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May 2017 AdSense Earnings & Observations

     
9:53 pm on May 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Today has started off very well, 28 clicks and I'm already into double figures
4:24 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Same here, traffic increases (+60k PI's), but adsense revenue decreases.
7:23 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Halaspike, the wide majority of my traffic are local regulars, so I don't get a lot of zombie traffic like that. My traffic hasn't really changed much in years, but the value has.

On my end, I think it's mobile that's killing me. Less ads per page, less pages per session, and the ads they do see are worth roughly 1/3rd of desktop. I'm working hard to rebuild my site to be more mobile friendly in the hopes that the ad value increases...
9:13 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think we should concentrate on getting new visitors every day, rather than paying too much attention to regular visitors that probably pay absolutely no attention to our ads.

I don't want to tempt fate, however the major keywords related to my particular niche has now risen above my closest competitor and has stayed there for the second day after be champion yesterday. In fact, when I checked their position on Google.co.uk and Google.com, instead of getting a position, I got N/A. Their website does appear when I put the search term into Google so I don't think their website has disappeared altogether.

I have put a lot of effort into getting really nice URLs for nearly all of my pages on my website. The person who runs the other website doesn't have an awful lot of knowledge when it comes to search engine optimisation and I think that starting to show now. I think you need to put some effort into creating good search and friendly URLs, rather than just accepting what is automatically generated for you. I just checked my statistics and my major keywords is way up just three days into the new month.
11:42 pm on May 3, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing Adsense sticky ads on a couple of mobile websites now and I'm not talking about page level ads provided by adsense. Is sticky ads now allowed?

Last time i checked their ad implementation policies i saw this "While we allow Google anchor ads on mobile web, please note that publisher-created mobile implementations are not permitted as we cannot ensure they have the same quality protections we’ve built into our product."
12:46 am on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think we should concentrate on getting new visitors every day, rather than paying too much attention to regular visitors that probably pay absolutely no attention to our ads.


My demographic focuses on a local audience, though, so I don't have that option. I've expanded to 50 other sites that focus on other localized regions, but now I'm competing with Facebook when my earliest site was not, so none of them have really taken off.


I'm seeing Adsense sticky ads on a couple of mobile websites now and I'm not talking about page level ads provided by adsense. Is sticky ads now allowed?


No (unfortunately), these are still not allowed unless maybe you have a premier account and get special permission. All I've seen are the ads that Adsense provides, that will show a mobile ad when Google feels that it's appropriate. It was virtually worthless to me in April, though, having an RPM value of about 1/20th of a desktop banner, and it accounted for about 1/400th of my total monthly revenue.
1:20 am on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Halaspike are you sure they are actual Adsense based ads. I know that you can implement sitcky ads with Media.net and Media.net often shows Adsense ads.

Otherwise it is as csdude55 describes, no except for approved publishers.
1:50 am on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@csdude55 & @NickMNS ya'll cleared it up for me thanks.
4:56 am on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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When I contacted them and sent the screenshot of the sticky ad from Mashable mobile, Google said that it is called "page level ads" for mobile found in the interface if that helps. I have not tried it yet but it is there.
5:22 am on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Those are what I've had enabled. Worth literally a few dollars a month for me... not even worth the time it took to implement.
1:54 pm on May 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for that, helpful I wont bother then. :-)
7:17 am on May 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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A bit similar to what Csdude said, I too have had a good run with Adsense.

These days I fear to look at what I earn on a daily basis.

6-7 years ago, on roughly same traffic (25000 daily visitors) I'd consistently get 500-600 clicks a day.

These days I'm lucky if I get over 250 clicks...
6:18 pm on May 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So far this month my EPC is down 34% otherwise I'd be doing "as usual".

These days I'm lucky if I get over 250 clicks...


I used to be 1,000 per day, these days I'm lucky if I get 20 clicks...take the 250 whilst you can, you'll never know when Google is going to come along and destroy your AdSense income.
7:49 pm on May 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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250 clicks would be a lot for me! I have about the same number of unique visitors, but my highest number of clicks ever was 562, but on that day I made the same money as the next week when I had 182 clicks.

My issue is that the RPM is about half of what it used to be. Same traffic, same clicks, but less money per click.

But I can say that yesterday increased by about 15% over the last 30 days. After a 35% drop in April, that doesn't bring me back to "normal" or anything, but it was better than it has been.
9:19 pm on May 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am actually seriously beginning to believe that my particular niche is starting to weaken. I think people are starting to move on to other species of fish now, or maybe there are less fish keepers around, I really don't know. All I know is that my keywords are still very strong my website still comes up very close to the top of Google for hundreds and hundreds of keywords. But the simple fact is visitor rate has dropped dramatically in the last couple of months. It will be interesting to see where we are this time next year? If I eventually drop down to just a couple of pounds a day then I will knock the website on the head and find something else.
9:37 pm on May 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Another point to keep in mind, is that, over the time, there are more and more sites. I would assume that the increase is exponential, especially when money is involved, you know how, in some countries, they can produce web pages in mass.

So, "in the past", if an advertiser had a budget $100, and 2 sites were matching, these two sites were sharing $68 (68% share for publishers). Today, may be 1000 sites appeared and matching, so the two first sites will earn way less, since the budget will be shared among much more sites. In both case Google still earns the same.

All this to say, that the exponential increase of sites / web pages, is certainly diluting earnings.

Plus, the increase of mobile users, and the increase of users with ad blockers, etc...
11:48 pm on May 5, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've considered that as a reason for the drop over the last few years... the mobile usage and ad blockers, I mean, not the number of swimmers in the pool (which is an excellent point).

But I had a sharp 35% drop on April 3, and we still haven't recovered from that. I haven't seen any logical explanation for it, but I know that I'm not the only one to have that drop.

Since my audience is entirely in the US, I suspect that it's political. There's another thread about brick and mortar stores closing at a record pace, and I'm betting that a lot of others are tightening the purse strings in preparation for a weak economy. If that's the case, we might not see any improvement for YEARS, and I can't afford to wait that long.
12:28 am on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Peter_S what you described is definitely a factor, but I think the impact is far worse than what you describe.

As the number of websites increase so to does the supply of ad space, this in turn lowers the price, now assuming that demand adjusts such that the total spend remains the same. The result will be more ads showing likely across more sites but each ad pays less than before. So not only will your pie slice be reduced due to the fact that you are sharing clicks with more sites but the payment for each click will drop. And, from Google perspective, they see no difference in earnings as the total spend remains the same.

The only way to minimize the impact of this is create content and sites that stands out to advertisers. This can be achieved either by serving a little served niche or building an large targetable audience and being certain that you deliver valid, high quality clicks (eg: no click bots or spammy traffic).
2:36 am on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just spent the last hour or so making a few changes to my AdSense layout. I removed my 300 x 600 unit from the left-hand column and replaced it with a 200 x 90 link unit. My theory is that because a lot of my visitors are using mobile, one actually gets my website are presented with a large ad unit before they get any content or menu. So now there will just have a small ad unit with relevant links and the menu, no scrolling through far. That might even reduce the bounce rate, I will just have to wait and see.
9:47 am on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My theory is that because a lot of my visitors are using mobile, one actually gets my website are presented with a large ad unit before they get any content or menu

I would assume that it was against Adsense's TOS, to have a 300x600 ad above the fold on mobile device.
1:13 pm on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Peter_S they have been in place for a long time and nobody has ever said anything. Anyway, decided to have a bit of a change now. I think the mistake I have made is not to pay a little bit more attention to my mobile traffic. The majority of my traffic comes from mobile devices. For instance, yesterday 72% of my visitors were using mobile whereas 20% were using desktop and 6% were using tablets. I think that I am missing out big time by not optimising my AdSense for mobile devices. However, I'm not entirely sure how to go about putting an ad on my homepage for instance that displays differently on the desktop, mobile device or tablet. Obviously I can use a responsive unit, but that will just display as a banner on the big screens and a rectangle on the smaller screens. Is this enough or do you think I should be using a different method?
2:24 pm on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am actually seriously beginning to believe that my particular niche is starting to weaken.


I would venture to say that there actually may be less searchers since many people now have 17+ years experience of looking for their particular niche favourites and probably do not need to visit as often.

In my specific global niche we started to notice this trend after the 2008 crash, obviously trade fell dramatically, in the case of the USA it's largest wholesaler lost 50% of its business, down from 4,000 containers to 2,000 p.a. In 2016 they did 5,500 containers with very little increase in website traffic over the past 4-5 years.

My companies have experienced differently since we were dominant in our trade for images, the Google theft put paid to that however since then our traffic has been remarkably steady BUT our realworld business has increased markedly. It's as though the noughties was all about finding new suppliers and now having found and consolidated them, these trade buyers are not actively searching for any new supplier since they are very happy with what they are receiving.

What is also noticeable is that during the noughties we would receive enquiries daily from Joe Public whereas these days it may be only once a month.

Globally in my niche trade is up however talking with companies and their webmasters, in general all of them are seeing less traffic meanwhile their businesses are doing fine.

As an observation, 10-15 years ago I would see Monday to Friday traffic about equal with weekends at 70%, these days it sometimes seems to be only Tuesday to Thursday, Mondays and Fridays at 80% and sometimes on weekends dropping to as low as 50-60%.

After 17 years of this millennium maybe people are not so excited about The Net and have other things to do?
2:37 pm on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Can somone expand on what zombie traffic is?

I think I might get it as like 70%+ is mobile, 300-400 clicks per day and 5 million impressions a month and were struggling to pay the bills too. Since April things have been grim, not picked up yet either.
3:36 pm on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I don't think people will suddenly stop keeping OscarFish, although trends do change and people's interests will change in time. I suppose I would have to do some kind of survey to find out if my particular niche is still very much in favour. However, I think I could probably increase earnings if I tailored my website more to mobile traffic.

What's are the best performing mobile ads on your website? I do have page level ads implemented for not sure where to look to find out how well I are doing. I don't think I get an awful lot of earnings from them.

What you guys think of breadcrumbs? Do you think they are important and should always be implemented on a website?
3:57 pm on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Samsam1978
Can somone expand on what zombie traffic is?

There is no formal definition of Zombie traffic but it is a term generally used to describe when a website that typically gets a lot of traffic and suddenly during some period of time the traffic stops converting and then suddenly for no apparent reason users start converting again as normal. This is the general idea, it varies greatly depending on who you ask and even more contentious are the causes.

I think I might get it as like 70%+ is mobile,

Have you looked into your Adsense and GA stats to see where and when you clicks are coming from. Mobile traffic is notoriously difficult to monetize, 70% of total traffic I would look to improving mobile performance. Somethings to look for:

Compare earning for Mobile vs. Desktop.
Compare pages per session (in GA) for mobile to desktop. If mobile users are bouncing sooner than desktop you may have an issue.
Compare AVV Active View Viewable, for mobile and desktop. This can signal issues with ad placements. If users don't see the ads they can't click them. If advertisers are paying for ad impressions that users rarely see then they are probably not going to pay very much for them. Then, when users finally do click you get paid far less.
Look at the ad Creative Sizes report to see what ads size are performing best.
Have you implemented page level ads?
Check out the ad-review center is AdSense flooding your site with spammy ads?
4:17 pm on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ironside
What you guys think of breadcrumbs? Do you think they are important and should always be implemented on a website?

Are they important, that depends on the structure of your website. If you have simple and flat structure then they are not as important as if you have more complex site with deep links.

If you do implement breadcrumbs, be sure to mark them up using schema.org or similar. This enables Google, for mobile only, to include the breadcrumbs in the SERPs instead of the a simple url. So your result would shows:

7 Keywords that you need for your widget | example.com
example.com > blue widgets > 7-keywords
Description of the content of your page that will earn you many clicks...
9:14 pm on May 6, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Nick actually, my menu structure is quite simple. I don't use drop downs at all and I just have some side menus on my articles so really I don't think I am gaining anything by having the breadcrumbs in place. I think I will remove them. They take up quite a bit of space between the menu and my content so I think I will actually benefit from removing them.
12:40 pm on May 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My RPM still seems to be down from the usual... Anyone else?
7:55 pm on May 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I see a lot of nice ads on my site and ad review centrer, but the payment is incredibly low! It's like Easter!
8:14 pm on May 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Looking over the year, my RPM dropped in half on March 2, then dropped in half again on April 2. So April was literally 25% of February.

So far, May has slightly improved over April, but it's not back to where it was in March yet.
9:34 pm on May 7, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Like I say, a change of as good as a rest. I removed my breadcrumbs which now means I can place an AdSense banner a lot closer to my horizontal menu. Personally, I think it looks really good. However, it seems to render as a smaller banner on my mobile phone, not sure if I like it that much, because it's quite small it's a little more difficult to see what is being advertised. I've never had an awful lot of luck with AdSense unit in the right-hand column. I've had a 300 x 600 unit on the left-hand column which was doing quite well up until recently. I don't know whether I was breaking the TOS by having the unit here, nobody said anything and it's been there for ages. Anyway, I decided to try a 300 x 250 unit in the right-hand column with some social media buttons dividing this unit with the top banner unit. I do like how it works. It seems that a lot of people do really well with a 300 x 250 unit in this position. I think it's just going to be a case of me waiting to see what happens. I made sure that this unit is targetable as well. I've also decided that I'm just going to use the one 300 x 600 unit on the page. If there is only one then I hope it will make it more attractive to advertisers.

I thought May was getting off to a really good start after that double-digit day on May 1. Even if I make a loss this month I will know whether this new layout works for me.

[edited by: martinibuster at 2:59 pm (utc) on May 10, 2017]
[edit reason] Please blur identifying content for YOUR protection. FYI [/edit]

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