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January 2018 AdSense Earnings & Observations

     
7:44 am on Jan 2, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Happy New Year !
I wish you have high CTR, CPC and RPM throughout the year!

Let's start the discussion about the January earnings :)
3:15 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Earnings yesterday were up 35% from the previous week, and RPM was up 15%, so I'll keep thinking positive thoughts as long as I keep seeing improvements.
3:21 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@May to be honest, I really don't know what new layout would make any difference. A large portion of my traffic comes from mobile devices so even if I do change some ads they are going to basically look exactly the same as they do now. The only thing I could do is maybe reduce the amount on some of the pages and maybe take away some ads and see how things go.
3:43 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I find that most sites stick their main, highest paying ad right at the top of the page, which makes it the easiest ad on the page to scroll past and completely ignore. My pages start with a description of what the visitor will be learning in the article, followed by step-by-step instructions, and I've found that the best performing ad placement is right between the description and the first step. So there's usually one or two opening paragraphs, then an ad, and then the steps. Even if the ad ends up below the fold, as it often does, it's still by far the highest performing placement. The second best placement for me is at the bottom of the article, right after it ends. So really, two ads make up the vast majority of my earnings, and it seems to work well. I could use more ads, of course, but all they really do is clutter up the page and offer no value to me or my visitors.
4:17 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As an experiment I temporarily removed some display ads from a second ad network to see what impact that has over the next week. My coverage % is very good. CPC is down. On my sites I'm seeing mostly relevant ads, no blank spots, and only an occasional backup ad. So I think whatever is happening is out of my control for the most part.
4:35 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I advertise a bit on Adwords, Bing, etc. and am surprised how little I am having to bid right now. January is usually the cheapest month - prices generally start to rise in mid-February - but bids are lower than usual this year.

I ran an experiment yesterday and removed some ads in the hope that less ads = more competition = higher CPC


Fewer ads with the same amount of inventory actually lowers prices. It's an auction system. The less competition, the lower the bids and the lower the epc for the publisher.

I find that most sites stick their main, highest paying ad right at the top of the page, which makes it the easiest ad on the page to scroll past and completely ignore.


Generally - not always - the higher an ad on a page, the better the viewability and the higher the RPM. At least that has been my experience.
4:50 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ember I think the best ad placement depends entirely on the page layout and content. I agree that for most sites, having an ad above the fold is best, but after years of experimentation, that has not proven to be the case with my site. In fact, for me, the ad that usually ends up below the fold (after the opening paragraphs) ends up with 2 to 3 times the number of clicks as any ad I place above the fold. But of course, that wouldn't work for every site.
4:57 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ember
I advertise a bit on Adwords, Bing, etc.

Are using display ads?
Do you see a difference in bid prices between AdWords and other Networks?

I am not seeing any difference on my end. If anything its getting worse. From the few impressions I get, I am seeing a high volume of crap ED ads, Downloads, Dating, etc, this despite the fact that I am running only AdWords, still running Ad-Balancer and blocking all sensitive cats.
5:02 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I just heard a funny one!. Well maybe its sad.

An associate of mine, also impacted by this update, received an email from AdSense saying "We Noticed that Your Earnings Dropped, how can we help?"
5:17 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I got that notice too, made me chuckle...then cry a bit : ) It's like that clueless friend everyone has.
6:22 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Nick, yes, display ads. Bids are down across the board, on Bing, Adwords, FB. Says to me that advertisers are holding back for now. I also had a direct advertiser suddenly pull out at the last minute for January. No explanation why.
6:44 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Its like the perfect storm. Not to mention that I just spent the last hour shoveling snow and barely completed clearing any of the snow on my driveway, just what the plow pushed off the street. Now as I am writing this I feel the rumble of the next plow.

This reminds me of an expression that an old colleague used to tell me. "Things can't always go bad"

Current page RPM $0.19 (CAD) that's like $0.12 in USD. 1/10th of an average day.
7:08 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NickMSN, I may not have been affected by the recent AdSense policy change (not yet anyway), but as a Canadian, I feel your pain about the snow shovelling. Every time I finish clearing away the snow from the plow, the plow comes along and dumps even more. If the plow had "GOOGLE" written on the side, it would be poetic.
7:11 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS Are you really talking page rpm? I think a really bad page rpm is x20 that. I would give up in a heartbeat if my page rpm was that low. If it is rpm per ad slot, slightly over a dollar (US) per 1000 views would be expected. At least in our niche.
7:18 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Awww, I miss snow. We don't get any where I live, but I have fond memories of it growing up in England. I guess it's not so romantic when you're shovelling your car out of it. I do have to head out for a run in the rain shortly, but that's kinda fun (until the leeches get you).

I'm having a few days off from the stress of checking Adsense. I was talking to a patient at work yesterday who said a LOT of people will be returning to work tomorrow (15th), so hopefully more will happen as people go back to work and budgets re-set.

One interesting thing I noticed when digging into my past stats (I keep a monthly excel chart of traffic/Adsense from day one), is that in 2009 I had twice as many clicks as I have now, I'm guessing due to fewer people using mobiles + ad-blockers.
7:26 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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"a LOT of people will be returning to work tomorrow (15th)"

Not in US. There is another holiday.
7:34 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ sdksjdksjd Really? Another US holiday? Are schools closed as well?
7:41 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Current page RPM $0.19 (CAD) that's like $0.12 in USD. 1/10th of an average day.

That's really bad man. Why not just look for an alternative? Maybe you can try PubGalaxy, amazing for high traffic site.
7:51 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Really? Another US holiday?

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

:D
8:07 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Not only is Monday a holiday in the US, today and tomorrow we have NFL football playoffs. This is usually a bad weekend. Things do not open up until after the Super Bowl in early-February and Presidents' Day in late-February. Then it is three uninterrupted months until Memorial Day when things slow down again.
8:49 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Cralamarre
Really. Another US holiday. Not sure about the schools. Not my audience.
8:56 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Mayank I'm working on it. Page RPM, and $0.19 was bad, but now its down to $0.15 and dropping. The issue is not a lack of traffic, its a lack of impressions (no coverage).

@browndog
I guess it's not so romantic

5cm is romantic. We got 36cm overnight.
9:01 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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For the life of me I cannot unsubscribe from emails about this discussion. I've tried everything. Is there a trick to it?
9:02 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS How many adsense ads do you have per page? Whats your rpm?
9:27 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Maximum44 I have 2 or 3 ads per page. Impression RPM is actually showing as $0.14. Coverage is 41%. Essentially, on average I am showing less than 1 ad per page view.
9:33 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Sal Collaziano Did you uncheck the box above the Preview and Submit buttons?
9:50 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@azlinda Yes, so far no luck. :o

Sal C.
10:01 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Nick, if you don't mind me asking, what was your RPM before this Adsense policy update? Mine is averaging around $3 this month, which is roughly half of what it was before Christmas but typical for January.
10:03 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am having the same problems as all of you! Ads were not showing for 3 weeks, when I spoke to Adsense help (after 3 days of no ads showing), they said ads were showing OK their end and I had no penalties, she suggested I cleared the cache on my computer. Nothing worked. Searched and found all the discussions on the issue and decided to wait. Then on the 8th & 9th January my earnings recovered - 2 great days! Sadly tanked again on the 10th and still crazy low.

While digging in Adsense, I found this in Bid Types:
CPC Bids
CPM Bids
Active View CPM
CPE Bids
Unbillable - WHAT IS "Unbillable"? The number of impressions in this is 80% of the other bids combined.
10:16 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So many things I've never paid attention to until now.... I just checked my Bid Types report, and Unbillable accounts for less than 2 percent of my impressions.

One thing I did notice though is that CPM bids are down considerably this month compared to December and November. The vast majority of my impressions this month are CPC bids, which would explain the drop in RPM. However, the same report from Jan. 2017 shows a similar situation.

[edited by: Cralamarre at 10:46 pm (utc) on Jan 13, 2018]

10:32 pm on Jan 13, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've just checked my bid types and my CPM bids are 0 since 4 days? WTF! No wonder I am earning F-all. Time to contact support!
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