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January 2017 AdSense Earnings & Observations

     
9:18 am on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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2017 is here, so let's go to work...

My traffic is finally rising, but the payment (CPC) for the first days of the year are 50% down.
Let's hope this is not a trend for the year to come.
10:46 am on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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December 2016 was a decent month for me with only 0.5% clawback and earnings up 7% compared to 2015.

January 2017 starts with a very low RPM. Hope this will increase soon.
12:05 pm on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As expected, RPM has dropped by about 40% in January, but traffic is up so that helps to even the scales, if only a little bit. Clawback for December was <1%, revenue about +140% compared to December 2015, so in spite of the cold I'm counting down the days until December 2017.
1:59 pm on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Overall December was a good month, not as good as November or October but I can't complain. The month ended sharply down, and this carried over into January. Yesterday was my first "normal" day. Hopefully this was the holiday effect. No way to know other than to wait and see.
3:06 pm on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Both November and December were fantastic for me, but I knew this couldnt last. Everything -except traffic- has crashed in January. CTR went down a bit but the real problem is CPC: Im getting an average of 0.02 Euros per click at the moment :-(
10:00 pm on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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EPC is down but pageviews are up, so it's a wash and about the same as last month. Same thing happens every year. Eventually, knock on wood, the epc starts to climb up again and RPM increases. Then next January comes and it starts all over again.
1:47 am on Jan 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Off to a slow start here. But January usually starts slow for me.
6:42 am on Jan 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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December was good for me - clawback around 2%. January, as usual, started slow but traffic growth is good from 3rd onwards. RPM is much less than Dec but that's understandable.
10:04 am on Jan 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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When I see ads for Google products and services, I know the inventory is very low.
10:10 am on Jan 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We had 25% more revenue in December. January started very low (currently about 30% decrease).
1:44 pm on Jan 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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January RPM very poor for me, about 40-50% down on December. Click volume is OK but EPC is appalling. I doubt it will improve until the middle of the month.
10:45 pm on Jan 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks to a YOY increase in traffic, our January AdSense revenues are running 41 percent ahead of the same period last year. (We always see a big jump in January, compared to October through December, but this year is starting off better than usual.)

CPC and page RPM are also up, though not by as much.
11:24 am on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Traffic is good, (and still quality traffic), CR is good, ads (in the ad review center) look good, but CPC is terrible !

*I compare only contextual CPC, because I know that "personalized" can have extreme variations by nature.
8:49 pm on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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CPC is killing me, 25% off. I hope next week is better.
11:14 pm on Jan 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Playing whack-a-mole with "Download" ads

Thought I had them all blocked but these bottom feeder "advertisers" use throwaway URLS and create new campaigns.

I don't want visitors to come to one of my sites and leave with some garbage toolbar.

Why does Adsense let these ads in the system?
12:25 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing the download ads too. Trying to block them as well. Ad quality is still pretty mediocre.
12:42 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@breeks I have been pretty fortunate lately I haven't seen that many of these ads, but they seem to come in waves. So I dread every morning's ad-review, as I never know what new spam awaits me in the inventory. But the ad-balancer just appeared in my account, yeah! Hopefully this will help get rid of the spam.
2:37 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@breeks because Google still makes money from those bottom feeders. My site is about downloadable contents and I often see such ads. Despite of blocking them, they keep coming back.
Google is only harsh on publishers but has got good behavior towards all kind of advertisers.

Plus I have also seen p*rn related ads running on Adsense. They use keywords instead of links to their sites and promote their filth.
3:32 am on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Maybe the new "Ad Balance" slider will help to put the advertiser riff-raff in their place:

[webmasterworld.com...]
4:01 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't know if this is a coincidence, but I noticed that each time Google is releasing a "new" feature ( "Ad balance" this time ), the CPC is extremely low, then once the new feature is available, CPC return to the "normal". I notice this EACH time, a new feature was added, odd.
5:10 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We see big drops in CPC (50%) at the beginning of each quarter and noticed it started in April 2016 - the same time Google missed big on their earnings report. So January 2017 is no suprise as earning are way way lower than last year. Get the same answer every time from them: "Across the board cuts in advertiser spending as they readjust their budgets". But I am seeing the same ads as before the beginning of the quarter. Also tried blocking those download ads, but then CPC drops even further. Also they seem to favor image ads over text ads even though text ads perform better.
5:25 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As @dbcoders said. January is a new quarter. it also a new year, and new month. The algo that shows ads is designed to maximize the number of impressions given the advertisers budget. At the beginning of the budget period the algo has limited data to work with in terms of impression and click through, so it seems (pure speculation) that it conservatively allows impressions. As the period progresses and it has good a hold on cost/impression (or click) the algo will feed more impression to ensure that it will consume as much of the advertisers budget as possible.

This same logic probably holds for the advertisers themselves, holding back on allocating a high budget at the beginning of year. Once a campaign appears successful, they then increase the budget allocation.

So January being a new, year, quarter and month, the impact of the "new budget effect" should be the biggest. (can I coin the term "new budget effect"?)
5:43 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hey guys,

Since December (can't remember exactly when) Adsense reporting in Analytics is way off. Specifically, the Adsense eCPM number. It's always ridiculously low, like 25% of where it's supposed to be. You can do the simple math and see it pretty clearly. This has nothing to do with changes in earnings, just reporting. It's now like this for all historical data which is a real pain. I saw a few users on the Google forums have reported it to Google but it seems like nothing has been done to fix it and it's been going on for over a month now.

Are you all experiencing the same issue?
8:15 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a number of extremely well-targeted 300 x 600 ads (from different advertisers) for one of our site's strongest subtopics.

One ad is for is a company whose affiliate program we use. We don't allocate much screen real estate to them, so I guess it makes sense that they'd advertise.
9:40 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Earlier I went through an Ad Review and banned all of the "Download" and other garbage ads I could find. Now I'm getting some nicely targeted ads and clicks are going up.
12:06 am on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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i see "the banana ads" all the time.
10:36 am on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As said in another topic, since years, I've been blocking all the ads/advertisers/URL about "downloading a toolbar". Yesterday, I unblocked EVERYTHING , as well as ALL categories I had blocked, and used the Ad Balance feature, and I can tell that, thanks to this feature, these kind of ads are no longer showing at all at my site, so to me it's the way to go.
12:03 pm on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Are you experiencing some improvements in earning?
2:56 pm on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@skynet84 , if you were asking "me", in my case this is too early to tell, and we are the week-end, However, I don't see any decrease of adsense earning. And in a way this is an improvement, because now, my backup ads are also generating extra earnings. So overall, (and for the day of yesterday), I earned more. But it's only a the scale of a month, that I can make conclusions. But it pleases me to be able to mix higher Adsense bidders, with my backup ads, that way.
4:04 pm on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks @Dimitri!
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