Page eCPM Down: Is AdSense going broke?

Page eCPM Down: Is AdSense going broke?

A number of bigtime AdSense Publishers have shared to me that their Page eCPM has dramatically declined in the last 12 months. Whether this trend coincides with the US financial crisis or something else is yet unsure. One might even ask the question “Is Google AdSense going broke?

I downloaded my AdSense data for the last 15 months and plotted the eCPM as shown below. Indeed, the trend is significantly visible.


adsense ecpm

There could be several reasons for this downward trend and let’s try to look at it from a wider perspective:

  • Fewer Competition. Since AdSense is driven by the competition that’s coming from Google AdWords, it is possible that there are much fewer competing bidders in your niche. For example, the automotive industry and the travel industry are among the highest hit. You could see fewer car related ads or in the case of the travel industry, fewer airlines, hotels and travel agents advertise on AdWords. Fewer competitors will drive low bid rates which in turn result to lower cost per click on AdSense and eCPM.
  • Ad Relevancy. With fewer competing advertisers, you get less relevant ads. Less relevant ads will result to lower CTR and eventually lower eCPM. Say you have 3 AdSense ad placements with a total of 10 ad slots. If only 4 of them are relevant to the page, you have 40% ad relevancy and that could drive CTR down. So, if you reduce your ad placements to 2 with a total of 6 ad slots, you have 67% ad relevancy that could help boost CTR.
  • Changes in Site Traffic. If your site or blog has been steadily growing in the last year, it could affect your eCPM both ways but there’s a higher probability that it involves a drop in CTR. Higher pageviews doesn’t alway mean higher unique visitors.
  • Change in Site Context or Niche. If you’re running a finance or automotive blog which generally are higher CPM industries then you switched content to entertainment or showbiz, then that traffic will surely get you lower CPMs.
  • Competing 3rd-party Ads. If you have placed more ads on every page, it will dilute the effective CPM of all other ad units in that page. That doesn’t mean though that your Page CPM will go down; it might even go up. However, the share of AdSense for the Page eCPM will be lower. For example, 3 years ago all I had on this blog was mostly AdSense ad units so it had 90% share in Page eCPM. This year, AdSense only has about 30% share in Page eCPM since I have more direct ads competing for clicks on the same page. Even though my monthly AdSense revenue is down, my total ad revenue is still up.

Of course, there will be other factors to consider like Smart Pricing or maybe Google has changed the percentage share with AdSense Publishers without them knowing about it. Nobody would notice if that alleged 70% share that AdSense Publisher used to get is now down to 50% or maybe even less.

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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37 Responses

  1. adbritepays says:

    Since I was banned from google adsense, I’ve been using Adbrite. I’m glad that I was banned from Adsense because when I switched to Adbrite I earned more. I’m earning double digits daily compared to a single digit or even less than a dollar from adsense. It’s now time to switch to another ad site since Adsense seems to be affected by the global financial crisis. I would suggest Adbrite because I earn atleast $300 a month.

  2. zalds says:

    when i checked my adsense stats and plot it per day..i observed that the significant decrease started on 1 week of March.

    what is interesting is that the CTR and traffic is the same as before. This only means that the lower eCPM is because of the decreasing price per ad click.

  3. zalds says:

    i also observe the trend.

    my CTR and traffic are the same only the eCPM is changing. So this could only mean that the lowering eCPM is because to the lowering price per click.

    I’m thinking that google is cooking something for adsense publishers.. lets wait and see..

  4. I agree with zalds, the down trend of google adsense ecpm started from 1st of march. I myself is affected and have 50% decrease on my earnings this march.

    I have maintained the CTR but the ecpm is going down and down

  5. Aloof Kid says:


    Just got banned from Adsense today, I don’t know why, they said I clicked my own adsense, I already submit a petition. For adbrite I’m still waiting for the confirmation :)

  6. Crisan says:

    Hi to all good day and this is may first time to got here, i wanna to us all of you guys to held me and how to i start my own blog. Pls held me Guys

  7. adbritepays says:

    @aloof kid
    Welcome to the club of banned adsense publishers. I use adbrite and it pays me a lot. You could also try other ad network and test what works best for your type of blog or site. Adbrite is best with site that has a lot of pageviews everyday.

  8. @aloof kid
    Maybe the problem is with your ISP. Like smartbro, most of them have the same IP as the others. Im not just sure but correct me if I am wrong.

    Will you recommend adbrite to new bloggers too? What if no one bids in your ad due to little site traffic?

  9. BrianB says:

    Abe, have a few emails for you, related to this.

  10. adbritepays says:

    @aloof kid
    Luigi Francisco is right. My ISP is pldt my dsl and I noticed that my IP address changes regularly.

    @Luigi Francisco
    It depends on your definition of small traffic. I have 4000 unique visitors and 14000 pageviews daily. I earn 10-15 dollars per day. It’s from Adbrite’s Text, Banner, Full page and Inline Ads.

  11. Jan Alvin says:

    Pricing of ecpm is not the only factor to consider, Adsense made a lot of changes since 1st week of March.

    And lately, they’re having some bugs in their system.

  12. i think the decline in CPM is just temporary. it would rebound back to normal levels by june or so.

  13. Actually, my eCPM had significantly increased this march and more than doubled my adsense earnings. It might depend on the topic of choice.

  14. markjay says:

    Since they bought DoubleClick my eCPM changed dramatically down and I earned $20-30 per month so that will take about 3-4 months or more before I can reach the minimum payout of $100. The longest waiting for the minimum payout I have experience is about 6 months, thats the longest I ever had to wait for.

  15. temporary lang naman siguro yan i hope.

  16. adbritepays says:

    @aloof kid
    I checked my mail this morning and fortunately I got my adsense account reinstated. Well, I’m feeling lucky this summer. I hope I could earn a lot from both Adsense and Adbrite so I could buy a new laptop.

  17. BrianB says:

    Is one of these big time publishers Inquirer? I wonder why they still use Adsense. They’re a newspaper. Why would anyone click link ads on an online newspaper?

  18. Sirshatterstar says:

    I don’t know about you guys but just this March, I noticed a significant increase in my adsense earnings. My blog is 3 months old and i began updating it regularly on the 2nd month, february. I was earning $3-$5 per day on that month and on the last week or Feb til now, I am earning $30-$50 per day.

    Sure my traffic has gone up from 200-300 / day last feb and on march 8,000 – 10,000 but i have another blog before that has the same amount of traffic but was earning just $10-$20 / day.

    Akala ko panandalian lang but i still earn the same amounts til today.

    Oh on the adbrite part, if you’re newly registered member, you will have to wait 3 months i think before you get your first payout. Do correct me if im wrong. Adbrite ako dati eh.

  19. With new ads based on cookies i think ecpm are growing

  20. I also experienced that eCPM and income downtrend starting the first week of March. Many publishers in other forums are also reporting the same. Something certainly happened because it’s not just an isolated case. What that is, I have no idea but I don’t think it’s because of the recession alone.

  21. me too, im experiencing this decline since January. But I think its due to my un-updated blog :D Ive been really busy this past months so I’ll follow up my missed postings :D maybe ill see a change on trends in my adsense :D

  22. ProWeb says:

    I just checked my stats and while my clicks have more than doubled, my eCPM has dropped in half.

    A question for you guys: Over your career with AdSense have you noticed a direct relationship that (all else being equal) as your pageviews for a specific site increase your average eCPMs always go down?

    I’ve had a lot of sites grow exponentially over the years, but my eCPM’s almost always drop and so my income either stays the same or just grows slightly.

  23. rjvb26 says:

    uhmmm guys can you visit my site? i really don’t know why i am not earning that big with adsense.. pls visit my site and send me comments on contact us page for some tips thank you..

  24. rjvb26 says:

    guys can you visit my website i don’t know why i am not earning big with adsense just like you guys do

  25. I wouldn’t look at it as a permanent thing. If it is due to the recession, then we only need to go wait it out. We blog for the long term so these types of changes should not really bother us that much. Then again, if you feel you need to change to other ad providers, I’m sure you’re free to do so. :)

  26. I’m using adsense to make money on my blog, but I’m also trying my luck in affiliate marketing, it seems though it really works out well. Although I still have to learn more about increasing your CTR rate.

  27. googler says:

    Same here, 50% drop since last week of April. Traffic, Impressions are the same, but eCPM is very low…

  28. lando san says:

    The same thing here.
    I used to make $20 a day, and it has been going down for months…. every month is the lower and lower… Now I am lucky if I get to earn $5 a day… this month the average is $3.4 a day.
    In my personal opinion, there are two aspects created this trend, the economic turn down, and it is not just that advertisers are paying less (lets remember that there is always a minimum bid for most keywords), I think Google is paying less for click; and the second is that I really think that people know what those ad are just that ADS, and it may be creating some sort of rejection… I used to click on those ads my self in the past… but not anymore, because I know that those may not be relevant… you know.
    I may be taking Google Adsense off my site… for if this continues like this, I am not gonna make a cent.

    I found another post (somewhere) that a user made a test publishing an ad on his on site, clicked on it from another ISP, and he earned .10 cents for an ad he paid $1, so it is a 10% share…

  29. Chris says:

    In my case, i started to experience the downtrend of eCPM on the first week of June. My daily income declined by $10 (average) although traffic is still the same.

  30. john makgayber says:

    I would like to ask if i can publish both adbrite and adsense on the same page?

  31. investing says:

    when i checked my adsense stats and plot it per day..i observed that the significant decrease started on 1 week of March.

    what is interesting is that the CTR and traffic is the same as before. This only means that the lower eCPM is because of the decreasing price per ad click.

  32. Alfie says:

    You should also consider the location where you place your ad. If you put your ad in a place which is prone to be mistakenly clicked by your reader will surely decrease your eCPM.

  33. How are you folks making $20 or $50 a day?? The highest I’ve ever gotten was .05 (yeah, a nickel) in one day. It’s killing me because I put up ads to pay for the vet bills for three cats I rescued; I thought I should at least get a few bucks a day, but at this rate I will never reach the $100 minimum to actually get paid. I get a couple of hundred people a day but no one has ever clicked an ad. Can someone tell me what I’m doing wrong? Do you guys heavily promote your site? If so, how?


  34. Ace Underwood, you should try positioning your ads in different places. Also make the ads look the same as your content, this seems to work well for me on my sites.

  35. Anon says:

    Ace Underwood, for a charity/non commercial type site you should put up a PalPal donation button. I reckon you could make a few bucks a day if you document what you spend the money on well. Keeps the ads as well.

  36. thanks for your information. I would never stop to struggle a lot to find my objectives.

  37. aisha says:

    i dont agree… adbrite sucks.. i was using adbrite having 4 5k per day, but low earnings.. it took time in the beginning but later it pays good.. ecpm remain high.. but dont use only images ads..

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