The overwhelming number of ads is getting more and more obnoxious.
I just saw a wide leaderboard anchored at the top of my article that stayed there while I scrolled down. It was in addition to the huge anchor at the bottom of the page, another on on the right side and of course multiple ads jammed into the middle of my article.
I'm grateful for my ad revenue, but this is too much. It is more than any other site I ever visit -- and I work online full time -- and discourages users from clicking into more articles.
Likewise, I've noticed a declining number of pages per visit, a higher bounce rate and less time per page.
These are negative signals for search engines that can impact our rankings.
Please lighten up a bit.
My page views have been dropping since March. Pages per visit and session duration are also dropping, while bounce rate is climbing.
The same article I viewed signed in and not had all the same ad's. Signed out is actually when I saw the top achored ad. Not that I could see half of them because they took forever to load. The top ad is enough to make me click right back out. It's easier to push the back button than it is to find the tiny x or wait until you scroll far enough down the page for it to go away. If the page even loads right away.
The pages that don't have videos also take a ridiculously long time to load and I'm assuming it's because of the ads, as they are not popping up right away when I open a page.
I don't have issues with ad's on other pages just the niche sites. I thought it would be interesting to see how ads are done on Maven and on one of their sites they have an ad for every 100 words it seems. There was a 1200 word article that had 10 ads 8 of them within the article. I don't know how anyone can read an article with that much interruption. Not to mention the ads are super slow to load, but that is to be expected I would think.
I see you are noticing the same negative trend in site performance. You also make a great point about ads loading slowly.
My CPMs have dropped quite a bit in the last several weeks as well.
I find it hard to believe that you and I are alone in seeing a decline in the audience metrics or that these issues don't hurt our results.
I'm finding that each niche site is behaving differently. Delishably has dropped like a stone for me, but Remedygrove is steadily improving.
My CPMs are down compared to last month, but this is a new quarter and the current value is still the highest I've had if I don't consider the second quarter of this and last year.
Points well taken. A declining economy might also be impacting CPMs.
How are you audience metrics doing?
Doing amazing, better than last year and the best ever. They are sharply falling over this week as expected, I do especially well up to mid-July.
To be clear, I mean bounce rate and pages per visit. My own visits are well up versus a year ago, but other metrics have been getting weaker since more ads started showing up.
I'm also curious if you are unconcerned about overall user experience with so many ads now jammed on the sites.
What do you mean by own visits? I'm assuming the views you see on the HP stats page or are you talking about something else?
I was one of the first people to complain about the ads, but I gave it a week and then looked into the stats on Analytics and time on page was a lot more.
My CPM's have been pretty bad since March. I've had less than 30 what I would consider good CPM's in the last 3 months. I'm making less than this time last year since April, and it's only trending downward. The only thing that has helped me is my Amazon sales are better this year and have been pretty steady. I don't make much off Amazon, but I never have so this improvement has been nice.
My top two articles seem to be seasonal, which I guess I can understand but they still did a tad better this time last year. Come fall we will see if my traffic actually picks up again. Last year I had a huge boost in October right before the holiday season started hoping that happens again.
My guess is this is both Maven and HP driven experimentation. They want to find the breaking point and then they will back off accordingly. Just speculation on my part.
Well said. Let's hope they have found that breaking point.
Hi guys, we appreciate your input on our ad placement. This new ad behavior has led to a pretty dramatic improvement in viewability, which leads to more $, of course. We've also been tracking time spent on the page, as we want to be sure that readers are still, well . . . reading, and we have not seen any decrease from the change.
Pro Tip: If you are not signed in, those ads will not appear!
I'm going to be a bit of a contrarian. Yes, the ads can be irritating, but remember who's paying us. I'm not suggesting we are in this class, but without the patronage of the Medici's would Michelangelo have been able to produce his exquisite works of art? It's a trade-off we make for having this platform.
The more annoying the ads the more money advertisers are willing to pay for them (most of the time). Ad blindness has lead to an never ending arms race for attention.
I have noticed websites have started to use anchor ads more often. Even Google AdSense allows these types of ads now with auto ads.
I wonder though what is the point of too much. I won't claim to know this answer. I just know some of the ads types available.
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