The beginning of the end of Adsense?



I wanted to call this article “The Death of Adsense” but some guy back in 2006 wisely used that title already for an ebook.

In any case, I think we’re just talking about the same thing: that right now, it is very tough to earn decently from Google Adsense to the point that some webmasters will soon see the end of their relationship with this online money-making program.

Why is this so?

Decline of Adsense income , CTR and eCPM

If you are an Adsense publisher, just look at your Adsense earnings in the past few weeks. How many of you saw an increase in Adsense income assuming stable page impressions and ad clicks?

Not me. Page impressions and ad clicks were almost the same compared to the previous months but earnings are down by 50-60%.

Last week, I also wrote about my friend’s problem in Google Adsense where his income suddenly dove from $21.35 to $3.61 — in just one day.

We’re not alone. Site owners posting on WebmasterWorld are reporting the same. A few excerpts:

HuHuFruFru: I dont get it! First the CPC went down and now the CTR! March 5th & 6th showed the lowest CTR in TWO YEARS! And today there is no difference! eCPM is just awful.

Lame_Wolf: Saturday 7th was the worse ever day for me. Almost 50% below baseline.

StarryEyed: Mine too – my click thru rate has never been this bad. Impressions seem normal. What is going on?

Indeed, we ask: what really is going on?

Possible factors causing the downtrend

No one has the absolute answer (except for Google perhaps) but in my opinion, here are some factors causing this income downtrend.

  • 1. The economy. The recession is here, employees are being laid off, companies are cutting costs. What great way for firms to further save money is to reduce advertising expense, especially their spending on online advertising. This obviously causes a reduction of online revenues for Google which translates to lower income for us Adsense publishers.
  • 2. The MFAs. If firms are not advertising, then who does? Probably the MFAs or the Made-for-Adsense sites which do not really sell anything or give useful content but rely on traffic so they can earn from Adsense. They advertise through Google Adwords in order to get more visitors but do not pay a lot for the clicks. That might explain why ad earnings and eCPM in Adsense are really low nowadays.
  • 3. Google itself. Who here knows the actual revenue sharing percentage between Google and Adsense publishers? No one. So if Google decides to lower our share in that revenue scheme, who would know? To retain more earnings and to keep value for their shareholders, Google is probably reducing the revenue allocated to publishers.

Again, these are mere hunches. No one really knows the actual reason why most Adsense earners are seeing their CTRs, eCPMs and incomes go down.

Goodbye, Adsense

What we do know, though, is that a lot of people are becoming more and more disappointed and, sooner or later, a lot more will bid goodbye to their hopes of making money online with Google Adsense.

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31 thoughts on “The beginning of the end of Adsense?”

  1. Well, I doubt it, but yes, it’s been not performing very well
    but still Adsense is the better one compared to YPN and MSN.

    very good 3 points, but yes, because of the economy, we will see massive decline in ads campaign and we will have to hang on for maybe 18-24 months to get the economy cycle back on track

    Reply
  2. this is a sad story… but shall we loose hope? shall we accept defeat?

    id rather not!

    there are a host of other ways on how to make money online… adsense is only a part (though quite a big one) of the big picture… hahaha!!! and besides, the economy (if its the reason) doesnt always stay on the bottom… sabi nga ni pacquiao: BILOG ANG MUNDO!!! (economist din pala yun?) hehehe…

    being a newbie in this making money online thing, i’ll learn all i can learn about SEO and all those highfalutin jargon so that when things start going well, i can start playing with the big boys! weeeeee!!!

    ~the earning student

    Reply
  3. i don’t know with you, guys. but as i write this comment, my adsense account is showing me $0.00 with 266 Page Impressions. I mean, this is the very first time that i encounter such result. i know it is possible that my visitors are not interested on the relevant ads that are showing on my sites, is it not? i hope this instance is only temporary.

    Reply
  4. Ouch! I’m only getting started at adsense. And now adsense is getting screwed up.I am starting my venture to earn money through blogging. And that I’ve read this article. So very discouraging!

    Reply
  5. oh no, wag munaaaa, wag muna Google haha:D
    Ive been recieving stable flow of income through Adsense, but I do have to agree that its SUUPER LOW.
    I hope it changes for the better 🙁

    Reply
  6. Hindi nga magandang balita. I agree na ang Google lang ang syang nakakaalam kung magkano ba ang gusto at pwede nilang ibigay sa mga publishers nila, at sila rin ang nakakaalam kung gaano sila kamahal sumingil sa mga advertisers. Hay, sana lang merong campaign na babayaran ka nalang sa dami ng bumivisit sa blog mo..hihihi.

    Reply
  7. Yeah, adsense has been very erratic and unreliable lately. I’ve also been seeing a lot of articles about being “smartpriced” by google, hence the decreased earnings, do you think this also has something to do with whats happening? Sometimes I just tell myself “the heck with it” and I’ll just keep moving forward and keep on blogging. It also does not hurt to have other means of earning, like real estate for example. =)

    Reply
  8. earning from adsense is becoming more difficult with present problems and knowing that in order to get your first pay out, you need to reach $100, knowing that others are paying publishers when they reached $30 only…hmmm

    Reply
  9. I’m seeing an increase in my adsense earnings so far for this month. CTR is similar.

    I’m thinking what’s happening is a combination of the 3 above and perhaps the effect
    of another tweak in Google’s algorithm. Google will be around for a very long time because
    of their formula of putting the advertiser’s welfare above those of the publishers.

    Publishers aren’t that important to Google and all they care about is becoming better
    at selling products for their advertisers and they achieve that by improving targeted
    search results.

    MFAs aren’t bad per se as long as they’re laser-targeted and are selling for advertisers.
    I think Google recognized this with the introduction of Adsense for domains.

    What do publishers do then? they bend to the big G’s will by optimizing their websites better.
    This is all that publishers can do because we mean little to Google. Don’t feel sad. Get even.
    Optimize. 🙂

    Reply
  10. @James, I think adsense is stable once again. Although it’s too early to tell. It’s 2PM (Manila Time) as I write this comment. And as of this hour, my account has $22.

    Reply
  11. Here I thought it was just me, but I had a hunch it wasn’t. My CTR and eCPM is the lowest it’s ever been over the last few weeks, and I’ve been with them since the start. Absolutely PATHETIC is what it is now, and I’m searching for other advertising options. This is my bread and butter they are messing with – I can’t just sit back and watch it happen. Over the last few years it’s seemed like the number of visitors I get daily keeps going up while the Adsense income stays the same.

    Like you said in the article though, NO ONE knows what our share of that revenue really is, and it makes me wonder if they’ve changed it recently. While yes it does pay better than most ad networks, there has got to be something that pays the publishers what they are really worth. I’m looking into other options and hopefully I’ll come up with a solution soon!

    Reply
  12. i agree james.. if earnings will remain this low i’m sure ill be looking for alternative programs to make money from.. today is the worst day for me.. i miss those days where I make $30 – $70 a day..huhuhu..

    Reply
  13. Google Adsense uses Smart Pricing. CTR Greatly affects the earning IMHO.

    If you’re using wordpress, you might want to check this out. Something to increase your CTR.

    Reply
  14. A lot of people will lose their sidelines if Google will end their adsense programs. I hope they won’t. As I read in one of the posts in a blog, 90% of Google’s Income comes from adsense. I just don’t know how much they share it to us adsense publishers.

    Reply
  15. Ohh… How bad for those who are already earning big in Adsense.

    If Adsense publishers continue to experience decrease in their Google adsense income, what’s the next better alternative to earn much bigger? I hope there’s another great option we can use.

    If this is just a temporary situation. Then, there’s nothing to worry about.

    Reply
  16. My income has been a little down over the past week but my monthly earnings are still on track. Perhaps the increase/decrease in income would vary across niches?

    Reply
    • I think that’s true, Rex. Based on what I’m reading in other webmasters’ forums and conversations with fellow bloggers, some of them are not really seeing any major decrease on their earnings. The niche of the blog does really matter.

      Reply
  17. I would say that it’s not really a hopeless case. Besides, if the main cause is recession, aren’t we all experiencing it? It’s just the same with having an offline job and having to strive harder just to survive the effects of recession. Online, we have to work harder, double the effort, so that we can maintain a level of income that we’re comfortable with.

    Reply
  18. Google Adsense is not the only way to monetize blogs. With this new development, bloggers and website owners should already look for other streams of income. I think a lot of the earlier bloggers already realized this and that’s why they are resorting to more reliable income generators like direct ad sales.

    Reply
  19. Adsense is still a great way of making money. Advertisers will vary all the time, and so do the keywords that are being used to generate ads. It can also come down to chance – maybe one day you get 200 visitors and only 6 clicks, some days you will get 200 visitors and 47 clicks. Again, it varies.

    Reply
  20. For me, this depends on what type of website you are working or optimizing with. Say for example: Let’s assume that this two websites have the same average traffic count daily including click through rate:

    website 1 ex. http://www.earnmoneyfast.com

    website 2 ex. http://www.realestate.com

    if you’ll analyze: Google adsense was designed to show ads relating to website’s articles so;

    adsense on website 1 will most likely show ads with low paying advertisers because, this advertisers are just getting traffic from website 1 to divert it to their website and promote their articles related in earning money fast.
    To summarize: The advertisers of website 1 are also advertisers advertising their strategy to earn money fast! What do you expect? are they going to pay high for their ads on google? NO! because they really don’t sell high profit products. What they are going to do is to pay the minimal rate on goggle adwords as an additional tool to campaign their articles in earning money fast (Estimate is .05$ for every click! did you imagine how much share website 1 will get for this? you’re right!, you almost need 5 to 10 adsense click for website 1 to earn .01$ how sad it is!). Oh!, and by the way, how about the visitors of website 1, can we convert them to successful selling transaction in case website 1 sells something to earn money fast? chances are very poor! because, visitors on this type of keywords (” earn money fast “) are also in need of money that is why they landed to website 1. Maybe yes way back five years ago, because there are lots of person who easily believes that if they buy a book titled “the Secret to become a millionaire” they’ll become a millionaire in short period of time! Well I wish they are now! and congrats to those who made it!

    Now let’s move on website 2: this website if you’ll analyze, will have a high paying advertisers! why! because, majority of the advertisers on this type of keyword (” condominiums | real estate | condo unit for sale”) are sure bet developers, construction firms, real estate brokers, marketing company, etc. who sells products/items with at lease a minimum worth of 1 million. Considering also that real estate development, specially here in the Philippines are booming so fast, and the marketing competition is so tight, that these companies have no other choice but to maximize their marketing campaigns by means of TV ads, Newspapers, Billboards, and the Internet. Imagine, these advertisers can afford even a TV campaign which is so expensive! Trivia: Did you happen to encounter somebody or a company that advertise “How to Earn Money Fast!” by means of using TV campaigns? well for me i haven’t, and I don’t expect this as well, because it is so expensive for them just to sell a flowery article product saying “how to earn money fast!”, If there are, hmmm, Cheers for that!

    To summarize: advertisers of website 2 will even pay 10$ per click just to be prioritized on google adsense box! and that would be at least 1.32$ to 2$ shares for each adsense clicked on website 2 (Hello Google Team!, just my average computation base on my experience he he he), by the way google is the one who really knows and decides the sharing computation, but, one thing’s for sure, If google gets high earning from the adsense served by your website then google shares high earning to you as well. It’s just being fair and playing the game fair!. Just my opinion, hope this might help somebody! =)

    Convinced to move on WEBSITE 2? Next question: There are millions of articles and links pertaining to the KEYWORDS of Website 2. If you are the owner of web: http://www.realestate.com and somebody typed the word “Philippine Condominiums For Sale” which is being served by almost 400,000 links and sites on google, do you have any idea on how to put your site on Page 1 of google and beat your 400,000 opponents? Try browsing Google now! and typed the mentioned keyword!

    What’s the answer? yes, it’s http://www.condosphilippines.com a filipino company website! Im proud to be pinoy!, Hi Ro*** just using your site for reference Your the Man! hehehe. now type exactly the words http://www.realestate.com, this site will come out now on page 1 ranking 1,WOW! but, do you think that if there is somebody who wants to buy a condo unit in Philippines, he will type only the words “real estate”? NO!, what he will type most likely is “Philippine Condominiums For Sale”. Another thing, if you have seo tools, you’ll see that realestate.com is almost 10 years older than condosphilippines.com! But! even if you type the word “real estate”, realestate.com is being sweeped by wikipedia on page 1 rank 1?!? By the way, in fairness, of course realestate.com concentrates on foreign countries and not Philippines, so this may get lower chance to beat condosphilippines.com for the keyword “Philippine Condominiums For Sale”, although they need to out-rank wikipedia for the term “Real Estate” because this keyword is the exact name of their domain. NOte: RULE of thumb and a must!: your website must be the authority on your site domain name! ex. when I typed on google ” My Website” then, http://www.mywebsite.com should be on page 1 rank 1 if not, do something now to fix the problem because you really have a very very very poor chances to earn on your adsense account! and even on everything you are planning for your website earnings! Hope this is something useful!

    Answers and Reference on how to solve the last two paragraphs? e-mail me at nilosking@yahoo.com I’m more than willing to serve your I.T. and Web Development needs anytime. More Power to PinoymoneyTalk.Com!

    PS: Search Engine Position comparisons here are based on Google’s results as of May 5, 2009

    Reply
  21. I think Adsense dying is pretty far fetched. As long as people are using search engines, contextual ads will stay. Revenues may vary, as it expectedly should, but I don’t think any downturn will cause the destruction of contextual ads.

    Actually, i don’t believe direct ads sale are any more reliable than adsense. After all, advertisers will only continue to buy ad space if they have proven that the ad space really do convert. So everything depends on how you build and optimize your site for your target audience.

    For Adsense, you should first ascertain if there are indeed advertisers using Adwords to promote products that relate to your site. If there aren’t many, look for other means of monetization. Traffic doesn’t necessarily mean more click throughs or higher earnings because the ads should be relevant to the visitors for them to click and, perhaps, convert.

    Reply
  22. Sa amin mababa talaga cpc namin kasi Hollywood, pero sa dami ng nag cli-click na tga U.S., ok na rin, and I don’t think Adsense will die, it’s the best ad network in the UNIVERSE!!! hehe

    Reply
  23. I have to disagree on your term “it is very tough to decently earn from Google Adsense” since some people I know (me included) are doing well with this money making program. Indeed eCPM went really terrible especially in the Philippines but then again, if you know what you’re doing you can still make a lot of money using Google’s Adsense.

    It solely depends on your overall strategy.

    Reply

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