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February 2018 AdSense Earnings & Observations

     
12:19 pm on Jan 31, 2018 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 33 messages were cut out of thread at: https://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/4880340.htm [webmasterworld.com] by martinibuster - 9:06 am on Feb 2, 2018 (utc -5)


No improvements here guys, it's all dead and getting worse.

Last day of January is really pathetic :(
5:02 am on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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My problem is with my CTR. It has always been at least 1% since 2003. In the past 19 days, I've lost 80% of that. Now it hovers around 0.20%. It's ridiculous, and I do NOT know the cause.
5:14 am on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@sdksjdksjd

The issue you are describing appears to match NickMNS's experiences, follow his threads? I thought he was able to sort it out with Adsense at the end through individual contacts.

@kegnum

Thank you for sharing more information! But your timing appears to be off compared to most other people here, your hits appears to occur a couple months early. For CTR drops, did you match or blend your content with the ads with your site layout? I know during that time adsense was going over appearances changes as color schemes, arrow removal and such, could that be the cause of the hit?

I personally believe that more information shared among the gains and drops allow us to see bigger pictures and try to come up with theories and potential actions. I am personally doing well, but am always looking out for the "omens" and "signs".
5:54 am on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I understand that from about dec 18th google were checking sites or pages before showing ads, which led to lots of blank spaces. I think most people have more or less recovered from the worst effects. That is also my experience.

So for those who are still reporting dramatically reduced rpm it would seem likely the 'test' set by google was not passed by those sites.

If I was in that position I would consider the possibility that in certain circumstances my ads could be seen as too obtrusive, too numerous, possibly leading to accidental clicks or otherwise annoying to visitors.

(I know the sites of two people in this position and they are certainly both 'pushing the limits' in terms of numbers of ads shown, as well as having both adsense and media.net ads, but don't know if the same applies to people on this forum.)
6:31 am on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a good jump in earnings today, maybe a bug? :) Also going to try Media.net today as they told me their ads will perform than AdSense, plus, they will unlock the 'premium ads' for me. I will use DFP to split Adsense and AdX traffic, - 70:30.

I've two sites, one in tech niche with 1m traffic, and one in entertainment niche with 1.5m traffic :)
8:11 am on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I forgot to mention (maybe it will shed some light for some).

We're doing pretty good but also have close to 100% organic traffic from search engines. Specific searches going to specific pages.
10:22 am on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Today again: Page visits +5% and RPM -45%
I am working with about 30 Domains.
Different languages, different content.
I did not make any changes at Adsense.
Can anybody tell me how to stop this nightmare?
11:31 am on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What is really strange is that the pages apparently most affected by low-quality Ads and whose revenue dropped more since December are the most visited ones (including the homepage). It's apparently senseless, since I am aware those are also the pages with the highest content quality in my sites. So high-quality page=bad ads; lower quality page=better ads.

Again, I guess it's a sort of "protection" for advertisers and/or a consequence of the site not being reviewed for BAS so far. Sending basic text ads on most popular pages minimizes the impact on advertisers, indeed. Even if my sites are all focused on museums, visual arts and design (which I suppose are rather safe niches for a brand to advertise in) and the number of ad units ranges between 1 to 3 at most.

Happily, I am on the way to finally get rid forever of Adsense, and of all advertising networks.
1:17 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Anyone had their website reviewed in webmaster tools yet?
1:24 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@KaseyM Not yet, dude. None of my sites are reviewed, I've vised that page so many times that typing 'go' on address bar suggests the ad experience page :D
2:19 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@KaseyM no review here either... i check daily.

@frankleeceo my ads are blended. They have been for years. TBH i have no idea.. but i am sure its a change on adsense's end. I have tried just about everything so i don't think there is much I can do aside from moving away from adsense.

@MayankParmar I personally use media.net, they are trash. The reps are like used car salesmen. They will promise you the moon and deliver, if you are lucky, 10% of what adsense does. In fact the "premium" ads are just adsense ads through their adsense account minus their massive cut. From what i can calculate, assuming they get the same cut from adsense we all do, they keep 75-80% of the adsense revenue they generate.
2:36 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What I like about media.net is the ads tend to follow your niche so people will at least click on the buttons. However, I do find it irritating when all I see is the same sort of adverts that you get on Google AdSense. The reason I went with media.net is so I didn't display Google AdSense type ads.
3:04 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Kegnum I installed their ads today and it's late evening, no ads serving, no response from their support, while sales team was responding frequently. Removed them already!
3:17 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ironside Right, also if you click on the ads, a lot of the time the advertising page is either the same stuff over and over or irrelevant ads.

@mayankparmar Yea, though they may be the best adsense alternative available. Really, they are not much of an alternative.

Also they ad functionality without consulting you. For instance, they started showing those auto play video ads. When I contacted them they stated that they asked me and I said yes... I had not even logged into my dashboard for months, let alone speak to anyone.. so these are the type of people they are. Liars and sneaks.

The only reason I re-added them to my sites is that I am trying to completely replace adsense as I am tired of constantly having to bend my business to Google's whims... unfortunately with the chrome update it looks like google has found a way to force me. I can only hope that over time Google looses their grip on the internet.
4:18 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@kegnum I know what you meanr re: replacing the big G. .... yes, I hope they lose their grip on the net too.

@frank thanks for your thoughtful replies. Lots to think about. Yes, my catastrophic fall happened two days or so after the brand safety update. I don't think I have any "gray" content, even though we're a narrow niche....

The google rep I spoke to told me the 50% drop was due to a 5-8% drop in my mobile impressions. Who knows maybe it was (but it didn't seem to make sense to me...)

Maybe March will be better, who knows. Husband is about ready to take adsense out forever. So yeah, we're sick of the hoops too, that they want us to jump through.
4:20 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What really irritates me is I keep getting notifications asking me how AdSense performed in January. Is Google trying to rub salt in the wounds? If they take a look back at how I've done previously then there is no need to ask stupid questions.
4:32 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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It's been awful since about 2 weeks ago, what is going on. I have roughly 50 percent traffic from US, UK, CA, AU.
4:34 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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What really irritates me is I keep getting notifications asking me how AdSense performed in January. Is Google trying to rub salt in the wounds? If they take a look back at how I've done previously then there is no need to ask stupid questions.


Furthermore such comparisons don't make any sense. We all know that there are monthly fluctuations in Ads performances.
January is always worse than December for me (and for many others, I suppose)
A comparison which would make sense is between a month and the same month of the previous year (and that's how I've set my Adsense report on their mobile app).
7:10 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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A Media.net representative once contacted me through her official email and told me my site will do good with their ads. So i told her to sign me up. She did not replied back for few days so I manually signed up through their site. Never received any confirmation email for that. Few days later she contacted me again and told me she will set me up. After that I never heard back from her again or Media.net not even the confirmation email I ever received that my application is still under review or what. I think Media.net is being run by amateur racist Indians from India who selectively allow publishers to join their network. Sigh!
7:18 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I'm seeing a new onslaught of spam ads, of the zloan type. The url is phatphun the ads either feature an image of a frowning cat or of the POTUS. I have blocked about half a dozen already today. The impressions are few, but I am running the ad balancer aggressively.
7:18 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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rlcdn.com ad from adsense is not loading and slowing down site :/

Well, Media.net approved me in an hour.
8:19 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Why are all these advertising companies piggybacking off of Google AdSense? Can't they go out and get their own advertisers? This is very concerning to me.
8:29 pm on Feb 20, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@azlinda i agree 100%. It seems like the only good ads out there are from adsense.. and they really arent that good considering they haven't changed much in 5-10 years. It's 2018 10 years in internet business time is like 100 years in offline business time lol.
12:25 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As far as I know, of the advertisers I use, Gourmet Ads (in Australia), Conversant Media (Fastclick) and Outbrain do not use Google ads. Media.Net does. A quick look at ads.txt will tell you who does the Google piggybacking.
12:29 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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As far as I know, of the advertisers I use, Gourmet Ads (in Australia), Conversant Media (Fastclick) and Outbrain do not use Google ads. Media.Net does. A quick look at ads.txt will tell you who does the Google piggybacking.
12:53 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I am also seeing a ton of "download now" spam and bloatware ads all over several sites (not just mine). These are horrible.. a quick search will show hundreds of forums posts with people unable to remove them.

You would think that if google was so worried about the good of the people, these types of ads would not be allowed... I am constantly blocking them and they just keep coming back.
1:21 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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On that basis it seems like a really bad idea to be using something like Media.net.

I assume in most cases people here are using Media.net to supplement AdSense, thus offering two parallel auctions for each page impressions. This is providing a means for programmatic buyers to arb your inventory and take a cut off it at all at once. Seems like a sweet deal for the buyers. And then you wonder why your RPM keeps dropping.

There can only be one auction per page view, anything else is sub-optimal. In a best case scenario you loose a few pennies, in worst case you get arbed to next to nothing. When AdSense had a three ad limit, an argument could be made for adding ads from a second network. There was still a cost, but the marginal increase in earnings potential of additional ad-units offset that cost. But today, there is no need. You can ad as many AdSense ads as you like. Obviously at some point ad density will be an issue, but adding ads from other ad networks doesn't change that.

If you feel the need to host multiple networks on your site the only solution is to use something like DFP and then to actively manage the auctions. In fact that is most likely the most profitable solution, but I assume that for those with relatively low volumes, the marginal increase in revenue will not warrant the additional cost of management.

RE: Outbrain, their whole business model is based on arb. They place their "ads", or click-bait on unsuspecting webmaster's sites, they pay next to nothing for the traffic off the site and then redirect users to sites that are fully optimized with high paying, high value ads and offers. So, they steal the few users that would have clicked on your high value ads and leave you the more informed or engaged users (those that typically don't click but really consume your content). But those more engaged users aren't more engaged because all they see are click bait ads so they equate your site with the ads. So your left with pennies. And then one wonders why there is no demand for ones inventory.

There is this belief that one can simply keep adding ads to a page and that each additional ad unit will marginally increase revenue. But that is never the case. A user can only click on an ad once. After the click the user is gone. Allowing advertisers to display ads at a low cost increases the probability that they those low cost ads will be clicked, but also increase the probability that the high value will not be clicked. As those high value ads are no longer clicked, their value declines.

My recommendations, one auction per page view. Fewer ads are better than too many ads. How many ads? That depends on page layout and content. Place ads in strategic location like at the fold, and after main content. Be sure that any ad served is seen. Focus on AVV. Use the ad-balancer (for AdSense) to remove un-sold or under-sold inventory from the auction. Any changes need time to take effect.
3:51 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@ NickMNS was running 3 adsense ads + 1 media.net ad per page on all 4 of my main sites... removed all but the best preforming adsense ad from 1 site. Will see if I only loose only a few pennies. I hope you are right but my guess is i will loose 20-40% of the income from that site.

Right now that single ad is showing me ads for breast feeding aids and period proof panties. I'm a 37 year old male and the site is in a technical niche with mostly male traffic.
5:54 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@kegnum - I think what @NickMNS meant was to keep only adsense ad units at prominent positions - top, higher up in content, bottom of page etc. I think you should keep 3-4 adsense ad units at these prominent positions and remove media.net ads. At the bottom you can also put Adsense Link ads.

If you have removed 2 adsense ad units(out of 3) and 1 media.net unit - I think(and I may be wrong) but you will lose 60-65% of ad revenue from that site.
6:44 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Kegnum Technical niche in Android, Windows, iOS or something else? I've noticed they have completely different CPC rate despite being a tech niche.

My bottom adsense unit makes 10% of site revenue, thought Media.net would do better but it didn't. Media.net RPM was: $0.09 lol
9:53 am on Feb 21, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@azlinda Advertisers having been piggybacking them ever since they bought Doubleclick in 2007. They just have the most available inventory.

[nytimes.com...]
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