Google AdSense Smart Pricing…Re-Evaluating My AdSense Strategy

If you’ve ever attempted to make money online, you know that it can be very complicated, requires a lot of research, and is always evolving and changing. Last week I posted my December 2007 review and talked about how my overall income dipped for that month, particularly with Google AdSense. I noticed a similar trend on most of the blogs I read, so I originally told myself that it was probably due to the change to the clickable AdSense area.

Last week I ran across a post over at Courtney Tuttle’s blog titled how to get worthless AdSense clicks, which caused me to re-evaluate how I approach trying to make money with Google AdSense. In this post, Court explains Google’s smart pricing, which basically is a system that Google uses to penalize bloggers who get a lot of worthless AdSense clicks. This idea was not a new concept to me, as I’ve heard in the past the theory that having less advertisements per page can result in higher payouts per click. I also remember David of CyberCoder talking a bit about smart pricing in one of his video blogs (though I can’t find the link now).

After reading Court’s post, I decided it was finally time to look into this a little more. It just seemed to be to much of a coincidence that my AdSense income was at an all time high, then I launched a bunch of new blogs that currently aren’t receiving a lot of traffic and my AdSense income dipped from $10.00 a day to $3.00 or less.

The first thing I did was go into my Manage Ads page in the Google AdSense panel (managing all my AdSense code from here saved me a TON of time) and set up some new channels for my various ad blocks, including in-post squares, rectangles ads, link menus, and other places where I had AdSense on my sites. This way I could determine which advertisement blocks were performing the best. After a couple of days doing this, I studied the results and completely removed the under performing advertisements from my sites (anything with less than a 2% CTR). I also removed AdSense completely from some of my newer sites that haven’t received much traffic yet (if you feel your under performing websites need advertisements, you can easily replace your AdSense ads with Yahoo! Publisher Network ads or BidVertiser).

It is unclear how long it takes for AdSense to remove the penalty, but I’ve already seen some progress here over the past day. Unfortunately, it is to early to tell if this is a coincidence or not. If you have more questions about Google’s Smart Pricing penalty, I recommend you click over and read the post. It provides a detailed explanation, tips on fixing it, and also includes a bit about keyword sniping.

Are you a victim of Google’s smart pricing penalty?

[found via EZ-OnlineMoney]

  • I’m also in the middle of experimenting with the Adsense Smart Pricing penalty as well, Kyle.

    I also came across Tuttle’s article and decided to test out its ideas after watching my December CTR plummet as a result of a tremendous amount of Stumbleupon traffic reaching the site.

    In my case, I’ve turned off Adsense except for what runs in Google Custom Search. Just yesterday, an ad was clicked with the highest CPM I’ve ever seen displayed on my site so it’s starting to look good.

    I’ll run with Adsense off for at least a week and I’ll let you know if I see any difference.

  • David Cooley

    Thanks for the mention Kyle, I will try to dig up that link for you.

    The article by Courtney is spot on. One thing I would add is that this is the perfect opportunity to try other systems like Yahoo. Instead of just turning off ads, which affect the layout, replace the ads with similar ads from another network.

  • I am a serious adsense newbie. I had no idea about this and glad you pointed this out Kyle. I am off to reading Courtney’s post on this even though your post has explained the crux of it succinctly. 🙂

  • Garry Conn

    You know, it’s pretty wild how you did this post. Just about three days ago, I decided to give Bidvertiser another shot… and I have to admit, I am very VERY impressed with the results so far. I can provide you with the site addy of the site I am using it on if you want. It’s all good stuff and I very well may start using it more.

  • I am so glad you introduced me to Court in your post. I read three great posts in a row: yours, the one you linked to, and the one she linked to about keyword sniping. I have never seen such a concentration of informative posts. My mind is swimming with all sorts of ideas. 🙂

  • @ Robert – Let me know the results of what you find out!

    @ David – If you dig up that link, let me know and I’ll update the post!

    @ K – I did my best, but Court’s post definitely goes into more details.

    @ Garry – Yeah, I’ve had a Bidvertiser account for awhile but wasn’t using it. Last weekend I decided to try it for a bit and I think it is definitely a suitable replacement.

    @ Mark – You’re welcome! I have a post about keyword sniping scheduled for Monday I believe, so stay tuned! :mrgreen:

  • Some good thoughts here, I’ve noticed that this can be the case in the past – sometimes the concept of “less is more” is what works best!