Articles tagged in adsense

  1. State of Ad-Blocking on OzBargain

    Last month, after the iOS 9 release which included content-blocking mechanism for Safari, someone made this poll on OzBargain -- Dilemma: Ethics of Using Ad Removal Plugins. I am not going to discuss the ethical side of it (although I did wrote about it in the discussion thread). However I am interested to find out how the current state of ad-blocking is affecting OzBargain.

    So I coded some detection function in Javascript and loaded on the site for 2 days. After analysing 1.5 million page views on OzBargain, here are some stats on the number of pages that are "ad-blocked".

    Desktop 44.76%
    Mobile 6.81%
    Users 44.54%
    Guests 29.66%

    Overall around 32% of ad-invocations are blocked on OzBargain. Detection is done via Javascript that fires 3 seconds after DOM is ready. It would log "ad-blocked" if DOM elements for display ads are hidden (display: none via CSS for example). It would not be triggered if ads have been explicitly disabled from user-settings.

    Some thoughts:

    • At 32% and almost 45% for desktop users, the percentage of ad-blocking users is shockingly high. That's almost one out of every 3 page views. Before the experiment I was thinking of maybe ~10% but it seems that I'm just oblivious to all the development lately.

    • Ad-blocking on mobile phone still has pretty low penetration. I guess most of the 6.8% would be iOS 9 with content blocker, although ad-blocking was previously achievable with Firefox, rooted phones or local DNS forwarder.

    • With the high percentage of ad-blockers, I'll say most won't even bother white-listing a relatively harmless site like OzBargain, which uses exclusively AdSense. I don't think "acceptable ads" would succeed at all, as for ad-blocker users, any external resources that slow down the website from loading would get labelled as "unacceptable".

    • Almost 50% of ads on OzBargain are CPM based (according to AdSense report). Them not loading at all one in 3 pages -- I can imagine the dent it has placed on our revenue. Google would have something under its sleeve, wouldn't it? I hope it's more than just paying off the racketeering money to get into the acceptable ads program.

    We'll see.

  2. Google AdSense Ready for HTTPS? My Experience Says No

    Is Google AdSense supporting HTTPS? Google says YES -- since September 2013 you can use both synchronous and asynchronous Javascript code on your HTTPS website to embed AdSense ads. However is AdSense really ready for HTTPS? Not really.

    AdSense's support page suggests the same. While HTTPS is most certainly supported, Google does not recommend it for their publishers due to potential lower earnings.

    We don’t recommend that publishers with HTTP sites convert their sites to HTTPS unless they have a strong reason to do so.

    If you do decide to convert your HTTP site to HTTPS, please be aware that because we remove non-SSL compliant ads from the auction, thereby reducing auction pressure, ads on your HTTPS pages might earn less than those on your HTTP pages.

    "Strong reason" can be a subjective term here, and I believe HTTPS is more than just for protecting the packets transmitted between browsers and web-servers, but also validating the web server against MiTM attacks. In this case if you are a publisher using AdSense to monetise your website, you will need to weight out the pro's and con's before doing the "switch" to HTTPS-only. So, how much less is "might earn less" here? My current experience says "a significant pay cut".

    I have been an AdSense user since 2005, and when OzBargain was launched in late-2006, AdSense was the first (and the only) contextual and display advertising network used. Over the years it provided the bulk of revenue to keep the website going. Last December we moved to HTTPS-only as I thought it would be best for our community, but the switch wasn't all smooth-sailing.

    Performance issue? Not a big deal with today's multi-core Xeons. Slow down? You can hardly notice. Our Alexa ranking dropped significantly since last December (despite having more traffic than last year), but who still cares about Alexa anyway? The biggest problem we had was actually the reduced revenue from AdSense. Comparing March this year verses March 2013, here are the relative stats from AdSense:

    • Page Views: +13%
    • Earnings: -29%
    • Clicks: -13%
    • Page CTR: -22%
    • CPC: -18%
    • Page RPM: -37%

    So despite having more page views, the earnings dropped by almost 30%. Lower Click-Through-Rate translates lower number of clicks. Compounding with lower Cost-Per-Click, I am getting a very sad RPM drop. Lower CPC can be explained by lower auction pressure. Less advertisers also result the same boring ads showing up all the time, resulting lower CTR.

    Going deeper into the stats gives you a clearer idea of what's going on.

    • CPM bids dropped by 97%. It was 25% of the revenue before and now almost nothing.
    • Non-AdWords bids dropped by almost 100%. Basically other than AdWords, almost no one on the supply side of advertising network meets the HTTPS requirement.
    • Rich media and Flash ads dropped by 81%. Again, most of them are served from networks that are not compatible with HTTPS.

    We used to have quite a few big retailers advertising on OzBargain last year (through AdSense), but you can hardly see any this year. It's probably not Google's fault though, and I am not sure what they are able to do here. It's the advertising networks, the media agencies, the advertisers -- the whole suite needs to move onto HTTPS, which might take a while unless there's a crisis or strong demand (just look at IPv6 migration).

  3. Google AdSense, 3 and Half Year Later

    It has been 3 and half years since I first added advertisement from Google AdSense on this website. The amount of traffic has been steady over the last 3 ½ years although I have been really slack blogging here recently. Here are some interesting statistics on monetising this blog with Google AdSense.

    Year Impressions Clicks Revenue
    2005 87,xxx 2,1xx $372
    2006 212,xxx 5,4xx $1,030
    2007 205,xxx 2,6xx $498
    2008 211,xxx 2,0xx $363

    Note that I have only started using Google AdSense in July 2005. So you might want to double the 2005 stats to get a more comparative number, assuming the traffic level in 2005 is constant. Also although there are still ½ month to go for December 2008, the stats shown above should give you a general idea. I have also changed to a new theme which may/may not affect the revenue generation. Finally, many of my most popular pages on this blog (mainly those WordPress plugin pages + the front page of this blog) don't actually have ads shown on them.

    So, what can I conclude from the stats generated from above?

    • Lazy bloggers won't make truck load of money. Actually, even if you are a heavily effective pro-blogger who can consistently produce a few well-written insightful blog posts a day, you probably still won't make as much money as an investment banker or a seasoned J2EE/.Net engineer. Your blogs probably won't sell for more than their redundant packages either, in the current economy climate.

      Still, a few hundred US greenbacks are more than enough to pay for the web hosting for this site and many others (which are currently on USD$20/month SliceHost VPS). Still got some spare changes for a treat every now and then...

    • People are getting more and more blind to the online ads. While the number of impressions stays pretty constant, the number of clicks (and thus the click through rate) has dropped year after year. Assuming Google has maintained the quality of ads shown on this blog (finger crossed), I can only concluded that people have fed up with the online ads and become blind to them.

      I guess that's probably the reason why there are more and more aggressive ads on big news sites like SMH, where they take over the whole screen to make sure you see them. Did I say aggressive or annoying?

    • Not just CTR, CPC has been dropping too! If you divide the revenue by the number of clicks, you will get the Cost Per Click (CPC), and you'll see them drop year after year as well. That means you now need to get 150 clicks to make the same amount of money where you used to be able to make it with 100 clicks. That sucks more because CTR is dropping at the same time.

      I guess there might be multiple reasons behind it. Google AdWords bidding is still a mystery that I don't think I will ever understand. No one wants to bid on my site anyway after seeing all the crappy writing I have here. The financial crisis and economy downturn has also reduced the marketing budget of many advertisers. Finally there are many more websites parked with AdSense to compete for the cake. No wonder my slice gets smaller and smaller.

    Well. That's about my it -- my thoughts on Google AdSense on this blog. With imminent recession in 2009, I guess I can pretty much predict the number..

  4. Google AdSense available for Traditional Chinese 繁體中文

    Google AdSense for content is now available to 4 new languages, adding to their big list of supported languages. One being the Traditional Chinese, 繁體中文, which also happens to be my preferred language. You can already do Traditional Chinese in AdWords if you have a product to sell, but now …
  5. One Year of AdSense

    Around this time last year I have signed up with Google AdSense, and implemented on this website. 12 months later -- yeah I have made some pocket money with it, but for me it is more of an experience in online marketing, contextual advertising and the whole Internet economics. It was …
  6. Google AdSense Can't Divide

    Google AdSense was down this morning, and it turned out that they have made a big mistake in paying in foreign currency. Instead of foreign amount = USD amount / exchange rate, they made it multiply instead. As most currency are lower than USD, Google has underpaid many publishers world wide except …
  7. AdSense Supports Electronic Fund Transfer for Australians

    ProBlogger: Aussies AdSense publishers can now be paid by EFT, which is heaps better than paying by cheques which always took ages to deliver (and sometimes I am too lazy to deposit). To change payment to EFT, (1) Go to My Account/Account Settings in AdSense (2) Edit "Payment Details …
  8. AdSense Preview for Firefox

    AdSense Preview Tool for Firefox. It basically just creates a pop up window showing what ads would appear on the web page you are looking at, if Google AdSense is used. Very useful for deciding whether you should put AdSense on your website. However it does not have localisation preview …
  9. Google's AdSense Referral Sux

    TW: Aaron Wall the "seobook" basically claimed that AdSense referral sux because there exists too many penalties for those "slow earners". He is talking about the new $100 in 90 days recently discovered by JenSense. Personally I have never made anything through the AdSense referral (and probably never will), however …
  10. First AdSense Cheque

    My first Google AdSense cheque finally arrived yesterday, since I started putting ads on this blog 4 and half months ago. More than enough to pay for my DreamHost hosting for one year. Yahoo!!! (no pun intended) Now, shall I frame it (my very first cheque from Google), or shall …
  11. AOL buys WIN for its AdSense revenue?

    It has been a well known news, thanks to the power of blogosphere. PaidContent first leaked the acquisition of Weblogs Inc. by American Online, and then every second or third blogs I have been reading have reported on it. LcF blogged about this sale, concluding: Weblogs Inc. is a successful …
  12. Adsenselogger and Google's TOS

    I have been participating in Google's AdSense program for almost two and half months now, and have earned peanuts for placing AdWords contextual ads on two of my other blogsites, i.e. I am only almost there for my first greenback cheque sent by our beloved guys in the almighty …
  13. Added AdSense (Part II)

    Last week I looked at the option of adding sponsored links via AdSense to this site. So far I am getting around 5 bucks from the clicks. Not too bad I guess, but at the same time it is far from covering my Internet bandwidth. An interesting exercise nevertheless, as …
  14. Added AdSense

    You know. Managing and providing hosting to two to three dozen websites out of your own pocket can be a costly exercise. I have been quite reluctant to do so for a while, for the fear of 'tainting' this blog. But I see that the dark side is greater, more …
  15. AdBlocking and Free Internet

    There is an interesting discussion on Slashdot, reflecting what Bennie Smith (of Double Click) has previously said, about the end of free Internet contents when advertising blocking get included in web browsers as standard feature. I used to hate banner ads, popup/pop-under ads and even Javascript text ads that …
  16. AdSense for feeds

    Google has just announced the AdSense for feeds, so all the webmasters can now make more money from advertising. Well, so I guess polluting your web browser is not good enough, they also want to taint your RSS reader.
  17. Google's Image AdSense

    Google has launched its image version of AdSense. I thought there should be no more image banner ads.
  18. Google's Contextual Advertise

    I went to Fjord's blog site this morning, and experienced the power of Google's AdSense - how it places context related advertise in a website. At the top of the page, Google placed two ads - Asianwok Chinese noodle - Quon Yick and Marco Polo brands Ingredients for noodle recipes. Chicken Recipe - Shop …