Cause of Decreasing AdSense CTR – Click Through Rate Falling Drastically – What Causes This?

2010 had been great in terms of AdSense revenue through the month of January, but once February rolled around, I noticed a huge drop in my CTR. In January 2009, my AdSense CTR for all of the sites I manage and work with was nearly double digits. I understand that this isn’t typical, but it had been like that for well over a year. Toward the end of 2o09. Over the past year, my CTR had fallen to about half of what it was, then in the past month, it’s fallen to about half of that. What gives? The site is the same, I still get the same amount off traffic, if not more, but my CTR is turning into garbage!

Update – CTR Problem Solved

I found out that my site was hacked. After about 10-15 seconds, my site would redirect based on some javascript code that was injected into it. Read more about how my WordPress was hacked, read here.

New AdSense Homepage – Can’t Login to AdSense Account

It appears that Google is working on releasing a new version of the Google AdSense Homepage, and possibly even a new version of the Google AdSense reporting and user information page. However, as of right now, I am unable to log into my Google AdSense account, as everytime I try to sign in, I’m redirected back to the new default Welcome to AdSense page.

The sign in page is no longer part of the AdSense homepage, you click a link that reads: Already using AdSense? Sign in ยป but upon clicking and signing in, users are currently being redirected back to the main AdSense homepage.

I hope that Google has something good in-store for us! I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

Testing New Adsense Placement to Compare and Increase Click Through Rate (CTR)

If you’ve visited this site before, you may or may not have noticed ad placements in the right-hand side bar. Over time, I’ve experimented with 160×600 skyscrapers (from both Google Adsense and from other 3rd party advertisers) and I’ve also tried placing a leading 336×280 large rectangle atop the right-hand sidebar with limited success. Both the skyscraper and the large rectangle had a low click thru rate when placed in the sidebar, typically under 1%. Thought the CTR was under 1%, the placement did usually have a decent eCPM, coming in at $1.35. As a secondary placement, I didn’t ever expect too much from my sidebar advertisements, so I’d be happy with anything over $1 eCPM.

Now, I’ve decided to replace my right-hand sidebar advertisements with a 728×90 leaderboard advertisement just under the header on my site, and above the main content. In order to keep this new placement active, I’ll be looking for 2 things:

  1. I’d like to see the CTR increase by at least 50%.
  2. I’d like to see the eCPM increase by at least 75-100%.

You’re probably thinking that a 50% increase in CTR is a big leap, which it may be, but I’m not willing to compromise losing visitors, pageviews, and potentially subscriptions for less than a 50% increase in CTR. I’d also like to see a large increase in the eCPM numbers, again for the same reason – I’m not willing to lose visitors to low paying advertisers, I’d rather retain the traffic on my site, and try to gain a subscriber in the process.

How long do I plan on testing this new placement? I’ll probably give the new placement about a month or so, thought I’ll definitely be reviewing it toward the end of each week from here on out. I’ll keep updates on the placements successes and failures, and I’d love to hear from anyone who has attempted similar changes on their blog.

Google Adsense Merges Account Login with Standard Google Accounts

Up until today, logging into your Google Adsense account was done through a separate login from all of your other Google accounts. However, if you logged in today, you were probably asked if you wanted to merge and/or link your Google Adsense account with a different Google Account. This is great news for publishers (like myself) who signed up for Google Adsense way back prior to the existence of Google Accounts – Google’s single interface for managing all of your different types of accounts that you might hold at Google, such as:

  • Adwords
  • Analytics
  • Base
  • Calendar
  • Docs
  • Finance
  • Gmail
  • Reader … just to name a few.

If you haven’t read any of my “Google Owns You” series, check that out here.

Increase Your Google Adsense Click Through Rate (CTR)

So you’ve decided to monetize your blog or website by adding Google Adsense to it, but now that Adsense is on your site, why hasn’t it started generating revenue for you? Google Adsense isn’t a magical cash generator (though many bloggers and site owners would claim otherwise), Adsense is a content driven advertising engine; meaning that it uses the content of your page(s) to determine the advertisement that it will display to the end user.

Content Optimization

The best place to start when trying to optimize your CTR is with the content on your page. Since Google Adsense uses the text and content of your page to determine the ads that it will display, it will be most beneficial to create content accordingly. This will help bring targeted traffic to your website. By bringing targeted traffic, your users will be looking for information that should be very similar to the ads that are displayed on your page.

Ad Placement

Another way to optimize your Google Adsense CTR is by optimizing your ad placement. A commonly used term is “Hot Zone”. Hot Zones are the areas on a website that a users eyes will typically navigate to. Hot Zones typically consist of the header, the left-hand navigation (if available), and the main content area of the story.

Ad Style

Google now allows you to specify the style of your ad. You can manipulate the foreground and background, and more recently, you can add rounded corners to your advertisements. Rounded corners is a nice feature for many websites that have organic/curvy designs as the rounded corners fit in with the design better than the traditions square boxy ads.

Competitive Ad Filtering

Be careful with this, because often competing ads can also be high paying ads. You may want to use the competitive ad filter if you are getting redundant ads displayed on your site.

I hope some of these tips & tricks help you out, if you have any other suggestions, feel free to comment below.