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July 2015 AdSense Earnings and Observations

     
10:16 am on Jul 1, 2015 (gmt 0)

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The start of the summer holiday season for many often with huge ups and downs in traffic.
2:32 pm on July 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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it makes sense because a lot of people have set daily budgets on adwords and they all run out of $$ as the day progresses
3:52 pm on July 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Nope, my EPC varies mostly depending on the country of click origin however sometimes, like yesterday and so far today, the value goes through the floor for whatever screwed-up reason Google can create.

There is a fundamental flaw within the system that some of us seem to experience a few times a month. I can bet that tomorrow or Friday that my EPCs will go back to their regular values as if Tuesday and Wednesday had never happened.

FWIW my UK EPCs today from bona fide clicks are at 50% of average, I can't say "normal" because there is absolutely nothing "normal" with AdSense these days.
3:53 pm on July 15, 2015 (gmt 0)

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it makes sense because a lot of people have set daily budgets on adwords and they all run out of $$ as the day progresses


I imagine most have a daily budget, but if the ads are set for standard delivery, then they should run evenly all day long. If delivery is set to accelerated, then yes, the budget can run out mid morning or mid day.
2:04 am on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yes agreed. RPM drops when traffic is high or clicks are high (CTR). This is why you need to diversity with other ad networks that have a passback feature.
5:49 am on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Once again, the "check and balance" algorithm comes into play for me. Had a superb start to the day, but sure enough, Adsense begins to CAP or limit my earnings and mysteriously, all the other sites start to record lower clicks or lower CPC so that all ends up within my allotted "range" at the end of the day.

It is patently obvious that Adsense controls how much you earn, and how many clicks you get, via an assigned algorithm that oversees every account. And there is NOTHING you can do about it except try to get more traffic -- or die trying.

Lower RPM now? Get more traffic. Lower CPC now? Get more traffic. Lower CTR now? Get more traffic.......
6:32 am on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Ebuzz I totally agree that how much you earn is controlled on the upside. This is especially true to higher traffic websites. Even acquiring more traffic is mostly futile as they adjust the RPM accordingly. The best solution is to use other revenue sources while also gaining more visitors. That's the only way to maximize the value of your traffic. Adsense used to be 100% of my revenue but it's now around 50%
9:51 am on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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It is patently obvious that Adsense controls how much you earn


I still don't buy this (at least in the sense I think you are implying ie. capping). For every dollar you earn, Google earns 47 cents, so you would think that Google wants you to be successful.

Also, the "today's earnings" report is an indication at best at any given time, I highly doubt it is an accurate figure for the revenue until the day has ended, so no conclusions can reliably be drawn from it. For the sake of many webmasters' heart condition in this thread, I think Google should remove the "today's earnings" report and only display the earnings after the day has ended :)


Also this 'cap' seems to only appear for smaller sites with less than oh.. 500,000 pv/day or so.
10:55 am on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Oh Google, what have you done. What a disastrous mess!
12:02 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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i find todays earnings to be reliable. What can i say? it moves in one direction, stops increasing at midnight and the final $ changes only by 2% or less after midnight.

It has just been a long time observation that the daily earmings are very closely aligned to the same day last week, and the rpm drops faster in the last part of the day as necessary to make it so.

If i improve ad placement, I get higher rpms by midday, but somehow magically the end of day total settles at only 3% up on same day last week. Its become a joke at our office that Buba @ adsense is woken by an alarm and steps in to finesse the days total so it does not exceed the budget allocation by too much.
12:44 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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If Google is capping my earnings, they haven't hit the ceiling yet and it's been ten years.

But I do think lots of other things can cap your earnings, including things like device type mix, competition, and your niche itself.
1:25 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Why would they cap earnings? The more you make, the more they make.

Also this 'cap' seems to only appear for smaller sites with less than oh.. 500,000 pv/day or so.


Not in my case.
3:15 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Adsense reporting is screwed up again. Pretty common these days I gather. Except they don't care about notifying publishers now whenever things are screwed up.
3:49 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I've noticed this happening the last few days. Reports are messed up.
3:53 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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No stats at all in Adsense now. Analytics looks okay.
4:12 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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All figures disappeared now. They are obviously shutting down to process the million pageviews and 10,000 clicks I've had in the last hour.

Re: capping, I've been studying raw clicks vs. paid clicks over the last month, and it's uncanny how constant my daily CTR ends up, even though numbers of raw clicks have varied wildly. Of course this could just be coincidence but the probability of it would be quite low.
4:28 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Stats starting to move a little now, but impressions and pageviews are way off. I won't be surprised at all if today turns out to be a total bummer. And tomorrow too.

Oh wait, I get it. Adsense has been giving me several good days (orly?), and today's horrible day is meant to "even up" things again.

Check and balance, aka capping.

[edited by: Ebuzz at 4:58 pm (utc) on Jul 16, 2015]

4:50 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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My impressions are off by 25%, my RPM is elevated by a similar amount.
I've checked my hourly Google Analytics report for today's traffic. It's totally normal.
Adsense is having some sort of problem today.
8:10 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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How come there's no red bar?

My US PVs are off by 75% at the moment.
8:48 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Same problem here ~ -20% loss of pageviews. It's not Panda, it's Phantom :(
8:59 pm on July 16, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I hate it when this happens since there's very rarely a full recovery and yet another bad day is chalked up.
2:20 am on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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"Why would they cap earnings? The more you make, the more they make. "

I don't think they cap over time. If you demonstrate rises in traffic and/or ad placement, earnings rise, over time. But it really feels like "$ same as this day last week" has a magnetic attraction for adsense, and it takes quite a long time (weeks) for a qualitative improvement to move earnings into a new band.
4:45 am on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I suspect there is more at work here then what meets the eye. I won't go so far as to say that there is a cap, but I've seen behavior that implies that. It actually goes a bit further, some things I've noticed (coincidentally or not)

1) Google will never give you 'too' much traffic. I track over 150 different keywords on my website. I notice fluctuations upward for part of the month, and when traffic gets to a point, my rank drops for a given set of keywords. The only thing that changes this is more content or a non organic influx, such as social media sharing. However, you'll conveniently notice that google doesn't like social sharing that much. I thought about trying to launch a site that would rank highly on bing (bing is horrible for my current niche. Someone can search for apples looking for my site, and bing returns oranges)

2) I earn about the same amount of earnings every single month, however, clicks and CPC can vary WILDLY from month to month. Get too much money one week? Suddenly you'll have a dead day with practically nonexistent clicks and low CPC. Too many dead days? Suddenly you'll be swimming in clicks and earnings.

3) My CPA ads are outperforming my Google Ads. I get 10 clicks for every 1 click on a certain CPA ad that is hidden at the bottom of every page. The CPA ad in question doesn't stand out in any way and shouldn't interest users at all. It. is at. the. bottom. of. the. page. (and it has an adsense ad right above it...above the comments...this ad gets very few clicks)...you might think that I don't understand my audience...no i do.

4) I am actually thinking about writing a script that 'watches' Adsense ads for clicks. I'm curious as to how many people are actually clicking my ads vs what AdSense reports.

FYI this is for a site with 250,000 sessions or so on average per month. (analytics)
4:46 am on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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That being said, if it IS a cap, it's probably an algorithm designed to prevent click fraud.
5:05 am on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Good feedback from everyone. Stats seem to have "recovered" but this is only because a site of mine is performing above expectations this month, and so far, that sort of makes up for the bad CTR I get on my highest traffic site.

On that high traffic site, it is very likely that Adsense doesn't count 2 or more clicks by the same person on differing ad units. If one unit is doing better than the other units, there will be a certain unit that has an absolutely horrible CTR. Think of 0.09% CTR for unit A, while another unit B gets 0.4%. Or the next day it becomes 0.20% for unit A, while unit B gets 0.3%.

Notice how both will still end up giving a total of 0.5%. If I look at the overall CTR of the site for every single day, it is UNCANNY how it always shakes up towards a certain figure. And this figure is pretty constant, albeit at a LOW (and depressing) figure. This is why I say I cannot do anything about it, not even changing the ad placements works.

There is definitely some re-distribution going on regarding what Adsense will take into account as a legit click, and I suspect they no longer count 2+ clicks by the same person.

So in my mind, I have no longer any doubts that the mechanism has changed. It wasn't the case last year, because Adsense was a lot more generous with what it considered as "valid/legit" but this year, a lot has changed. That much I am sure of.....

And then, some of you old timers may recall back in the day when Adsense counted the entire clickable surface area of the ad unit. Yep.......those were the days....
9:35 am on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Oh, and there I was trawling through my stats and the whole lot disappeared!
9:53 am on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Ok, they're back.

As expected whenever there's a delay in reporting my stats never recovered other than,as I predicted a couple of days ago, my USA EPC returned to within 0.01 of average, in other words almost 285% higher than Tuesday.

Yeah Google, that's completely normal behaviour.
10:32 am on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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There is definitely some re-distribution going on regarding what Adsense will take into account as a legit click, and I suspect they no longer count 2+ clicks by the same person.


That's pretty much confirmed by the cross checking and analysis I've done. A week or two ago I had one user who spent 21 minutes on one of my sites. He/she clicked on two ad units 12 minutes apart. And spent 1+ minute on the advertiser's page. Neither click appeared in the daily report. I can think of no reason why, based on that data.

Of course we'll probably never get to know what constitutes a valid click and what doesn't. That would write a blank cheque for scumbags in eastern Europe and elsewhere. But from a publisher's perspective it's quite frustrating.
11:17 am on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Speaking about scumbags and blank checks, how's the weather in Mountain View, California this morning?
12:20 pm on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Of course we'll probably never get to know what constitutes a valid click and what doesn't. That would write a blank cheque for scumbags in eastern Europe and elsewhere. But from a publisher's perspective it's quite frustrating.


I am all for going after these fraudsters (and you're right, there are so many of these scumbags, esp in East Europe), but looking at the widespread abuses/rule breaking going on within the Adsense publisher community itself (and these guys don't get punished), makes me pretty cynical about it all.

Especially when publishers who do their best to follow Google's "rules" and "comply" often are the ones at the receiving end of the short stick....And meantime, Google's revenue continues going up and up.
2:13 pm on July 17, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Theirs goes up, mine goes down ... no correlation there then!
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