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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.
9:14 am on Feb 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I was wondering, what if you add a new site to your adsense account, or create a new section to an existing site, on a totally different subject? How will Google integrate the new ad inventory to its calculations ?
11:59 am on Feb 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Here is my anecdotal observation on how this is working out across multiple sites on the same account.

My "high quality" authority sites are virtually unchanged. There is no issue filling ad spaces, except maybe on a few of the more remote pages.

However it seems that some of my other sites that have always been difficult to monetize are the ones taking the hit. The earnings on these sites has gone from being "spikey" to virtually flat-lining.

At the end of the day, if a site earns me nothing I am not overly worried about the user experience. Have put page level ads back on some sites...
3:47 pm on Feb 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@surfgatinho I have a number of sites, most of which are translations - I'm seeing similar behaviour to you but it is low paying languages that having their ads wiped out and income on those sites fell by close on 50%.
3:55 pm on Feb 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This probably needs to be implemented at the site level and not at the account level.
6:07 pm on Feb 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Interested to know if anyone is seeing the results from this (ie 50% of ads giving 98% of income) as a reason to reduce the number of ads on a page.
6:54 pm on Feb 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@denis under certain circumstances reducing the number of ad slots and limiting coverage with the ad balancer would give the same result.

But the benefit of the ad balancer is that it will self regulate based on the auction. So some pages may attract more interest from advertisers and filling three or more ad slots on such a page with high paying ads will be easy whereas other pages may garner little interest from advertisers. If you have a reliable way of determining which pages attract the most interest of advertiser then yes you could account for this. But that isn't always feasible. And, interest for specific pages may vary based on external factors such as current events.

So the ad balancer clearly has it advantages, and as we are beginning to see some disadvantages as well.
7:12 pm on Feb 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So the ad balancer clearly has it advantages, and as we are beginning to see some disadvantages as well.

For us, so far, there haven't been any disadvantages--only advantages. I've got the slider set at 10% revenue/15% coverage, and our revenue is running ahead of last year's at this time. We also have 85% of our impressions freed up for more productive uses. And as a bonus, our readers are seeing fewer junk ads.

The ad balancer is "opt in," so no one is being forced to use it, but if our experience is any guide, any publisher who hasn't tried it should take a few minutes to set it up and see what happens.
9:10 pm on Feb 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@EditorialGuy i don't see how a coverage of 15% will earn more revenue than a coverage of 70 to 80% that's kinda impossible, except your current traffic is much more higher than that of last year at this time.
10:38 pm on Feb 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Halaspike, If 15% coverage earns you 90% of what a 100% coverage does. That leave you with 85% uncovered inventory that you can use to monetize with an Adsense alternative (eg: affiliate)
8:56 am on Feb 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What is the best way to monetize excess unused Adsense inventory when using the Ad Balance feature? The answer to this question differs for each situation but, in general, it should be an ad network that will fill 100%. It probably wouldn't be optimal to have a 3rd passback.

Any ideas? Content.Ad does the trick but CPC is pretty low.
12:10 pm on Feb 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@anefarious1, it depends of the content of your site. In my case, I made a script which uses eBay API to find related items (at if the visitor is from one of the country covered by the eBay affiliate program), if not, I display affiliate networks ads related to the theme of my site, and if the script can't find anything "interesting" to serve, I display self promotion "content" (for example list of popular topics at my forum, things like that).
8:34 pm on Feb 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@EditorialGuy i don't see how a coverage of 15% will earn more revenue than a coverage of 70 to 80% that's kinda impossible, except your current traffic is much more higher than that of last year at this time.

Our traffic is somewhat higher than it was last year, but not astonishingly so. In any case, I'm not saying that reducing the number of impressions is the reason why our AdSense earnings are up, I'm merely pointing out the fact that being aggressive with the Ad Balance slider isn't hurting our earnings.Thanks to the Ad Balance slider, we're able to clear out lower-quality, lower-paying ads and enjoy AdSense revenue growth.

Also, as I mentioned, having those other 85% of impressions available for other things is a great bonus. Our affiliate income has climbed sharply since I implemented the Ad Balance slider, probably because I've replaced junk AdSense ads with backup house ads ("micro-articles" of several paragraphs, for example) that fit into the 300 x 600 AdSense space and promote content that generates affiliate commissions.
9:29 pm on Feb 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Glad I came here to see the new feature so early!

I set it as Adsense recommends to 64%, which represents 99% of income.
9:44 pm on Feb 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Someone mentioned earlier about checking this regularly, and I want to confirm that.

Originally, mine was set to 100 / 73 (100% earnings, 73% coverage). I just now checked, and it's now set to 100 / 64! So after I removed 27% of my ads that had no value, apparently the "new" low-end ads that DID have value before became valueless.

I recognized before that it took a few days for the adjustment to have any impact on my earnings, and I saw a lot of junk ads that first day. But if it's going to keep changing (which makes sense, since we have new advertisers constantly) then this is something we'll always be chasing from behind.
3:45 am on Feb 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Follow-up question:

I'm starting to move over to DFP, but I don't see the Ad Balancer listed there. Am I right in assuming that I would still control the Ad Balancer under Adsense, or does it simply not transfer?
3:37 pm on Feb 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Originally, mine was set to 100 / 73 (100% earnings, 73% coverage). I just now checked, and it's now set to 100 / 64! So after I removed 27% of my ads that had no value, apparently the "new" low-end ads that DID have value before became valueless.

Or maybe the algorithm just takes a while to fine-tune its estimates.
5:58 am on Feb 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@EditorialGuy: I really like the idea of converting more with affiliate commissions as you have done, but what about non US traffic? Say your non US Traffic is only 10% of the total. It's likely a much higher percentage of impressions that Adsense passes via the new feature. Wouldn't those be a poor fit for your affiliate commissions?
5:51 pm on Feb 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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anefarious1: Some affiliate programs work beautifully with a global audience. (Hotel bookings, for example.)
5:58 pm on Feb 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Wouldn't it be better to use DFP for affiliate programs? This would allow much more control of where and when the affiliate ads appears and sets a fixed price floor for Adsense.
7:27 pm on Feb 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Wouldn't it be better to use DFP for affiliate programs? This would allow much more control of where and when the affiliate ads appears and sets a fixed price floor for Adsense.

I think that's overkill for our needs, and I'm leery of setting a "fixed price floor" in any case. It's certainly an approach worth considering, though.
12:48 am on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Content.ad is absolutely WONDERFUL as an Adsense backup ad today. Thanks to whoever suggested using that one. Hopefully it keeps up.
2:13 am on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Content.ad is absolutely WONDERFUL as an Adsense backup ad today. Thanks to whoever suggested using that one. Hopefully it keeps up.


I just signed up, but their widget code isn't something I can use as an Adsense backup; it's all Javascript code, and Adsense only allows an URL.

How did you set it up as a backup?
4:14 am on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@CSdude, put the widget code in between the body and /body tags in a separate HTML file and save it to your site in an HTML file. Then enter the HTML file as a backup ad for an Adsense unit.
4:50 am on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Back on the topic of balance settings and the better user experience range.

At first I started at 70%, then when the better ux range was implemented I moved my setting down to 62% (99%), which corresponded to the upper limit of the better ux range. Within a few days the better ux range shrank down below 50% (I remained at 62%) and the revenue went to 100% at 62% setting. I let it sit there for about two weeks, to see how it would progress. It remained stable. Then last week I moved the setting back up to 70%. On one hand I assumed the better ux range we remain stable as it should be based on the available inventory. Or, on the other hand it would move up in sync with the move of the balancer.

Well after a week, the better ux range has moved back up, not quite to the 62% range where I started. Has anyone else played with this?
5:50 am on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I still have the belief that, as someone else said earlier in this thread, the figures on the slider are based on very recent history. That would surely mean that the only way to see the true picture is to run it at 100% for a while.
6:38 am on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ Evan S: Thus far, what is your CPC with Contend.Ad as a backup? I've been getting like 4 cents but that's all mobile. At least they fill the inventory and if I got 4 cents for every visitor I would be making more than I am now. In that sense, it's not so bad.
1:51 pm on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Right now about 12 cents. I have the content rating set to PG which eliminates all of the click bait and restricts things to mostly product ads. Not sure if that's why it's so high or not but I really hope it continues.
4:13 pm on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS - I started with the Ad Balancer and always moved it into the good user experience range as that changed - it appears to change at midnight California time each night - that started about 60% and steadily dropped as I kept moving the setting - it reached a low of 16% (before I removed Adsense from the low paying languages) it has now settled at about 21% for 99/100% of income. During this time I took Adsense off the low paying language sites and replaced it with Criteo (This doesn't make as much as Adsense but isn't performing badly and I may be able to add in some extra ads to get it to the same level as Adsense - but this is a work still in progress)

My page RPM stayed pretty much constant throughout this process - I expected to see an increase when I removed Adsense from the low paying languages, however what I saw was a spike for one day and then a return back to the level it was before.

Then yesterday and the day before (6 days after removing the ads from the low paying languages) I saw an increase in page RPM of about 10-15% over what it had been for most of January and February. Today is looking even better at the moment.

Overall Adsense income has dropped about 8% but this is pretty much all down to removing Adsense from the low paying languages. Though if the Page RPM sticks at what it has been for the last couple of days, I will be seeing about a 1.5% increase in overall Adsense income and about a 4.5% increase in total revenue. I have added backup affiliate ads to some slots, where the pages looked odd with white space.

I'm planning on running with the Ad Balancer a little while longer to see what happens - at the moment I'm guessing I was seeing some smart pricing on my account (the day spike from removing ads from the low paying languages could be an indicator of this as I would have expected it to have a longer term effect) and that there is every possibility that the Ad Balancer will cure the smart pricing over time if I keep in the good user experience range.
5:43 pm on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Evan did you set up the Content.ad as a Banner Ad? I don't see any place to grab the javascript code for the ad. It also says "After Post Content" for placement. I'm pretty sure this is going to drop it to the bottom of the post and I'd like to use it as a backup ad higher up in my post. Or are you using the Text ad option? Thanks.
6:10 pm on Feb 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@nubchai I use the custom option but it has an option to copy the CSS from a preexisting template so I copied over the responsive overlay one. Reason being is I use a 250x250 and 336x280 unit in Adsense. For 300x250 a banner code works perfectly.

To get the java go to the widget index page and tap on the install code for your widget of choice. Placement above the suggested position is fine.
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