Are Adsense Publishers Earnings Decreasing due to Adwords Remarketing Campaigns?
What is an Adwords Remarketing Campaign?
As an Adsense publisher, I enjoy earning extra income from displaying Adwords ads on my sites. As an Adsense publisher, I find Adwords remarketing campaigns annoying.
An Adwords remarketing campaign is what Adwords advertisers use when they set up a certain type of advertising within their Adwords account. They place some code into a page of their site and when somebody visits that page, and then leaves that page and visits other sites on the Internet, that site owner's Adwords remarketing advert will "follow them around."
If an Adwords remarketing campaign advertiser has set their remarketing ad frequency cap quite high, their ad will display quite often to people who previously visited their page - the ad will often show up on other sites that display Adwords ads. Sites that display Adwords ads are the sites of Adsense publishers.
If people don't like the idea of ads "stalking" them wherever they go, they can disable their cookies, but how many regular Internet users are aware of being able to disable cookies, know how to disable cookies, or would bother to disable cookies if they knew how to do it?
What is an Adsense for Content Adsense Publisher?
An Adsense for Content Adsense Publisher is a site owner or blog owner who writes content for their site or blog, possibly having done some keyword research and Search Engine Optimization research first - or even paid somebody to do the research or writing for them - and then selects "Adsense for Content" within their Adsense Publisher account so that the ads code they insert into their site results in ads related to their content appearing on their site. If people visiting their site click the ads, the site owner earns some money.
However, if a person visits the site of an Adsense publisher after having just been to the site of an Adwords remarketing campaign advertiser, the person is likely to be shown an ad representing that site instead of an ad that is related to the content of the site they're now on.
If you're an Adsense publisher, what's so bad about people being shown ads that do not relate to the content on your site? Well, nothing if the visitor to your site is so intrigued by that ad appearing on your page, even though it doesn't relate to the content on your page, that they click it and return to the site from which the ad first started "following" them around. As an Adsense publisher you earn money for that click.
What is Bad about Remarketing Campaigns - for Adsense Publishers?
A number of things about remarketing campaigns may reduce the previous earnings of an Adsense publisher, and even more so as more people start to use Adwords Remarketing Campaigns for the advertising of their sites.
When you visit your own site to check what kinds of ads are displaying for the content you wrote, other people who visit your site may not be seeing those same ads. Other people may be visiting your site with an Adwords remarketing ad or two "following" them around, and they will see those remarketing ads instead. This is great for the Adwords remarketing advertiser, but if those ads have nothing to do with the content on your site, and you are trying to earn an income as an Adsense publisher, this is not good for you - unless the remarketing ads are so good that the visitor to your site is enticed to click them and re-visit that site they once visited before - you earn money for that click.
Having an ad follow you around is not such a bad thing, but having an ad stalk you is something else. Adwords remarketing advertisers may have set their frequency caps quite high, and people may be getting sick of seeing the same ad all over the place, wherever they go online, until, instead of clicking the ad, the people start to simply ignore it.
People are also likely to ignore an ad that follows them around for more than just a few days if they have already clicked it and have already returned to the site they first visited and have bought the product or used the service that is advertised on the site - although I think there are settings in the Adwords Remarketing campaigns to have more than 1 list of people the ad follows around - for example if the person has now bought any products or made use of any services, but the advertisers may not bother to do these settings and the ad continues to follow somebody around after they have already done whatever the advertiser desired be done.
Also, an Adwords remarketing advertiser may have failed to do location or geographical settings in their Adwords campaigns account settings. Ads advertising a site that is only targetted at US citizens are appearing on your site that has content that only targets a completely different country. People visiting your site don't want to click an ad that goes to a site that is of no value to them.
Looking at that last sentence again, you may point out that the visitors to your site would not be seeing the remarketing ad on your site if they hadn't visited that other site in the first place, but who is to say that they were really interested in that site? People do not just visit sites because they want to buy a product or use a service that the site owner is selling or offering - thousands of school kids and university students use the Internet for topic or project research, as do writers looking for more info for their next article. And how many Internet marketers or Search Engine Optimization specialists are out there visiting sites because it's part of their job they do for their clients - keyword research, competitor website analysis? These people do not care about what the site owner is selling or offering, but if the site owner has a remarketing campaign code in the pages of his site, and if these people do not disable their cookies, they will have an ad "following" them around, an ad even appearing on your site, when those people visit your site too.
Why did Adwords Remarketing Campaigns start Annoying me?
Doing some work for a client, I visited a site I wouldn't have otherwise visited. For over a month now, that site's remarketing ad pops up in my face on every site I visit that displays Adwords ads (on the sites of Adsense publishers.) I don't want to disable my cookies because they help me log into sites I own or belong to more quickly, and also improve other Internet-user-experience things - but I must put up with these remarketing ads in my face all the time.
If I visit your site and you are an Adsense publisher, I'm going to see this ad I don't want to see, on your site, no matter if your content is unrelated to it, and there is no chance at all that I would click that ad.
When checking what ads were displaying on my own sites, this ad was there too, totally unrelated to the content on my sites. Now although visitors to my sites won't see the ad unless they've also visited that site, just in case they have also visited that site, I have blocked that ad from showing on my sites - there are settings in your Adsense publisher account to block certain individual ads from showing on your sites.
The whole experience has annoyed my because my Adsense earnings have gone down a bit. Because Adsense earnings do tend to go up and down at times, I cannot be sure that Adwords remarketing ads are the cause of the recent decrease in earnings, but what I can be sure of is that I do not want ads appearing on my site that are not related to the content on my sites, especially when I've taken the time and trouble to research a topic, do keyword research, note down what words to include in my article for SEO, and then carefully write the article that was intended to help me earn some money by having related ads appear next to it.
What else annoys me is that I do not know which sites visitors to my sites have visited before they visit mine - as long as 3 months or more before visiting my sites - so I am unable to block the ads they might be seeing on my site. Even if I did know the sites they visited before visiting my sites, I'd have to check the coding of all those sites to see which ones have Adwords remarketing campaigns set up, to enable me to pick and choose between which ads I'd allow to display on my sites, and which I wouldn't. (If the sites had unrelated content to my sites, I don't want their ads showing to visitors to my sites.)
Possible Solutions to the Problem
Hmm. I don't know if there are any suitable solutions or possible solutions:
I don't want to disable cookies. Many people don't know how to disable cookies or couldn't be bothered to disable cookies, or also may not want to disable cookies.
I am unable to know which sites all visitors to my sites have visited in the last 3 months or so - this would enable me to check for the remarketing coding on those sites and block ads for those sites appearing on my sites.
Start striking, all on my own? What good would that do? If many Adsense publishers started striking (not displaying Adwords ads on their sites) - if there were no Adsense publishers, Adwords users would only be able to have their ads showings on Google search and not on privately owned websites - there would be less people interested in using Adwords and Google would have to find a solution to the problem. People (including myself) would also be reluctant to strike because they would lose the income they are making from being Adsesne publishers.
Give up on trying to make some extra income from Adsense and start using Adwords to market the services I offer on my sites instead? The Adwords Remarketing campaign? It's excellent, after all - if somebody has been to your site, but then leaves without contacting you, or without ordering or buying anything, it puts your ads in front of people's faces just about all the time, especially those who don't know much about cookies, and even on sites that don't have content related to your ad.
Add a message to every page of my site asking all visitors to please contact me if there is an ad appearing on my site that does not seem related to the content, and that they have noticed is following them around - and that they tell me which site the ad represents? (so I can block that ad from appearing on my sites)
In its Defence, is there anything good about Remarketing Campaigns?
Using an Adwords Remarketing campaign is a powerful method of advertising your site on the Internet, a reminder to people who have already visited your site, to return to your site, if it's done properly. If advertisers (or the people advertisers hire to do the work) set up the remarketing campaign:
- to target only the people living in the same area that their site's content is targetting,
- don't set the campaign's ads to follow people around for more than two or so weeks at a time,
- don't set the ads to show too frequently,
less Adsense publishers may get upset, blocking ads from showing on their sites, and thus allowing the advertiser's Adwords Remarketing campaigns to run more smoothly, and effectively.