Google Walks the Plank

Posted by jonathan at 11:41am EST on 11/27/2007

The following article is an anti-AdSense publication produced by Google Inside.

As of November 15th, Google changed their AdSense “Click Area” policies.

Continuing these improvements, we’ve just changed our text ads slightly to help reduce accidental clicks. In the past, users could click on both the background and full text of an ad, but now they can click only on the title and URL of a text ad. By allowing users to click only on the ad title and URL, we aim to decrease accidental clicks, better aligning visitor behavior with their intent. Overall, the decrease in accidental clicks will keep users on your website, interacting with your content, until they intend to click on an ad.

So let’s take a look at one example of a publisher’s revenue (my data for one of my assets).

Google AdSense Sucks Now

The blurred area is to be in compliance with the AdSense TOS.

I’ve been generating a stable $30-$40 per day for the past 3 or 4 months. After this change took place, to “decrease accidental clicks,” revenue dropped drastically.

The report I’m showing you is on a very small scale. Consider a site generating $100 per day, $1000 per day, maybe $10,000 per day. If my revenue dropped nearly 50%, consider going from a $5,000 day down to $2,000 or $3,000. That’s a pretty huge drop in revenue.

Are the advertisers happier now? I doubt it. If advertisers had been mad about “accidental clicks,” they would have just stopped using the system and moved to a CPA model.

But let’s take this one step further. What about Google’s overall revenue stream? Google is dependent so heavily on AdSense and AdWords that it would be a mistake for it to want to cut out revenue long-term.

Google Stock Drops

The GOOG stock has taken a pretty serious hit lately. Dropped over $100 in the matter of a month.

We’ve covered the stories of breaking $700, then dropping below again, it honestly just seems like their stock is so unstable that it’s going to just bust one of these days.

To be honest, Google is planning their own death by continuing with this. In the long run, they are going to damage their publisher base and lose a lot of publishers due to the decrease in revenue.

Here are some other resources on the subject,

3 Responses to “Google Walks the Plank”

  1. Donncha O Caoimh

    Nov 28th, 2007

    In general, I haven’t seen any drop in income. The CTR is what you should look at and it has remained fairly constant over the whole month.

    For some reason, my earnings take a huge dive at the weekend. It’s not just the usual drop in traffic, my eCPM heads south too. Has Google added a “day of the week” section to Adwords?

  2. Jonathan Dingman

    Nov 28th, 2007


    In RE: to the last question, they’ve had this for quite a long time. AdWords users can select even down to the hour of which their ads are displayed. AdWords advertisers can select to run their ads between 8 and 9am for Thursday’s only, if they wanted to.

    The weekends always seem to be a pitfall for me too, and I also realize this was an American holiday, but I started to see the downward trend prior to the holiday.

    I’ve been monitoring it since the holiday and I’ve still noticed the downward trend.

    This change in the click area, I believe, will dramatically affect their overall revenue and they might want to consider reversing the policy.

    In RE: to your first question, I’ve noticed a huge drop in CTR as well, nearly half a percent drop, which is most likely due to that click area change that Google implemented. The drop in CTR would easily cause the decrease in revenue which is what is starting to bug me.

  3. […] the middle of November, Google changed the clickable area on Adsense adverts. Jonathan noticed a large drop in revenue, but I haven’t. Click through rate is much the same as before, […]