A former community discussing the business of software, from the smallest shareware operation to Microsoft. A part of Joel on Software.
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Doug Nebeker ("Doug")
I assume you checked the obvious stuff, like checking for Google rankings, new competition, adverse publicity, etc.
It may just be that people don't have the money to spend right now. There are a lot of people and companies who have stopped discretionary spending.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
@ Harry Phace "I dream of the day that I have that problem. :)"
Wow Harry you shouldn't have said that, up until now I have always taken your advice and considerations as a serious matter believing that you knew what you were doing and saying here
Reminds me of when Cramer told Ellaine what to do with her life and she took him seriously because at the moment he was by far the best in his KARATE class...turned out he was in class with 8 and 9 years old kids...
I'm not a newbie to software and selling. As I said in another post, I had good sales in the past (over a decade ago) when writing software for gamers. Then I quit coding for a while, and have only gotten back into releasing software again in the last 2 years. Sadly, my "serious" apps haven't done so well as my gaming apps.
In late January 2013, Google pushed out changes to their web search algorithm to some sources.
From that time our Google search ranking dropped from the 1st page to page 5 and beyond.
We are now just getting back to page 2 and even page 1 for some search terms.
At the same time our sales have about halved.
Our Google Adwords Cost Per Click has been rising over the years, but lately we've seen a lot of keywords going up in cost, so much so they are above our maximum cost per click.
We really can't put up our cost per click anymore. The shareware metric is about 1 - 5 sales per 100 downloads. Google doesn't seem to understand this.
Their cost per click for us is too expensive. And this is in the absense of competition for adverts on the Google search page in our niche!!!! How can this be???
We are now only paying for a few clicks per day, when before we were paying for 20 a day.
By being greedy, Google is losing money.
It seems since January 2013, Google have spanked the natural search ranking for our website and co-incidentally at the same time pushed up our Cost Per Click again.
It is not my business but Google needs to sort itself out.
They are using advertising revenue to subsidize the cost of hardware and give Android away for free.
They have an army of recent high academically performing graduates, but funnily enough they buy in most of their software - Android, StreetView renderer, Google Chrome based on a lot of Open Source and Konqueror....
Google are sucking the content providers on the Internet dry.
The free give-aways are shafting advertisers.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
@DontTreadOnMe - This is getting really old now. Please stop with the ranting and try to be constructive.
@NewGuyOnTheBlock - Are your downloads down? If not (& they're coming from the same sources) then I'd guess either you have new competition (less likely) or this is just a statistical fluctuation (much more likely unless you shift many, many units normally).
Saturday, March 23, 2013
You must be selling either a rather large number of units or have strangely highly consistent sales numbers over the last couple of years to be able to detect a sales drop of any percentage over merely a two week period. In other words, you must have good statistical power. Do you?
I once had a big drop; and after searching a while; I found a crack on astala... :-(
What I notice in my sales; is that there is always an increase in sales at the end of the month. It seems like they seem to like to register in the last week of the month.
Haven't found a good reason for that but it seems to repeat every month.
People have started to complain about Google elsewhere also. I think the future of search in social sites. People have started to be unhappy with big search engines. People who just want to buy something, can't find it. people who want to find articles, end up with products to buy. It is a mess. Social is more focused and more manageable I think. Google knows this as evidenced by all their efforts to compete in social. Furthermore, Google started out as neutral search, but now is a competitor to content providers in several areas. i.e e-commerce, social, blogging etc. The same way MS started to compete with all application providers and eventually got convicted.
By the way, I post on this site sometimes and read it often. It is an interesting site and you can find pretty good advice, especially in the archives. But two things: Now is mostly "owned" by a few people. the rest of us are just visiting. Second: It is pretty much dead. Deserted by the founder and pretty much all the heavy weights that used to post here.
Don't beat a dead horse.
could be a statistical fluctuation. I had a lot of these.
It could also be that you had unusual traffic sources at this time last year (e.g. mention in a large blog).
Also, which timespans are we talking about here?
If you look at monthly sales, it is very likely that some months will be bad just due to random fluctuations.
If you're good at statistics, you could calculate how much fluctuation would be expected assuming a uniform distribution of sales. I'm not, and a uniform distribution might not be a good model for sales numbers anyways.
Also, your software might crash on some systems due to some obscure bug. Do you have an uninstall survey?
If not, then add one that prompts people whether they experienced any problems with their software, and if yes asks for their email address and the exact error message.
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