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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.
5:15 am on Feb 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Evan thanks very much!
5:15 am on Feb 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Evan thanks very much!
10:43 pm on Feb 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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At this point, our Ad Balance slider is showing 13% ad coverage as the maximum required for 100% of revenue. (Thirteen percent is also at the top of the current "user experience" range.) That's down a bit from last week, when the numbers were 15%/100%.

The estimate seems accurate: We aren't losing anything by using the slider more aggressively. (I've currently got it at 13%/100%.)
8:54 am on Feb 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You're regaining 87% of your ad impressions while retaining 100% of revenue? That's nuts.
2:03 pm on Feb 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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a week ago i first set it at 64%, now recommends lower, moved to 54%. earnings remain the same. I will keep reporting back.
4:26 pm on Feb 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As I have mentioned here before, be very cautious with the numbers from the ad balancer. Most important is to allow a significant time period between adjustments (ie: 1 week or more).

Many, including myself and IanTurner most recently as well as others, have reported that the numbers appear to be adjusting based on the current setting.

More specifically, on day 0, the balancer reports that the 99% revenue is at 75% coverage, then the next day (day 1) it will report, that 99% is at 55%, because it would seem that is approximately 75% of 75% (I stress this is approximate). So if you set you balancer to the new 99% setting you are actually at 98% If you do this for say 5 consecutive days you end up at 95%.

I provided proof of this, with my last post, where I moved balancer back up from 62% to 70% and the 100% earnings point readjusted upwards, as did the better ux range.

As for claiming that you have not seen an impact on earnings, I would not be so confident making such a claim, given the high variability in earnings. One really needs a lot of data to be sure that is true. Just because you earnings for a given day are near an average level, does not mean that they could have been higher on that day. The question is, are the changes (or lack of change) to the earning attributable to the ad-balancer or is this due to other factors.
4:43 pm on Feb 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As I have mentioned here before, be very cautious with the numbers from the ad balancer. Most important is to allow a significant time period between adjustments (ie: 1 week or more).

Our ad-coverage setting has been at 15% for a good while now, and AdSense revenues have remained strong. (FWIW, I've been with AdSense since 2003, so I have enough experience not to draw conclusions from daly fluctuations.)

You're regaining 87% of your ad impressions while retaining 100% of revenue? That's nuts.

Not necessarily. A site with a diverse global audience (like ours) is almost certain to get a lot of low-paying ads, if only because there's less competition for impressions and clicks in Lithuania or Laos than there is in the U.S. or Britain. The good news for us is that we can--and do--monetize traffic from anywhere with affiliate links. That's why I regard the Ad Balance slider as the greatest improvement to AdSense in years.
5:04 pm on Feb 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@EditorialGuy I am just expressing a warning, I am by no means telling you or others how to run your sites. Only you have access to your data, I hope that you and everyone else uses well to make wise decisions, and you seem to doing just that.

Also, if you are able to retain your full earnings or close to your full earnings with just 15% of the inventory active and you have an efficient means of monetizing the remaining 85% then that is awesome.
6:58 pm on Feb 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hi, i just tried the Ad Balancer for a few days and showing Estimated 100% earning with 9% of potential ads, this is crazy, no drop in revenue.
12:02 am on Feb 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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More than anything, I am extremely impressed at how accurate the estimated earnings are when adjusting the Ad Balance slider. I concur, this is the greatest advancement to Adsense in a long time.
9:06 am on Feb 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've been wanting the filters to be applied on a per site level for years but it is indeed account wide. If you block political ads then no site can have political ads.

I've been using adsense as the filler for some time because another network allows me to set a minimum price and if they can't meet it adsense is served(by me, not the other ad company).

Since this type of ad filler isn't new, several other ad companies use one, is the purpose of this change simply to counter balance being placed 2nd in line for any ad space? Is it so that Google's code will always be loaded, even if they don't get the ad view? While I appreciate the new feature it seems to have some significant drawbacks still such as account wide filters.

Keep the updates about results coming!(without revealing exact figures, don't break adsense ToS)
1:39 pm on Feb 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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If you block political ads then no site can have political ads.

This not true. Blocking categories can be done on at the site level. I don't know if this is new or if this has been added with the recent change to the category blocking feature.

But to be clear the ad-balancer is set at the account level.
5:54 pm on Feb 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just saw this now. I was able to drag it down to 29% and still retain 100% revenues, clearly a lot of ads on my site that no one is interested in.
8:17 pm on Feb 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I was able to drag it down to 29% and still retain 100% revenues, clearly a lot of ads on my site that no one is interested in.

Not to mention ads which pay so badly (whether CPC or CPM) that you don't feel any pain when they're gone.

It would be interesting to know how many publishers are using the Ad Balance slider a year from now, and what impact that has on ultralow-end advertisers.
8:49 pm on Feb 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm finding that keeping the ad balancer in the better user experience range is dropping my income by about 20% - even though Google is saying 100% of income for the levels I am setting.

Now just experiment to see what gives me the best return.
8:58 pm on Feb 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Today, I adjusted it for the third time, and now the Potential Ads are down to 49% with 100% Revenue.

It started at 73% on 1/27/17, then went down to 64% on 2/5/17, and is now 49% on 2/18/17.

Am I waiting long enough between adjustments? Or is this a case of the balance itself changing so that the advertiser that was at the 100% Potential Ad mark before just gets moved up to the 73% mark, and then the 49% mark? Because if that's the case, within a month I'll be at 20% Ads / 100% Revenue, but not actually have changed anything.

Has anyone gone back after a week or two and realized that they can move their Potential Ads up, instead of down, and still get 100% Revenue?
12:19 pm on Feb 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Apparently I can get 100% revenue by showing only 45% of the ads today. First day it was in the mid 70's and yesterday in the high 60's and today its showing 45%. I have noticed (though maybe a coincidence) cpc has increased significantly since adjusting the ad balance. But somehow, I am not convinced by showing the ad less than half of all page views will sustain overall income.
12:22 pm on Feb 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have decided that I won't be adjusting to the recommended level of 45% and instead move it up to 75%.
4:58 pm on Feb 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm back at 100% and 100% since fewer impressions were costing me clicks and leading to lower RPM as the epc rose a bit but not enough to offset the loss in CTR.
4:30 pm on Feb 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm back at 100% and 100% since fewer impressions were costing me clicks and leading to lower RPM as the epc rose a bit but not enough to offset the loss in CTR.

I think this just goes to show the value of testing, since what works for one site or account may not work for another. Fortunately, the Ad Balance slider makes testing easy: Just move it, wait a while, and see what happens.
12:06 pm on Feb 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Ad balancer is on drugs for me. 67% coverage setting = 98% actual coverage. 19% coverage setting = between 35% and 51% coverage. Anyone else experiencing this?
1:07 am on Feb 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm confused, Evan. Where do you see an "actual coverage" number? Or, how are you determining what the actual coverage is?
1:25 am on Feb 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Evan I have seen similar variations but not to that extent.

@csdude55 performance reports, click the custom tab, then you can tick off various metrics choose "Coverage", I also choose impressions and earnings.

Note that impressions is the number of impressions shown. Say coverage is 75%, and impressions is 1000. Then the total number of ad-slots (with and without coverage) is equal to 1000 / 0.75 = 1333 potential ad impressions. Why is this important? If you are showing back-up ads, this tells you that your backup ads had 333 impressions.
9:17 am on Feb 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks, Nick! That's super helpful. I should probably learn more about these reports... As far as I can tell, though, using that, I showed just over 1.1 million backup ad impressions in the last 30 days. Which would have otherwise been free impressions to Google, I guess.

Evan, to answer your question, mine seem fairly inline with my setting. My first change was on 1/27/17; before that I was seeing 93-94% coverage, then after changing it to 73% I saw 70-74%.

I changed it to 64% on 2/5/17, and then I started seeing 58-66%.

I'm currently at 49%, and I'm seeing 44-50%.
2:38 pm on Feb 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm using 100% and 100 % is that okay?
3:49 pm on Feb 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Since I am using the Ad balance, I noticed a huge decrease of the number of impression from text ads.
4:01 pm on Feb 24, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@born2run That's the default setting with Ad Balancer off. Try adjusting the balancer meter to see if you could reduce the number of ads and still keep most of your revenue. Thereafter, you could use other ads (affiliates or other networks) as backups to gain extra revenue.
5:38 pm on Feb 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Put my ad balance at 99% Revenue, 57% Fill Rate.
CTR and RPM are nearly doubled, which is good. Unfortunately, impressions are around 3x times lower. I'm still not sure if this is better than 100%/100%. Need more testing. If there are some positive results in the long run, than it's worthy.
Unfortunately my backup ads were not working properly. When you click on a backup ad, it opens in the same website, in the place of the clicked ad. Like a window ( iframe) to the target website. Anyone experienced this?
For example, I put an 300x600 backup ad on my Adsense 300x600,when I click on this banner the target website open in the same page , but only in the 300x600 space of the banner. I can even scroll within the banner to look at the other site.
6:25 pm on Feb 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ivok, it's sounds rather normal that a 57% fill rate, results in a double CTR And RPM, since you are displaying half less ads, but those which are earning money :-)

Aslo, for the backup ads, Adsense loads Ads (and backup ads) into an iframe, so you have to use the "_top" or "_blank" target parameter.
10:59 pm on Feb 25, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ivok
Unfortunately, impressions are around 3x times lower.

Something seems amiss here. What do you mean by 3x lower? Do you mean that if you get 1000 impression normally then at 3x lower you would only get 333 impressions? I don't get the math.
If you cap your coverage at 57%, then you should expect impression 43% fewer impressions. This can vary somewhat but over the long run you daily impressions should average out at 57% of what your average was before setting the ad-balancer.
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