Don't "upgrade" to https:// if you use Adsense (your revenue drops)

Digital Doctor

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DeltaHF said:
Moving to SSL has been absolutely devastating for my AdSense revenue. Like dethfire, I've seen a 50% drop in both earnings and RPM/CPM, despite an increase in traffic due to a special event which affected my site. When traffic levels return to normal, I could be losing 60% or more.

See for yourself: I moved the site to HTTPS on Feb. 26. Green is revenue, blue-green is RPM:

*image on Xenforo.com (source)

My website is my livelihood, so this is an extremely serious problem. I was expecting a drop, but nothing like this worst-case scenario. The benefits of SSL/SPDY are great, but absolutely proceed with caution if it is something you are considering. This mistake will cost me thousands and may force me to make some difficult decisions if CPMs continue to stay low.


Mike, did you actually see revenues and CPMs return to pre-SSL levels? I would be very interested in more data and information about your experience. dethfire, I see you are still running SSL, what has happened since your last post?
Clickfinity said:
From Google's own help pages (my bold): https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/10528?hl=en

Some important things to know about the SSL-compatible ad code:
HTTPS-enabled sites require that all content on the page, including the ads, be SSL-compliant. As such, AdSense will remove all non-SSL compliant ads from competing in the auction on these pages. If you do decide to convert your HTTP site to HTTPS, please be aware that because we remove non-SSL compliant ads from the auction, thereby reducing auction pressure, ads on your HTTPS pages might earn less than those on your HTTP pages.
If it's affecting your income badly - why not simply switch back to non-SSL?
..
Pretty worrisome testimony.
Seems like it is good advice to hold off for now.

https://xenforo.com/community/threads/adsense-ctr-cut-in-half-after-switching-to-ssl.83732
 

ozzy47

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Well that's absolutely stupid. Google wants you to go to HTTPS, so they will rank you better in search results, but then you kill your adsense revenue, kinda seems like a Catch-22.
 

ozzy47

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Who knows, Google has been known to do stupider things. :p
 

Will_Watts

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It's not a temporary glitch...

I've posted about this before. There is a smaller pool of advertisers who submit HTTPS compliant ads. Therefore, less competition for ad slots.

Don't switch to SSL if you use AdSense.
 

ozzy47

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Sure they can, if they are going to rank you higher for using a SSL, then they should require the ad providers to run SSL.
 

esquire

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Sure they can, if they are going to rank you higher for using a SSL, then they should require the ad providers to run SSL.
They are aware of such types of issues. Also note that ranking due to SSL use is impacting only upon a very small fraction of sites where it makes sense to do so, e.g. such as those requiring security, etc. Anyone who thinks that moving to SSL is going to result in a noticeable rank increase probably will learn far more about redirections and the joys of trying to get SSL sites to work perfectly. Unless you've got the reason and know how (as only a couple of people here do), you're probably best off staying where you are.
 
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I've switched my site back from HTTPS to HTTP on Monday, and I'm seeing a 40% increase on a daily basis now in revenue.
 

bucket

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since it is G that is serving the ads, why can't they serve them to fit the website?

either SSL or non-SSL?


I've switched my site back from HTTPS to HTTP on Monday, ......
did any of your users notice or make comments about going back to http?
 

Digitalpoint

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Personally I didn't notice any difference In AdSense revenue when I switched to HTTPS.
To be fair, I also don't obsess over it.... I've gone more than a year before without logging into my AdSense account, so... haha

But I just went back and looked and from the reports, I wouldn't have been able to tell when I switched to HTTPS based on the reports.
 
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did any of your users notice or make comments about going back to http?
A few, mainly ones on mobile, because it was stuck on HTTPS, so I had to keep talking them through clearing their browse cache. They don't actually care about HTTPS, as it's a car forum.
 

Digital Doctor

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More https bad news

Problem I am starting to have with a LOT of those tests are they are based upon the standard HTTP protocol.... and it appears you get penalized for the extra SSL negotiation sequence if you are running HTTPS.

The other issue I have is if you happen to do like I do and limit it to a set amount of concurrent connections from a set IP, how much impact does that have on you. I saw one test that hit with over 200 concurrent connections from 1 IP (the firewall ended up locking that IP out since it assumed it was a DDOS).

Here is a classic case (and it appears that SSL does result in some penalty)
HTTPS

View attachment 33798

HTTP
View attachment 33799
 

Will_Watts

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HTTPS is completely irrelevant for a forum - in the long run it would be good if every site was encryption, but this isn't a banking site and there is no financial purchase being made.

This is an almost insignificant ranking factor - it's tiny. It's not going to make a noticeable difference to your rankings, but the drop in rankings for changing all your URLs is going to have an impact. Additionally, with the AdSense + other advertiser issues with HTTPS, you might see a drop in earnings.

Don't jump on the HTTPS bandwagon just because you read an article that it might help SEO, because it won't. If you deal with financial payment information, then of course your site needs to be HTTPS, but other than that you're not really getting a lot of benefit from it.

Counter: SPDY is quite a good benefit if your server can use it. However, HTTP2 is nearly standardised and will see server support soon... this doesn't need HTTPS to get the same speed benefits.
 

eva2000

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Counter: SPDY is quite a good benefit if your server can use it. However, HTTP2 is nearly standardised and will see server support soon... this doesn't need HTTPS to get the same speed benefits.
unfortunately web browsers like firefox and chrome are forcing HTTP/2 over SSL/https only https://community.centminmod.com/threads/google-dropping-spdy-in-favor-of-http-2.2283/#post-10774

But yes SPDY/3.1 SSL and HTTP/2 over SSL are beneficial despite the initial SSL negotiation over head so folks shouldn't be focusing on that as a negative for SSL/https. But yes Adsense over HTTPS is probably one of the 2 downside until more ads are https compliant. The other downside is for user generated image/content and dealing with mixed content https/http warnings in browsers.

I've ran a 4 way compare for the following using my 254 World Flags demo at https://h2ohttp2.centminmod.com/flags.html
  • Nginx non-https over HTTP/1.1
  • Nginx SPDY/3.1 https over HTTP/1.1
  • h2o non-https over HTTP/1.1
  • h2o https over HTTP/2
3gfast_nginxspdy_vs_h2o_http2_video_00_tn.png
 
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