Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 18.204.48.40

Forum Moderators: martinibuster

Huge Drop in revenue: Unbillable clicks

For those publishers that are monetizing with link units

     
10:56 am on Apr 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 29, 2017
posts:92
votes: 14


I've created this thread so all the publishers using link units that have experienced a drop in revenue can confirm that they are having the same issue.
I have contacted a GCPP but I have no answer from them yet.

I invite you to check your account and share here if you are getting this "Unbillable clicks". These are the steps you have to follow to find it out.

1- Left column, click on "Reports" and then in "Entire account by day"
2- In the top right corner, select a date range, starting from 1 January 2018 to now.
3 - In the main content area, over the input box, select "Report by" : "Months" : "Bid types"
4 - Look for "Show rows" and select 100 or more.
5 - Click twice on the "Bid types" header in the results area.

Then you'll see all the unbillable impressions and clicks ordered by months. I would need you to check the clicks column. There if you are affected by this issue you will see that before August 2018 there are 0 unbillable clicks, and after that month Unbilable clicks start to grow and the revenue is almost halved.
3:04 pm on Apr 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Dec 11, 2013
posts:383
votes: 110


I can confirm that - all Adsense participants could check that because the numbers look bizarre (including 2017). I'm not sure if it only affected link units. What does "unbillable" mean?
4:05 pm on Apr 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 4, 2019
posts: 12
votes: 1


Good idea , I will look into it and post here once I am on my pc . Btw so far april looks better in terms of CTR and RPM compared to March same period and following pattern I hope it gets better for remaining days of April .
5:51 pm on Apr 9, 2019 (gmt 0)

Full Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 14, 2014
posts:327
votes: 102


Same here, starts in August of 2018 and has steadily risen into April of 2019.

I suppose "unbillable" can mean whatever Google wants it to mean - they have the freedom to evolve their product as they see fit (and most always to satisfy Advertisers, their bread-and-butter). All we have to go on are these Impressions, Clicks, and Active Viewable numbers - hardly helpful if we were to attempt to address this issue. This is where I wish they offered a bit more transparency as some of us want to be in good standing with the program AND help out their/our Advertisers.
7:31 am on Apr 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 29, 2017
posts: 92
votes: 14


@commandDork "unbillable" could mean whatever, but in my case some days it's 40% of the clicks. If all the publishers are having the same issue, it's something huge. Maybe there is something wrong with Adsense or in the way we use link units (i guess not mine, my set up is pretty safe), but then we should know. Look what's happening with the de-indexing in the serps this week, they are having troubles also. Might be they are having another one here.
7:48 pm on Apr 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 4, 2019
posts: 12
votes: 1


There is no improvement I guess as I played with ad balancer couple of weeks ago and brought it from 100 to 60 fill rate 98% earnings . I just learnt it also decreases number of impressions though earning remain almost same . So change in rpm is because of that .
10:08 pm on Apr 10, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

5+ Year Member

joined:Jan 24, 2012
posts:94
votes: 40


Wow... it's exactly what you said dollarsound. Starting last august, unbillable. Groing each month, almost half of the revenues.

So by the look of it, they are just invalidating way way way more clicks than before. How could this be, since link ad units require at least 2 clics to be valid ?
1:21 pm on Apr 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 29, 2017
posts: 92
votes: 14


@Jori, if link units need 2 clicks, it seems that there is no way that they can be invalid, I think the same. Let's wait for more people to confirm it and then we could try to reach someone from google.
1:30 pm on Apr 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

Full Member

5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

joined:Aug 14, 2014
posts:327
votes: 102


Wait, how do we know that these "unbillable clicks" are related to link units?
1:40 pm on Apr 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 29, 2017
posts: 92
votes: 14


@commandork I forgot to add one more step in my instructions, and then I can't edit the post.
You can also add a filter in the filter input box:
Filter: Requested ad types: Link Unit
1:42 pm on Apr 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Jan 10, 2018
posts:8
votes: 0


from [support.google.com...]

Unbillable impression:

AdSense records an unbillable impression for link units when the user doesn't go on to click any of the ads on the corresponding landing page.
1:51 pm on Apr 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 29, 2017
posts: 92
votes: 14


@jor70 Yes, but the issue is that before August 2018 the unbillable impressions were there already but unbillable clicks were 0.
Now the unbillable clicks are 30-40% of total clicks.
3:03 pm on Apr 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Jan 10, 2018
posts:8
votes: 0


yes I get your point, I was just answering what unbillable means for google.
perhaps they started tracking that info last August . Do you have any earlier month >0 ?

beside this, what I noticed ( although not sure if is something new because I never paid attention to this before ) is that they claw back much more and almost in real time, and then again at the end of the month
3:07 pm on Apr 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 29, 2017
posts: 92
votes: 14


Before August all the months were zero unbillable clicks.
6:16 pm on Apr 11, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Aug 7, 2017
posts:48
votes: 12


I believe unbillable clicks are any clicks related to link units that don't generate revenue ie first click or landing page re-circulation click.

Re-circulation links didn't exist until Q3 last year, so the timing makes sense.
7:48 am on Apr 12, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 29, 2017
posts: 92
votes: 14


I'd be OK if they are now tracking those clicks not generating revenue, they've been always there. But in that case, we should have notice an increase in clicks or ctr and the revenue should have remained the same. Also we would have noticed an small increase in page views per session. (For those who dont know, link units generate revenue when the user performs a second click in a landing page designed by Google). I dont think that recirculation is the issue here. The issue is that before 100% of the tracked clicks generated revenue and now only 60%.
1:19 pm on Apr 14, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:Nov 2, 2018
posts:57
votes: 26


Yes, I can confirm. Before August there were 0 unbillable clicks.
3:05 am on Apr 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

Full Member from US 

5+ Year Member

joined:Feb 24, 2011
posts: 273
votes: 6


Same for me -- exactly what the OP said. Before August there were 0 unbillable clicks.
2:13 pm on Apr 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Apr 20, 2019
posts: 1
votes: 0


I also have unbillable clicks starting in August 2018. My adsense revenue dropped dramatically around this time too and has not recovered. I have been using Link Units for a number of years now since since I discovered that they outperformed Display Ads.
6:55 pm on Apr 20, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:Mar 4, 2019
posts: 12
votes: 1


How can we contact google about this issue ?
4:32 pm on May 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

Full Member from US 

5+ Year Member

joined:Feb 24, 2011
posts: 273
votes: 6


I took link units off my site for the month of April and still saw a 20% clawback for unbillable clicks when I checked this morning. So, I'm doubting it has anything to do with link units in particular.
10:56 am on May 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:May 19, 2018
posts:16
votes: 1


Hello publishers,

While it may seem little irrelevant but it is related to link ads. Can you guys confirm that after new Adsense update about ad units (rolling out), we can no longer create new link ad units? Because, now I do not see option to create new link ads units in my account. However, the already created old link ad units are operational? Is that normal? I mean it implies that onwards link ads are discontinued but old units will continue to work for some time? Anyone please?
11:13 am on May 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 29, 2017
posts:92
votes: 14


Hi @engineerqasim, is this option missing in your account?

[prnt.sc...]
11:55 am on May 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:May 19, 2018
posts:16
votes: 1


Yes, the interface has totally changed. When I go to Ad Units -> Create new ad unit. The available options are:

1. Display Ads
2. In article ads
3. Matches content
4. In feed ads

In display ads, there is no option to create link ad. I am on mob right now, will share screenshot.

Did your account get updated with new changes? I guess the update is still rolling out
12:06 pm on May 17, 2019 (gmt 0)

Junior Member

joined:May 29, 2017
posts:92
votes: 14


So after you click here:
[prnt.sc...]

You dont see this option?
[prnt.sc...]
1:44 am on May 18, 2019 (gmt 0)

New User

joined:May 7, 2019
posts:8
votes: 0


i still have my option for link ads...
9:44 pm on June 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

Full Member from US 

5+ Year Member

joined:Feb 24, 2011
posts: 273
votes: 6


What. The. Heck.
I haven't used link units for two months and I actually am down to just two ad units and still... had an 11% clawback for May. There has to be more to it than just link units and I sure don't understand what it is. At this rate, I might as well throw the units back on there.
10:36 pm on June 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

Full Member from US 

5+ Year Member

joined:Feb 24, 2011
posts: 273
votes: 6


Does anyone with a clawback issue get a lot of referral traffic from Pinterest? I'm beginning to think that maybe that's where my issue is stemming from.