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Adsense's new Ad Balance slider

     
10:56 am on Jan 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Anyone notice this yet? You can change the balance of ads that show kind of like FBAN's balancer on steroids. It even shows you the percentage of ads that show versus percentage of potential income. If it weren't for the fact that the ads units show as blank rather than collapsing entirely, this would sound like the best thing ever. Although this creates huge potential when combined with good backup ads.
8:22 pm on Jan 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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If this is widely adopted low end advertisers will see fewer results and be forced to raise bids in order to be seen. Great for publishers, if that is the end result.

@motorhaven, 40% with a setting of 69/99, it looks like your numbers might re-adjust overtime, you would expect 30% at that setting.


I think it may have to do with Adsense delays in reporting numbers. I see my alternate ad stats in realtime. I'll have a better idea of the actual numbers in a few days.
1:01 am on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just switched on - didn't even know the option was there.
Now to find the optimal setting.
6:41 am on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm removing my backup ads and going blank space for now. Media.net works but website context and keywords are completely ignored for some odd reason. adX providers suck right now. Sekindo works fine but seems to be in a down period.
10:33 am on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Evan Salamanca, backup ads are displayed within an iframe, so media.net (or other contextual ads) can't know on which page the ads are "really" shown.

Now all seems to be fine on my side. My backup ads are showing. It's been only one day, but so far, I am very pleased with this new feature, the first time I appreciate a change a Adsense. Hope it continues like that.
5:18 pm on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Does it not defeat the purposes if your showing ads that are not targeted. You are removing Adsense ads that are not targeted, simply to replace them with un-targeted ads from another provider. Those replacement ads could well be worse then the blocked ads. Wouldn't it be preferable to replace them with some sort of targeted affiliate offer?
6:09 pm on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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No change so far except that the Active View Viewable has increased by a few percentage points.
6:30 pm on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS, if your remark was for "me", yes, you are perfectly right. My backup ads are not from other ad providers. I have affiliate banners matching the content of my site, and I also use eBay/Amazon to find if there are items related to my pages, or/and to the search query used to find my page (when this one is passed). So I put all this together, and let the software I wrote to find what to display. (using country of visitor, etc...)

another point not mentioned, is that not filling all ad space with Adsense, improves the downloading and display speed of pages.
8:46 pm on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is already working great for us. For backup ads, I'm using house ads with affiliate links. This is something I've always wanted to do: Targeted CPC or CPM ads are great, but so are targeted ads that point to specific services of our affiliate partners that I haven't had room to highlight in the past without giving up ad income.
10:12 pm on Jan 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Jeez. It was working perfectly yesterday and earlier today, but now clickthroughs from ads are loading the landing pages within the ad's iframe. Is anyone else seeing this? (I really hate to make the landing pages open in a new tab.)
5:59 am on Jan 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think I'll try it with an ad with affiliate links. Looking forward to seeing how this works.
8:03 am on Jan 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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How true to the estimates is everyone's Adsense income so far?
11:36 am on Jan 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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In my case, so far, the "estimation" seems accurate, but it will require a longer period of observation to tell for sure.

I also noticed that the number of impression from Third party ad networks halved, is it the same for everybody?

In all case, the "download-button ads" have disappeared from my site, and in the ad review center, they moved very far.

"If" Adsense users are massively starting to use the Ad balance feature, this might shuffle lot of Advertisers and Ad networks' business. However, I don't know if the majority of Adsense users will use this feature. Personally, if I hadn't read about it here, I might not have noticed it appeared !
5:17 pm on Jan 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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"If" Adsense users are massively starting to use the Ad balance feature, this might shuffle lot of Advertisers and Ad networks' business. However, I don't know if the majority of Adsense users will use this feature. Personally, if I hadn't read about it here, I might not have noticed it appeared !

My guess is that that Google hasn't yet rolled the "Ad Balance" feature out to all accounts, and an announcement will be made after it's available to everyone (and maybe after it's been monitored, debugged, and tweaked).

You're probably right in your suggestion that the majority of AdSense publishers may not use this feature. Then again, the majority of AdSense publishers are at the bottom of the revenue pyramid. What really matters, IMO, is how widely the feature will be adopted by larger publishers and also by smaller publishers who attract placements and higher-paying ads. I think its impact could be significant. It's certainly a welcome addition from my point of view. (I personally think this is the biggest improvement Google has made to AdSense in a long time.)
5:26 pm on Jan 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Our earnings went up slightly. Clickthrough rate increased, so it may be smart pricing kicking in, but at this point it's too short a time span to know if this is real or a normal statistical blip.
8:22 pm on Jan 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This is how I theorize that this will play out for those sites that choose not use this feature.

To keep things simple, let divide advertisers and websites each into two groups, ad-group 1 will be the high quality advertisers, ad-group 2 will be low value low quality. Web-group 1 is the group of website that use the ad balancer and those that don't will be in web-group 2.

Web-group1 should benefit immediately from the use of the ad-balancer. Whereas web-group 2 should see very little change at first, however, over the long run their earnings should drop.

Why?
Ad-group 2 ads can no longer appear on web-group1 sites. So this will reduce supply and push up prices, some of these advertisers will leave the market whereas others will remain. Now one would think that this will benefit the sites in web-group2. But, the reason these ads are in ad-group 2 is that they rarely get clicks. So what happens is that the increased bids from the ad-group2 advertisers pushes more of the the ad-group1 advertisers from the pages of web-group2 sites. Leaving web-group2 sites with fewer clicks despite some advertisers bidding more. This may also frustrate ad-group1 advertisers as they will need to pay more to appear on lower quality websites, thus they may favor web-gorup1 sites. Thus freeing more space on the web-group2 sites for ad-group2 ads.

In an ideal world all websites will use this feature and this would eliminate all spammy advertisers, but this will never happen since there will always be MFA sites, those that value more ads over more content. So these sites will get the spam ads to match the spam content and everyone will be happy, except the spammers.
10:55 am on Jan 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Web-group1 should benefit immediately from the use of the ad-balancer. Whereas web-group 2 should see very little change at first, however, over the long run their earnings should drop.


I totally DISAGREE. On contrary, earnings for web-group 2 should increase (although very small increase).

Why?

Adsense is basically reducing supply by doing this which should increase the price of ads for same demand. However, demand may drop because of reduction in supply but the drop in demand cannot be higher than drop in supply, thus, this will lead to slight increase in the price of ads. If the prices of ads are increased, it will benefit both web-groups who have high quality websites irrespective of the fact if they have opted for ad balance or not. Infact, high quality website owners who have not chosen ad balancer would be benefitted the most.
12:31 pm on Jan 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It could be very interesting if you show less ads in countries where revenue is low and thus improve your user engagement metrics from those countries and thus get more traffic from those countries where you aren't showing ads!
5:19 pm on Jan 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Impressions are down but epc is up. This seems to be working. Or it could be that we're reaching the middle of January when epc normally starts to rise. Still this is a fairly healthy epc jump overnight. Could be good. Or could tank tomorrow.
8:43 pm on Jan 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Does anyone know how to track your backup ad impressions through Adsense?
1:25 am on Jan 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@EditorialGuy: your guess is correct. It still hasn't rolled out for me yet.
4:50 am on Jan 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It might only be available on the new Adsense interface
8:33 am on Jan 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@nick not sure it's possible. I can't even figure out how to track my fill rate IN Adsense anymore.
12:10 pm on Jan 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Didn't even know this feature existed. One month Google are phoning me up to give me advice next I'm having to find out about new features via word of mouth...

Just set to 98% earnings / 70% ads. I have a wide range of sites so will be interesting how it plays with high quality / vs high volume sites
1:45 pm on Jan 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Evan Salamanca: I can't even figure out how to track my fill rate IN Adsense anymore.

To track fill rate Go: Adsense > Performance Reports and at random reports choose «Custom» tab. You will see overall Coverage %, and that's your backup ads impressions.

If You want to see specific Ad Unit coverage%, then choose «Ad Unit» reports: Adsense > Performance Reports > Common Reports > Ad Units and now «Custom Tab». You will see coverage % by Ad Unit.

Hope that helps, and how I can quote previous posts? Didn't find any quote tag neither button.
1:45 pm on Jan 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Evan go to performance reports choose the "Custom" tab above the graph, then select "coverage". You may want to select other fields too, like impressions, so that you can compare figures.

It seems that Ranka beat me to it...
2:09 pm on Jan 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Ranka, thanks for the ad unit report. True one can filter by ad units then 1 - coverage to see how often the backup ad for that ad-unit appeared.

Welcome to WW.
6:35 am on Jan 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I tried Ad Balance Slider for 2 days. Fill rate 67% promised to give me 100% revenue. Small sample size but my RPM dropped by half, so I decided to switch it back to 100%, as before and probably test it in the future again.

My opinions. Ad Balance slider is definitely nobrainer for niche sites because of their specific and targeted public. You know which backup targeted ads to show them.

But for mainstream sites, for example social media sites, where public is very broad, then you can't target your backup ads. Probably adsense untargeted/lower CPC/CTR ads pay more than your house affiliate ads and showing blank space, is more horrible for good user experience and obviously blank spaces are uglier, than spammy/untargeted ads.

So I can't see any reason why you should use ad balance slider unless you have very good affiliate deals which RPM is similar to adsense. If you have, then you already showing these ads anyway.

PS! I am working in very small country, Estonia and things may be different in larger countries, where ads inventory is larger and cap between high CPC and low CPC ads is bigger.
10:04 am on Jan 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Similarly my settings are 67% Fill for 100% revenue - and like you I have a broad audience (but focused sites) - at the moment I'm seeing a 20% drop in revenue - (but other changes may be affecting this - am reverting them now)

On the up side traffic has been steadily rising over the last year but has seen a significant increase in the last couple of days since putting Ad Balance on. My thought is to leave it on and see where the traffic increase tops out at the moment.
2:09 pm on Jan 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi ranka and Welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]

Hope that helps, and how I can quote previous posts? Didn't find any quote tag neither button.
You'll find some useful tips on using our forums at that Welcome Link. The age of these forums precluded using some of the more modern tools, it was a herculean chore just to add bootstrap and maintain old turn-of-the-century coding. ;)
4:13 pm on Jan 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ranka
My opinions. Ad Balance slider is definitely nobrainer for niche sites because of their specific and targeted public. You know which backup targeted ads to show them.

Do I understand the logic, the ad-balancer is only beneficial for sites that show a high % of contextual ads.

I don't think that contextual vs personalized ads matter in this case. I think the issue is a question of a sites ability to attract high quality ads.

If you inventory is full of high quality ads, then there would be no need to balance anything. Conversely, if a site is unable to attract many high quality advertisers then the ad balancing is not going to provide much benefit. Because one will be removing some low quality, but the ads that remain will be just as low quality as the ones removed. So there is no real benefit to site owner, or to the user.

The balancer is truly beneficial when a site attracts a base of high quality ads and where the remaining inventory is highly variable in terms of quality. In this case you will remove low quality ads that tend to distract the users and leave them with fewer but higher quality ads. This should increase the probability of the remaining ads being clicked. Leaving ad spaces blank will also speed up your page speed and reduce bandwidth usage, which can be beneficial to users especially on mobile.

One must not loose sight of the fact that the ads being suppressed by the balancer are ads that would not earn any or very little money. The theory is that the investment (marginal loss of income) will be returned by indirect benefits as described above that should in the long run improve the quality of the site overall and hopefully increase traffic.

I tried Ad Balance Slider for 2 days. Fill rate 67% promised to give me 100% revenue. Small sample size but my RPM dropped by half, so I decided to switch it back to 100%, as before and probably test it in the future again.

2 days is definitely not enough time to test this out. Have a little confidence in Adsense, if they claim you should continue to earn close 100% then I would expect something close to that. As Dimitry mentioned somewhere above you need to look at this at least on the scale of a month. I can't speak to your numbers but on my side is not unusual to see drops by 50% in RPM from one day to the next.
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