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MARCH 2017 AdSense Earnings & Observations

     
5:28 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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March is here, the beginning earning is usually lower compared to the average of last 30 days. Mid-end of february was decent in my book. Overall febuary as a whole was much stronger than jan in my niches at 17% higher RPM.

Expecting a stronger RPM near the end of this month nearing the end of first quarter. Probably another 5~10% boost from February.

Keep on churning and going~ I have been going back to my older properties to reflect on possible improvements. See what competitors are doing that seem to be working for them. See what things that I did no longer works. It's a continuous process.

Changed 95% of my properties to serve over HTTPs over November.

[edited by: martinibuster at 6:07 pm (utc) on Mar 1, 2017]

6:30 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Today, is very good, and continues the good trend since Saturday. (but I don't know how long it will last).
8:03 pm on Mar 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately March hasn't started off that well, although it's only afternoon in the USA so I've still got a few hours to make up some money.

What is this ad balancer thing all about? I had a look and both scales were on 100%. What sort of settings are people using? And have you noticed any difference in your earnings?
8:38 am on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Feb '17 gave me a 36% increase in revenue compared to '16 and total claw back stood at 1%.
Feb '17 was the best February in my Adsense history and it shows me that desktop should not be written off just yet.
10:56 am on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Oh dear, marchers got off to a horrible start for me, half of where I normally like to be.

Have any of you received an email from another company who are somehow linked with Google and are offering two extra advertising spaces on top of the ones that we already have Google. I think they're a bit behind the times because they stated in the email they sent me that Google only allows three ads per page. That has changed hasn't it? You can have as many as you like now as far as I am aware.

How many of you have got the add balancer set to any other position than 100?
11:02 am on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Half of my regular CTR for the 1st March, not a good start when it should be boom time in the retail trade purchasing cycle.

I tried the ad balancer for a week at 75 and saw earnings go down, I set it back to 100 and earnings went back up.
11:10 am on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I dont used ad balance either, it didnt work for me to be honest, but i only tried it for a couple of days

Slow recovery here, CPC is still very much down, traffic as well so revenue are not very high... traffic for SERP did not come back fully compared to january and december
11:45 am on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am not trying to teasing you, but, here, I am in the exact opposite situation, since last Saturday, earnings are solid and above the top of my usual range. If it sticks like that for the remaining of the year, I would sign immediately.

I had a slow period roughly between January 15 - February 15; good CTR, but CPC low.

Now, both metrics are up. Still good CTR (by good I mean in line with what I am expecting), good CPC. My site is in English, so I have mostly North America, UK and Australian visitors and all is good for these territories.

As I mentioned several times, I use the Ad balance since it went live, and set it 10 points about the "recommended threshold". So Adsense says that at 46% of fill rate, I should get 100% of incomes, I set it to 56% , to leave the chance to some ads to make it anyhow. I didn't touch the Ad balance since the first few days.

Still I continue to block some ads from the ad review center, when I consider they are not "good".
11:50 am on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'll probably give it a couple more days to see what happens. Media.net on the other hand is above average so I hope that carries on like that.
3:09 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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WTF? Finalised earnings 32.91% deducted!

Reason - Invalid Traffic - AdSense for Content

After all the hours I've put in, all the extra pages I've created, all the extra PVs that have been generated only to earn 5.8% less in February ... what a load of crock!

Methinks the black hat man cometh.
3:18 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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33.9% deducted from your finalised darling seems quite a lot. I never seem to get that much taken off what has been estimated throughout the month. I think I lost about 14 of my finalised earnings which is about as much as it ever is.

Mind you, I hope that March picks up because so far it's absolutely dire
3:22 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Dimitri On my side it's only the CPC that is really low, but i dont run an english website so maybe it will more time to recover.
3:39 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Ironside - Now I'm demoralised insofar as AdSense is concerned. I've spent the past 3 months creating and doing loads of stuff, for instance PVs in Feb were 50% higher than in December, only for them to smack me with some sort of Invalid Traffic penalty which they never tell us what it is...where's the proof please G?

This has now pi$$ed me off greatly, my first instinct when I saw this was to rip every ad off every site however I think I'm going to let them run until the end of March and if there is no significant improvement in earnings, so far in March it's absolutely dire when it ought to be boom time, then if traffic is still improving but earnings are not, it's a very simple removal process for me.
4:09 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@RedBar, I know how frustrating that must be. It's tough putting your heart and soul into a website and not seeing dividends - or worse, going backwards. All we have is each other and I strongly believe that we should help one another as we're all in the same boat. That said, I have some suggestions. If you haven't already done so, compare the bounce rates and average pageviews per session in December and February. If you see a significant drop in bounce rates and pageviews per session in February, then it is likely that the traffic was indeed invalid and the increase in traffic was not due to your extra content, but a product of the invalid traffic.

This is important to distinguish as to not make a knee-jerk reaction of removing Adsense - it is the best CPC platform after all. That said, if you don't notice any significant discrepancies between December and February, feel free to join an affiliate program in favor of Adsense. Affiliates vastly outperform Adsense for me and you could enjoy the same benefits depending on the niche of your website(s). Hope this helps you out a bit :)
9:35 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@RedBar
Reason - Invalid Traffic - AdSense for Content

How did you establish that fact?

One shortcoming with finalised earnings is [as far as I know] you cannot make valid comparisons with your records for the previous month. It would be good to be able to compare the before and after scenario. Traffic, Clicks, EPC on a day by day basis.

Surely that is not "Top Secret" and why invalid traffic cannot be removed on a day by day basis at the time still remains a mystery.
9:42 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>> How did you establish that fact? <<

You can see this in Payments > Transactions (but I think that all deductions are labelled "invalid traffic").

The biggest deduction I had was of 0.5% only, so I can't really tell what can cause this, and why some are seeing huge removal of their earnings. May be it's from advertisers which are not paying ? (fake accounts?)

This might also be related to pay-per-action, I suspect that even if Google claims it's PPC model, may be some clicks are validated only if the visitor effectively achieve an action on the site of the advertiser. (but it's only a guess).

Google does filter clicks on a daily basis, It happens I see some clicks being removed after some hours. Then there are certainly other algorithm post processing clicks at the scale of the months.

ps: may be I am paranoiac but I wonder if some advertisers can "cheat", like for example, setting a bid price of $20, then after a while claim it was typo and they meant 20 cts. Can they argue to Google that it was obviously a mistake, and get a refund ?

Also, how does it work, when Google bans advertisers? What about paid/unpaid bids ?
10:00 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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All good points Dimitri.
10:11 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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March has started out well for me - maybe its the spring-summer season ramping up!

February was slightly better than January, which is great since Feb only had 28 days. If March beats out January then I'm in business.
10:12 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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You can see this in Payments > Transactions (but I think that all deductions are labelled "invalid traffic").

Yes, I see a completely unhelpful entry - only useful for those challenged to subtract finalised earning from their own total record for the previous month.

Doesn't really shed any useful light on the matter though, and makes a complete mockery of keeping records. Especially in RedBar's glaring example.

How do you compare "rubbish" with "rubbish"? More particularly how can you make reasonably informed decisions if necessary?
10:50 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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When Google removes part of the Adsense earning from someone's account, does it re-credit the advertiser accounts? (I don't know if advertisers account are charge in real time).

If so, may be Advertisers have more detailed explanations. May be those using Adwords can shaire their lights on this point.
11:28 pm on Mar 2, 2017 (gmt 0)

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WTF? Finalised earnings 32.91% deducted!

Reason - Invalid Traffic - AdSense for Content


I didn't have nearly that much deducted but still much higher than usual for invalid traffic. It is that time of year. Some of you probably remember 3 years ago when many, many sites were click bombed and earnings went way up, only to be clawed back at month's end. Netmeg - where is Netmeg, by the way? - and others helped figure out how to block the culprits. Adsense told me at the time that this time of year is especially bad for clickbots.
5:20 am on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I had about 2.2% clawed back. Doesn't seem that high compared to 32.9% but it seems to be gradually rising over the months. Definitely higher than last February, perhaps by double.

March is usually a a good month for me...well every month that ends a quarter is great.
11:07 am on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've tried to analyse my stats to see if I could find anything obvious, CTRs were all around the normal, certainly no $20 clicks, best were a $1 or so, traffic sources from all my regular countries with no seemingly excessive clicking from anywhere, however in the middle of the month I did have a few days above average earnings and wondered who was advertising what but, equally, my last few days of the monthe were below average therefore they cancelled each other out!

I would have thought that if they can identify "Invalid Traffic" wouldn't it be good practice from their side to advise the publisher with a bit more detail when it's above a certain level, say 10%, because even 10% is 3 daysworth of earnings, in my case it is over 9 days.

Imagine working for someone and they deducted this amount from your payslip at the end of the month with no explanation whatsoever.
11:52 am on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@RedBar invalid traffic in Google's eye might be traffic coming from social media or other sources who engage with your ads. If your traffic is mainly from search engines your claw back wouldn't be that high.
12:03 pm on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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>> @RedBar invalid traffic in Google's eye might be traffic coming from social media <<

I do not understand this point.
12:32 pm on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I noticed on my main website today that my link ads have changed colour. What I normally do is make the colour of my ads and links the same colour as my navigation. Normally the link ads are white until you hover over them, then they change to the blue that matches my navigation. Today, they are blue and don't change colour when you hover over them. I'm hoping that Google have implemented this change because it looks much better.

Earnings for March 2 were a slight improvement on March 1, let's hope that things keep going in the right direction.
1:45 pm on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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invalid traffic in Google's eye might be traffic coming from social media


I have very, very little social media traffic, mine is mostly trade buyers visiting direct searching for alternative sources and products or retail purchasers checking via search engines and making comparisons. Most of my traffic is product keyword driven, it's nothing random or someone surfing around.
2:28 pm on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Redbar just a thought, do not think that the people who visit your website are there for one specific reason and are probably professionals who are not going to be clicking on ads going elsewhere looking at other things?
3:17 pm on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I can assure you I have a massive amount of students who also visit my sites, especially my trade directory site, seeking evergreen specific widget information for their studies/exams/whatever they're doing, in fact I have several universities that specifically link and recommend my directory site for this information.

Checking my logs it is extremely rare that anyone visits purely by chance, as in whichever search engine displays one of my sites for something totally non-widget related, for sure it does happen however not many times per day.
3:24 pm on Mar 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@RedBar you may want to check your raw logs to see if there is single IP or group of IP's that are clicking on ads. You can also look by referrer to see if any one stands out.

Imagine working for someone and they deducted this amount from your payslip at the end of the month with no explanation whatsoever.

You are not employee of AdSense so this analogy does not stand. You are a supplier (of services), and you have contractual obligation to meet certain quality guidelines. If you do not meet those guidelines, then purchaser (Adsense) has every right to refuse payment for those services. In a previous life I worked in a different industry where we supplied good and services according to specifications. When goods were delivered that were out of spec we were obligated to correct them, at times these corrections cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. We had no choice. All we could do is try to improve our process to avoid this situation in the future.
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