Is Adsense Lag Affecting Click-Through Rates?

Google Adsense

I noticed a bit of a distinct drop in Adsense performance over the last two days, and from checking out my sites there appears to be a half to full second lag between the time the page loads and the time the Adsense ads become visible. The whole CSS comes in, but the ad block stays white for that little extra while.  Somehow, it seems to be enough of an effect to cause click through rates to have suddenly fallen in half!

Now, I don’t know what’s causing it and I don’t currently have a solution.  It could be something on my servers, in my code, at Google’s servers, or at any of the hubs that connect in between my computer, my web host, and Google’s servers.  Heck, I’m not even sure how to troubleshoot this and I was hoping it would be something I could ignore!  I’ll have to start off with the pings.

My site on Bluehost is coming in at 92ms with 0% packet loss.  A good start.  The site on Dreamhost is coming back at 91ms.  I normally don’t mind that speed since my sites are actually hosted half way across the country from me.  But the ping to Googlesyndication only takes 46ms, so it hardly seems like the issue is on Google’s end, unless there is something strange going on with how the code is being executed.

Anyway, am I just being way too obsessive about minor details?  I don’t think I would have even noticed had it not been for a sudden and uniform drop in click through rates.  I know though, when I visit a site and certain parts of it take a while to load, I’m hesitant to get myself involved.  Few things are as frustrating as trying to connect and surf quickly through a site that loads slowly and forces you to wait.  The first signs of lag are usually enough to keep me away, and so I strongly suspect these two issues are related.  Proof?  A fix?  Right now, my best bet is in Google:  Either that they’ll fix the issue from their end or that I’ll use the search engine to find more information about how to fix it on my end.

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