Jump to content

AdSense placement


BankFodder
 Share

Recommended Posts

Our migration from vBulletin to Invision was a really good move – except our revenue has fallen catastrophically.

We have never made particular profits but we have always been able to meet our expenses. At the rate things are going now, we will have difficulty doing that – which is crazy because we are a fairly big forum.

I have no idea what's going wrong and I really appreciate a conversation about other people's experience and how I might be able to improve the situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks. – Yes we lost a lot of traffic very quickly but I don't really understand why because we have been around for nearly 14 years and presumably all the redirects were working correctly.

The trouble is that I really don't understand very much about it at. In our vBulletin site it worked very well. On our new Invision site, I would say that our very existence is at risk.

I have been told that the fall in traffic is quite normal and it will recover but it will take some months.

However, a second issue is that our end of month totals are very severely adjusted by Google. Apparently Google has detected many invalid/span clicks. I really don't know how to deal with these at all and I'm afraid that getting advice out of Google is extremely difficult and even when you do get advice from them, it is scarcely possible to understand what they are saying to you.

I don't want to go into figures, but last month – which ended just a couple of days ago – our estimated earnings were suddenly cut by almost 70% – no explanation, no justification simply that I understand that Google believes that there were span clicks.

I have a feeling that this is about ad placement that I really don't understand what to do about it and I can't get any informed advice or help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am going to do the same migration in a few days, i have to say your post is quite scary...

I did the vb3 => vb5 upgrade, wich is basically a migration, a few years ago and i lost around 30% trafic and they came back within 4 months.

i think @Christforums made the same migration a few months back, did you have the same loss in trafic ?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I will be very interested if you can keep us updated. As I say, it's not only a question of a loss of traffic – but also the problem with ad placements and understanding where they should go and what the problems are and why Google should believe that there are spam clicks.

The support from the Invision staff is very good – excellent in fact – but it seems to stop short at giving advice on maximising AdSense revenue.

I'm sure that the Invision team are extremely experienced and I'm sure that they have the skills and understanding to help us improve our revenue – and it would be very nice if they provided a service to do this. Paid. I'd be very happy to pay a fee to raise our AdSense profile – and particularly to understand why or what it is which is causing Google to apply such Draconian adjustments to our estimated earnings on the basis of spam clicks.

I understand Google's position – because people are quick to try manipulate them as soon as they understand the rules. However, Google doesn't seem to understand – or maybe they don't care – that their approach can easily bring a small community – or even a large community to its knees simply because of the lack of information/feedback they supply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How big was your lost of trafic ? just so i can brace myself :).

I honestly do not think adsense is the way to go if you want a good return. I ran a few month with adsense + criteo and it was convering my hosting costs but there was no way i could pay for any improvement.

If you are big in your niche, the best way is to target your ads, over a year i would say you can get 10 to 20 times what adsense brings in. Also i would try affiliation and other form of partnership with commercial actors of your niche.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Our traffic may have fallen as much as 65%.

The only problem is that I'm not sure whether the VB stats were reporting real-time online visitors or whether there was a substantial lag so that the number of people online was being reported across an hour or two. To my shame, it's not something I took much notice of because everything was working so well.

Now it's a struggle.

Our forum is at www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have to say i only look at google analytics trafic and not at any server side trafic reporting.

I took a quick look to your site, most of the time the ads simply does not display. this is not normal behaviour, i am no expert but my best guess is that it is mostly because your pages are not indexed and so there isn't any keyword attached to them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I also had the impression that indexing of our site was at a low level – and I don't know how to address it.

We've had about 445,000 pages indexed – but about 1.4 million excluded – and I don't know why and I don't even really know what it means.

 

 

image.thumb.png.35cd4964733c378dfc2d8446e5606aa0.png 

Here's a screenshot.

 

 

Edited by BankFodder
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And now I'm really worried because I have tried carrying out a URL inspection on some of the excluded addresses and I simply get a message that they are "not available to Google".

This seems to indicate that there is some error which prevents Google even looking at them. I think you are right, that pages aren't being indexed and I'm starting to think that it has nothing to do with our ad placement but rather it is something with the way that the forum conversion has operated on the previous data from the VB platform all the way that the forum data is now configured.

I really have no idea how to understand it or how to get to the bottom of it

Edited by BankFodder
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I interviewed 6 Vbulletin admins who migrated over to Invision community.  (I have a blog post with a community guide - it's really good reading on what they experienced).  They all reported an initial loss of traffic and the traffic regained in 4-12 months depending on the niche and audience.  So part of it is to be patient and wait for the traffic to come back.  

I talk to a lot of other Invision Community admins and, in general, relying on AdSense or external advertising is the fastest and easiest way to not control your own destiny.  Yes, it's easy to setup and you can maximize if all you want, but if something ever happens to your overall traffic, you can be hurt because you're relying on so many factors outside of your own control.  You're relying on traffic trends, Google's search ranking, and Google's search algorithms for monetization.  Just go work for Google in that case, because it's Google who pretty much pays you! 

I'm a far bigger fan of private advertising, sponsored posting, or even user subscriptions -- all of which are organic, controlled, and align with your community values.  It delivers relevant value to your members, not general and irrelevant web advertising.  It's also much more stable since it doesn't depend on Google's next algorithm.  I think communities looking to shock-proof and protect their communitys finances really need to diversify and realign with other sources of revenue, preferably ones that they can control regardless of web traffic.  

Edited by Joel R
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you for your input and I note what you say.

However, we have been operating very successfully for nearly 14 years on our existing model using Google. We don't expect to make particular profits but we don't expect to be crippled.

What we really like some help with from the Invision team would be about our indexing problems because I think that user @jesuralem  may well have identified a problem which is that a substantial number of our pages aren't being indexed any more. Google simply says that the pages aren't available to it.

What we need is some experienced expertise to be able to point the way forward on this. If we can get the site properly indexed then even if it doesn't work, then we eliminate one possibility.

 

Edited by BankFodder
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I also think, Joel, that you may be missing the point in that if the site is not properly indexed then whether we use private advertising or some other non-AdSense model, it still means that people will be far less likely to discover that we have the content that they are looking for and who therefore be far less likely to come along to the site and to benefit from the information we can provide them with and also far less likely to make use of the private advertisements.

So regardless of whether we use AdSense or some other means of attracting some revenue, getting the site properly indexed is a crucial factor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just so we are clear I think the are two kinds of indexing : the search and the ad indexing.

The second one scans the pages and links ads keywords so AdSense can categorize your pages and sell the ads programmaticaly.

I think Google actually has two different crawlers for these two tasks.

 

I checked my currently vbulletin site search console and I have the same valid/excluded ratio as you.

40 minutes ago, Joel R said:

I interviewed 6 Vbulletin admins who migrated over to Invision community.  (I have a blog post with a community guide - it's really good reading on what they experienced).  They all reported an initial loss of traffic and the traffic regained in 4-12 months depending on the niche and audience.  So part of it is to be patient and wait for the traffic to come back.  

Do you have an estimate of the initial traffic loss? 70% looks really high...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well as I said earlier, 70% is an estimate but it certainly 60%.

 

Interesting that you have the same ratio of excluded links. That rather knocks that theory on the head!

Is there any chance that you could give this a screenshot of your exclusions so we can see the reasons for them please

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have no problem about understanding French.

As you can see above, about half a million of mine are to do with redirects and getting on for the same number are "crawl anomalies".

Presumably your 60% no index have been configured deliberately. How do you explain the 20% redirects? And also when you convert from VB to Invision, you will have a huge number of redirects which are made by the conversion process

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Joel R said:

I'm a far bigger fan of private advertising, sponsored posting, or even user subscriptions -- all of which are organic, controlled, and align with your community values.  It delivers relevant value to your members, not general and irrelevant web advertising

This!

I have often been concerned I have too many adverts on my site (I have a lot), but when polled the majority of my users said they view the adverts as more of a resource than an annoyance.

Google ads on the other hand people did complain about so I removed them, all except for the off topic lounge forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, BankFodder said:

I also think, Joel, that you may be missing the point in that if the site is not properly indexed then whether we use private advertising or some other non-AdSense model, it still means that people will be far less likely to discover that we have the content that they are looking for and who therefore be far less likely to come along to the site and to benefit from the information we can provide them with and also far less likely to make use of the private advertisements.

So regardless of whether we use AdSense or some other means of attracting some revenue, getting the site properly indexed is a crucial factor.

I understand that point. You're invited to send in a support ticket with a couple of examples where you think the sitemap could be improved.  

With that said, there could be a whole host of reasons of why links aren't being included.  And more importantly, whether or not there's any actual impact to your traffic and revenue.  In your case, you should expect a traffic drop that will take many months to recover.  For other site owners, it could be due to a change in Google algorithms.  I see this over and over again where clients immediately think something is wrong with the sitemap when traffic is dropping when it could be due to a host of other factors.  

On my sites Google Search Console, I have 113k valid and 678k excluded.  That sounds horrible, right??

Actually, I don't care.  I don't care because ... I have 40% year over year growth of traffic, I rank well in tens of thousands of tail-end keywords, and my revenue are entirely derived from user subscriptions that are organic.  

I don't care because I'm not dependent on traffic for advertising.  I think that revenue model is okay for some sites, but I would think the smarter sites would start to find new ways of diversifying and protecting their revenue through sources that aren't so dependent on other platforms like Google or Facebook.  The whole reason why I host an independent community is to be truly independent.  And that means controlling my own sites financing through organic traffic as much as possiblr.  My site is especially vulnerable because it's in a high risk niche, which means I need to be even more strategic and independent.  

I can understand concerns about a drop in traffic.  That's scary to any webmaster.  And if anyone has any questions about the sitrmap, they can send in a a couple of examples to IPS.  But I also encourage clients to view the bigger picture on things that matter more: a focus on good content, good organization, expertise, and developing your own organic sources of traffic and revenue where you won't care so much about what Google says.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...