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CPC drop -50%

     
4:47 am on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have noticed huge CPC drop over the past 2-3 days. Today is almost -60%.

Checked by country - seems this affects USA and Canada. Australia, UK , etc looks like normal.

Anyone experiencing such issues?
5:56 am on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Count me in. 60% drop in USA and Canada CPC here. It was 0.60+ and now below 0.30.

AdSense needs to fix it asap.
8:02 am on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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AdSense needs to fix it asap

How is Adsense going to "fix it"?
8:39 am on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I mean Google.
3:10 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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We were down 40% in Q2 amid news of the Google ad boycott. I thought that was the worst. I was proven wrong the past 2-3 days as its been the worst days in my history using adsense.
3:35 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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(My first post here in over a decade)

I am seeing the same thing. This is a very large, statistically valid sample size. 50 - 75% drop in overall page CPM, CPC & CTR down. I am talking to other webmasters who are seeing the same thing. This is not some kids in India making $3 a day suddenly earning $1.50 but major site operators.

US crashed on the 6th, Canada on the 7th, Australia today on the 8th (USA time.) Other countries including Brazil either holding steady or moving upwards.

I have a lot of theories about what might be going on. Hopefully it is just their machine learning systems massively screwing up. I would presume that if it was a technical or reporting problem Google would have already made an announcement.
3:40 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I mean Google.

How is Google going to "fix it"?
3:51 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I can confirm Australia is also going down the drain...starting today. Don't know what to do so just checking the stats from time to time. Looks like these are the lowest CPC's today in my Adsense history. Unless there is some statement from Google, it's open for a lot of speculations.

UK is still holding, but I guess CPC will decrease very soon.
4:11 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Let's try and make sense of this:-

What's the history of the same time a year ago?

Can you see different types of ads from previously? EG, PSAs, or lower quality ads.

In the northern hemisphere it's holiday time, and I wonder if the inventory has changed, more than a technical issue.
4:25 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Going back to 2014, exactly two years, I can clearly see that August 2017's CPC is the lowest I have ever had also.

Compared to this time last year, I'm down 50% as well. The whole year has actually been down when compared to each day last year.
4:32 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@engine - nothing like this before, already checked last year and a lot more data. The drop of CPC is huge and in a very short period of time. Don't know if the ads are different as I'm not in US and can't see what is being showed there
5:15 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My RPM is down 50% WoW on a significant amount of impressions. Combination of both CPC and CTR. Worst drop I have seen in 4-5 years.
5:17 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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But i dont know why Google Publisher Toolbar in Google Chrome not working. Its not working and i didnt see any data from 6th 2017.
5:42 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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What is the relation between Publisher Toolbar and AdSense earning? :/
6:00 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've been doing this for 14 years and haven't seen anything like this that I can recall. Seasonal fluctuations, bot attacks, content hijacks, traffic drops, etc., yes, but not a 50% to 60% drop in epc literally over night. I'm in a very stable, targeted niche with national advertisers, and most of them have disappeared and been replaced with ads so off the mark that it's laughable. Started on the 6th (U.S.), recovered somewhat yesterday and now worse than the 6th. Since it seems to be fairly widespread, I think it must be glitch of some sort and should get fixed. This business is not for the faint of heart!
6:10 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I've heard second hand from a reliable source that this is a known issue and Google is working on it.

But yes, people who run sites with millions of users are seeing this. (I can say that first hand.) This definitely is a real occurrence and not seasonal. That it is going on three days and appears to be spreading is very strange.
7:19 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I remain optimistic with Ember, but one cannot ignore that in the past quarter there has been a boycott of advertisers who have left Google over ads being displayed in harmful content, and after the EU leveling a 2.3 billion dollar fine over googles shopping platform, they announced that they are investigating Adsense. Whatever the case, seems like it may be a rocky road ahead.
7:30 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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True, but I don't think reputable advertisers would all suddenly leave on August 6.
7:44 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a pretty significant drop as well.
7:51 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Confirming it's a bug. Hang tight.

edit: 99% sure

[edited by: Nightmute at 8:11 pm (utc) on Aug 8, 2017]

8:00 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Nightmute
Nice to have someone running volume mention that it is a bug, any insight on your source who let you know it is a bug? Or how you can confirm that it is a bug?

Thanks!
8:04 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I asked the team at AdSense and wait a response.
10:47 pm on Aug 8, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have a long time high traffic site with Google Adsense for many years now and todays drop in Page RPM is way, way down compared to anything I have ever seen before. If Google doesn't fix this soon, (I presume it is a bug or problem on Googles end) I will be looking to move my traffic to another supplier besides Google Adsense. I have all good organic USA traffic. The Page RPM has been going down for the last couple of days but today was horrific and seems to have only been worse through the day. My traffic levels are all strong and consistent as ever.
12:26 am on Aug 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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nightmute, how do you know it's a bug? What is your source?
12:52 am on Aug 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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This must be the reason why my CTR is also down about 70%. Before this fiasco, my CTR was always at least 1%.
12:58 am on Aug 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I have been quiet so far on this because I am always reluctant to comment on intra-day stats, and I was having server problems between August 6 and 7 so my stats were all skewed. But Today my traffic patterns have be normal and as reported by everyone else all day I am also seeing all time low CPC, CTR, (both down around 50%) and my Coverage has been around 87% compared to a typical 98% or 99%.

how do you know it's a bug?

I am not speaking for nightmute. But, it appears to be a bug or some kind of algo change, because everyone is talking about it. There are three active threads discussing this here. People who have not posted in decades are chiming in, new members are signing up (@HereWeGo123 Welcome WW) , all the regulars are discussing this and everyone is reporting a similar experience. This to me suggests that what ever it is, it is systemic.

I don't see that there is much we can do about it other than wait it out and see what happens.
1:11 am on Aug 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Glad it's not just me --- not that I'm happy its happening to others, but it's a relief knowing something dramatic hadn't happened to my account. WebmasterWorld was the first place I checked this evening after two days of watching my rates plunge (after what had been a very high 3 week period).... worst RPM I've seen in years.
1:12 am on Aug 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS, thanks for that. The interesting part is that Google's stock continued on with normal behavior today. I also believe that if this was not a bug, Google would've given us somekind of update by now. By them not responding to any of our requests (or publicly) to me suggests that they are aware of some kind of issue going on.

Also, does anybody have a good alternative to AdSense? I'm beginning to think that we'll need some Back Up ads instead of AdSense while this issues works out.
1:43 am on Aug 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for all the info people, this is *kind of* reassuring.

Coverage has gone down to 85% from the usual 95%-98% since August 4, and RPM and CTR have been horrible as well, probably at an all time low. I thought my site might have been problematic so I tried to move around things, but to no avail.

After reading this thread, I guess it's time to leave things exactly as they were before and hang tight. Let's totally hope this is just a bug and not permanent.

P.S. If you look at it statistically wise, it seems like whole bunch of advertisers suddenly vanished from AdSense, which is practically impossible.

One thing that comes to mind though is an article recently published on Business Insider about ads.txt and Google taking action against bogus ads (article here: [uk.businessinsider.com...]

Here's a quote taken from Business Insider talking about a 15 minutes test Google did with big advertisers:
During these tests, Google and the partners shut off all of their programmatic ad inventory for brief periods, say, 10 to 15 minutes, and then scour the ad exchanges to see what's listed. Google and its partners found thousands if not millions of video and display ad spots still available on multiple ad exchanges, despite no ads actually being for sale at that time

Maybe they're doing that same 15 minutes test they did with those advertisers, but on a much bigger scale? That could somewhat explain the low coverage and lack of inventory we're all seeing.

[edited by: janvitos at 2:02 am (utc) on Aug 9, 2017]

2:00 am on Aug 9, 2017 (gmt 0)

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I just took a deeper dive into my stats. To look for any anomalies. The features of note are:
This drop is only impacting Adwords, third party networks appear unchanged.
The drop is felt equally across all three platforms mobile, desktop, tablet.
The drop is most noticeable for the US, but 90 to 95% of my traffic is US.
For "Creative Sizes", it appears that 300 x 250 ads are impacted less. 728 x 90 and dynamic are impacted the most (I use responsive ad-units).
Ad placement, when it comes to coverage, it is the banner ad at the top of my pages which are not being filled. BTF ads appear to be filled normally.
Bid types: I am seeing a three fold increase of CPM ad impressions and the impression RPM has dropped by a little less than 50%. CPC bid impression RPM has dropped by 80%.


does anybody have a good alternative to AdSense?

The most common alternative to Adsense is Media.net.
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