Huge Swings In Google Adsense Earnings

Google Adsense has been a good source of income for me for about 3 years, but I sometimes feel manipulated almost to the point that they don’t want me to earn too much money. No conspiracy here, but I find it quite odd the level at which my earnings fluctuate even from day to day.

Since I run a travel site I know there are seasonal issues affecting how much people look for vacation rentals and consequently how many people actually see your ads. So income for certain niches will deviate over the course of the year, but over the course of a week? This is just weird. Check out Adsense revenue for the past 6 days:

Adsense earnings this week

As you can see, last Sunday’s earnings were $24.20 and then the very next day earnings were $53.92, more than a 100% increase. And again on Thursday earnings dropped by more than 50% to $23.54. I wonder if the big guys see such a huge difference in only a few days.

I remember reading somewhere that Jason Calacanis of Weblogsinc.com was the first blogger (and maybe the only) to reach a milestone of earning $1 million per year from Adsense. That would put your single days average earnings at an incredible $2,739.73. What I have to wonder with the results I’ve been seeing this week is if Jason earned that $2,739.73 one day and then earned $1,196.09 just 4 days later.

Here’s where I see some oddities whose fault can only be placed on Google themselves. The click through rate on my best Adsense earning site went from a high of 21% to a low of 7.74% which can only mean one thing. Google must be serving completely irrelevant ads on the lower click rate days. In fact, I have witnessed this myself seeing ads for Lake Tahoe show up on pages about Gatlinburg Tennessee and Gatlinburg ads show up on pages about hiking in the Grand Canyon.

I’m sure that ad timing has something to do with this since advertisers can now turn off and on their ads with Ad Scheduling to show at specific times of the day and only on specific days. There would tend to be less advertisers on certain days, but there should still be enough ad inventory in the travel niche to serve relevant ads. I can see lower paying clicks, but find it hard to understand huge swings in click-thru rates.

As perfect as Google tries to be and seems to want to control everything on the net, they still aren’t able to control their ad serving mechanisms enough to put relevant ads on my sites all the time. I know my sites are an infinitessimally small percentage of the sites and ads they deal with on a daily basis, but it would be nice to see if other affiliates see this kind of swing in their earnings.

I’m kidding of course when I say that Google doesn’t want me to earn too much money. For many publishers $50 a day is nothing, so that means $23 is less than nothing.

Please leave a comment below if you’ve seen your Adsense earnings fluctuate such as this.


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4 Responses to “Huge Swings In Google Adsense Earnings”

  1. Congrats on your earnings, I am right about at your level with $2000 a month. Who knew online money making was so easy?

    Click for Nick, who doesn’t?

  2. I guess it just depends on the site(s) that you are running. I know on my site that i have included in my name, i get really relevant ads because of the placement. However, if I didn’t get the traffic I doubt that I would get the number of clicks because I am only getting like a 2% click-through rate.

  3. Hey, You Have a Really Fantastic Blog Here!
    I really like the posts, they are filled with so
    much great content and it’s true, you are not
    holding back!

    I just have to subscribe to your RSS feed!
    I am happy I discovered this site, found out
    via The Chow Man!

    Congratulations on Winning the Contest.
    What is your travel site’s url?

    Once again, Cool Blog.


  4. Fabien,

    Thanks. I’m going to keep my top travel site a secret for now. I will however reveal one of my travel sites in a couple of upcoming posts about Build A Niche Store that I use to take advantage of the eBay affiliate program.


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