February 2010 collapse

I would really like to know if anybody else has experienced collapse in CTR+ECPM+CPC-wise starting in February (Jan 31 was totally normal day).


  • Same traffic
  • Same advertizers with the same budgets (small niche, everybody knows everybody)
  • Everything was rock solid the last year
  • Last minutes of January looks normal

… then… February starts and CTR drops 20%, eCPM 25% in one second and has stayed at the new level every since.

Is this something only I am experiencing, or…?

I just cannot figure this one out… If it is penalty (and the level of the jump would support this), why has my CTR jumped down?

Only explanation I can think is that: I have hit some penalty word, which has ““disabled”” some of the ads. But without knowing the exact problem, it’s kind of difficult to “undo”.


Many things could have happened. If these are ads on your site, then see if visitors have gone banner blind. If you are buying space elsewhere, look at the keywords you are using or targeting. If you are doing pay-per-click you could have the same volume of impressions on different websites (content network) or you need some fresh advertisements.

Without knowing your exact market, whether they are network ads or your own ads, it’s difficult to give you a useful answer. If you are using trademarked terms or keywords to which you’ve received a warning, then “Yes” that might hurt – then again, someone else might have better converting traffic taking your clicks.



That’s an odd conclusion to jump to. What about high paying advertisers who stop advertising? Or maybe budgets are cut and advertisers have less to spend.

February marks the end of the Christmas “honey moon period” that typically starts around October-November time in the build up to Christmas and then through January and the January Sales. February will be when ad managers drop their investment in advertising considerably. Call it a balancing out if you will.

It’s quite hard to answer that as you have not given the network/affiliate program that it’s happened to, unless I’ve missed it.