WebmasterWorld has another thread about lowering AdSense prices.
When the economy is good and advertisers have robust ad budgets, an ad network might be willing to sell them whatever they are willing to buy. If the advertiser wants to overpay for some ads and associate that spend with branding then so be it. But when the economy slows down, the ad marketplace needs to separate the best ad inventory from the weakest ad inventory to protect the rates of their best ads.
From Google's perspective, search is the golden goose tied directly with conversions. Syndicated ads, which can lead to conversions, may often carry a premium price based on branding value. Here are some of the forces that might be lowering AdSense earnings
- Some brand advertisers cutting their ad budgets, trimming brand related ads before they cut direct response ads.
- Those brand ads being replaced by less trustworthy ads from smaller advertisers who bid less and are less likely to get clicked on.
- Google changing the clickable region of AdSense ad units.
- Google lowering the estimated value of content clicks to help protect the value of search clicks and shift more of their network spend toward search.
Given Google's market dominance over the contextual ad market there is virtually no floor to how low they can price AdSense ads on non-premium publishing partner websites.
I have one site where the ads are AGGRESSIVELY integrated into the content, where that site gets thousands of search driven visitors per day in a big money vertical. That site has a CPM rate which is roughly equal to what one to two clicks would cost if I had to buy that traffic from Google directly (rather than me arbitraging their organic search results then selling that traffic). Clearly there has to be a better way to monetize that site. The ad prices are so cheap that I would be the buyer if I had a higher value model in that space.
If you have been using AdSense as a business model now is a great time to create new revenue streams and test shifting from an AdSense ad seller to an AdSense ad buyer.
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