A WebmasterWorld thread started by moderator martinibuster has been getting a lot of attention over the weekend. MartiniBuster asks other members to come up with theories on why it appears AdSense earnings are lower these days then a year prior.
MartiniBuster's own theory is pretty interesting. In short, he says that there are less AdWords coupons floating around these days, so less people are experimenting with the content network. Let me quote MartiniBuster:
As I recall, there were thousands of dollars worth of AdWords coupons flooding Internet conferences. Those AdSensers who have not attended conferences several years ago won't know what I'm talking about so before you comment on this theory, hear me out.
Every conference I went to there were thousands of dollars worth of coupons available from denominations of $250 on down (as I recall). I think there may have been $500 coupons available, too. There were so many coupons floating around that some people were selling them, exchanging them between themselves, and opening multiple AdWords accounts to take advantage of them.
Could part of the higher payouts have to do with there being less publishers in the system? Is it possible that another contributing factor in those early days of higher ECPM was the flood of AdWords coupons?
Now, there are many other theories for the lower earnings, outside of the world being in a recession. They include:
- Google needs to take a bigger piece of the AdSense pie
- Slow down in new fresh to the net ad clicking users.
- Ad blindness for veteran net surfers.
- Less MFA has to affect a segment of publishers.
- Landing page rules turning off some advertisers.
- AdWords complexity
- Google dropping the ball on code quality due to lack of competition for too many years leading to data loss that is later artificially unfairly balanced out.
- More advertiser control positively affecting few and devastating the rest.
- Google silently taking a bigger portion of publisher's earnings to meet the market expectations.
- Smarter advertisers
- Over saturation of content
There are many more ideas and theories being debated in the thread.
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.