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As I’m sure a lot of people around the world are currently doing, keeping up to date with the health and economical implications of the coronavirus, COVID-19, is something that is happening on a daily basis. Things are changing by the day, with different sanctions coming into play in different countries, motioning of cases, whilst analysing the consequences this virus is having to the economy.

Already on PPC.org, we have done a brief analysis into how coronavirus could be affecting PPC advertising. With this being around a week ago, it would be interesting to pick this back up again, as the coronavirus cases grow, almost on an exponential basis.


Ad Rates Starting to Drop

One of the best resources for those that interact with PPC is the Ad Revenue Index, presented by Ezoic. In the words of Ezoic:

The chart below shows relative online ad rates by day with an index of 100 being the highest date in recorded history.

What is especially powerful about this tool is that is it generally a fair reflection of the going ad rates of the industry as a whole. For example, ad rates increase around Black Friday, drop over Christmas and New Year, and generally rise and fall as expected over the year. It is a great tool to show how coronavirus will be affecting ad rates as a whole.

In the past few days, there has been a slight drop in the ad rate, going from the mid-50s to the mid-40s. Generally, the ad index will fluctuate quite a bit, as it has done around January and February. However, the last few days have been especially interesting.

This is because history tells us this should not be happening, based on the advertiser quarter and budgets of previous years. Take 2018 and 2019 at a similar time of year, for example:




Straight away, it is clear there is a trend in Feb-Mar-Apr. For 2018, this trend saw a gradual increase from January all the way up to April. For 2019, this saw the same trend, but with a drop at the start of April (explained by the first quarter ad budgets resetting).

When we look at 2018/2019, we can then see the impact coronavirus is having and going to have. Ad rates will still continue to dwindle, as advertisers pull their budgets during such frantic times.


What can you do?

As an advertiser, pause your ad campaigns. This is a time when spending is at an all-time low, so your return on investment will suffer considerably.

As a publisher, don’t worry about how much your website makes for the next 2-3 months. If you can stay afloat with a healthy safety net of money for the next few months, great. Concentrate on other areas of your website, such as SEO, content generation and more. If anything social distancing should teach us is that we now have a lot more time to concentrate on ourselves, to improve other areas we may have been neglecting before, due to time constraints.

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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