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I'm missing out

     
8:01 pm on Feb 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I run a popular news website that averages around 100,000 unique visitors per day. A large percentage of our traffic is from mobile devices.

We have google ads and another popular ad network display on our pages - optimised for both mobile and desktop.

We make a small amount on adsense - usually around $200 per day. I'm wondering if its the niche i'm in, or whether im' seriously missing out on a few tricks here. I've recently disabled video ads from displaying - as I know a lot of people have trouble seeing these, and I noticed adsense were delivering a large number of these types of ads in one of our highest paying units.

From some of the discussions i've read on here, I should be making a hell of a lot more than 200 per day.

[edited by: paranoid_android at 8:42 pm (utc) on Feb 20, 2016]

8:31 pm on Feb 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Are you making $200 per day or per month?
8:40 pm on Feb 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Per day.

edit: I've edited the original post. I typed 'month' by accident!
11:06 pm on Feb 20, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I've heard and read that the average Adsense RPM is $1 to $2. So depending on your pageviews, quality of traffic, ad placements, etc., $200 per day seems reasonable. Someone else may want to check my math. Your visitors aren't really there to buy things, and news sites aren't focused as well as niche sites. CTR and EPC may both be lower because of that. On top of that, mobile traffic generally pays less than desktop.
12:03 am on Feb 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Also, in a general way, others are reporting less than stellar earnings across the board. It might be that valuations have changed somewhere along the chain. I agree with ember, the numbers cited seem pretty reasonable.
2:24 am on Feb 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Fair enough. It's a tough niche especially given the mobile traffic. Widgets such as taboola and revcontent seem to perform much better than traditional google ads in news it seems.
12:42 pm on Feb 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Here are the my RPM averages for my main site that I operate:
2012 $19
2013 $17
2014 $9
2015 $9
2016 $7.50

My site is high end fashion with a high purchase intent and USED to attract all the top fashion brands until they moved their money to Facebook and Instagram. Now Google serves up double and triple of the same affiliates site ads on my pages. Google also thinks my visitors who came to the site via searches like Vera Wang Wedding Dresses are interested in selling their homes, getting an online degree, etc.
5:32 pm on Feb 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Google also thinks my visitors who came to the site via searches like Vera Wang Wedding Dresses are interested in selling their homes, getting an online degree, etc.

Ah! The old IBA [Interest based Ads] strike again. I continually see Ads for items I have already purchased on eBay months ago.
10:27 pm on Feb 21, 2016 (gmt 0)

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IanCP the horrible targeting, in my case, is not because of IBAs. Interest Based Ads are actually the BEST performing ads for me for the last 2-3 years. Way better than the contextual ads. No, what I am reporting is just Google sucking at contextual ad serving.
11:33 pm on Feb 22, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Anything below 1000 ($1400) sounds pretty dire for 100k.

Is this junk traffic (Reddit, third world etc)?!
2:16 am on Feb 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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That's what I thought too. The traffic is 62% US, the rest UK and Europe.
58% mobile, 31% desktop, the rest tablets and any other devices.

RPMs right now are dire - $0.91.
6:48 am on Feb 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I can attest that it's reasonable. Nowadays, you can only earn between $150 to $250 per day for that traffic. In the past, it's more than 5 times that. It's sad really.
8:28 pm on Feb 24, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Nowadays, you can only earn between $150 to $250 per day for that traffic

For that traffic mine equates to $282.00 - I have never [in the modern era] had a problem with AdSense metrics themselves - just Google search traffic which so largely now is concentrated among large monopolistic organisations.

This is very much in evidence in some of my own searches - and where realistic - I'll go to page 2+ of searches to give the little fellow a chance when I think I'll likely find what I am looking for. Assuming all are saying much the same thing
11:08 pm on Feb 25, 2016 (gmt 0)

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For a site that is regularly on page one of Google for popular news topics, with a consistent flow of 3 million unique engaged users per month - to be earning 3k or less per month from Google when you have 3 well placed units on every single page is pretty dire in my opinion. I'm hoping this is a temporary thing.
12:07 am on Feb 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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with a consistent flow of 3 million unique engaged users per month - to be earning 3k or less per month from Google when you have 3 well placed units on every single page is pretty dire in my opinion.


Worst than dire. 3-5 years ago, you could earn 3k per month for only 100k page views per day. That's page views only, not unique visitors. Aren't you a premium publisher? Shouldn't you have a special rate? From what I understand, premium publishers get premium ads. I hear they are even allowed to have stick-on ads which have high ctr rate. Don't you have a designated google rep?
2:00 am on Feb 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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I don't think $6,000 a month warrants a dedicated Google rep.
3:05 am on Feb 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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Nope, not a premium publisher. I'm going to try and figure this out. Just a few months ago the situation was no way near as bad as it is now.

Perhaps changing the ads to responsive had something to do with this?I'm going to dig deeper.
3:20 am on Feb 26, 2016 (gmt 0)

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It's about the niche and target audiences. I'll assume you have roughly 3 pv's per unique on average. That's 300k pv's with $200 /day which is about $0.6 RPM. Here's my take.

If the news is about tech, high end fashion, or finance, then you are probably missing out.

If the news is about sports, then it's probably right on target. Especially when the season is not going on. During the season, the sport topics should have higher RPM due to targeted ads.

If its celebrity gossip or entertainment related news, it's more than reasonable and I would dare say you are actually banking it.

If it's a mixture of everything, then your high earning niche average out with the weak target which bring you to a reasonable level. In fact, you probably have the majority of your pv's from the gossip type of sections if you do offer that. And if the traffic source comes from one of those traffic exchange widget or schemes, they usually hurt your overall RPM's. They are paid, just not as good as pure search engine organics.

You also mentioned that a huge percent is of mobile devices, note that they are paid much much less than the desktop counterpart as of now. That can also be another huge downfall in your RPM metric.

If I were you, I would probably pay attention to the type of ads being triggered on target, and which pages get paid. Focus on the higher paying pages and news and clicks may yield better longer term results.