@Nick - if I agree with your speculation, if you have a lot of visitors to the same page it won't have any impact , because after the first visitor ( is it on a daily basis? ) then all will be served with ads. And on pages that you don't have any visitors, no ads will be served on the first one there. I cannot agree as I'm randomly open some pages from my site , which I know nobody is visiting and I see ads there.
Thanks @NickMNS for the explanation. My site is fairly small with only about 600 pages and all pages are visited frequently, so I don't think I've been affected by this AdSense policy change. I checked my reports from December 2016 and compared the earnings drop with last month, and even though my site has lost a considerable amount of traffic over the past year, the percentages seem to be about right. There's no sudden, unexpected drop on any date in the report.
So you're saying that your site is made up of pages that are only viewed once, and because AdSense only crawls a page after it's been viewed, the ads never appear?
@ivok, I'm only guessing, but I would imagine that once AdSense has crawled a page, it's crawled. I don't think the crawl would expire after 24 hours. So as long as the page was viewed at some point, any views on any day in the future would display the ad.
I'm not sure either. I have a backup ad serving system that loads an ad from another network or affiliate if Adsense doesn't have anything to display. The backup serving for me has shot up sky high so that's one of the things that tipped me off something was wrong. If I didn't have the backup serving in place I think it would just be empty.
All that being said, the strange thing for me when I look at the Adsense reporting I don't see a major change in ad impressions. I would expect them not to count an ad impression if they didn't serve an ad. But in my reports, you would think all the ads are being served until you look at the RPM.
@csdude55, So you're saying that even though earnings are down, it's no different than the same time last year. That seems to be my experience. January is usually a slow month for me with AdSense, but the first few days of the year are the worst.
@gorin_sis I also didn't see a major change in ad impressions but it was when I looked at my Coverage percentage under the Custom tab in Reports, I then saw the sharp drop around Dec 18th. I was thinking that it's almost like the an ad impression is being recorded with no actual ad displayed. I have noticed ads not loading at times while seeing a 200 OK from google when looking at network requests after reloading the page.
I am seeing this as well. Earnings still way down since the 18th and not the usual Dec/Jan drop. Many of my pages are showing blank ad areas. Some (not many) of them do show an ad after I refresh the page.
When you say "sharp drop" on the 18th, what sort of drop are we talking about? My custom report is showing coverage of 95% on the 18th down to 93% on the 19th, but that's only 2%. It stayed at roughly 93% for the rest of the month, with the lowest being 92.75% on Dec. 31.
Oddly, January is starting off at only 90% coverage. Not sure why, but that's the lowest I've seen it.
Clawback is the difference between your official, finalized earnings for the month and the estimated earnings before they were finalized. Google "claws back" some of the money, which is always the case every month.
@brabox I haven't. The only evidence of an email being sent was in the Adsense Help Forum linked earlier in this thread, where the individual had received word of the problem from an email from AdSense.
Jan 3 was bad, one of my worst days on record. But I went back to see if it was the in fact the worst and noticed that I had equally bad days in early Jan 2017 and 2016. So I think, at this stage I need to wait for a longer time period to conclude anything. I hate to say it, but it might be that the seasonal January dip this year came a little earlier and more pronounced than in the past.
I'm sure this issue with ads not displaying and a drop in coverage is happening only to a subset of publishers. Many are seeing this drop in coverage that happened at the same time while others are seeing normal averages regardless of what time of year it is. It makes sense since we all fit in different types of advertising categories, some of us have dynamically generated content while others don't, along with a ton of differences as publishers. There is certainly a change/issue that has occurred and it has happened to a subset of publishers for some reason.
It's not like there hasn't been things in the past that have affected only some. Below is issue last August that affected some at the time but maybe not for everyone else.
I can pull years of data from reports and I personally see an occurrence that happened a specific date like a subset of others has described. I also notice ads seemingly trying to load but not actually displaying.
I just published a post and there are no ads. Not even a single ad.
I have direct readers, this will result in earnings drop for me to some extent. What am I supposed to do now, is there any fix?
Like when I publish a interesting or breaking news, the real time views is between 50-100 within a minute or two, but there are no ads, so I am in loss?! A article posted an hour ago has no ads while another article posted 5 minutes ago now shows ad.
My traffic is good, about 20% more compared to January 2017; yet, RPM is simply horrible, way down from 2017, I see mostly Google own or low-quality ads in my most popular pages which are usually filled with high-paying, high-quality ads. Of course this is a seasonal fluctuation (January has always been bad for me in the last years), but this year it seems much, much worse than usual.
Maybe it has to do with the US economy booming. This is about the first January doing this with this site over the last 10 years that the economy has not been slow.
I have one high traffic page that is showing normal impressions in the reports but no clicks. None. It usually has a healthy CTR. So even though impressions say it's there I don't think an ad is serving.