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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 :(
2:48 am on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@sdk

re density
What about AJAX loaded content on scroll? Does it count?
Can't find anything on this.

I'm not sure but I would assume that it would depend on implementation.
Are new ads loaded with the new content?
Or are all the ads on the page and only new content is loaded?
Are you suing pushState() to change the url in the address bar as the new content is loaded or are you simply adding content to the page?
3:05 am on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Simple load of more content on scroll to make page rendering faster.
4:13 am on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@sdk that doesn't really answer any of the questions.
If the ads are on the page, but not all the content. Then there is a risk that Google will judge the page before the scroll event as it typically does when crawling with Googlebot. So more ads less content, not good. If the ads load with the content, just make sure that the density is right for the added content.

If you use pushState() then the page might be judged in its state when the pushed url is shown, so should not change much.

All this is speculative as there has been no indication from Google as to how or where it plans on evaluating pages. The best approach is wait and see. You should get 30 days to fix any issues, so just be sure to have a plan B the ready.
4:56 am on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So, you don't know.
Thanks anyway.
7:59 am on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi @ember thank you :) I've removed the 300x600 ad from mobile sidebar. Only problem is with short articles :(

RPM is now 8$ from 2$ ;) Bidding back to normal on desktop, still bad on mobile.
12:00 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Two measly quid, that's all I made yesterday, unbelievable. I was earning more in the first two months when I first started out with AdSense. I'll be lucky if I make a three figure sum this month.
12:08 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I take my words back, it's down to 3$ now :(
1:32 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Just a little doubt. How many of those experiencing a huge RPM drop have a "not reviewed" state for their websites, like me?
1:41 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@azlinda are you using autoads?

I tried to re-enable autoads recently but it literally shows nothing. The code is correct as it is the same code i have had on my site ever since anchor ads came out.

I tired autoads before and didnt like so i disabled them in my adsnse dashboard. I re-enabled them last night and didnt see anything but though it might take time... still 0 ads on my site this morning.. so i just put back regular ads and all is well.
1:42 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi none of my sites have been reviewed and my rpm is at 40-50% since sept. OVERNIGHT and never recovered.
1:53 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi
Not reviewed, but this is definitely not related to RPM. See latest AdSense webinar.
2:03 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@kegnum, no, I'm not using autoloads.
2:08 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi Not reviewed.

I'm not using auto ads, it's a piece of crap.
3:32 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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We have auto ads enabled. Though it is not a big earner, it adds up in the long run.
3:39 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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See latest AdSense webinar

Thank you @sdksjdksjd, didn't see it, can you provide me a link to it?

I don't have an idea on if the two things can be correlated, I just want to collect some data because the coincidence is pretty strange. if, in Better Ads Standards language, "passed" means "go", and "not passed" means "stop", it seems a bit strange to me that "not reviewed" would mean go either.
4:30 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@riccarbi
I don't have an idea on if the two things can be correlated,

It will be very difficult to show any meaningful correlation between the two since most sites are in the "not-reviewed" status. Conversely, I would speculate that sites that have the "reviewed" status probably are doing well in terms of RPM, but that would be that Google is most likely prioritizing for review the largest and most successful sites, so it would be difficult to draw any conclusion from that.

I went back and checked my rpm for all time on a monthly basis. I see a distinct pattern, every January there is a dip in RPM ("the January effect") and then there is a recovery in February. This recovery is never a full recovery, every year the RPM steps down. I have been fortunate in that my traffic has been growing steadily since I started, so I suspect that there is negative correlation between traffic and RPM. Which seems paradoxical to me. I further suspect that falling traffic would further erode RPM, which would be even more paradoxical.

My theory is that when one starts a new sites Google has little information with which to rank the site, so it limits queries that the site can rank for to queries that a very specifically in-line with the topic or interest of the site. One gets few users but those users are likely interested in the site so more likely to engage with the ads. As the site gains trust with Google it begins to rank for more queries but those may be for search terms that are less well targeted to your site. As result one sees more users but fewer ad clicks, thus a drop in RPM. If at some point the site begins to fall out of favor with Google, the site then continues to ranks for as many queries but ranks lower and the users coming to sites are even less likely to engage with content and ads so one sees a further drop in RPM, which ends up being the beginning of a death spiral.

A death spiral, because many publishers react to dropping in earnings by adding more ads or different ads to the point of impact the overall site experience. The causes further drop in user engagement and a likely a further drop in rankings.

One always needs to be reminded that the quality of ones site is a relative measure, relative to competitor sites. What ranked on page 1 last year may no longer rank this year, not because of any changes to your own site but due to changes to the competitive environment that surrounds it.
6:24 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@NickNMS

Being reviewed or not for the IAB have nothing to do with RPM, passing or failing reviews do not have bumps in RPM per se, unless template has been changed to satisfy their requirement. It's correlation in terms of site design but not because of review action or prioritization. I have seen no bumps or drops in my sites that have been reviewed.

As far as I could tell, they do prioritize on bigger sites for their review process (in terms of traffic). 3 of my top sites have been reviewed, while the others have not. It's anecdotal but probably close to the truth. But I should note that I do have a few others sites slightly bigger than the smallest of the 3 mentioned, so their criteria may not be purely based on traffic alone. (Maybe solely on US traffic metric, but that's my guess).

In my opinion, failing traffic does not necessary mean a failure in RPM. A falling high RPM traffic segment (Losing 30 yr old man/woman for example) can result in failure in RPM. (So it is sometimes correlated, and sometimes not). It's in my opinion correlated but not exactly a causation. In reverse, increased traffic tend to result a fall in RPM in my experience, as non performing traffic segments are typically introduced. But then again, a small sites have too much variations.

But a site with much higher traffic pass a certain criteria will end up having higher RPM due to direct advertiser targets / bids. That's my general experience / observation.

The way I see out of the "death spiral", is always to put users first and dedicate more real estate towards usage experiences.

Observation: I saw a collapse of RPM the end of January and first two days of the month. Now it's mostly back on par of peak of January. This month should turn out to be decent as far as Q1 goes.
6:29 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I can't work out AdSense. Is now showing 2.14 p for the page RPM and 23p CPC
6:44 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Ironside what is not to get?
2.14 RPM = .23 (CPC) * (0.009 CTR) * 1000 (impressions)
This assumes that there is no revenue from other bid types such as CPM or AV-CPM. Revenue from other source would reduce the CTR.

What is your CTR?
10:22 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@frankleeceo How are you doing revenue wise? Are you struggling? Still the same? Doing good?
10:27 pm on Feb 10, 2018 (gmt 0)

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prioritize on bigger sites for their review process

Guys, why speculate? Again, see Adsense webinar (search for it. I lost the link.)
Review process is purely geo targeted. It depends from the area the most of your traffic is coming from.
2:27 am on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@jbayabas

I am doing great raw revenue wise. But my situation / setup might not be applicable to many. I am mainly being carried by my top site (while they're popular). My niche typically have a life cycle about 1~2 years before they die away. Think specific type of life cycle of tech or software (people use them, and then people move on, then my sites get deserted and die). I am working very very hard to introduce / create more sites into my network to cover the eventual but destined downfall of my top sites. I have less "ever green" type of single site to draw conclusions on, but rather longer term trends across my entire network.

My observation though, mobile traffic impressions are becoming much more abundant and percentage heavy (in my niches naturally), at the same time experiencing further declining RPM's. The result is relatively similar final revenue, with much higher traffic counts vs lower rpm's.

I think if I become complacent, lazy and stop creating more sites, I will definitely struggle. (I went through the lazy phase 5 years ago and almost bankrupted myself, becoming complacent). So in conclusion, I am clocking record traffic with similar amount of earning wise. (meaning if I stopped working on the content treadmill, I will suffer declining revenue from the simple math).

@sdksjdksjd
So how does google prioritize sites reviews within the same geo area? Lottery?
2:59 am on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@frankleeceo
I don't work for Google.
3:50 am on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Wouldn't you get slapped by Google for 100-word articles? I have seen sites get penalized for thin content.
4:01 am on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@sdksjdksjd

So if you don't work for Google, please don't act like one. Speculate and share ideas! How do you think google prioritize sites reviews within the same geo area? If my speculation of basing on traffic or size is not sound or logical, why not? Enlighten me with your personal experiences.

And ps. Adsense team does not review IAB standards aka Chrome filter, another arm of Google does that. Adsense team simply regurgitates what they have learned as well.
4:56 am on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@Kash1111 Yes. These are old articles when I started blogging and at that time my aim was to keep the readers up-to-date on a specific topic. The short articles are simple news, how am I supposed to fill a article with 300-400 words which is about one minor change in Skype update? It's wasn't possible, at least at that time. However, I've changed this behavior and since one year even the news articles have at least 250 words.

These articles were never for search engines, and it has no ads (not crawled) since nobody would read a news about Skype update published years ago.

@frankleeceo I also used to do that! It was time consuming, and didn't work when I acted lazy :P
10:33 am on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@kash1111 there is no such thing as "thin content" these days as long as your pages are useful for users and they are getting what they want. My sites have hundreds of thin content pages that rank on first page or on very top of serps.
10:52 am on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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One of my site that used to have 1.50 average RPM in good old days is now at 0.60 thanks to "brand protection" thingy. Most of my Adsense earnings are coming from "custom channels" because people still want to promote their stuff through my site but Google won't let them show ads on all pages due to their new policy. Seems like I need to start doing freelancing too where I would never remain dependent on Google's "giveaway" pennies. At least in freelancing I would know how much customer paid and how much I will get unlike Google's advertisement business where everything is mysterious and now I even suspect "68% / 32%" share. Luckily I will have a real life job soon as soon as my studies are complete.
11:36 am on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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How is it possible to have ads on mobile and no ads on desktop and vice versa in new articles? The brand protection thing is still bothering me.
12:31 pm on Feb 11, 2018 (gmt 0)

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@frankleeceo
Man, all of your doubts were addressed in Adsense webinar. Do you have something personal against the Adsense team? Why are you so stubborn?
If you want to waste your time speculating on clearly replied questions, then this is your choice, but don't expect others will support you in your waste.
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