Major Changes in Adwords, Adsense and Sandbox

Thread Title:
Dear AdWords [referer spoofing req'd]
Thread Description:

I'm getting reports that something major maybe happening with Adwords - the thread above by BakedJake suggests large and irratic jumps in usually calm, predictable stats for larger advertisers.

It may be that a major shift in the Adwords algorithm is taking place, and then it could have something to do with shifts in datacenters that also appear to be happening right now.

And let's not discount the introduction of the Adwords API as if there wasn't already enough to be paranoid about heh...

So, any Adwords guys want to add fuel to the fire or douse it?


Interesting insight as to what might be happening.

Security researchers have discovered a way to shut down or seriously impair a Google Adwords advertising campaign by artificially inflating the number of times an ad is displayed. By running searches against particular keywords from compromised hosts, attackers can cause click-through percentage rates to fall through the floor.

Whilst there are always daily reports of "wild trends" ..

..there does seem to be something major going on now.

There is also an AdSense Thread on wild fluctuations at WMW where people who do not normally squeal are posting of fluctuations.

Unless G is clawing back more of a percentage of total take (possible, but not probable) the thing has to be zero and losers in AdSense balance out.

Personally I have found a (very) large upswing it CPM over the past few days, but that is more luck than judgement.


Im hearing some wild rumours that sandboxed sites are coming out to play as well. So many in fact that i've changed the title to reflect that. Anyone care to comment on that? I have no sandboxed sites so i wouldn't know..


Barry's reporting on SERPs movements, too:

and there are suggestion on SEW of LSI being implemented on a larger scale.

Somehow it's hard not to imagine some kind of connection...something very big going on at Google??

Adwords Observations

We do fairly large-scale Adwords and have long-running, well-established campaigns. I would notice any major fluctuations but can't say I've noticed anything significant over last few days. Traffic and CTR has been fairly consistent.

Our strategy is generally 'bottom feeding' - rather than target the big terms we do high volumes of clicks at low CTR across lots and lots of campaigns. Someone else I know focuses more on the high-volume, high-value terms (ie. > $5 CPC). He has seen previously consistent campaigns inexplicably fall through the floor recently due to high impressions and low CTR. As these are in high-competition sectors this seems to give credence to The Register article Jason refers to above.

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