A few months ago I wrote an article discussing some of the changes I had been seeing for Google text ads on the Display Network. At the time, I didn’t really feel any concern over this– after all, Google makes a hefty portion of their revenue off of AdSense-enabled sites, so why would they do anything to screw with that, right?
Well, I may have underestimated them– once again.
A topic over at Webmaster World sprung up on the first of this month, with many AdSense publishers complaining they have seen a significant decline in CTR (and, therefore, earnings) over the past month. The timing would not be coincidental, as it seems that Google has completely done-away with the smaller circle arrow on their text-based ads, opting instead for a much larger square. All of this is in line with another article I penned regarding the change in the look of the Google SERP itself– one specifically designed to call out ads more prominently.
In fact, while writing that second post, I was confident that the new SERP design would not be likely to impact CTR on search ads. Doing a quick scan of all of my accounts this week, I have not noticed a decline in CTR worth nothing. That said, I do not run enough text ads on GDN to be able to provide an analysis on that front.
In addition, the traffic volume to this particular site (and, therefore, overall revenue) is not significant enough to be able to provide my own insight on any CTR decline in Google text ads through AdSense.
If the decline in ad revenue for AdSense publishers does indeed turn out to be due to a change in the text ads’ design, expect that Google will act fairly quickly to rectify this. After all, if publishers’ revenues are dropping, so are theirs. However, this certainly could be due to some anomaly completely separate of the redesign itself. Though, that seems a little too coincidental for my tastes.
What about you? Has your site seen a decline in AdSense revenue in April?