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Ass-sense CTR and CPC plummeted today... Any advice?

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by rovad, Jan 2, 2015.

  1. rovad

    rovad Junior Member

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    OK, so a "brief" explanation:
    1. 3 active sites - identical content on all of them. I know, I know, I'm a lazy fuck... Content is largely unique/original itself. But, it can be found on 5 sites total atm, they're all mine. I couldn't be bothered getting different content for what's basically a testing phase before I scale things up, so I just went with it. Anyway, it worked for 8-9 days.
    2. I've started testing things recently, less than 10 days ago.
    3. Traffic source: pinterest group boards, guess the niche :D :). 3 accounts, 1 for every site. 100 pins/day with each account. 1000-1500 pageviews in the last 3-4 days - got a few viral pins and traffic started stacking up a bit recently.
    4. I use the same ads on all 3 sites. So basically, all sites have the identical content and identical ad units on them. Yeah, again, I'm lazy, but it felt logical at a time to combo it this way, more time efficient to test all the combinations. Anyway, every site has 1 rectangle above-fold, right below the post title. Images and content are further below ad, it doesn't wrap around the ad unit. Some of the themes tested have these mobile dropdown navbars that DO overlap over the ad units when tapped. I believed it wasn't the issue since I had horrible CTR on most themse/design/ad placement combinations...
    5. Adsense account is very old, 6 years. It was mostly dormant since 2010, occassional click here and there from God knows where...
    6. I've started noticing funkyness in the last 3-4 days. For example, a couple days ago, I saw 10 clicks on 1 site, then 3 hours later that same site is showing only 6 clicks. Yesterday at one point revenue was dancing between 3-5 euros for good 5-10 minutes, then things normalized. In other words, the account was constantly reporting clicks and then they would misteriously dissappear right away.
    7. One of the sites went from average of 1% to 4% CTR yesterday, January 1st. I basically just changed the colors on the ad units and it went up.
    8. I changed the theme on one of the other 2 sites yesterday. There was some bug with the navigation bar on mobile browsers, it doesn't display the navigation links. I decided: "Fuck it" because on desktop it shows and can be clicked. I also didn't think any manual checks/reviews would come so soon after New Year.
    9. Unfortunatelly I just forgot to turn off ads in the sidebar on Contact, TOS and Policy pages on all sites. I just realized that today.
    10. Today, January 2nd, CPC dropped from ?0.15-?0.2 to ?0.05. CTR went from a daily stable 1.5-3% (depending on themes and set of ads I was testing) to less than 0.5%. The 4% CTR site from yesterday is a 0.5% CTR site today. So, basically, yesterday these 3 sites made ?6+. For almost a week I've been hitting ?3 with less daily traffic than today. Today, sites made less than ?1, barely any clicks registered...
    11. I undid the theme change described under #8.
    12. I removed ads from all Contact, Policy and TOS pages.

    Questions:
    • Did you notice any change in Adsense stats recently if you're running with it?
    • January/start of the month effect. Can this happen because advertisers spent all their money during holidays/last month and all the good ads that were getting me clicks during the last 10 or so days are now gone and I'm only left with shitty low CPC, low CTR ones?
    • Am I being "smart priced"? Should I panic?
    • If you're into Adsense, has anything similar or same ever happened to you? Is there a way to recover?
    • Am I risking too much by having 3 active sites + 2 dormant ones, all with identical content? I DGAF about search traffic, however I'd be a bit bummed if I lose my Adsense account just cuz I'm lazy to rip new content every time I make a new site in this niche...
    • Is there such a thing as temporary penalization ("smart pricing") for "softer" violations of ad placement and invalid clicks generated from it(overlapping on mobile devices, aggressive above-fold placement, having ads on TOS/Policy pages)?
    • What would you recommend:a)remove ads from all but 1 site, b)remove 4 sites and only run with 1, c)keep calm and carry on?
     
  2. TayaX

    TayaX Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    I think you're making a lot of big questions out of only 1 day.
    You'll have to wait 10 days to see if it's really weird, or if it was only this day. You can't make conclusion out of a shitty day.

    As long as there is content on your site, no matter if it's unique or spinned of copy pasta, the CPC will be normal. I've never heard such think as penalization.

    What I know tho is that sometimes your CPM drop just because big announcers left the market. Or your on page SEO changed and you're not having the same ads. There might be a lot of explaination for your problem, but even with all the details you give us, I doubt we can assume anything out of one shitty day.
     
  3. Cush2332

    Cush2332 Registered Member

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    Just to add my own remarks... Knock on wood, I have seen a lot of traffic recently, and my site income is the same with 5,000 visitors versus 20,000 visitors. My CPC on the 5k visitor days was $0.40/click and today with 20k visitors is $0.19/click... Kinda sucks... You would expect a huge pay day (like yesterday with 210 clicks - yet only $0.14/click). Keep in mind traffic is 90% USA. =/
     
  4. rovad

    rovad Junior Member

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    Yeah, spoke to a guy moments ago, he does similar things as me. His CTR is the same, his CPC dropped by 50%. I'm not that worried about CPC, I can understand it fluctuates. I'm more worried about this super-volatile CTR I'm having, it's all over the place. Yesterday I thought I finally have 1 combo that works and can be used, but now I'm not sure again.

    Some of the questions stem from my inexperience with Adsense. I've always been in some CPA, emails, CB and social network schemes, rarely Adsense.

    Thanks for the input, much appreciated.
     
  5. Shadexpwn

    Shadexpwn Elite Member

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    The holidays screw up everything for us small time marketers as big brands compete for our ad space and drill every last penny out of consumers.

    Wait a month and then post back if this issue still persists.

    I'd strongly urge you to scale your activities as you do now because the people will come back and click at a later time.
     
  6. horseturtle

    horseturtle Registered Member

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    Be careful using duplicate content across the same sites on AdSense unless you're not worried about randomly losing your account. From the program policies:

    Make sure your site adds value. Publishers are not allowed to create multiple pages, sub-domains, or domains with substantially duplicate content.
     
  7. back2basics

    back2basics Power Member

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    Everyone blows their load in Q4, consumers are broke, advertisers go hard to rack up some year-end overhead. Early jan ALWAYS sucks, it's nothing new. Don't expect it to change until the end of the month into V day where everyone is spending again
     
  8. jsurya

    jsurya Regular Member

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    For me as well, but on youtube, the eRPM rate suddenly drops 50% from 1st Jan and still now it continues as same... as said above, it may be because of holidays and hopefully would things come up normal in coming days...!
     
  9. rovad

    rovad Junior Member

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    Yeah, I found out about this yesterday. I'll probably be pulling the plug on these websites soon, and only leave the best performing one running. I have only copied content from myself basically, but I guess it's the same as taking it from other sources.