I’ve noticed a decrease in the performance of AdSense in recent weeks. Although ads are still being shown in about the same number, people aren’t clicking them. I can’t actually publish the click through percentages – that’s against their Terms – but this has resulted in a drop in gross income.
Now, if people are seeing the same sort of ads that I am, I can understand why performance has declined. A lot of the ads I’m seeing aren’t contextual – that is, related to the subject of the page they’re displayed on – but geo-targeted – where they’re based on my IP address and thus “local” to me.
I can’t speak for everyone of course, but if I’m searching for and looking at pages on, for example, computer games, the likelihood that I’m going to have any interest in a Groupon restaurant voucher ad that has the location of my IP crammed into it is pretty slim. Especially as when using my mobile broadband connection, my IP is usually well over a hundred miles away from where I actually am, so the ads aren’t even local.
I really hope that the amount of contextual targeting increases, or that the geo-targeted ads actually have some contextual relevance to the page they’re shown on.