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Big Ad Changes Coming - Email

Changing Formats

     
2:55 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I got the email this morning.
"Important changes to your Google AdSense ad units."

"We're investing heavily in understanding the best ways to increase user interest in ads and how our ads perform. As a result, our formats are constantly being updated and improved. You may have noticed these new types of ads showing up on your sites."

"We’re committed to continuously investing in the modernization of our advertising products. As a result, there are some important changes we're making to some AdSense features that you have used or configured in the past. Your Ads tab will be updated in the coming weeks to reflect the following changes:

1. Ad sizes
We've made it easier to create and manage ad units. All ad units will be created Responsive by default to adjust to different screen sizes on mobile and desktop for increased performance and flexibility. If you do need further customization, you’ll still be able to create custom sized ad units.

2. Ad types
We’re moving towards richer ad formats, phasing out text-only and display-only ad units to further improve user experience, and to fully reflect the pool of ads we have in the market. As a result, the "Text ads only" and "Display ads only" ad units in your account have been renamed to “Display ads” and from early 2019 will be updated to serve all ad types.

3. Text ad styles
We’re deprecating text ad styles for "Text & display ads" ad units. From now on, you won’t be able to create ad styles for your new ad units. Your new ad units will have Google-optimized text ad styling. As this feature is being deprecated, your existing ad styles will also be optimized by Google in the following months. For customization and improved user experience, you can use native ads on your site.

4. Simplifying “If no ads available”
We’re continuously working to increase the quality and safety of our ad network and reduce the number of malicious ads that enter the AdSense network. As a result, we're removing the “If no ads available” option and we’ll be defaulting to collapsing the ad space or showing a blank space instead. If your current setting is a color or another URL, it will be updated in the near future your current settings will stop serving in the near future.

5. Experiments
As a result of the above changes, we're also removing obsolete ad unit setting experiments. Any active ad unit experiments will stop in the following weeks. In conjunction with this, we are removing the experiments report from the Reports tab. For remaining experiment types, aggregate metrics will still be available in the experiment details page.

6. Synchronous code
Changing your ad code type to synchronous in your AdSense account won’t be available anymore. If you do need synchronous ad code, you can still manually update your ad code using this guide.
To tell us what you think, visit the Ad units page and click the Feedback button in the main navigation bar. We’re looking forward to receiving your feedback!"

(Numbering, Spacing, Bolding and Increased font sizes added by me, for clarity.)
3:21 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'll start.

1. Responsive ads blow right out of their containers, screwing up everything. This is huge.

2. Less choice - Unwanted G "Optimization", for THEM, of course.

3. Less choice - Unwanted G "Optimization", for THEM, of course.

4. Less choice - Unwanted G "Optimization", for THEM, of course.

5. Less choice - Unwanted G "Optimization", for THEM, of course.

6. Less choice - Unwanted G "Optimization", for THEM, of course.

It looks like we are all BEING MOVED from precision to "splatter". Not a fan.
I am thinking that this is not going to end well. What do you think? Improvements?
I smell unbridled arrogance. WE are simply here to SERVE.
Nothing new - AdSense has been over for many of us, for quite some time.
.

[edited by: Sally_Stitts at 3:42 pm (utc) on May 30, 2019]

3:41 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Don't complain , it could have been worse, they may have enforced auto ads for everybody :)
3:42 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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You don't think it's coming? Enforced auto ads for everybody?

I really don't think I am complaining, just making observations and stating facts.
I'm done complaining.
.

[edited by: Sally_Stitts at 3:52 pm (utc) on May 30, 2019]

3:46 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Responsive ads blow right out of their containers, screwing up everything. This is huge.

This is due to the responsive ad not being adequately implemented. CSS can be used to limit the size of the ad unit.

Unwanted G "Optimization", for THEM, of course.

This is one rare case were Google's (AdSense's) interest align with your own. Unless of course your goal is to earn less.

My guess is that Google's data suggests that allowing these wide variety of settings to be adjusted by the webmasters results in sub-optimal outcomes for all parties involved. Webmasters are only able to see data related to their own webistes/accounts, rarely if ever do they see those data in truly A/B comparison with statistical significance. Basically they do not have the means to determine what is optimal. Where as Google has a statistical view on the scale of the full network.

Case in point, sync vs. async ads. I have yet to hear anyone give me a legitimate reason/use case for using "sync" ads. Yet, there are webmasters that insist on implementing them because they feel that this action will resolve a symptom of a much deeper rooted problem. It doesn't resolve the problem, it makes the situation worse and as a result, the webmaster, Google, the advertisers, and most of all the users endure the negative impact of that action.

I applaud this action by AdSense.
3:54 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I may be wrong. (Neil DeGrasse Tyson)
.
3:54 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I really don't think I am complaining, just making observations and stating facts.
I'm done complaining.

I was joking/sarcastic, don't worry :).

I applaud this action by AdSense.

I am fine with this too, excepting the suppression of the possibility to use a backup ads URLs. It's okay, for this last part, because I can write a javascript to detect the collapsing and do something else, but still.
4:52 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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excepting the suppression of the possibility to use a backup ads URLs

Yes I agree to some extent. As I wrote in another thread it is still possible to do, but you need to implement Google AdManager, and that adds a layer complexity. I have used the option in the past in conjunction with the ad-balancer and I had very little success. For the most part in my experience, if AdSense isn't filling the ad slot there is a good reason. Put another way, the ad-balancer suppresses the ads that are least likely to make money, these impressions tend to occur in sub-optimal geo-location and times of the day.
In the end I stop using the back-up ads, and now just show blanks.
4:56 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In my case, I use the back-up ads , to promote my own content.

Also, with the brand safety, for a while, some pages have no ads to show, until the Adsense bot reviews the page.
8:02 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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All of this change is making adsense a much easier entry level monetization for beginners. By removing much of the customization, the serious business owners will have to implement more advanced setups. I do not think it's necessarily a bad thing. As it has the benefit for Google to limit webmasters that intentionally draw attention to its CPC ads, by making it much harder.

I think the biggest change is the back up ads, this move may kill some of the smaller networks that feed on these back up slots. Which is not necessarily a bad thing neither, as they will have to compete in the header bidding era. As end user, it improves overall speed and page loading time.

The move towards CPM based rich ad format had been on the cards for the past 2~3 years. It had been a gradual and certain move. I view all of this changes as another major steps out of the CPC system. I would not be surprised that eventually CPC bids be taken out completely, and used only as a metric for advertisers to gauge their CPM marketing efforts. I believe it's the final alignment between web advertising with traditional channels, it'll be omnichannel i would say...

We are definitely moving towards an even more mobile centric eco system that focuses on AI customization and speed. Anyone who's not on board will get eventually thrown off the bus. And all of the changes implemented, I believe is relevant and necessary.

I have not used vanila adsense codes for a long time, but instead serve them with Admanager defaults.
8:09 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I sure called this wrong, judging by the comments.
Live and learn. I need to move on. Too steeped in the past, I guess. Hoping for former glory. Not to be.
.
9:16 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Do you really think we are moving (back) to a CPM model ? I didn't realize it.
10:01 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I think the idea is good. Execution is what will matter, of course.
10:17 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Let me clarify a bit, Viewable CPM model :). That appears to be the push long term. Yes I really do think so and observe it happening. Reading between the lines, report metric changes, what networks appears to push on the selling side, etc. The subtle changes on adsense report, should clue us enough about their longer term goals. Default report is now: Pageview, Impression, Clicks, Page RPM, Impression RPM, Active View, and Earning. I believe they made the chance last year or two?

My earning from "views" appear to be taking bigger percentage over time too. It's was less than CPC for a long time, but this year reaching 70% of my earning. I foresaw this a long time back.

Try to read between the lines of all the latest changes and pushes, and they all seem to align with vCPM-centric model. May it be ad unit type, size changes, async loading, first price auction. It all relates back to viewability. Many networks that I also use, has already phased out CPC as a metric, or has since made it irrelevant.

In other words...the line between raw CPC and CPM will become non existent in the next few years. With everything sorting itself into or aggravate into CPM-like metric. I personally do not use CPC at all. Only metric that will matter is eCPM and Viewability rate soon enough. At least for publisher's side.

In a mobile only world, it's not a bad shift. It actually shifts more work towards advertisers, that they need to optimize their ad serving to the right audience.
10:27 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your explanations.
11:04 pm on May 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have yet to receive this email.

That said - how long before this gets stuffed up in traditional fashion and then restored back to "situation normal"?
3:18 am on May 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I got the email, not sure how I feel about it in general, but I'd like a bit more definitive timeline.
12:06 pm on May 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Popcorn mode ON with these changes. :)
12:37 pm on May 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Ya - some parts are not very specific on WHEN they will take place - particularly the shutting down of backup ads.
3:38 pm on May 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Do you really think we are moving (back) to a CPM model ?


Why not? It's not like anyone ever clicks on this stuff any more - LOL

My only major complaint of late has been poor targeting -- When the trackers are disallowed and the cache is cleared, it's always going to be anybody's guess as to what's going to pop up when the page loads. You would think that with all of this so-called geo-ip targeting stuff, Google would get a clue about when not to show ads for Tasmaniam Brisquet flavoured Toothpaste in Nebraska ... but yet ... here we are.
4:42 pm on May 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My only major complaint of late has been poor targeting

Poor targeting is symptomatic of a lack of demand within a given niche. The simplest fall back in the case where no targeting data exists is contextual ads, but if there is no demand from advertisers, there will be no ads to show, and then you'll end with the next best thing (which is not good), which will be near random selection ("run of network").

Tasmaniam Brisquet flavoured Toothpaste

I love that stuff, but then again I don't live in Nebraska...
4:49 pm on May 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Why not? It's not like anyone ever clicks on this stuff any more - LOL

A large majority of advertisers certainly prefer to pay for results, than for exposition only. Exposure is good to establish a brand, or to put a concept in mind of the viewer. This is how advertising in streets, TV, news paper, radio are working, but on the Internet it's different story. An ad is only a fraction of a page, and don't get necessarily a lot of attention.
7:23 pm on June 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Responsive ads are breaking the page layout but of course G will say "It is what it is, change your CSS."
8:31 pm on June 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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you can condition the maximum size of responsive ads using your CSS indeed.
3:47 am on June 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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In our account custom styles was disabled this winter (maybe custom trial?), as a result our earnings decreaseg by 30% from that time. We think Ad Sense is moving to the end, like Google+, because all past changes are made to reduce publishers income, which is what we've been seeing for the past few years. The press is switching to a sales model or closing, as it is no longer possible to make money from monopolized advertising and search.
11:11 am on June 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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"you can condition the maximum size of responsive ads using your CSS indeed." Why would I? Google is forcing us to do their job and to change our sites and my question is: When will they pay us for the job we are doing to make their software better?
11:16 am on June 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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It's not changing your site, it's just to ensure that Google can know the available space for the ad slot.

When will they pay us for the job we are doing to make their software better?

May be when you'll pay Google for sending traffic to your site ...

And how is it making their software better to just set the min and max size of container? But if you make such a deal about adding tens of characters to your CSS code, may be there is another problem ... may be you don't know how to do it? There are certainly tuto for this, or ready to use scripts ...
1:36 pm on June 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Publishers often forget the other side of the equation. Sometimes the Advertisers would like for their ads to appear as THEY created them. :)
3:36 pm on June 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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@Dimitri+ "when you'll pay Google for sending traffic to your site ..." Google doesn't sending traffic to our site, we need to pay for that via Google Ads, otherwise your position in a serch will be at the end!
Dimitri, seems you are working for Google? This company monopolized advertising, search, web standarts and browsers market and now push their own rules on all, developers, publishers, advertisers, even end users, because they can't use apps they want, only controlled by G-Evil.
3:41 pm on June 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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On the one of our sites, AdSense realtime recalculation now decreasing our income by 80%. No hourly peroprts, mistical recalculations without any inforamtion, etc...Are there still people who trust this company? We're the slaves who make free profit for G.
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