Adsense Changes, Developments and The Future of Advertising

Adsense Now Report Invalid Clicks – The Remove Intra-Day

Jun 3, 2011

Another Adsense thing that I only recently became aware of, which may be newer, is that they have changed the way they report daily earnings.

Adsense now shows publishers all clicks and revenues before any false clicks are taken into account. I found this out the other day when my earnings went down during the day. I asked over on the Google forums and got the reply that Google now provides revenue for all clicks then deducts any false clicks (invalid clicks, the word slipped my tongue for a moment).

Before they would do the adjustment first. I do not like this new method, especially when the clicks being removed are high paying ones! The other day a couple of clicks worth over 100p were removed.

No idea what makes a click invalid though. Need to looking into that now!

Google Adsense Gives 68% To Publishers

Jun 1, 2011

This blog should really have this title:

Why I will never really be a Webologist, whatever than means

Today I was looking at the “My Account” page on Adsense and saw that there was a figure written in grey showing the revenue share. I thought, wow, that is interesting. This is what it says:

Adsense revenue shareAs you can see, it says 68 % publisher revenue share for Content and 51 % publisher revenue share for search.

I thought that this was exciting breaking news, so I pinged a friend who uses Adsense to check that they could see it too. They could, and were equally surprised (I shall not name who they are as they have appearances in the web community to maintain).

My friend, lets call him BB, suggested I blogged it right away. It was that exciting. Then he sent me a link, Google announced that they were going to start sharing the revenue share as they wanted to become more transparent. The blog was dated 24th May, so we were only a few days behind, and using the excuse of the bank holiday weekend meant that we were really cutting edge on the whole Internet reporting thing.

But then I spotted the year, Google announced it on 24th May 2010:

On which they say:

“Today, in the spirit of greater transparency with AdSense publishers, we’re sharing the revenue shares for our two main AdSense products — AdSense for content and AdSense for search.”

along with a load of other stuff that most people have probably read and forgotten several times already. But just to recap and clarify:

“AdSense for content publishers, who make up the vast majority of our AdSense publishers, earn a 68% revenue share worldwide. This means we pay 68% of the revenue that we collect from advertisers for AdSense for content ads that appear on your sites”

So that’s that then. A few years ago people were forever asking on forums “how much do I get from the Adsense adverts?”. In fact, another friend asked me this over dinner late last year and I replied, in my wisest voice: “nobody knows, Google does not wish to disclose that information”, which prompted the reply “why the hell do people do business with them then?”.

Well, now we all know. Or, now I now know and everybody else knew just over 1 year ago.

Webologist? Sometimes it is clear what the answer to that is!

Google Updates Adsense –  New AdSense Beta

Nov 10, 2010 

Google has just released a new version of Adsense that gives publishers more information on their advertising revenue. It is faster and more user friendly than the old system, with better reporting and easier management of placement adverts.

Welcome to the new AdSense! The new AdSense has been designed to help you manage your account more efficiently, offer you deeper insights about your site’s revenue and give you more control over the ads that you display. A few of the new things that you can do include: Make changes to your ad units in bulk by visiting the My ads tab Compare your performance this month and last month under the Performance reports tab Visit the Allow & block ads tab to block categories of ads Want to learn more about the new interface? Visit google.com/ads/newadsense

However, it is not all clear right now. On first glance I cannot see where revenue is coming from today. I am not sure if I was using Adsense differently to other people, but the new version makes it very hard for me to see which channels are performing.

I can see quickly how much revenue was raised so far today, details of unpaid earnings (new and nice to see) plus details of the last payment (amount and date), but I cannot see what is earning me money today.

Also the current figure for today’s estimated earnings could be a non-aggregated figure. It seems too high, maybe URL channels plus custom channels? Or maybe I am having a good day!

Adsense Performance Reports

The first attempt to find out what channels are bringing in revenue today is in the Performance Reports menu item. This shows the Entire Account by day. Changing to Today (top right) just shows total clicks and earnings again, no data on channels. Deadend.

Returning to the old Adsense Interface now.

Google Adsense Reporting Problems

Jun 8, 2010 

Just got this error message in Google Adsense:

There was an error in generating the report that you requested. Please try again later.

Now, let me make it clear, I do love Google. But in the last few days I have had a real headache working with some of their excellent products. Specifically Adsense, Analytics and Ad Manager (now DoubleClick for Publishers). As good as all these services are, all have their problems, sometimes usability problems, sometimes lacking features, sometimes just downtime.

So what are my major issues with this Google set? These three Google products are amongst the most important for webmasters as they provide a means to monitor web traffic and monetize that traffic. The fact that they are all free is amazing, there are so many professional (premium) products on the market that do not do such a good job. But when they “do not work” it is a real headache, as there is still a limited number of hours in any day to mess around with these tools, and these tools can eat into your hours.

Google Adsense

OK, so apart from the problems with the reports, not a massive pain really. I do need to compare my CTR’s after changing the layout a bit. and would really like to do this analysis today, but I guess it can wait. This broken reporting is hopefully connected with the downturn in earnings today!

What I would like to see in Adsense is a time for the last update. This would alleviate panic on the days when revenue is down 50% at the time that I usually do my checks.

Google Analytics

My main issue with Google Analytics is that it seems that no thought went into how the average user actually uses the product. For example, as part of my daily analysis the first thing I want to quickly look at in the morning is how well the site performed the previous day, so I just want to look through the top 50 pages. Even though I do this everyday, I still have to click 5 times to see this information. Every day. For example, to get the report for the 25 most popular pages yesterday you have to follow these steps:

  1. Select website profile. The dashboard shows the top 5 articles for the previous month to date.
  2. Change dates to just yesterday (4 more clicks)
  3. Click “view report” under content overview. The report that opens shows the same 5 top pages! No additional information provided.
  4. Click “view full report” under the list of 5. This opens a “full report” that now shows the top 10 pages yesterday. Yes, just 10.
  5. Select 25 under “show rows”.

Now, seeing that this is the report I want to see first, why can I not customize the options so that when I open the website profile the default period is yesterday, and then when I click “view report” under the top pages it opens a list of the top 25 articles? This would be two clicks instead of 8 clicks.

Now, I first tried using Google Ad Manager about 6 months ago and gave up. It was so unintuitive. Little has changed, although it is a bit better now. For example, to set up an advert there should really be a streamline option, i.e.

  1. Click “new advert”
  2. Specify everything on one page, i.e. location/placement, name of ad block, terms of advert (time frame, cost etc), image, destination URL etc.

But you still have to create a placement, then an ad unit, then create an order, then a line item, then specify the image and URL. And then after all this is done you get error messages that are unexplained, such as there not being enough inventory to display the advert. This can be overridden, but I still have not found an answer to what this means. Cannot find any setting in the “inventory” section to resolve this.

Also the system is slow to update the adverts, but again, like Adsense, you have no way of knowing how it is progressing. So if you make an error (such as not enough inventory, or omit some other detail) then you can sit for an hour waiting for the details to be updated before deciding to dig a little deeper. As it can take up to an hour for a correctly built advert to show up a lot if time is lost to this system.

Another feature of DoubleClick for Publishers is that sometimes an advert will just not show up for no reason. It will happily be visible for several days and then nothing, with no way of determining why. It invariable comes back, but when you are selling advertising space on a fixed monthly agreement it can be a bit embarrassing if the advert is not showing when the client looks and you cannot provide any explanation for its absence.

Finally a confusing aspect of Doubleclick for Publishers is the status of new adverts. New ads are at “ready” status when you have approved them, and then move to “delivering” status. Once at “delivering” status they should be showing on a website. However, often they start showing while still at “ready” status, making the “delivering” status meaningless.

Maybe many of these “problems” are caused by the data being stored securely across multiple servers. There is most likely a good reason for it, but without an explanation it just all seems a bit disappointing.

Help and the Community

Finally, what gets me down is the poor support in the community. Google loves community websites but its own products have such a poor community. It often relies too heavily on “the community” providing the support and answers to problems, which often means that people that have genuine problems never get an answer. There are always so many answered questions on the Google forums for each product. OK, these products are “free”, but Google make their money from Adsense so this should be supported better, and they learn about trends through Analytics. How they use DoubleClick data is a mystery, but no doubt they look into advertising trends too to determine trust for the search engines – i.e. people that pay for more advertising are more serious about their business… although that is speculative SEO theory stuff, no data to prove it.

Google Announces Multiple Ad Networks in AdSense

Aug 26, 2009 

Some exciting news for web publishers that use the Google Adsense advertising network on their sites, as Google have announced some changes that are coming along soon. Currently Adsense publishers can only display the adverts that Adwords customers set up. With the new system, Adsense will start displaying adverts from other Networks that run in partnership with Google.

The external networks that will display on Adsense units are all Google-certified networks, meaning that they all met both the quality and privacy standards of Google. This extra advertising networks will compete directly with Adwords customers, which should mean rising revenues for publishers. Google will ensure that the advert that generates the highest income for the web publishers will be displayed. This could result in bidding wars for space on the most popular websites, leading to a substantial increase in revenues.

Publishers will have complete control over which Advertising Networks are shown on their websites, choosing to opt out of specific networks, or all networks, although why anyone would do this is not clear.

The new system will be rolled out in the next few months, and automatically enabled in current Adsense accounts. Exciting times for web publishers in these hard economic times. Google do point out that publishers are unlikely to see any immediate increase in earning due to the slow roll out.

The Value of Adsense ads to Web Site Publishers

Feb 11, 2007 

Many people use Google Adsense adverts on their sites to help pay for the hosting costs, and some websites can generate a good income through advertising once the number of visitors starts to increase. Today more and more people now wish to use Google Adsense, and other affiliate schemes, to make money from the internet.

As the internet has grown and matured, and security has increased, people now feel far more confident in making purchases on the internet. This has lead to a growth in advertising on the internet, and many publishers wish to get in on the action. Whereas non-web advertising is generally restricted to magazines, newspapers and television, anyone can buy a web domain, build a site, and start publishing adverts along with their content.

One thing to think about if you are planning to build a new site for adsense is what pays best. I started out with adverts on my Health, Fitness and Relaxation site, and it was only after adding adverts to this site, that I realised there is a large difference in how much an advert pays. It all comes down to the costs of the advertisers using Adwords. Some “keywords” cost more to an advertiser than others, so therefore if you publish a web page or site on a topic with higher priced keywords, it will attract adverts with a higher value. However, generally the higher the price of the advert, the more competition that topic has, and therefore the more difficult it is to promote your site.

Adwords provides a tool to estimate the cost of keyword advertising, so you can get an idea from this tool how much money you will receive from adverts placed on your site:

https://adwords.google.com/select/TrafficEstimatorSandbox

Just type in the key words your site is based on and see the prices of the Adwords clicks. e.g.

  • bruce lee $0.18 – $0.30
  • plasma $2.63 – $3.76
  • seo $2.70 – $3.92
  • insurance $13.27 – $19.10

So if you got 10 clicks a day from a site on Bruce Lee, you would receive a percentage of about 2 dollars, but 10 clicks on a site selling/reviewing plasma screens would receive a percentage of 30 dollars, and 10 clicks on insurance would receive a percentage of 150 dollars a day. I am not sure what percentage of the advertising cost Google takes and what the publisher gets, but it may be around 75% to the publisher (although it could also be considerably less). There is of course more competition in SEO, plasma screens and insurance than on a lot of other subjects. So chosing something that you can write a lot about, something you can promote, and something without too much competition is the key to making some money with advertising in general and Adsense specifically. SEO is hard, fitness and exercise is easier, but less cash comes.

I think that to be successful you need to find niche a market, but not something so niche that no-one visits. So a web site dedicated to turnips may be easy to promote, and you may be able to corner the market within a month or two, but profits would be very low. Starting a site on SEO or insurance now may be close to impossible due to the immense amount of competition already in existence. So search around, chose some topics that truly interest you, then have a look to see what costs the most to advertise on Adwords.

Like any business, advertising is a numbers game. The more people that visit your site, the more people likely to take an interest in your adverts, and the more money in advertising revenue that you and your web site can make. And how do you increase traffic without increasing costs? SEO (search engine optimisation) is the key to driving traffic to you site of course, i.e. receiving visitors from Search Engines (also known as organic referrals).

Like any business, making money through advertising requires you to research your field, understand your competition, utilise the best tools for the job, and keep one step ahead of the competition by publishing the latest news, reviews and gossip first, and getting it listed first. This requires a lot of work, so like any area of business, the hardest working people generally are the most successful. Work hard, and be successful.

Privacy Changes Required for Google Adsense Publishers

Mar 14, 2009

Google have introduced a new feature in Google Adsense, which is called interest-based advertising, Basically, rather than Adsense just showing adverts to readers based on content on a page, it will soon be showing adverts based on a users activities. So in theory, if you spend most of your time browsing websites about baby clothes, then you may well see a baby clothes advert appear on this page, even though we do not write on this topic.

This enhancement requires that website owners update their privacy statements to inform users about Google’s use of cookies in displaying adverts, and also to advise that people can opt out of the interest-based advertising scheme if they desire.

Website owners need to make changes to their site’s privacy polices by April 8, 2009.

Recommendations from Google.com:

Google Advertising Cookie and Privacy Policies

What is the DoubleClick DART cookie?

The DoubleClick DART cookie is used by Google in the ads served on publisher websites displaying AdSense for content ads. When users visit an AdSense publisher’s website and either view or click on an ad, a cookie may be dropped on that end user’s browser. The data gathered from these cookies will be used to help AdSense publishers better serve and manage the ads on their site(s) and across the web.

What should I put in my privacy policy?

Your posted privacy policy should include the following information about Google and the DoubleClick DART cookie:

  • Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on your site.
  • Google’s use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to your users based on their visit to your sites and other sites on the Internet.
  • Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

Because publisher sites and laws across countries vary, we’re unable to suggest specific privacy policy language. However, you may wish to review resources such as the Network Advertising Initiative, or NAI, which suggests the following language for data collection of non-personally identifying information:

We use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit our website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.You can find additional information in Appendix A of the NAI Self-Regulatory principles for publishers. Please note that the NAI may change this sample language at any time.

Comments on Privacy Changes:

Brad
fudwatch.co.uk
Submitted on 2009/03/14 at 12:35 pm

One of the things that made contextual advertising so revolutionary was it being on topic. So the question for Adsense publishers will be does the click through rate and therefore the income from Adsense go up or down because of the ads no longer being relevant to the publisher’s content?

This could be a disaster for publishers.

Webologist
Submitted on 2009/03/14 at 3:22 pm

Yep, my thoughts too Brad. It could go either way. However, my biggest worry is not CTR, but actual value of the ads. Some publishers try to improve their pages to attract the better paying adverts, but may find that suddenly CTR increases, but eCPM decreases. I should think that on the most part this is a good thing for non-MFA websites though. I think that Google’s main aim is to actually reduce the effectiveness of MFA (made for Adsense) sites while still ensuring that quality sites show adverts that are relevant to the page and the audience. I also hope that it will not be a matter of 100% of ads being interest-based to ensure that there are some ads relevant to content. It will be interesting to see how it pans out.

Google Introduce Parked Domain Ads to Adsense

Feb 24, 2009

In a move likely to cause a lot of debate, Google have introduced domain parking adverts to Adsense. Now website owners do not even need to create content to generate revenue from Google advertising. Just parking a domain can raise revenue for site owners. Domain parking is a controversial issue, as it allows domain speculators to advertise their domain as for sale, while also making an income on advertising. Many people purchase misspelt domain names to make money from people accidentally typing a website into a browser incorrectly. Others just buy domains and sit on them, in the hope of making an easy profit.

Google Bashers (i.e. people who love to criticise Google) will see this as a giant leap down a slippery slope of immoral money making schemes. Of course, all it is is a billboard that may pick up some random passing traffic. Small fish really.

 

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