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If you are a publisher or even an advertiser, if you are not use to the industry of advertising online, you might seem quite strange at just how much ad rates can change in different parts of the year. Different parts of the year have different spending habits, ad rates, and demand.

Especially for publishers, one day you can be making good money for your traffic. A few days later things could take a turn for the worst. For example, here’s some actual data from one of my websites, and how the start of July has taken a hit:

The problem for publishers stems from the fact that many do not know why this happens – it could have been something you did, or it could be something completely out of your control. If it is the latter, then you should not invest any more time into trying to debug the issue. Below are some of the main reasons for unexpected drops, especially around the start of July.


Quarterly Spending

Large advertisers work their advertising budgets on a quarterly cycle. This means:

  • January – March
  • April – June
  • July – September
  • October – December

The general way advertisers work is that they spend big towards the end of the quarter, and then ad rates drop at the start of the new quarter, as they reset their budgets etc. and ‘pace’ themselves for the next quarter.

For this reason, there is generally always some sort of drop, just there was for my website, at the start of January, April, July, and October. Although, October drop is not noticed as much since we are going into the favorite time of the year for advertisers, where they like to spend big: the holiday season.


Coronavirus Impact

Coronavirus has had a huge impact on many industries and is looking to continue having an impact for a while still. Different sectors will be affected differently. For publishers where adverts predominantly rely on cookie data to contextualize adverts, coronavirus will be having an impact on ad rates.

A great tool from Ezoic to show ad rates is the Ad Revenue Index – as an advertiser or publisher, it does not hurt to keep on top with ad rates through this means.


Remember PESTEL

Whenever you see something change, in terms of revenue, ad rates, revenue per 1,000 sessions/pageviews etc. I try to think of PESTEL as to a potential reason that could have caused this:

  • Political – Change of President, Brexit etc.
  • Environmental – Global warming, bush fires, earthquakes etc.
  • Social – Changes in how we interact, such a social distancing due to COVID-19 etc.
  • Technological – Improvements in technology, such as machine learning and artificial intelligence etc.
  • Economical – Global and local recessions, changes to interest rates and share prices etc.
  • Legislative – Changes to legislation, such as what is illegal and what is not illegal etc.

Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money developing himself into an expert in PPC, blogging SEO, and online marketing. He now runs others websites such as Poem Analysis, Book Analysis, and Ocean Info. You can follow him @willGreeny.

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