I logged into AdSense yesterday, and it asked me if I wanted to change over to their new dashboard and performance reports interface. Yes, please.
The new AdSense Performance Reports Dashboard
Talk about an overhaul. The new dashboard shows you several things at a (default) glance:
- Estimated earnings (with change)
- Page views (with change)
- Page RPM (with change)
- Your aggregate account earnings as a line graph (compared to the previous period)
- Earnings by device category (desktop, mobile and tablet)
- The top countries driving your AdSense revenue (with change)
- The top channels driving your AdSense revenue (with change)
- The top sites in your account based on revenue generated (with change)
One weird thing about the main dashboard is that it doesn't have the same date options as every other area in the Performance Reports section. The main dash only has three date options – last seven days, last 28 days and last three months. All the other reporting areas will show today, yesterday, last seven days, last 30 days, this month, last month, and custom dates. I'm not sure why the Dashboard doesn't follow the same options format.
In addition to showing the above revenue statistics on the main screen, you can click the Page Views or Page RPM tab to see the same “Dashboard” information breakdowns for each. You can “drill down” in each of these views to find more detailed information about each general overview. All of these “drill down” reports contain five tabs at the top.
- Overview – shows the main at a glance information for the report
- Clicks – shows click related data for that view such as CPC, CTR, CPC, etc.
- Views – shows impressions, impression RPM, etc.
- Active Views – shows view information such as Active View measurable and Active View viewable
- Engagements – this screen shows impressions, page RPM, impression RPM, Active View viewable and estimated earnings
About Active View data
What is Active View data? In case you missed it, AdSense's view data is defined as:
“Active View is Google’s ad viewability measurement solution, tracking the viewability of ads served by AdSense. Viewability helps determine how likely it is that a user saw the ad.”
How is this metric helpful? It helps you know how much exposure an ad unit is getting. An impression simply means the ad was loaded on the page. It doesn't mean that the viewer scrolled down and saw the ad if the ad is below the fold, etc. The Active View metrics can be especially helpful for determining which ad units are ineffective and which ad units might have their effectiveness changed depending on the device used to access the site.
For example, the below report shows AdSense view statistics for a specific site, segmented by the device used to access it.
The Active View measurable statistic tells you what percentage of the ads Google was able to track using Active View. The Active View viewable tells what percentage of the ads shown (as measured by Active View) were seen by a user.
In the above case, Google claims to have measured the Active View for 100% of the ads shown. As you can see, ads are seen less in desktop view than they are in mobile view.
Wait, that doesn't sound right. The desktop screen is bigger than a mobile screen. So, in theory, it should have a higher viewable percentage than a phone, right? So I segmented that down to see if maybe one ad slot was doing better on mobile than it was on the desktop and skewing the numbers. Below is a report that shows custom channels (filtered to the two applicable for this site), segmented by platforms. Under the Active Views tab, we can see the Active View stats.
But, they're still weird. The After Post ad is after a blog post in the site design. Desktop has the highest Active View viewable stats. The Leaderboard ad, which appears at the top of every page of the site, regardless of the platform, has the lowest view-ability in desktop mode.
Considering that the Leaderboard ad appears above the fold in all three devices, the Active View stats are pretty odd. At first I thought maybe ad blockers were more prevalent on desktop devices, but, then that should have affected the view-ability stats of the After Post ad too?
So while the ability to see and segment this data is awesome, I seriously question its accuracy since it's telling me an ad way below the fold has more view-ability on a desktop than an ad above it. Unless I'm missing something?
Sorting the data is a little clunky
I don't want to sound like I'm complaining because this new interface and the new reporting options are awesome. That said it's hard to know what can and can't be view together. Understanding what a main dimension is, what is a filter and which dimensions and filters “play nice” together is a bit of a challenge.
For instance, I tried to create that last report shown above a few times before I figured out the right way to “request” the data I needed for it.
I'd bet that the more experience you have segmenting data in Google Analytics, the more intuitive creating these custom reports will seem to you.
You can find the full, official, yet vague guide to creating custom reports in the new performance reports area here.
You can save report views & export the data
While it can be a little confusing the get it to spit out the right data, once you do, you can now save those custom reports by using the blue “Save” button at the top right of the report. You can also export the data shown in your custom reports to CSV or open it in the Google APIs Explorer.
The funny thing is, at first I was a little sad that I didn't see a way to share a custom report template the way you with Google Analytics. Then I saw the Reports Manager screen in AdSense and was like, “AWESOME! It looks like the ability to share a report template with people and to schedule reports is coming!”
But then I found this help document.
It turns out that the sharing feature is simply listing emails you'd like to share a scheduled report with – not a way to share the template. Additionally, the scheduling and sharing function that Google outlines in that help document don't seem to be available yet. The help file shows a ton of options whereas I am only shown this when I click to save a report:
If a Google rep should ever happen upon this, the ability to be able to share AdSense custom report templates like you can with custom GA reports would be AWESOME. (If anyone reading this has some actionable custom reports they've created, please feel free to share them – and how you created them – in the comments below.)
Revenue Profile view
I'm still not sure what the point of this report is. I mean, I “get” the data being shown, I'm just not sure how it is (or to make it) actionable?
Google's official announcement about the Revenue Profile Report was made back in February. Their post doesn't contain much information about what to do with the information on this report either.
The new Events tab (OMG)
Of all the improvements AdSense has unleashed in these new performance reports, the upgrade to the Events section is one of my favorites.
If you read my post on using channels to increase AdSense revenue, you know that I love the events tab. I recommend every change you make to your AdSense account gets notated within this tab, so you know what changes you made, when those changes were made and the results they obtained.
But now AdSense is doing this for you. (Cue excitement.)
Not only can you add your annotations, but Google is also listing their record of changes, etc. you've made in your account – retroactively. The account shown above has been active since 2005. AdSense's internal “event” links go all the way back to 2008. 2008! Clicking on any of the blue AdSense event notations causes information to show about what specifically was changed on that day.
Now if only we could segment the event data (especially the chart detailing the stats surrounding the events) by site (hint, hint).
Comparing data by date
Like with analytics, the new AdSense reporting interface also allows you to compare the metrics from one date range to another. I ran a few tests, and it let me compare data from March 2015 to data from March of 2005.
I pushed a little harder, and requested data from 2011-2015 be compared with data from 2005-2009 to see if it would give me a date range limitation, but it didn't.
Do you still need to integrate AdSense and Google Analytics?
Remember that while this is a decent increase in both data provided and functionality within the AdSense reporting system, you still need to integrate AdSense and Analytics. The new AdSense reports, while more robust, still provide no data in regard to traffic sources or page specific metrics.
Want the new AdSense Performance Reports?
If you'd like to opt-in to using the new Performance reports shown in this post, you can do so by clicking the opt-in button at the end of this post.
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