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Facebook is to blame!

     
3:52 am on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Actually, not to blame for the stagnation or deterioration of AdSense and the Google Display Network but to be congratulated/praised!

The Google Display Network has never been what I would call a good acquisition ROI option, however it is now a shell of it's former self.

Why? Facebook. All the major advertisers are rapidly increasing their Facebook ad budgets at the direct expense of the Google Display Network (and other ad networks).
Facebook is so far superior in terms of targeting & segmentation for advertisers that choosing between advertising on Facebook and the Google Display Network is like asking someone if they would like to go out to a nice Zagat rated restaurant or eat at Burger King.

Why are publisher CTR and CPC prices down? It's because the ads on our page are terrible now. Why is that? Because advertisers have moved on to Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Think I am wrong? Ask yourself this question. If you were an advertiser, would you rather choose the ability to target your ads like the options on Facebook or the options on the Google Display Network? Aside from the targeting and segmentation advantage on Facebook, the ads actually look good. AdSense ads look like absolute garbage..well 99 out of 100.

I wish what I've detailed above wasn't the truth. Because those good advertisers are not shifting their budgets back to AdSense from Facebook anytime soon. Facebook doesn't pay publishers either...they are printing money.

Google's just not good at adapting. Too stubborn and egocentric.
5:54 am on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I cannot remember when I last saw a relevant FB ad.

Google does not pay for most of the content its ads go on either: on the SERPS. That is why Google's revenues are growing.

It is possible that Adsense is losing out to Facebook, but it is not that big a problem for Google.
12:38 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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"I cannot remember when I last saw a relevant FB ad." I can only speak for the U.S., but the ads I see are highly relevant to my likes, interests, etc.

"Google does not pay for most of the content its ads go on either: on the SERPS. That is why Google's revenues are growing." I was not speaking about traditional Google search...that is doing fine for them...well aside from the whole mobile shift.

"It is possible that Adsense is losing out to Facebook, but it is not that big a problem for Google." - I agree and disagree. If AdSense ended tomorrow Google would still be the dominant search engine and a billion dollar company. That said, Google likes its' AdSense revenue and they're obviously "worried" about the direction it is headed. They've spent a ton of resources redesigning the AdSense "main" page/login page. They hadn't done that in the last 10 years (to my memory). They didn't just do it because some said "our login page is ugly and outdated". Google's never been about UX; that AdSense homepage redesign is because AdSense is losing marketshare/revenue and I contend it's largely due to advertisers (big and small) moving their money to Facebook.
3:29 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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If you were an advertiser, would you rather choose the ability to target your ads like the options on Facebook or the options on the Google Display Network?


I am an advertiser and I still choose Adwords over FB because FB costs are twice that of Adwords and the ROI is half. People are on FB to see friends, snoop, boast and compare their life to everyone else's. They are not there to buy things.
3:59 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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ember - AdSense is NOT Adwords. AdSense is a tiny portion of Adwords (search partners) and mostly The Google Display network. People....AdSense is not Adwords. You control display through the Adwords login, but it's not Adwords.
4:11 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Hunh?
4:24 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Adwords: Advertisers bidding on specific keywords. Ads shows up in the Google paid search results which are clearly labeled as Ads.
AdSense: Advertisers who are opted into Google search partners traffic. Advertisers who specifically set up display campaigns. These advertisers create totally different ads and have the ability to run image, rich media.

AdSense is display marketing and ads show up on publisher websites. AdWords is keyword specific campaigns that show up in the Google search results.
4:31 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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"People are on FB to see friends, snoop, boast and compare their life to everyone else's. They are not there to buy things."

You sum up FB quite well. I abhor FB with a passion.
4:46 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Why are publisher CTR and CPC prices down?

Down from when? 2003? The ad business has changed a lot since the early days of AdSense, thanks to advances (for advertisers) such as programmatic media buying and an explosion in available inventory.

Also, just because one publisher is hurting doesn't mean the publisher down the road or around the corner is hurting. Even for a given publisher, some sites may do better than others. (Our main site is divided into a number of major subtopics, which are available for site-targeting via custom channels, and some of those subtopics earn twice the average RPM that others do.)
4:56 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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ember - AdSense is NOT Adwords


I didn't say that it is.

AdSense is display marketing and ads show up on publisher websites. AdWords is keyword specific campaigns that show up in the Google search results.


As an Adwords advertiser, you can choose to have your ads display on Google search, on Google's search partners, on the display network (publisher websites) or a combination of all three. Adsense is display marketing set up by advertisers through Adwords.
5:39 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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AdWords is the advertiser side (whether it's search or display) AdSense is the publisher side. AdWords costs money. AdSense pays money. That's pretty much it.

As far as search partners - most of those are not Display Network. They get lumped in with Search.
6:19 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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This is Adwords
"Be seen by customers at the very moment that they’re searching on Google for the things you offer."

[imgur.com...]
6:48 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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AND Adwords provides the ads that show up on our websites (the display network). They don't just provide ads for search. Are you an Adwords advertiser? If you were, you'd have a better understanding of how it works in relation to Adsense. Without Adwords, there is no Adsense.
7:19 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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ember I manage a team of 10 people with annual Adwords budgets between 10-15 million (USD). I know Adwords. And I know that Adwords (at this time) is a platform which allows AdSense to exist. But we as publishers are linked to the Google Display Network - not the TRUE Adwords which makes up 75% more of Google's revenue. Most Adwords advertisers have no connection/impact on us as AdSense publishers because run "Search Network Only" campaigns. Believe what you want.
8:04 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Most Adwords advertisers have no connection/impact on us as AdSense publishers because run "Search Network Only" campaigns


Yes, but the advertisers that DO advertise on the display network DO impact us. In my case, there are plenty of them. And as an advertiser, I am still getting a better return from the display network than from FB. Believe what you want.
.
8:07 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Yea, I don't know where that's coming from.
8:12 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Yes the advertisers (trending affiliates mostly) that opt into the display network impact us. My original point is that there are fewer quality advertisers in the Google display network because they have shifted budgets to Facebook. Fact.
8:32 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Got a source for that fact? Most of my clients wouldn't consider it an either / or; they want to be visible in both places (if that's where their target demo hangs out)
9:15 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Here are some facts (straight from Search Engine Land). Only 30% of Adwords revenue comes from the Display Network. And of that 30%, it's estimated that the majority of advertising dollars is remarketing. But in terms of advertisers moving dollars to Facebook, just read the papers/internet. Facebook did 4 billion dollars in Q2 of 2015. What did the Google Display Network do? Less than 1/2 of Facebook. Facebook has close to 35% market share of display advertising (and increasing). Google has around 16% display market share. This according to Forbes.
11:19 pm on Jan 5, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I smell apples and oranges. A better comparison would be between Google AdSense and Facebook's equivalent. (Oh, wait--Facebook doesn't have an equivalent. So much for that.)
4:11 am on Jan 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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@avalon37, you are both a publisher and an advertiser, and you never runs search ads? I am very curious about what sort of business that works for, but I am sure it is unusual.

ember - AdSense is NOT Adwords. AdSense is a tiny portion of Adwords


Precisely my point. It generates mush less revenue than search ads, at a much lower margin (obviously much lower gross margin). FB taking a chunk of it is not a huge problem for Google (whose revenues are still growing BTW)

It is a problem for publishers using adsense. So is the expansion in the number of publishers using adsense.

I can only speak for the U.S., but the ads I see are highly relevant to my likes, interests, etc.


That does not always work well in terms of sales. I see ads for services that are so well matched to my likes and interests I already use them. I see ads for products my clients sell. All well targeted to my interests, rather than things I am likely to buy.
5:51 am on Jan 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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So is the expansion in the number of publishers using adsense.

This, more than anything, is causing numbers and expected ROI to fall well below expectations for many. There are only so many ads to go around, and way too many places to put them.
3:57 pm on Jan 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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This, more than anything, is causing numbers and expected ROI to fall well below expectations for many. There are only so many ads to go around, and way too many places to put them.

How the ads are allocated is probably good for some publishers and bad for others, too. Google has amassed a great deal of data since AdSense was introduced in 2003, and as its ad-matching algorithms get more sophisticated, the ads (and money) are more likely to be steered toward publishers or pages that perform.
9:38 pm on Jan 6, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't use Facebook so I can't comment about Facebook but I can say that the CTR on display ads within the adsense network is too low(far too low) to turn off text ads which Facebook does poorly with. I wouldn't worry too much about Adsense just yet.
10:25 am on Jan 7, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I work in Indian markets (eCommerce). Facebook ads give us much better ROI than adwords. CTR & conversion rates are much much better than Google Display Network.
8:44 pm on Jan 9, 2016 (gmt 0)

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You sum up FB quite well. I abhor FB with a passion.



Now there's a comment I agree with.

And that's from having never been on a "FB property", just from watching and observing FB people.

The reason the rich keep getting richer while the poor keep staying poor is the rich keep doing things that make them rich and the poor keep doing things that keep them poor. That's been true for at least the last few hundred years.


FarmBoy