Overcoming Adsense Earnings Fluctuation
If you track your AdSense performance, you may notice that AdSense
revenue can suddently go down, with no apparent reason.
Analyzing Adsense data and working out why this has happened can
be challenging for both new and experienced publishers.
To help you understand the reason this can happen, and what you
can do about it, lets first look at how Adsense revenue is calculated.
Your total revenue is reported in your Adsense account as:
- Page Impressions - the number of times your page containing
ad unit was served
- CTR - Click Through Rate
- eCPM - Current average earnings per thousand impressions
- Total Revenue
Revenue = Page Impressions * eCPM / 1000
Hence, if you serve 10,000 page impressions and earn $55, your
eCPM is $5.50. You can then expect to earn $165 is you increase
your page impressions to 30,000.
Most AdSense ads pay on a cost-per-click (CPC) basis, so eCPM measures
your average ad performance. To get a more accurate measure of performance
Revenue = Page Impressions * CTR *Average
You can now predict how much revenue you will likely earn for a
given amount of page views, and analyze revenue by placement-targeted
ads versus contextually-targeted ads.
Total Revenue = Revenue (contextual) + Revenue
Contextually targeted pay per click.
Placement-targeted ads are paid by impression (CPM) or by click
Revenue = (Page Impressions (contextual)
* CTR * average CPC) + (Page Impressions (placement-targeted) *
eCPM (placement targeted) / 1000)
Revenue = (Page Impressions (contextual)
* CTR * average CPC ) + Revenue (placement-targeted)
Diagnosing Revenue Fluctuations
Follow these steps:
Check whether page impressions or eCPM changed - using Advanced
If AdSense page impressions has dropped - check
if traffic to your entire site is also declining - using Google
Check your pages for unpaid public service ads (PSAs).
If your eCPM is down - check if contextual or placement targeted
ad performance has dropped - Advanced Reports.
- Contextual Ads - Check metrics CTR and average
CPC [calculated] .
- Placement-targeted ads - analyze total placement-targeted
revenue and the average eCPM. Changes in either of metric usually
indicates advertisers are beginning or ending campaigns targeted
to your site.
Check for AdSense technical issues or public service ads (PSAs).
Use Webmaster Tools to make sure that Google is properly crawling
and indexing your site.
Consider the promotions you have running for your site. Did an
ad campaign end, causing a drop in traffic? Has a popular site linked
to you, causing a spike in page impressions?
A drop in CTR can be caused by:
A poorly optimised user interface or poor targeting. Try section
Changes in ad servers - check for targeting problems.
Changes in the look and feel of your site
Ad blindness; indicated by slow decline in CTR - Try testing new
ad formats, placements, or colors.
CPC is determined by advertiser bids and not directly under publisher
control. Most large CPC changes are:
Seasonal - holiday or back-to-school seasons
Advertisers begin and end their advertising campaigns.
Improve CPCs by choosing ad formats that support all ad types:
text, image, video, flash, and gadget ads. More competition means
higher advertiser bids.
Placement Targeting Revenue Changes
Check average placement-targeted revenue for the past few months
to see if changes are part of a trend or a short-term earnings fluctuation.
Spikes in placement-targeted revenue can occur when advertisers
run limited-time campaigns.
Increase placement targeting over the long term by setting up ad
placements, making it easier for advertisers to find and target
Many AdSense publishers run multiple websites. These publishers
typically use section monitoring. Check you section URL and Custom
'channels' for any major changes.
Use year on year patterns to detect seasonal fluctuation in each
of the above metrics. [ eCPM, revenue, or page impressions].
Adding new sites that are getting high page impressions but low
click throughs unfortunately drags down the performance on all your
sites. Google, rather unfairly, works on an account basis, not a
site basis. In some cases, it is worth delaying placing ads on your
new sites until they have good traffic. Test ad placements for a
few months to see how they perform. If you notice the whole account
drop, without seasonal influence, try removing the new site and
see if the revenue climbs again.
The same effect also occurs when too many ad units are placed on
the page. As lower ad groups server lower CPC ads, they may drag
down the whole page eCPM. Sometimes your revenue can improve by
removing an ad group from lower down the page.
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