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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 :)
9:38 am on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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An admin have seen broken ads in Chrome thoughout the day. Might be him only. Anyone know the reason behind it? Looks like a document with a sad face in the spot for the ad. First it was for some positions, now all of them.
9:47 am on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Huge clawback here also, 9%, should i worry? I am not using ad balance
10:10 am on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Clawback 41%, mid 4 digits figures. Unbelievable
10:17 am on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Only 1.6% clawback here.
11:27 am on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think every clawback more than 5% is showing some problem. Those with 10+ ( not to mention 40% ) are surely getting into trouble. Normal is around 1.5-2.5%

My highest was in the summer - 8% ( mid three digits )

Any of you noticed some major fluctuation around 27-28 of December? CTR, Coverage, RPM etc?
1:06 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Down by 80% here... not even crossed 50% of yesterday's earning, it's 6PM here, the day is almost over!

Idk... what's going on :(
1:44 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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January 2 was slightly up on January 1, today's CPC is slightly improved from the last two days so hopefully now all the holidays are over and everything gets back to normal figures should go back to where they normally are and earnings will increase.
2:21 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@dollarsound do you have any suggestions why it happened? I posted my observations on the first page of this thread. Are you seeing anything similar?
2:43 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Out of a three-digit month, my clawback was only one digit which equated to around 2.5%. If I took back 41% then I would be extremely unhappy and would obviously be looking for why this had happened.
2:44 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Off a cliff - it must be January!
2:45 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My CPC is lower today than I've ever seen it. Yesterday, my page views were up 64% from the same day last week, and clicks were up 75%, but my CPC was so low that the increases made no difference in my earnings. Today, so far at least, is even worse. I know it's the beginning of January, but earnings are far below expectations. Hopefully things improve.

I also have a YouTube channel, and oddly, ad revenue appears normal on YouTube. It's only the ads on my website that are down.
3:59 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I have an ad unit that was around 2-2.5% CTR for years and from 28.12 it is 0.8-1.5% which is awful. No change of traffic, layout or anything, really weird. Got to have something with blank ads and coverage or unclickable ads like back in August. Still waiting to recover. Sent an email to G support and waiting for their reply
4:27 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Fear_Sells No idea. Just had an spike in traffic from usa in the holidays season but it seemed good traffic.
4:38 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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More clarification from my last post. Core info must have gotten lost in the thread. Here's another copy of the email the google adsense team is sending out:

Relevant Section:
As part of Google’s efforts to increase brand safety for advertisers, Google is making changes to the way it buys impressions on URLs that are uncrawled. More specifically, starting on December 15th, AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager will adopt more restrictive bidding on ad requests coming from URLs that are uncrawled. This is necessary to avoid the risk of ads running on sensitive content.

We detected that your AdX /Adsense account is sending a significant number of ad requests from URLs that are not crawled. To avoid a potential revenue impact from this change, please consider the following best practices for ensuring URLs can be properly crawled:


source: [productforums.google.com...]
4:46 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@gorin_sis welcome to Webmaster World.

The link you posted is not working. Is this the correct link:
[productforums.google.com...]

[edited by: NickMNS at 4:57 pm (utc) on Jan 3, 2018]

4:50 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The year has started out slow. I had a 6% clawback for Dec which is high for me. I do use link units.
4:51 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Found something on this page...

[productforums.google.com...]

UPDATE/NOTE: For some reason the link above is taking me to a generic Google account page. But I found the info by Googling for the first paragraph of the text below. Its from an entry in the Adsense Help Forum dated 12/28/17 by user Jon Atle Sandbakken.


"As part of Google’s efforts to increase brand safety for advertisers, Google is making changes to the way it buys impressions on URLs that are uncrawled. More specifically, starting on December 15th, AdWords and DoubleClick Bid Manager will adopt more restrictive bidding on ad requests coming from URLs that are uncrawled. This is necessary to avoid the risk of ads running on sensitive content.

We detected that your AdX /Adsense account is sending a significant number of ad requests from URLs that are not crawled. To avoid a potential revenue impact from this change, please consider the following best practices for ensuring URLs can be properly crawled:

AdSense Publishers, see:

About the AdSense crawler
How to fix AdSense crawler errors
Display ads on login-protected pages
Give access to our crawler in your robots.txt file
DFP and AdX Publishers, see Crawler Access.


Seems like they are just offering generic suggestions - so we're back to square one on a potential culprit.
4:57 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Sorry about the bad link. CommandDork found it. That the one I was referring to.

So if this is what's going on with long tail websites, any ideas on how to trick the adsense bot into crawling more pages?

Some of you said, it served an ad the second time you hit the page. Can we run crawls over all our content to trigger adsense to take a look at the content. The adsense bot is different from the Google SEO bot in that I think it might be more directed by where the ad impressions are coming in.
5:12 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yes I found it as well in the end. Thanks! But even my link to the page is not working for me some strange reason.

Well all I can say is that the timing according to the message (dec15) would coincide with my fall in earnings. Also, my site fits this pattern, large static site that depends on long-tailed searches. But I have not received any notification to this effect.

In the thread the person is stating that the pages in question have "nofollow" tags.
I assume that Google did not crawl the last URL, because my experience is that it does not when you have a no-follow code on it.

None of my pages are no-followed, so I am hoping that this is the source of the specific issue.

All I can say is that this if this is the cause, it is a major and devastating change, that has the potential of putting me out of business. I am definitely going to be looking into alternative monetization methods moving forward.
5:20 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yeah, I sympathize with you. It shows a lack of appreciation for us publishers to do this during the holiday period. Not to mention not giving us the heads up and even keeping us in the dark for part of December by saying it was a bug that their engineers where looking into.

I can tell they are really aggressive about the not serving on non crawled urls starting Jan 1. My guess is they had some revenue targets they needed to hit before the years end. This is why it sucks working for a monopolist. Following your lead in doing more diversification as well.
5:33 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What “URL’s not crawled” means? Where is the information about crawled URL’s? Could anyone explain this to me? Thanks
5:39 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm not seeing any evidence in my AdSense report from last month that I was hit by any changes beginning on the 15th, nor have I received any notifications from AdSense. Traffic was down due to the holidays but Page RPM and overall earnings remained consistent all month. It's only been yesterday and today (Jan 2nd and 3rd) that earnings have dropped. Hopefully it's just a case of the normal January blues, but now I'm worried.

How can you tell if AdSense has not crawled your pages? When I check the Crawler Errors report in AdSense, it shows nothing. No errors.
6:14 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm still having an issue with coverage that started back on December 18th. In my Performance Reports, my coverage percentage dropped on that day and hasn't regained my normal average percentage since.
6:15 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Could this be a bug in the Ad Balancer? After they relaunched it again things gone to #*$! with coverage :)
6:17 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If AdSense hasn't crawled a page, there will be no or less ads?

AdX is also down.
6:25 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My coverage report is showing 96-98% throughout December, and so far 96% for January, so I still can't find any evidence of a problem with AdSense. Still hoping the drop yesterday and today is just typical January slowness.
6:37 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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The only way to know if adsense has crawled your page is to look through your log files for 'Mediapartners-Google' They only let you know if there were issues with the crawl through the adsense UI.

I haven't heard if Google's new 'Brand Protection' policy is in place for all advertisers (including the spammy ones who don't have or care about their brand) or if it just applies to some of the more high profile ones. If it's only a subset of high profile brands that Google won't serve ads for unless they've crawled the page, then the Ad Balancer could make things even worse by limiting the inventory.
6:48 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I thought I would do the obvious and check last year's earnings report, and sure enough, my page RPM dropped at the beginning of January last year, just as it has this year.

I'm curious, why would pages that rely on long-tail searches be affected by an AdSense policy targeting uncrawled URL's? And why would AdSense not crawl these URLs? Don't all pages rely to some extent on long-tail searches? Do the affected pages not have static URLs?
6:56 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Cralamarre there is definitely some seasonality at play with earnings, but if you compare the change in earnings from the range of Dec 2016 to Jan 2017 to range of Dec 2017 to Jan 2018 you can gauge how much of the downturn is seasonal and how much is not. My earnings are down very sharply despite seeing high traffic, what I am experiencing is not seasonality.

Typically Adsense only crawls a page when it has been visited. So if you have a site that has few pages that are visited frequently by many users you should not see any impact from this change. However, if you have a site with many pages and each pages is only ever viewed by single user, then the impact will be devastating as ads will rarely appear to your users. The latter applies to my situation.

Where is the information about crawled URL’s?

In your server logs. Typically Adsense crawls a page when it gets an ad request. It seems that more specifically the page was crawled after the ad is served, now from what I gather (I am speculating) Adsense will only show an ad after the page is crawled, so the first request will call the crawler but the ad slots will go unfilled. Then any future requests for that page will be filled without issue.

The timing of this change and the lack of information is really horrible. To roll this out during a period where seasonality plays such a big roll is really adding to confusion. It would be great if Adsense could make formal announcement to everyone.
7:04 pm on Jan 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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If it's only a subset of high profile brands that Google won't serve ads for unless they've crawled the page, then the Ad Balancer could make things even worse by limiting the inventory.

That makes sense. I am using Ad-Balancer set 50% and I am seeing a big impact, but an associate of mine is running a larger site than mine with no ad-balancer and is also seeing an impact of the same magnitude. So I'm not sure...

The question is, is how is this impacting the balancing, are the unfilled slots due to "Brand-Protection" counted in the balance? Is it counted in the coverage figures? Are back-up ad shown in place, or are the slots left blank?

This would all be good information to have.
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