first.
Who holds that money (in interest bearing accounts)?
Who gets paid (and when)?

Third quarter is a fit hits shan period where corporations hang on to banked capital so that year end the stockholders are happy (and earning interest in those bank accounts).

Could be wrong. Probably not, but could be.

Just follow the money... and who holds it the longest before it gets to you, and you'll have your answers.
7:59 am on May 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


Another possibility is that Google redistributes ads from sites that are having a good month, to those having a bad month...
8:29 am on May 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

Administrator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 9, 2000
posts:25844
votes: 847


I have seasonal, and non-seasonal adsense sites. I've had my adsense since the very beginning of the program and the patterns have settled to be relatively-close. But, so is my traffic. It has become a pattern, and what I really like is the stability.

I don't do mobile, it's all desktop, and my traffic has not declined because of mobile, and neither have my earnings. Of course, traffic could have increased with mobile, but the tests I ran were just not worth the clicks. I may run the mobile tests again when the mobile algo has settled, but it'll be at the end of this current season.

I put the stability down to the total size of the market (the total number of searchers), and the total available market (traffic and clicks I can achieve).

I am not overly concerned about similarity of traffic and earning levels. I will be concerned if there are wild swings in both traffic, and therefore, earnings.
8:48 am on May 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


@engine, similarity of traffic and earnings is reasonable, but almost unchanged earnings despite changes in traffic is another.
9:20 am on May 12, 2015 (gmt 0)

Administrator from GB 

WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:May 9, 2000
posts:25844
votes: 847


Yes, I agree with that, graeme_p, I was just citing my example of similarity of earnings.

In your instance, i'd certainly look more closely at the traffic detail, and take in historical data to look at patterns.
10:14 am on May 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:July 7, 2003
posts:787
votes: 111


Unfortunately, I don't have this problem anymore!

But I did notice a similar trend in the past - wild day-to-day swings in every metric, but somehow the monthly total would be within 1% of the previous one.

I put it down to Google attempting to deliver consistency and predictability to the advertisers in terms of cost per lead, conversion etc.
Consistency and predictability in a business model (pay per click) that is fundamentally neither.
11:02 am on May 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member tangor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 29, 2005
posts:9053
votes: 752


Google attempting to deliver consistency and predictability to the advertisers in terms of cost per lead


If you are an Advertiser, that might be of interest. This thread, however is on publisher earnings which are... ahem ... perhaps as equally managed? Just asking!

After all, that ad spend has to go somewhere.
12:39 pm on May 13, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


Glitterball has suggested a plausible, non-malicious, motivation for why Google would want to do this, but stabilisation would amount to capping earnings for growing sites. At least until earnings grew enough that Google moved the stabilised level up.

I do not think this is what is happening as I have seen wild swings in earnings. Also costs do not look like their stable for advertisers in those terms: if that was so it is CPC that would be stable, not total earnings (so earnings would vary with traffic and CTR).
3:00 am on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts:1299
votes: 380


I personally think this is an effect of removing much of the long tail diversity on a site. For one site I monitor, it used to rank for 15k terms within a 30 day period. That is now down to less than 500. The result is more of a flat line in variation.
10:27 am on May 14, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts: 2856
votes: 155


@samwest, do you mean diversity of removed from the site, or did its rankings become less diverse.

Also, that would explain stable traffic, but does not explain unchanged earnings from varying traffic,
9:24 pm on May 18, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from US 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Feb 3, 2014
posts:1299
votes: 380


@graeme_p - diversity in search terms. in 2010 my monthly search terms as recorded by AWSTATS was 15k/mo. In 2015 that is whittled down to less than 1k....about 650 so far this month. All that extra longtail blowing in the wind created huge variations day to day, but the sluggish few key phrases we're left with, mostly low value, are like a stagnant mass of oppressive tropical air. No more gusts. Google has tamed the winds and monetized it for its own interests.
1:25 pm on June 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

Senior Member from GB 

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Nov 16, 2005
posts:2856
votes: 155


The lowest earnings so far this year in May, but still a less than 1% difference between the lowest and highest earnings so far this year!

Search terms are still diverse - no one search phrase as produced more than 1.5% of Google clicks.

@samwest, are you sure your 2010/2015 comparison is accurate? A lot of search referrals no longer show search terms, so AW Stats will show nothing for those.
This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35
 

Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members