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4:45 pm on May 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The limiting nature of the post "subject" field hampered my title here. I hope it gets your attention.

I may live under a rock. I know that some of my sites are older and don't have a clever "mobile" version. I'm not running responsive ads either. Ultimately these "choices" are mine. I chose big ads which always have been fine with adsense for mobile.

Everyone may know this. Some may not. I did not. When people come to my site, Google Chrome browser with mobile users promps with a pop up saying "view a mobile friendly version of this website". Sounds nice right? Go ahead and click that. Then you get your website with adsense ads parsed from existence. So you are dishing out an ad free website at that point.

Wonder where the good times have gone? I would have preferred a letter saying this: If you don't go responsive, we're going to block all your adsense ads, provided the visitor clicks on our big banner that is highly intrusive. We are going to serve a non revenue generating version of your website if you don't have a mobile version of some sort.

The way I see it? If I choose to not invest in a mobile option, I'm the fool. Let the customer/visitor leave. Let them decide if my non mobile site sucks. If they don't like it because of how it looks on mobile, let them go away. However, to get in their face about a mobile version of my website that provides me ZERO chance at a click? That's back stabbing in my books.

Did I miss the memo? I live under a rock? Please don't preach to me about 2017 and mobile sites. Duh, I get that. However because I make a choice you can effectively parse out my F'ing site? Come on. That's BS.
8:13 am on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Meant to add that many of these topics (mobile, viewport, responsive, weblight, responsive ads, etc) has been discussed here at WW for YEARS. There's nothing new, but it is possible to miss things or not understand them when they first appear.

g has been forthright from the get go regarding the mobile serps. It's all over their webmastering blogs and we've been talking about it, too.
8:25 am on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Actually, I'm rather looking forward to all the non-mobile and non-secure sites being kicked to the back pages of the SERP.

It will be nice not to wade through all the dead wood to find what I'm looking for.

[fix typo]

[edited by: keyplyr at 8:31 am (utc) on May 16, 2017]

8:30 am on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@keyply: Beware what you ask for! (winkers)
5:44 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think those putting a vast importance on SERPs are living in a fantasy world. Perhaps when Google searchers wade through the answer boxes and stacked ad they might, and I say might click on your search result.

It's just about transparency. That's all. We are in Adsense to make money and if Google has a tool that will circumvent your ads then logic says ethically that point would be clearly communicated. But it's not. And this should speak to where things are at. There very well may be some people here suffering from income loss whose sites are hit with the pop up banner and perhaps they have been enlightened. Not by their partner Google, but by a fellow publisher.

To those speaking highly about mobile SERP positions, I venture a guess that it's from a less educated perspective. Actual organics in mobile search are BURIED. That is not a reversible trend. So perhaps it's worth investing in website redesigns but it should be based on the hope of amazing Google organic traffic via the mobile search.
6:34 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So perhaps it's worth investing in website redesigns but it should be based on the hope of amazing Google organic traffic via the mobile search.
Fact - more searches are now done on mobile than desktop.

Fact - the mobile index is replacing the desktop index as the primary source of traffic.

Fact - at some point, possibly very soon, desktop-only websites will become irrelevant.
7:44 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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OR a specialty niche capable delivering an experience a mobile device simply cannot do (unless mated to a large screen device of some kind).
8:21 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Fact organic search results on mobile are often pushed down 3 to 4 screens.
4 ads, Local results, Featured Snippets, maps and on and on.
Chances of a visitor ever getting to your site via a mobile for a popular search query are slim. (especially from Google)
8:41 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@breeks - well you sit here and complain about it - or - you can get to work and get your site included in those "4 ads, Local results, Featured Snippets, maps and on and on." Obviously someone else did.
9:47 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Kepler, this is an Adsense forum. The effort vs. reward? The effort and investment is something you would advise a best friend to do? In terms of Adsense monetization is anyone here recommending that better times are ahead or are those days in the past? I don't invest in the past. But maybe you think it's wise to pursue that organic Google mobile search position. If paying for a top spot, then how does Adsense cover the costs and time investment?

Who finds mobile traffic converts anywhere near desktop? How are those mobile Adsense clicks paying out? I care about mobile but on new efforts, not old ones.
9:52 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The effort and investment is something you would advise a best friend to do?
Absolutely, especially if my friend is trying to make money from Adsense.

50% of my Adsense income comes from mobile during weekdays and as high as 80% on weekends.

I attribute this to users on desktops at work during the week. On the weekends, they are likely to only use mobile. People are not buying desktops for home use much any more.
10:34 pm on May 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Let me add that the mobile traffic (and hence the Adsense mobile income) did not appear immediately after I launched my responsive site. I had to work for it.

I created content for the mobile user. I opened dozens of Social Media accounts where mobile is big. I tested with the major social apps (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, etc) and created content that displayed well and brought users to my pages. I wrote articles and seeded Facebook Groups with images & links.

I tested (and continue to test) various Adsense ad types & sizes, and I consistently move them around various pages to fight ad blindness.
3:18 am on May 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Okay, I want to reverse the trend and try to investigate this a bit further. Another one or two of my non responsive websites which makes use of a 300 size ad unit did not give me the mobile friendly pop up. It would be awfully simplistic to think that have the 336 ad unit as being a trigger. Nothing would ever be that simplistic. However on a few of my sites, they share a similar layout. The difference is in the ad sizes. At the very least I'm going to swap out the 336 for the 300. Nothing to lose and I'm willing to put in 10 minutes of time on this. I'm up for some heavy lifting...
4:22 am on May 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I remain amazed that some folks think just because they have a website and slap adsense code on it that's all that needs be done. Whew!

Listings are for those that work for them. Always have been ... unless pockets are deep enough to buy position (but if one had that kind of money, why play webmaster and adsense?).
3:06 pm on May 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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keyplyr

Unless you are some kind of mind reader you have no idea what my sites are and where they rank. I was just pointing out a fact about how mobile sites are listed in Google search results.

"Self-proclaimed experts (Know-It-Alls) that hide behind a computer screen are a dime a dozen"

waiting for your smart azz reply to prove my point.
4:00 pm on May 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm amazed that some folks still believe that a site with adsense code is a ticket for future prosperity and a worthy investment. Invest now and see the flood of traffic roll in from organic search and at the same time enjoy the ever increasing payment per click! Now that's an amazing mindset! Now let's all stay positive and realize that Chrome will have their own built in ad block in the next while. That's going to be even more fantastic and prosperous!
6:24 pm on May 17, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@breeks - AFAIK you haven't mentioned anything about your site so I know nothing about it. I'm commenting on the future of Adsense sites with the mobile SERP. Sorry you took it personal, it was meant to be rhetorical.
12:28 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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As mentioned this is the AdSense forum; yet almost the entire side track of this thread is about Google Search. The two are not synonymous.

There's an entire web out there full of people. Who click on AdSense ads. Really.

Plus a specific other WebmasterWorld forum for all that is right/wrong with Google's traffic dispatching services.
7:43 pm on May 18, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What's your point? I think the original post had a subject and I'm not sure what your contribution was in moving that topic/subject forward. Not everyone is running a responsive theme. The Chrome handling of unfriendly mobile sites (under some secret algo) may not be realized by everyone. The point being some income drops may be in part to that. Stripping Adsense off a page isn't subtle. For some maybe that means not renewing the domain. We all aren't heros.
12:52 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have the same issue on my current site. I don't set the <meta name="viewport"...> by default, so the mobile user gets a shrunken version of my desktop.

But like the OP, I don't WANT to encourage mobile traffic because (a) mobile ads are virtually worthless, and (b) mobile users rarely post anything or contribute to the site in any way. I'm not turning them away, but I certainly don't want my desktop users to become mobile users, either. My traffic is higher than ever, but thanks mostly to mobile, I'm going broke.

And like the OP, when the user clicks on the "mobile friendly" option, it removes the 728x90 banners, my header, and then blows up the content. Which, like he said, means that I'm now serving it for free.

I'm working on rebuilding the site to be mobile friendly, mainly because I no longer have a choice in the matter. I'm penalized financially, and I'm pretty sure that I'm penalized in search engine results. So whether I like it or not, I have to bow down to Google and rebuild everything. I can only hope that it doesn't bankrupt me.
12:59 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@not2easy...
Opting out of transcoding

If you do not want your pages to be transcoded, set the HTTP header "Cache-Control: no-transform" in your page response. If Googlebot sees this header, your page will not be transcoded.

Like this, in the .htaccess? Or do I need to set a META tag instead?

<FilesMatch "\.php">
Header set Cache-Control "no-transform"
</FilesMatch>
1:05 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@csdude55 - Just use this one line in your htaccess. Put it at the top before other conditions & rules:
Header set Cache-Control "no-transform"
But despite Google's claim, it won't stop Weblight from being used on your page. It won't stop what Mr. Savage is reporting either.

a) mobile ads are virtually worthless, and (b) mobile users rarely post anything or contribute to the site in any way
My sites are responsive. 50% of my Adsense income comes from mobile during the week. Up to 80% of my Adsense income comes from mobile on weekends when people are away from their work computers. People are not buying desktops for their homes much anymore. Most searches, hence most Ad clicks, are done on mobile now.
I'm working on rebuilding the site to be mobile friendly... So whether I like it or not, I have to bow down to Google and rebuild everything.
Google has little to do with the world 's move to use mobile devices, except buying Android. Google just recognised it and adapted the search paradigm. But congrats on making the effort to go mobile :)
2:34 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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But despite Google's claim, it won't stop Weblight from being used on your page. It won't stop what Mr. Savage is reporting either.

Oh. Well, nevermind, then... if it doesn't stop it then I won't bother :-(

My sites are responsive. 50% of my Adsense income comes from mobile during the week. Up to 80% of my Adsense income comes from mobile on weekends when people are away from their work computers. People are not buying desktops for their homes much anymore. Most searches, hence most Ad clicks, are done on mobile now.

I'm not sure how old your sites are, but my eldest turns 15 in October. My traffic is predominately return traffic; the same people visit daily, often several times a day, and only a small percentage of my traffic comes from search engines (and the majority that does are people searching for my domain).

So far, using the same desktop version for mobile and making them stretch it out manually, mobile traffic is worth about 1/25th of desktop. I'm not being facetious, that's real; I might even be being generous. So believe me, it terrifies me to make the site mobile friendly! If I inadvertently encourage all of my traffic to go to mobile and the value doesn't increase because of the rebuild, then (for example) $5,000 quickly turns in to $200. At that rate, I can't even pay for the server, much less pay the other bills.

Google has little to do with the world 's move to use mobile devices, except buying Android. Google just recognised it and adapted the search paradigm.

I don't know, but maybe it's a topic for a different discussion. By presenting mobile sites first, though, and penalizing sites financially that aren't mobile friendly, they're definitely forcing MY hand.
3:06 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The reasons for two versions of a site is greater now than in the past. Heck of a lot more work

Some content simply does not render well (or at all) on itty bitty screens.
3:16 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm not sure how old your sites are, but my eldest turns 15 in October.
20 years, 19 years & 12 years w/ approx. 40% return visitors at all 3.

So far, using the same desktop version for mobile and making them stretch it out manually, mobile traffic is worth about 1/25th of desktop.
That's because you are not offering mobile users anything. If you had a responsive site, you would likely see a huge spike in mobile within a few weeks, and continued mobile traffic growth after. This is my experience.

$5,000 quickly turns in to $200. At that rate, I can't even pay for the server, much less pay the other bills.
But you would *not* see any drop in income due to upgrading to a responsive layout.

With a responsive layout, your desktop & laptop visitors will see the very same thing they always saw. All that would happen is, you'd see *additional* activity on mobile, a lot more because now they have a website that works for them.
3:33 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Heh, heh. Real world is that the visitor sees what they want immediately (while all ad units, unless embedded in text, nav, etc. slide down to the bottom) and less activity will occur as regards conversions. They see it and Phhhhfffttt! They are gone.
3:38 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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If that is what you're seeing on your phone Tangor, I invite to to consider upgrading to a current smartphone with a modern mobile browser.

Adsense looks great and there are many ad sizes & types to choose from. Responsive layouts look fantastic if done well.
4:11 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Me? I listen to mobile users (I don't own one, but then again I am a severe privacy nut and simply dislike the pricing/gouging of mobile in general). Mobile users rarely interest me as they are, apparently, too easily distracted by a toy in the hand instead of a tool on a desktop, then again, I freely admit to being in the minority there. In reality my current "product" rarely is of interest to the kiddies on mobile, so no skin off my nose.

Adsense does work in mobile if you play the game. Units are different, payouts are certainly different, and conversions are dismal. And with weblight (to accommodate the bandwidth starved) completely non-existent at times for the Luddite desktop webmasters. No thanks. :)

One can play a numbers game of micro ROI based on a gizmo, or they can make money with a product that might require a bit more display space. (Hence the two sites mentioned above). I do accommodate, where appropriate, the small screen, but for the rest of the time it's not worth the effort ... and real world proves that if they really want what I offer they will put the toy down and sit at a desktop.

The web is not one size fits all, though for g and mobile that appears the case. And g is not wrong .... the world is going mobile and webmasters need to recognize that, plan for it, have alternatives, and, if they wish to remain relevant, stand their ground on what's right for THEIR content and wave hello to the mobiles passing by---or not appearing at all.

A crude analogy (and this is very crude with many holes to be poked if one is adverse at all) is the existence of Cinema and TV. Both have co-existed for the last 70 or so years and might continue another 20 before the next leap in technology kills both. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE IN EXPERIENCE.

Mobile experience, desktop experience. You can do both with a lot of work, choose one over the other and accept collateral damage vis a vis... but mobile by itself cannot provide all that is available.

Again, it depends on the product offered.

Most webmasters here who depend on adsense aren't those kind of providers of content or commerce so the real suggestion is get on board and get responsive, and readjust ROI expectations. Mobile pays less. It pays even less if g routinely offers a "light" "mobile-friendly" version of a site.

Simple.
4:53 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I appreciate the discussion even with its hot moments.

Certainly this parsing of ads is like a fork in the road. I have been lucky in a lot of ways because I got into Wordpress and makes mobile a snap.

A site redesign is no guarantee either. How many sites have we enjoyed on desktop that changed recently and now we're stuck with a smartphone website on our desktop or laptop monitors? So if you change up the site do you lose what you actually value, which may be those desktop users. People don't want change to something they read/view.

I still haven't had time to see about a quick or easy fix. I will at the very least change out the 336 ads to 300 size. I'm not sure if anyone has seen any documentation or has access to adsense support to ask the question. I'm sure it's a secret algo and the advice will be "go responsive".

I just think a lot of publishers who are not in the loop who are running older style sites likely don't know the story. What makes this more impactful of course is that Android runs the majority of smartphones and tablets out there and of course Chrome is the browser. It's a huge impact. I'm not arrogant enough to assume that everyone with adsense is on the cutting edge of what is going on. I'm sure this is like Adsense telling us to ad more ads and then search telling us there are penalities or lower ranking for too many ads. Chrome has nothing to do with adsense so why would they want to communicate to that "other department" that their project is parsing out website ads that don't comply to some set of secret criteria. It's why I think the whole feel good and "we care" and the so called partnership is just dog S. It's rhetoric.
5:19 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Mobile pays less.
It doesn't pay less, the rate is determined the same way as desktop ads are. The advertisers set the bids. Those that make less on mobile could make more with better understanding.

As I've shown, mobile is about equal to desktop during the work week and possibly more than desktop on weekends. This all depends on how it is implemented. Some publishers do very well, others do not. Some sites better adapt to smaller screens, some do not.

The real dynamic here is that desktop traffic is, and has been, declining. People just aren't buying desktop computers for home use at the same rate as they have in the past.

There will always be desktop computers at the workplace, or at least for a few more years, but the general public has moved on to various mobile devices and new technologies.

You really need to own and use a modern smartphone to get a first hand experience of what mobile has to offer, otherwise you are akin to the proverbial blindman describing an elephant.

It [mobile] pays even less if g routinely offers a "light" "mobile-friendly" version of a site.
That's done from a mobile browser on *desktop* sites and poorly built mobile friendly sites that have too much bloat or too many ads. So mobile doesn't pay less here either.

As stated in earlier posts, to avoid mobile browsers from suggesting "make this site mobile friendly" and thus stripping the ads and some of the headers and images, you need to remove the trigger that causes the browser to do this by having a mobile responsive, fast loading website.

Hey, I get it. Just when we thought we had everything figured out, set up and working, some kid changes all the rules. It's a PITA, I agree.

But it's the reality of working on the internet. The internet is about change. It's always going to be that way.
5:22 am on May 19, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm sure this is like Adsense telling us to ad more ads and then search telling us there are penalities or lower ranking for too many ads.

Well said! We do live in interesting times (as that ancient philosopher once said.
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