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Coverage dropped below 70%

     
9:43 am on Jan 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just as the title says coverage dropped below 70% by the end of December and it still hasn't gone up. I have 2 responsive ads and matched content with ads. I see blank spaces frequently and strangely matched content doesn't show sometimes either. I'm not talking about the ads inside of it but the entire thing. Isn't matched content supposed to show all the time?

Please help because my revenue has dropped by 50%-75%!
12:16 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That is a different issue. That is about obtrusive ads and does not start until February 15.
12:42 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I don't think it is a "different issue" at all.

February 15 is just the next step IMO.
12:51 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So they are blocking obtrusive ads now, without telling anybody?
1:19 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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There's much more to it than that.
1:24 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm reluctant to say outright that Keyplyr is wrong, but I have serious doubts that this is related. The main reason being that, (basing myself on my stats), there is no evidence to suggest that this is in away related to Chrome. My stats show that the coverage issue appears more in Safari then Chrome, and this has more to do with mobile vs desktop than with Safari specifically. IAB/BAS is regarding ad-blocking in Chrome so it should in theory be biased towards Chrome and that is not what the data show.

There is a remote possibility that AdWords is refusing or limiting advertising formats such auto play video or other obtrusive types, but this is unlikely as one would be hearing of advertiser complaining.
1:46 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Sorry for the misunderstanding, I didn't say the missing ads were directly related to Chrome. I said the ads problem is generally all related. The reason why Chrome is updating to fight bad ads.

So... does anyone really think Google has ignored a "bug" affecting thousands, if not millions of sites, for nearly 3 weeks? That Google doesn't know exactly what is happening?

I think the big picture is ads in general, and how bad they have become, affecting the quality of almost everything on the web.

Google is making significant moves to rectify this, since they are the major player. I applaud them.

Currently no one really knows the cause of the widespread missing ads, but I believe it is an intregal component of what Google is doing as a whole.
2:04 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I think Google knows exactly what is going on. I do wonder, though, why advertisers are not hollering. If it is an Adwords bug or a planned clean-up, why aren't advertisers complaining that their ads are not showing? And if it is a planned but unannounced clean-up, why is Google letting more third-party ads through? These are generally lower quality.

So we have three theories. 1) Google is implementing brand protection and not showing ads until it has crawled a page. 2) This is an unannounced, planned clean-up before Feb 15th. 3) This is an Adwords bug.
2:14 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ember
1- In my opinion 1 is dead, I have no data to support it and a lot of data that rejects it, mainly I am seeing many pages with multiple pageviews and no coverage. Also, the source of the report would indicate that it was related to factors specific to that one site ("no-follow").
2- Is possible but at this point, I feel, very unlikely.
3- Is all that is left, so an AdWords bug it is! Unfortunately this is so vague that it doesn't really help.

The waiting game continues... as does the not making money game. :0(
2:42 am on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thanks @keyplyr

Nothing in the Ad Experience section for my sites yet. Interestingly you can use their API and check out other websites. Search for 'Google Ad Experience Report API' (google it and use the interactive web api). From my brief sampling, highly regarded sites (like nytimes.com) are given the OK. But when I checked a fairly well know image hosting site that uses popups all over the place, it has a couple of warnings already.
5:39 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS I agree there has been issues that were a result from Adwords in the past.

I'm also still kinda wondering about the adsense crawler (Mediapartners-Google). I'm still curious about why this issue hit dynamic pages so badly. I've never seen a newly created page not serve an ad immediately. Is the crawlers speed slowed down? Is it having an issue crawling all our URL rewrites?
6:34 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Golly, this is turning into a highly speculative debate. As I said before. Email your Google contact and ask them. If you have enough revenue to have the ability to contact Google via email (it's like $500 in rev per month or something), they are more than happy to tell you what is going on. If you don't have enough revenue then you probably don't have enough traffic to get a statistically significant sample of what's going on.

For a lot of publishers, the answer from Google is that the Mediapartners-Google crawl needs to take place for the purpose of protecting brands. I know for my sites, I didn't make any major changes through the holiday period and haven't changed urls in a few years so there's nothing I would have done to cause it.

As was said above by @keyplr this is all part of their big push to cleanup the ad space. It has a lot of facets (including the Chrome browser ad blocker and the Ad Experience report). It's going to be a rough ride for the next few months.
6:53 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As was said above by @keyplr this is all part of their big push to cleanup the ad space. It has a lot of facets (including the Chrome browser ad blocker and the Ad Experience report). It's going to be a rough ride for the next few months.


That sounds pretty speculative. I was pointing out one thing to @NickMNS. You keep on implying there was brand protection update that occurred (also speculative). I've seen the same 200+ thread on Adsense forum. @gorin_sis, the one thing well known at this point, is that there are some publishers that have been affected and some that aren't. I was pointing out that in that 200+ thread of people, a majority of them serve dynamic content via a blog, some rewrite url, or whatever. I just thought that there was a major similarity there.I have spoken to Google twice. They said their engineering team is investigating this issue further. A lot of other publishers have gotten the same response. Unfortunately, time is money.
7:17 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@gorin_sis there is only one single report of the Mediapartners-Google crawl having an impact and that report is very specific to the that one site were the webmaster has no-followed the pages. If Adsense were telling this to everyone then there would be no speculation. But all the reports, like the one from kelsheikh above are vague eg: we are working on it.

My site has sufficient traffic to achieve statistically significant data for the window being discussed. And there is plenty of evidence that shows that the crawling is not the issue. Then there is the statistically significant drop Adwords impressions followed by a statistically significant increase in third party ad impressions that signal an issue with AdWords. This is the case on my end at any rate. Those that have checked their stats and reported back have all reported similar patterns. So I think it would safe to drop the crawling as the source of the problem.

As for Keyplyr's assertion that this is related to IAB/BAS is far from likely, again these change revolve around Chrome and Ad-blocking and the data does not suggest any bias towards Chrome.

As for people seeing changes after changing url structures re-crawling etc... All these reports are based on anecdotal evidence where a person makes a change refreshes a page and then sees an ad and then claims to have "improved the situation". If you feel compelled to mess with URL structures please proceed but there has been evidence present to suggest that this has made any measurable difference.

As for the people that have not been impacted. I personally have my doubts, this issue has come at a time where seasonality typically has a big impact on earning and many people may believe that the drop is strictly based on seasonality, but the evidence suggests otherwise. Don't get me wrong there is seasonality, but it doesn't account for the full drop in revenue.

As for my AdWords claim, this appears to be the source of the problem, but the unfortunate reality is that even if it is true, it provides absolutely no insight on how to resolve the issue.
9:22 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NickMNS Have you emailed Google about your issues? If you think it's something else, they can at least help investigate. They've been helpful at times.
9:48 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I've been watching across the several sites, including my own 2, that I manage. I have not seen any widespread missing ads, other than the occasional empty ad space where another ad may be displaying fine right next to it. So this is not universal.

Can anyone say there's a commonality of those sites with extreme ad failure?
10:49 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@keyplr

for me it's large sites with millions of pages.
11:35 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You need to look deeper for commonalities. The pages that had extreme ad failure... are they not visited often? Are these pages not included in your sitemap.xml file? Are these pages not updated often? Are the secure (HTTPS)? Do these pages have other active links very close to the ads? etc.

Then compare these features with pages on other sites with extreme ad failure. There might be correlation.
11:53 pm on Jan 8, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@gorin_sis I have not emailed, as I don't see the point. I think it is obvious that there is an issue, what are they going to say.

Have you checked your Ad Networks report? How about you Keyplyr?
12:28 am on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Ad networks appear within norms for Adword on the sites I watch (85% to 90%) with small %s for Doubleclick & Criteo.
1:03 am on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Keyplyr, % of what earnings?
1:25 am on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You need to look deeper for commonalities. The pages that had extreme ad failure...

are they not visited often?

I have both, visited often with below average coverage and visited rarely.

Are these pages not included in your sitemap.xml file?

I have both site-mapped and not site-mapped

Are these pages not updated often?

I have both update and evergreen

Are the secure (HTTPS)?

I have both https and http pages.

Do these pages have other active links very close to the ads?

No links close to the ads on any of the pages.

etc.

big traffic, low traffic sites
I have both.

Large site, in number of pages or small site
I have both.

Static html vs dynamic pages
I have both.

AMP vs. non-AMP
I have both.

websites are hosted on the same server or different server
I have both.

pages previously crawled by Mediapartners bot compared to pages not crawled
I have both.

drop in AdWords Impressions
All sites exhibit the same pattern.

I have access to data for 4 websites located on three servers with 3 three different Adsense accounts. All sites exhibit the same drop in earnings, coverage and a drop in AdWords impressions paired with the increase 3rd party impressions. Two of the three sites are in the same niche, one is in a loosely related niche and the final site is in a completely different niche.
1:37 am on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Well, and I only say this because it is pertinent to the discussion and not to boast or make others feel bad, but both December and so far this January have been very high Adsense earnings.

December 2017, consistent through the entire month, outperformed any month in 2017 and so far this month, January 2018, I am up about 22% from January 2017 at the same time.

My other site has never earned too much with Adsense; just enough to pay for itself.

The 3 sites I manage for others, I do not have access to their Adsense or Adword accounts, but a visual check shows no extreme ad failure.
1:51 am on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Someone else in the Adsense Forum thread has posted an email from AdSense support stating that the drop in coverage is due to "brand safety" and crawling. So I have sent an email to support to see if I can get a response. I already got an automated reply that the support request was accepted. So lets see what come of this (two business days!).
1:58 am on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Nick My ad network report also shows a shift to Criteo around the mid Dec time frame. The way I'm interpreting this is that Criteo doesn't have the same issues with showing an ad on an uncrawled page that Google/Adwords does. Google's policy decision only applys to their ads? Criteo is picking up the slack but their inventory is not as big as Adwords. Perhaps that's causing the lack of ads and the lower RPM.

@Keyplr Congrats on the good earnings. Are those sites really large (in terms of the number of unique pages that get traffic)? You're probably benefiting from sites like mine not getting coverage we normally do.
2:12 am on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@gorin_sis

The way I'm interpreting this is that Criteo doesn't have the same issues with showing an ad on an uncrawled page that Google/Adwords does.

It must be something like this.

Well if anyone is impacted by this and is blocking third party ads, unblocking the third parties could potentially provide some additional revenue.
3:14 am on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You're probably benefiting from sites like mine not getting coverage we normally do.
@gorin_sis -that thought had crossed my mind ;)

Each of my 2 sites have under 300 static pages. One gets 60 to 70k pages loads daily, the other just under 10k pages loads per day... and I block most bots so these are 95% human visits.
9:01 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@keyplyr are you allowing 3rd party networks on all your sites?
9:21 pm on Jan 9, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I believe so
2:10 am on Jan 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So thing really don't add up. I just spent sometime on my small site where I have easy access to the raw server logs. I wanted to see what the reaction time was of the MediaPartenrs-Google bot. So I went to a few of my pages, about 30 or 40 pages, I refreshed them clicked on various links to access pages through multiple points and so on. I didn't see a single ad impression. I then, when into my server logs to find the bot and sure enough it was there, following me around, access pages. I didn't take a careful account so I am not certain that it went to every page I did but I noted a few that it did. I then returned to the site and revisited the pages were I was sure that the bot had passed. And once again, no ads. I then turned on my VPN, back to the pages, no ads. I refreshed a few times and bingo some ads. Great, I thought, it probably takes a few minutes. I continued to the following pages, no ads. Back to the page that had ads, again no ads.

Now I can accept (with great difficulty and much frustration, and because I have no choice) this whole "brand safety" deal, but what it is supposed to do and what it is actually doing are two different things. It is not working.

Edit: stats -> 94 page views 7 impression?
2:49 am on Jan 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I went back again after about an hour and the ads are appearing now on all the pages I visited. So the process takes time.
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