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My CPM bids dropped to zero after starting to use Auto Ads

Are Auto Ads compatible with CPM bids?

     
7:55 am on Oct 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi.

I started to use Adsense Auto Ads last Saturday, and now I find that the 'CPM bids' (Report > 'Views' tab) dropped nearly to zero, in impressions as well in earnings.

I wondered if Auto Ads and CPM bids are incompatible, or if I'm doing something wrong. Incomes from CPM bids are an important share of my earnings.

Thank you! :-)
5:40 pm on Oct 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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My experience is the opposite of yours. Since I started using Auto Ads, about one year ago, my CPM earnings greatly increased; yet, they did it at the expenses of my CPC bids so that the total revenue per month has remained roughly the same as before, but with way more Ad Units per page displayed ... :(
7:38 pm on Oct 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi riccarbi, thank you for your answer.

I established the 'Ad Load' to serve the maximum level allowed. If I see the Report, the Impressions within the 'Click' tab are in the same level as before using 'Auto Ads'. However, the Impressions within the 'Views' tab are 20% of the previous levels.

I'm not sure if I left something without being properly configured, or if I should do anything else. And I guess that the level of Impressions within the 'Views' tab is the right place to check the CPM bids.
9:47 pm on Oct 30, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi guarriman3, have you implemented Auto Ads exclusively, namely removing all other ad units, or are you mixing your custom Ad units (either hancoded or added through a plug-in) with the Auto Ads ones?
8:59 am on Oct 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I have the same experience
9:02 am on Oct 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Hi riccarbi,

Thank you again for answering my question :-)

Yes, I did remove all the 'old' code which was inserted in specific places between the <body><body/> tags and showed several display ad units (hard coded with PHP). And currently my website shows just the Auto Ads code in the <head> section.

I do not have enough time to manage the ad units, their code, the new formats, etc. and I want only to be focused in creating good contents for users. I was not aware that the mixing of hard-coded ad units with Auto Ads was allowed, is it?

Two questions:
- How does it work? If I place the most popular units (300x250 ads in the top side of my mobile pages) with the 'old' code, does Google fill the rest of the webpage with other ads?
- Would this practice improve the CPM bids of my webpages because this hard-coded display units boost the CPM? Should I work with custom channels to attract advertisers?

As I mentioned, my unique aim was to be focused on creating cool contents to give a better user experience.

Thank you very much again to help me with this issue!
11:01 am on Oct 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I was not aware that the mixing of hard-coded ad units with Auto Ads was allowed, is it?
Two questions:
- How does it work? If I place the most popular units (300x250 ads in the top side of my mobile pages) with the 'old' code, does Google fill the rest of the webpage with other ads?
- Would this practice improve the CPM bids of my webpages because this hard-coded display units boost the CPM? Should I work with custom channels to attract advertisers?


Yes, it is allowed to mix your hard-coded ad units with Auto Ads; I am currently using a combination of two manually placed ad units (one in the sidebar and one at the post bottom) and Auto ads.

Google then injects auto ads units on the rest of the page. Another reason why I am using this combination is that, this way, I am able to get a number of statistical data through custom channels (for example, the AMP pages performances compared to "normal" pages' ones).

The answer to your second question is no. I suppose that, in my case, the increase in CPM bids revenue is linearly related to the increase in the number of Ad units displayed (which went from 2 to about 7 per page). So the CPM is boosted by Auto Ads and not by hard-coded units, IMHO. I don't think that custom channels can attract advertisers (or, they never did it for me). Custom channels are useful to understand better your users' behaviors and what (hard-coded) units work better. I've never verified whether it is possible to use custom channels with Auto Ads or not.
1:47 pm on Oct 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Thank you again, riccarbi :-)

Yes, it is allowed to mix your hard-coded ad units with Auto Ads


I've just found the official page explaining it (thank you, I was browsing the documentation and wasn't able to locate it previously)
[support.google.com...]

CPM bids revenue is linearly related to the increase in the number of Ad units displayed (which went from 2 to about 7 per page)

I'm afraid I may be not understanding you correctly. Do you mean that Auto Ads allows you to establish the exact number of ad units per page? Three days ago, I changed the 'ad load' option to establish the maximum allowed value, and it's true that the value of CPM-bids has increased slightly. However, I do not dare to keep this parameter so high for a long time, in order not to disturb users.
5:20 pm on Oct 31, 2019 (gmt 0)

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I'm afraid I may be not understanding you correctly. Do you mean that Auto Ads allows you to establish the exact number of ad units per page? Three days ago, I changed the 'ad load' option to establish the maximum allowed value, and it's true that the value of CPM-bids has increased slightly. However, I do not dare to keep this parameter so high for a long time, in order not to disturb users.


No, I was meaning that the CPM revenue increase that I'm experiencing is due to the higher number of Ad units displayed by using Auto Ads and not to a higher CPM per unit.
With Auto Ads you can't establish the exact number of units per page - since it depends on many parameters including page length, bid pressure, content, and so on -; yet, you can reduce the total number of ad units by using Ad Balance and, to some extent, control how many ad units will be displayed on an "average" page. I made an A-B experiment about that and, as expected, a 20% reduction of ads units led to a 20% reduction of revenue, thus suggesting that Auto Ads possibly rely on CPM bids much more than old "ordinary" AdSense display units.
2:41 pm on Nov 1, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Looking at that google help page referenced above, I have no idea how a page loaded with so many ads, both manual and auto, gets by the Chrome 30% ad density rule. Unless the whole better ad standards thing has just gone out the window.
1:24 pm on Nov 2, 2019 (gmt 0)

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Looking at that google help page referenced above, I have no idea how a page loaded with so many ads, both manual and auto, gets by the Chrome 30% ad density rule. Unless the whole better ad standards thing has just gone out the window.


This a problem of Auto Ads. Combining manual and auto ads does not lead to a number of ads higher than using Auto Ads only. Yet, I agree with you that the number of ads shown by Auto Ads is too high to provide good user experience, in most cases.
Has, therefore, Better ad standard gone out the window?
Possibly, since, as per my ad experience report, it looks like Google, in more than one year, has never verified the Better ad standard compliance of a single website among those I manage.
Yet, consider that the 30% rule applies only to mobile pages, and that even with 7 or 8 ads per page Auto Ads generally respect that rule.