KerPlunk – Dropping Google AdSense Earnings

| January 29, 2010 | 24 Comments

I was wondering what I did wrong, but then I realized, it wasn’t me, it was Google.

I’ve noticed that my AdSense earnings across the board have dropped quite a bit since last November. Part of the reason for the drop is that the traffic to one of my sites has dropped by about 50% (I think it’s because I changed the format). The other part of the reason is that Google advertisers are paying less (at least they’re paying less for one of my niches; I still have more analyzing to do).

Blog Analyzing

I have a few sites/blogs so it takes me a while to analyze them all. On one blog in particular, I noticed that although the traffic remained steady, the click through rate stayed pretty much the same, the earnings dropped by over 40%.

A Few Sobering Stats:

Month Impressions Clicks Earnings
December, 2009 1772 77 $83.33
January, 2010 1554 71 $47.72

I know there are still a couple days left in January that aren’t included in the above numbers, but I don’t think a few more days will make much of a difference.

To supplement AdSense, I tried fooling around with other sources of revenue. I already use Chitika, but I decided to increase the size of my Chitika ad to compensate for the loss of AdSense revenue. I’ve found that I did earn more with Chitika, but it still didn’t makeup the difference in lost AdSense revenues.

Will the AdSense Revenue Return?

Who knows? I referred to my trusty Serenity Prayer and changed the things I could, accepted those things that I couldn’t change, brushed the dust off of my feet and moved onto the next. Who knows, maybe things will pick up later on in the year. This particular blog is new so I’m still learning the monthly and seasonal fluctuations.

In the meanwhile, to keep myself occupied, I created 3 new blogs. Hmm, 3 new blogs…I’m not so sure if I’m keeping myself occupied or punishing myself.

Just curious, has anyone else undergone a noticeable change in AdSense revenue lately?

Tags: ,

Category: AdSense, Earning Money, Google, Niche Sites, Search Engines

About the Author ()

Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites.

Comments (24)

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  1. Can anybody tells how a domain change affects Adsense earnings? I changed my site domain from *.blogspot to own domain then after 1 and half months i see decreasing income. Its almost 1/5th of my previous income now.
    Is it normal?

  2. Margaret says:

    Hi Felicia. Thanks for your comments. I will keep you posted. Do you compose your own websites and upload them? If so, who do you host through and how did you learn how to do it? I am so terrified of ftp. I can see how it works but I’m afraid my website will wind up in outer space. I use godaddy and 1and1 because they are easy and I don’t have to upload anything. I just click my buttons and I have a beautiful website! I also applied for ehow but haven’t heard back from them. M

    • Felicia says:

      Most of my sites/blogs are now on the WordPress platform so I don’t have to use FTP as much as I used to. I also have one on the Joomla platform (WordPress on steroids).

      Way back when I was first learning about computers, I spent some time learning HTML. Back then is when I started using FTP so I became very familiar with it. I used to hand code my HTML pages and then upload it.

      Now with WordPress and Joomla I don’t have to do that. I only use it sometimes when I have a difficult time modifying a theme and want to get to directories that are hard to get to through the interface.

      Recommendation with FTP: Create a subdirectory and use that to play around with FTP. Once you get the hang of it it’s not really so bad. However, if your websites are doing well without FTP, then do what works.

      When you say you applied for eHow, do you mean through Demand Studios? In order to write for eHow you now have to go through DS. I have a post here about getting accepted for DS.

  3. Margaret says:

    Hi again. For two months in a row, my adsense earnings dropped under $100. My average had been $250 per month from the same 5 or 6 websites (not blogs). I was comfortable with that but figured the earnings would rise, not drop. This past month, July, my earnings reached $180 per month once again, but in checking over the last three days, here we go again. Average for 3 days is $3 per day.

    I have just resigned myself to letting it do what it wants to do. I host my sites with godaddy and if I can’t earn enough to keep the site running, I drop it. I like my websites and they are helpful so I keep the best ones going even if they lose money once in awhile. I’ll keep you posted. I was hopeful, but now I’m not so sure.

    • Felicia says:

      I use HostGator for my site hosting. I pay something like $100 a year and it hosts all of my sites. That means in order to be profitable all of my combined sites have to earn at least $8 a month plus the annual cost of registering the domain name. So, to make the math simple, as long as my sites earn $20 a year (or $1.67 per month), I know I’m heading in the right direction.

      In the past I used to take sites down when they didn’t perform, but I’ve found that even dormant sites tend to earn enough money throughout the year to pay for themselves.

      The Google game is a tricky one, that’s why I write for sites like Suite, eHow, Demand Studios and the like. Sometimes Google loves me and other times not. Similarly, recently Suite has been hating me, but eHow has not. It’s a true love/hate relationship with this online web stuff, but I’ve learned that the longer you stick with it, it eventually balances out.

      Margaret, I’d be interested to see how things turn out for you in a month or two from now. Hang in there.

  4. Jeff says:


    I was wondering if you AdSense earnings have continued to slip this year. I had experienced a similar drop in earnings starting 2010 and unfortunately earnings have continued to slide. I will try what one of your readers suggested and turn off the Interest Based Ad Preference.

    Good luck and keep up the good work here!


    • Felicia says:

      Hey Jeff,

      Thankfully, my earnings seem to be rebounding. When they started to drop I switched my focus a bit and started to work on one of my less popular blogs. It seems to have helped a bit.

      Although my earnings are rebounding, they seem to be coming from different sources.

  5. Christy says:

    Your site is amazing, I’m finding a ton of great information.

    I have definitely noticed a drop in Adsense earnings. After working hard to reach my goal of over $100 a week a year ago, I sadly watched as my earnings began to drop significantly, even though my blog traffic continued to increase. When it comes to Adsense I don’t know what to expect anymore but I still have faith that my Adsense earnings will rise up again eventually. I’ve been working on my blogs way too long to give up now:)
    .-= Christy´s last blog ..Debt Diet – Oprah’s Debt Diet Show =-.

  6. Felicia says:

    Margaret, I don’t know how Google calculates payments and I’m sure my brain would hurt if I tried to figure it out.

    More recently my earnings have stopped dropping and there are hints of a very small rebound. In the meanwhile I keep writing and hoping that things will return to its prior glory and better.

    Hopefully we’ll all see an improvement in the months to come.

  7. Margaret says:

    My adsense earnings went from an average of $250 per month two years ago and have dropped to under $100 a month lately. I’ve seen a significant decline in the past two years. I have six sites making the money. I’ve made no significant changes to these sites, but the earnings are WAY down. In addition, I don’t quite understand how Google Adsense pays. I have a site where it is showing that the advertiser is paying $200-300 per click and I am making $2 of that while other sites are paying $30 and I still make $1 or so. 5/6 sites are on the first page of google. Advertisers must be paying less and so must Google. I feel for you!

  8. Litch says:

    From my travels around the net, it seems that people in general are seeing a decline in revenue. My monthly has been half or less across the board for the past few months, and seems to be getting worse rather then better.

  9. My overall Adsense earnings jumped in January and I didn’t notice much change in traffic (I’ll check more closely to be sure). It was actually my highest month to date for Adsense earnings, most of which are from one niche site I made last year, but I think advertisers increase their spending for this particular niche in the early spring through summer.
    .-= Maria (WriterGig)´s last blog ..My Online Residual Income: Sources =-.

  10. Hi,

    I noticed a dip in AdSense earnings for December, even before the normal Christmas to New Year holiday crash, but January was back to normal and February is kicking butt so far. I have noticed from past experience that sometimes if the advertisers bidding on your keywords change, then the value of the clicks can change radically. So it wouldn’t surprise me if that was the reason for the drop on the one website you mention as an example. Hope it picks back up for you in the rest of 2010!
    .-= Master Dayton´s last blog ..Freelance Writing College: The 4 Year Writing Plan =-.

    • Felicia says:

      I’m glad your numbers are improving Master Dayton. Mine are still in the flusher.

      I was just looking at them this morning while shaking my head. I’m glad I have other sources of income because I’m not impressed with my AdSense numbers.

  11. Diane says:

    My adsense has done exactly the same thing. I usually have a page view drop in Jan & Feb, but my revenue is about half what it should be. It dropped significantly this month, especially in the last two weeks. It helps to know it is not just me. Keep us updated.
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Get Quoted- Promote Your Business by Providing Expert Information =-.

  12. Kidgas says:

    Sorry to hear that you have suffered in this way. Overall, my AdSense rates are about the same but then I don’t have as many variables as you. My biggest problem for the month has just been a decreased level of activity overall. But that was of my own doing.

    True that everything is an experiment. I guess that sums up the internet experience. I can’t imagine the effort involved for 3 new blogs.
    .-= Kidgas´s last blog ..Webinar from the Keyword Academy =-.

  13. Breanna says:

    Can you add more than one blog to your Adsense account? I have one blog added on mine, and I also tried to add my HubPages account to it, I don’t know if that worked or not!

    I’ve only made 20 bucks with adsense, and can’t seem to get above that! And I hate how the minimum payout is so high!!
    .-= Breanna´s last blog ..Mayday!!! =-.

    • Felicia says:

      Breanna, you can add several blogs/sites to your AdSense account. Just make sure to list each blog under your “Allowed Site” list. You’ll find the link under the AdSense Setup tab.

      I made the mistake of adding one of my blogs and forgetting to add it to the Allowed Site list and wondered why hundreds of clicks earned $0.

      The Allowed Site list is a way of protecting your publisher ID from being used without your approval.

  14. prerna says:

    Oh Felicia, I hope Adsense jumps for you:-) Was in fact hoping you’d share some adsense-specific tips for blogs in one of ur newsletters or posts.. Since I finally have it up on my blog was hoping to gain from your experience.
    Do keep us posted
    Best wishes always.
    .-= prerna´s last blog ..Embracing Change and Loving It! =-.

  15. jen says:

    Hey Felicia,

    I noticed the same thing with my adsense earnings and I made a change that someone recommeded and it picked back up.

    A couple of months ago, google decided to do search related ads…meaning if you search for a certain item, when you look at a website later in the day, you will see ads on that site related to that item. You can change your preferences in Adsense and turn off the Interest Based Ad Preference. (It’s in the “my account” section.) That way, your readers are seeing ads related to your site and not ads related to their interests.

    So far, it seems that my adsense earnings are back up.
    .-= jen´s last blog ..How to Make Money with a Blog- OIO Publisher =-.

  16. Deborah says:

    Oh Felicia,

    You are still doing quite a bit better than me with adsense! But that’s most likely because I haven’t really done all of that much with it. I have it on my freelance blog, my video game blog, and a couple of other sites but I will admit I am highly inconsistent. Not to mention I’ve had my account for over two years and still have under $1…

    Anyhoo, I haven’t been full-time freelancing even a year yet so I am still learning seasonal fluctuations and such myself. What I can tell you is that it’s likely your choice of niche. Perhaps you may want to place more time into marketing, tweak your niche a bit, or experiment with other niches. If there’s one thing I have learned in the short time I have been blogging, it’s that everything is an experiment.

    • Felicia says:

      Deborah, you said it perfectly, everything is an experiment.

      It’s good that you learned that early on. 🙂

      Guess I’ll keep experimenting until I finally get it right (if I ever do).

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