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Ad balance is under maintenance

Seeing a message that Ad Balance has been reset

     
8:50 am on May 26, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Getting the following message when I go to Ad Balance:

"Ad balance is under maintenance

Your Ad balance settings have been reset and your revenue isn't affected.
Our engineers are working on it. Please check back again soon."
4:48 am on Nov 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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The implication still blows my mind... I had 216,903 ad impressions on 11/7/17, and apparently 24% of them had no value. So I showed 52,056 ads for free?
5:08 am on Nov 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@cs55dude Yes it seems paradoxical. Where do you sign-up to take advantage of those free impression?

On the one hand the ads appeared for free. But if the advertisers were earning clicks then they would need to pay. So the advertisers are not getting any benefit from those ads. You loose and the advertisers loose too.
3:48 pm on Nov 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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So the advertisers are not getting any benefit from those ads.

of course they do - free visual promotion for cpc ads.

btw, happy to have this tool back. i start with 96/50.
4:47 pm on Nov 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hmm, mine's still broken : /
8:26 pm on Nov 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'd rather have all those spots filled instead of empty holes. I've used lower settings, but find I get better results with 100/100.

I'm glad some find this tool useful.
10:43 pm on Nov 10, 2017 (gmt 0)

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If the ad space is collapsed when no ad is available, I think I'd rather have that (improving the user experience) than a miniscule payment.

I turned it on a few days ago but it's hard to say if it's had any real effect. Earnings on those two days were lower than the daily average of the week before, but not all that much. Still, I dialed it back up to 100 again to be on the safe side :-) Maybe next year.
1:18 am on Nov 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I am grateful for the team to bring this feature back. Good job! I will personally however wait until Q1 starts next year to re-use the feature. Too much is at stake to use during the hottest days of the season. It feels that the shopping season officially started with this Veterans day. Many advertisers increase demand / upbid / alter their marketing strategy during these two months. I am staying with 100/100 for now until the usual Q1 low season for my vertical. Since I already did most of my optimization throughout Q3 and am hesitant to make any drastic change at this point in time.

This tool is super useful to set up ad stacks / fallbacks with fallback networks. For those that do not find success with it, perhaps try it with aggressive settings with passback URL's. You might be very pleased. I found my combination to have increased "overall earning" to be roughly 10~20%+ during the time it was live for me. But again, if no fallback is implemented, this tool will almost always result in slightly lower earning for adsense itself (potentially, less ads = less potential money, yeah, this part isn't rocket science).

I am looking forward to Q1 when the earning goes to hell and I get to look at data, and try to get the most benefit out of this feature again! (Not being sarcastic, but it's a part of my ritual cycle to review how things are going during January my weakest month of the year). January is almost always depressing to work on new content.

Huge thanks for bring this most useful feature back! I really do appreciate it!
6:36 am on Nov 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'd rather have all those spots filled instead of empty holes. I've used lower settings, but find I get better results with 100/100.

I'm glad some find this tool useful.

I don't like empty holes, either, so I created PHP script for a passback that randomly chooses between affiliate programs, local ads, and Coupons.com. Those don't usually bring in TOO much money for me, but I have my ad balancer set to 74/100 so I'm replacing ads that DEFINITELY won't bring in anything... and some is better than none.

That PHP script may be worth some extra attention with so many impressions being useless, though.
5:07 pm on Nov 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Lately i've also getting notif like you posted seems the team working under maintenance for working ada working and now work well for few days.
7:21 pm on Nov 11, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Hello Serat_Blog and welcome to WebmasterWorld [webmasterworld.com]
5:50 am on Nov 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Update: the ads were disabled because I fat fingered the ads.txt entry. Ads are back and ad balancer is back live. The collapsing of empty ad units is AWESOME.
9:48 am on Nov 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's back for me, but with a 100%/100% setting (not the settings I'd previously used).

At any rate, I'm happy to see Ad Balance working again!
10:52 am on Nov 12, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It reset to 100/100 for everyone AFAIK
6:57 am on Nov 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Just set it to 60% ad, 100% estimated earnings.
9:16 am on Nov 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Have been running mine now for 3 days on 98% earnings, 65% ads with no discernible drop in overall RPM, which is really encouraging.

Like the way the ads collapse when there's nothing to display too, keeps the pages looking nice and clean.
9:41 am on Nov 13, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Some ads collapse while rest are white box :/
3:33 pm on Nov 14, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My Ad Balancer page just started working this morning. Happy to have it back!
4:30 am on Nov 20, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I saw ad balance for a day, made the adjustment and now its not even a menu option when login.
8:23 pm on Nov 23, 2017 (gmt 0)

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It's still there for me Byron, so I'm not sure what happened with you. It's under My Ads > Content.

Unfortunate side effect, though... I'm having a stellar month (after 11 months of horror and terror), but I don't know if it's because of the Ad Balance or just a good month! Page RPM is up by 78% and Impression RPM by 50%. The increase started at the same time that I turned the Ad Balance back on so I would like to believe that this is the "new" value, but it could also completely die after Christmas. I don't know how to brace myself.
11:39 pm on Nov 29, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My Ad Balancer page is back to throwing an error so I cant change settings : /

Hope it's temporary.
9:31 pm on Nov 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I think Google (or some other more expert than me, here) must explain a bit better what the advantage for publishers to use AD balance is supposed to be, I perfectly understand Google's point: less offer for cheap ad spaces means higher prices per unit and more revenue, on average, as simple as that. But, from a publisher's point of view, where is the advantage? A "better user experience" is a nice slogan but there is no prove whatsoever that 20 or 30% more blank spaces replacing as many ADS would really makes a difference for users. Someome here says it could fill such blank space with some of the many low-paying adnetworks around other than Adsense; honestly, this looks to me not that a great idea, since it'll completely destroy the improvement in user experience which AD balance was supposedly invented for. I would happily get into ADB if it'll prove to be a way to bring MORE revenue to me with it than without it. Yet, I can't find a single line in Adsense documentation saying something like that. AFAIK, all we can suppose to date about AD balance is that Google would possibly earn more, users would be (perhaps) more happy with their experience, and publishers would earn a bit less money. If so, this would be not a great bargain for the average small publisher, IMHO.
9:59 pm on Nov 30, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi
There are many advantages to using the ad-balancer. If you are in the school of those that believe more ads == more revenue, then don't use the tool. But my experience has been that this does not hold.

Basically the ad balancer ranks your ad inventory in terms of price, from the highest paying to the lowest paying. Then you set the balancer by a relative measure of how many of these ads you would like to show. A 90% setting, you are showing the 90% of the highest paying ads. Set to 50% you show the 50% highest paying ads. The impact that the settings has on your earnings is showed by the % of revenue. So typically showing 70% or 80% of your ads earns you 99%. So the 30% of the ads you are blocking by setting the balancer at 70% would not have earned you anything or very little. So you were displaying those ads for free! Now you may say showing something is better than a blank space. Maybe, but typically these low paying ads are low quality and spammy in nature. So users will see these ads and be distracted by them. Leaving a blanks space will allow users to focus on the advertisers that pay, thus increase your probability of a click and click that earns you money.

But you don't even need leave the ads blanks. You can use a backup ad, say to some other content, another property or for an affiliate. So then you take this "unpaid" inventory and monetize it.

Google wins, because it focuses attention on high quality ads, and minimizes spam and the publishers wins because it allows you to monetize inventory that was being given away for free while eliminating spam.
2:45 am on Dec 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi, in my case, I set the Ad Balance to 100% revenue, 76% performance. Which, to me, meant that 24% of the Adsense banners that WERE showing had absolutely no value, whatsoever.

The passback shows a pay-per-action banner instead of the valueless banners.

Since making the change, that pay-per-action affiliate program has increased in value by close to 100% (double of before). It's not a huge amount of money to brag about or anything, BUT it's more money than I would have made from banners with no value to them.
5:15 am on Dec 1, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Ad balancer is good but there should be a way to setup it for each site. It doesn't work good with Indian traffic site while performs great if the site has traffic from the US.
8:38 am on Dec 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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OK, so been having decent results with ad balance, reducing it to 93% earnings from 50% ads with no discernible drop in income.

My question now is, I regularly have pages showing no or only 1 ad of the 3 adsense slots I have - if i add an additional ad to take the total of possible ads on each page to 4 will the ad balance:

-redistribute the same amount of ads across the additional ad space or
-add back in more of the lower paying ads I have removed with the ad balance
-add more higher paying ads, rotated into the new slot

Any ideas?
3:22 pm on Dec 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@darthtoon the ad balancer sets a relative price floor. That is, based on your settings, you only show the top 50% highest paying ads. Say the price for this is $0.50. In theory adding more inventory will reduce this prices. So you will end up with more volume at a lower price, thus the $0.50 will drop. Now 50% will show more ads but the lowest price of those ads will be $0.45 instead of $0.50. Now will the increase in impressions make-up for the drop in price? Hard to say.

But this is theory and it doesn't take into consideration the most important factor in advertising and real estate: "Location, Location, Location". Ad prices are determined by ad location, ad-slots on pages with a lot of traffic that appear above the fold, will get a higher price. Ad-slots on pages that rarely get requested, below the fold will fetch the lowest prices. The ad balancer is applied at the account level.

So the most likely outcome of adding ad-slots, will be that the ad slots that appear on desirable pages in undesirable locations (eg: BTF) will now be filled (4 ads instead of 3), whereas the undesirable pages will continue to show all empty slots.

In my view, the best would be to increase the number of ads being shown from 50% to 60%. This should have the same impact on price but will fill more of the already existing ad slots.

Another way to achieve your goal would be to do the opposite, reduce the number of ad-slots and then increase the number of ads shown. Reducing inventory, will increase price and showing more ads will reduce price, thus resulting in no change to price, and no change to the number of ad shown. Then by eliminating worst performing ad-slots, and since one keeps the number of impressions the same, the remaining ad-slots would be more likely to be filled. 50% of 1000 is 500 ads shown. Reduce ad-slots by 17% = 833 available, then set ad-balancer to 60% so 60% of 833 = 500 ads shown. So the same numbers of ads shown but these ads now account for 60% of the total inventory. So more ads per page. But remember for this to be effective it requires you to be able to determine which ad-slots perform best and which perform the worst. If there is no distinction in terms of performance to be made, then this approach will likely fail.
7:25 pm on Dec 4, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS that makes perfect sense, thank you for taking the time to explain. Think I might actually give a try to reducing the number of ad slots - initially seems counter-intuitive but i can see how it may well work as you suggest.
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