Jonathan Leger – SEO And Internet Marketing Blog Internet Marketing Blog


How To Increase Your AdSense Per-Click Payout

A member of my new combined forums posted a question regarding their AdSense earnings the other day. In summary, he said that he was only earning about 7 cents per click from AdSense for ads targeting keywords that the AdWords Keyword Tool says cost around $4.25USD per click. He didn't understand why.

This member is not alone! Many times I've heard the story of people who did the keyword research and found great "high paying" keywords only to earn pennies on the dollar compared to the AdWords estimates.

There are two primary reasons, in my experience, why this happens. They are:

REASON #1: AdWords Pricing Is NOT The Same As AdSense Pricing

The price you're seeing in the AdWords Keyword Tool is the estimated cost for a click on Google's search results (AdWords). But the price that advertisers are willing to pay for clicks via AdSense is typically much less (A click may be worth $4.25 on search but only $0.07 via AdSense). There are two reasons for this.

1. A visitor via a search query is highly targeted and typically far more ready to buy than a web site visitor.

Think about it. If somebody goes to Google and searches for "Texas life insurance quote" it's pretty obvious they're ready to buy some life insurance in the state of Texas!

But if somebody reads a news article about some life insurance scam happening in Texas, and the site owner uses AdSense to monetize the site, it's very possible that ads for life insurance in Texas will appear on the page. Out of curiosity the visitor clicks the link. Was that visitor worth $4.25? Probably not.

That example is fairly extreme, but you can see how a visitor on a web page is often far less primed to buy than a Google searcher entering clearly commercial keywords.

That's not the only reason AdSense values are less though. Unfortunately, there's a darker reason as well.

2. Click fraud drives the actual value of clicks from the AdSense network down.

There are huge networks of bogus "clickers" who are hoping to get a payday at the expense of AdWords advertisers. Although Google works hard to prevent such clicks from being charged to the advertiser, it's impossible to prevent them all. I've read estimates across the board, from 10% to 33% of AdSense clicks being fraudulent.

How big the problem really is is anybody's guess, but AdWords advertisers have learned to keep the price they pay via AdSense (the "content network") much lower than their Google search bids.

For advertisers it's just a matter of return on investment (ROI). Lower ROI for the advertiser means lower payouts per click for AdSense publishers, whether the lower ROI is due to the less-targeted nature of your traffic or due to the prevalence of fraud.

REASON #2: Google Has "SmartPriced" Your Site

The second reason you will sometimes see a dramatic difference in earnings per-click is that Google has "SmartPriced" your site. "Smart" Pricing is Google's way of estimating how valuable the click-throughs coming from your site are to advertisers. If they feel your clicks are very valuable, you'll earn a higher amount per click. This is determined (in part) by conversions tracked by the advertisers, and by other guestimations made by Google about the traffic they receive from you.

There are two schools of thought about "Smart" Pricing. The one school says it's a joke to try and determine how valuable traffic is without having access to 100% of the conversion data from advertisers (and the majority don't share that data with Google). The other side says that Google has to try and do something or advertisers will just go away and there will be no AdSense network at all. I tend to lean toward the first school of thought, but then I'm a much bigger AdSense publisher than I am an AdWords advertiser.

There's pretty much nothing you can do about the AdWords versus AdSense bid difference, but you have some control over "Smart" Pricing. Here are a couple of ways to keep Google's valuation of your site higher:

1. Don't send junk traffic to your site.

When I say "junk traffic" I mean traffic from sites that advertise "Get 1 million visitors for $10!" and from buying ads on low-quality networks that are full of fraud. A rule of thumb is this: if the traffic doesn't convert visitors into sales for a salesletter that's known to perform well with Google traffic or AdWords, it's junk traffic and should be not be used to earn from AdSense.

2. I've found that the more my traffic comes directly from Google for searches related to the advertisement, the higher my payout per click is.

For example, if your AdSense-monetized page is about electric motor scooters, and the ad that gets clicked is about electric motor scooters, and the traffic you're getting is from Google's search results for "electric motor scooters", then your payout will generally be a lot higher.

Google tracks this transaction from search to click, so they know when the clicks come from their own traffic. Google understandably trusts their own search traffic more than any other and so are willing to pay more for clicks from their own results. They assume it's "quality" and will convert better for the advertiser (which is probably true).

So try to focus on getting traffic from Google to generate revenue from AdSense. Don't be surprised if it takes Google a few weeks or even two months to figure out they need to increase your payout per click, though. "Smart" Pricing isn't an instantaneous thing.

Does that mean you can't earn good AdSense money from other traffic sources? Of course not! Just don't expect Google to value the clicks as highly and payout as much as clicks originating from their search engine. If what you're doing is working, keep at it, but the more your traffic comes from Google the closer your click-values will generally be to what the AdWords tool says.

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Comments (101) Trackbacks (0)
  1. When it comes to smart pricing in particular I’ve noticed a shift of about 30% (upwards) in CPC you’ll get from your site with over 2000 ad impressions a day. But it’s got to be SEARCH ENGINE TRAFFIC.

  2. Wow, this is powerful information, I can relate to alot of the things you mentioned about failures and junk traffice and a lot of time spented wasted from not having this type of information. Very informative article!

  3. Thanks for pay per click information. Can we increase the traffic as well with the help of your tips?

  4. i found playing around with different templates made a big difference. With my initial template my CTR was 2.5%, now i’ve got it upto 9%!

  5. Great explanation Jon, I knew about the smart pricing thing but I wasn’t quite sure how it worked. Still a little gray on how they determine how valuable my clicks are but your article has given me a little more to go on than I had before. Thanks.

  6. Google has a mind of his own. The bottom line is they are in it to make money just like all of the other people on the web. You could not expect them to pay top dollar to someone who has a less then stealer website (in the eyes of Google)

    So they sell for the highest price but pay the lowest possible price they can. Hence they make money in the long run.

    Very interesting read.

  7. Hi Jon,

    Very interesting insights on Google Adsense. We won’t know for sure what Google is doing but I think your analysis is the closest to the truth compared to all the other speculations out there.

    Thanks for sharing!


  8. Pay Per Click Company Better Then AdSense.Second thing that can justify the legitimacy of a PPC site is the amount of minimum payout.

  9. I tried Adwords, not Adsense. Still haven’t fully figured out either, thank you for the insight though.

  10. Google smart prices all sites with Adsense. If you have Adsense and Google analytics on your site, Google knows more about your site visitors that the website owner ever will.

  11. I find that the Google keyword tool is absolutely useless when it comes to determining the payout on Adsense. I have 10 sites that are optimized equally and some have nice CPC while others are pennies. All the targeted keywords were between $1.50 and $1.75 according to the keyword tool. It’s all about trial and error.


  12. Thanks for the great tips, just found your website.

  13. I’ve been rejected by adsense so I won’t worry my head about this before I need to :D

  14. There are 3 important things to get more money for a click.
    - high paying keyword
    - organic traffic (search engines)
    - ad placement
    I like the post. Thanks

  15. Jon,
    One other thing that I’ve done to increase my adsense payout is to visit the sites that are showing up in the ads (don’t click on the ad though). If they are thin affiliate type sites or mfa (made for adsense) sites doing click arbitrage I will ban them from showing using the Competitive Ad feature in Adsense as they are likely bidding very low. If they are selling physical goods I will leave them as they are an actual business site. This also seems to help.

  16. Many times I’ve heard the story of people who did the keyword research and found great “high paying” keywords only to earn pennies on the dollar but till now i have not succeded.

  17. I just found this page and I appreciate all the adsense advice. I’ve been doing adsense for over a year and Im very happy with them. Thanks for creating this website. It’s very nice to see other people doing well too.

    Las Vegas, NV.

  18. Many times I’ve heard the story of people who did the keyword research and found great “high paying” keywords only to earn pennies on the dollar but till now i have not succeded.

  19. Once again, it is the frauds that are costing honest folks money and frustration. Can you imagine a world where everyone would cease treating life as a zero sum game, and simply cooperated with the spirit of a situation instead of attempting to work it for personal gain at the expense of their fellows.

    Whether its hacking or scamming or in this story false clicks, we all pay the price for individuals who are using their genius to undermine trust when if they simply ceased doing that our world would be safe and secure for everyone.

    Unfortunately, it is also true that behind every great fortune is a great crime, so from the top to the very bottom of society we have the same problem.

    Everyone asks themselves why they should obey the rules when no one else does. Why indeed?

    Dr. Ann Voisin

  20. We have yet to use Ad Sense although we work with Ad Words so often Google always sends us a Christmas present. Of course, that is on the spending end. We were considering putting Ad Sense on some of our blogs this year and appreciate what your thoughts on it. Our market and visitors are usually searching for such high ticket items (a keynote speaker) that I wonder if using Ad Sense really would be beneficial for us or even if it could hurt our company image.

  21. Hmmm, this piece makes a lot of sense and clearly explains why the dollar clicks are low sometimes and high other times. But the question still remains – does the smartpricing affect the entire network of sites or just particular domains? That’s still the question. Anyway, thanks for sharing this, Jon.

  22. There are several reasons why you’re not earning that much with Google,a s stated here. The best solutions is you offer a pay-per-click ad campaign (don’t know, though if Google offers that through AdSense).

  23. wow i didnt know that the adsense pricing and add words pricing are somewha different, so thats why some site only earn pennies… i wouldnt have understood this well if not for your post jonathan.. thanks for sharing it to us…

  24. Thanks alot… it really increases my knowledge.
    great post!!

  25. OK, I knew there was a difference but I wasn’t sure what it was. This gives me a lot more information on what changes I need to make. Thanks for the useful info.

  26. Click per payout is the best solution for the bloggers.

  27. I really didn’t know about all these tips for ad sense. but thanks for sharing them with everybody, this will hopefully improve my earnings….

  28. That’s a nice twist you put in your article, I like your perspective. Looking forward to your next update. Chow for now from Mary in London.

  29. Adsense definitely pays out more than any other network. Well, that all depends on how much traffic you get. I can earn .03 cents per ad, or .05 from Adsense. Those two cents mean a lot when it goes to a couple thousand clicks a day.

    Thanks for the interested post, as well.

  30. Definitively a great analysis.

    That explains the fluctuation of the value of my Adsense clicks on all my my Websites. I was wondering why there was such a difference, now I understand. Thanks! Always a pleasure reading you.

    Mary S.

  31. Well, i have a great website more than 100.000 indexed pages, 3000 uniques per day, of local free classifieds and ad’s but i must say my earning doesn’t go up. 7-8 euro’s per 200 unique clicks is my maximum. CTR is low, maybe beacuse of my region? AZ .. it’s strange. F.e at the moment i have a beautiful domain name – if i start some project under it should my profit goes up? or its still depends on auditory, where these clicks come from?

  32. There are so many variables at play here. I just hope that the sites that do deserve higher rankings get them.

  33. That’s a really interesting and valuable post for me, thank you.
    This and the posts have lead me to the conclusion that i’d better make use of an affialite program.

  34. I personally have never had a lot of trouble making money with adsense and getting paid fairly well, but I think it is because my sites get around 90% of their traffic from Google.

    Building high quality niche sites really isn’t that hard once you’ve done it a few times and found what works for you.

    The trap I fell in in the beginning was to solely find keywords with high demand and low competition without looking at the profitability. This could be keywords like “healthy foods list” which would not serve any good ads and get a very low CTR.

  35. Hey, great post!
    I’ve been experimenting with my adsense pages and found this post very interesting. I will test your tips and see what happens.

    Thanks and Good Luck.

  36. Quality traffic always depend on the keywords that are used in the website.I agree with the previous commentator that promotional affiliate program always play an important role for quality traffic.

  37. Interesting post. I actually did not know about Smart Pricing.

    You make a good point about the difference between adwords and adsense pricing. Many people do not realize that those click prices are not the same for adsense.

    If you do have quality traffic and your click prices are still too low, you may want to consider promoting affiliate programs instead. In some niches, you can earn far more money through affiliate programs.

  38. Thanks for this use ful post. It really helped me in making a decision yesterday evening for replacing Adsense with a nice matching affiliate program.
    On one of my highly targeted nich sites I got an AS payout below 0.10 $/click and clicks happen not so often (although the ads are on the spot).
    The affiliate program I now promote on that site pays around 20 $ with a conversion rate of 2% (according to merchant).

    So with Adsense I need 200 clicks to earn 20$, which means 200 visitors. If the affiliate program works as advertised, i could gain 80$ from the same number of visitors.

  39. After giving my competition 100% relevant ads for years, I just sacked – fired Googles adsense butt off my website as the biggest con on the planet.

    I now only do affilliate programs or CPA as adsense is a waste of time and the return is not worth taking visitors away from my site.

    I also only allow paid for adverts (up front) and this is in my control.

    Google isn’t really transparent anyway, no one can fathom it.

  40. As far as I know, Smart Pricing is on an individual domain basis, not an account-wide basis. Thanks for the read!

  41. Thank you for this post, now atleast I have an idea on what’s going on. I wish I could start earning for my blog as soon as possible, but haven’t done updates lately.

  42. I have noticed that the amount paid for clicks seems to vary on different days of the week. Have you any thoughts on that?

  43. Wow, I always wondered how Google came up with the pricing for Adsense and why there was such a disparity between what I was paying and what the site said I should make was.


  44. Hi Jon and Readers,

    On numerous occasions I’ve read about people buying adsense sites by the hundreds, or subscribing to free sites on a monthly basis.

    I’ve also read about people who apparently have an adsense sites VRE and make $15,000.00 per month.

    From all the comments and articles I’ve seen on google adsense these claims come across as pure hype. Does anyone have personal knowledge of someone who actually makes this kind of money from content sites that are, at best, mediocre and at worst, pure drivel?

    Dan Jeremiah

  45. The benefits of using AdSense for your site is the most sufficient way to earn an awesome revenue….but to all this even the content of your site must be regularly updated and share a really excellent quality of topics.

  46. Thanks for sharing this fresh idea about adsense PPC, Jonathan.

    Is the Smart Price system really works?

  47. Thanks for your thoughts Jon,

    I hadn’t quite gotten my head around some of what you have worked through in this post.


  48. I have always wondered why the adSense earning seem to go up and down from month to month with some months earning double that of a previous month and then back to half.

    That’s with about the same traffic from about the same search terms on Google. Maybe it’s just normal seasonality, it’s getting on my nerves though.


  49. Hello what a great post!

    This has been a question that has baffled me over the years… I used to do all my research on how much the adwords costs and think wow just need 10 clicks a day…lol how wrong I was.

    My adsense income is growing nicely but still always room for improvement.

    Thanks again


  50. Hello,

    Adsense for me has been one of my biggest regular earners. I have tested split tested and tested again different ad positions and placements and how often the ads are shown.

    Its tough but I have found that it changes from site to site… we will always be about 10 paces behind google. Thanks for the great post its always a pleasure to read.


  51. I have the same experience on smart pricing as Allyn had. I noticed that adding one domain that doesn’t have a good CTR performance would effectively bring down the earnings of all other domains within my AdSense account. When I removed the low-performing site, earnings jumped back up.

    Your explanation on AdWords vs. AdSense click prices were really useful by the way, thank you!

  52. Very good article as always with Jonathan. I have often wondered about this, because my adsense clicks are no where near what the adwords clicks cost.

    Too bad there is so much fraud. That costs everyone.

  53. I still think less is more. I wrote that on John Chows blog and he replied that I was wrong and that he even has permission to run more than the three blocks Google allows. According to him, the more the merrier. Could be for him.

    For most people, in my experience and in reading comments like these, less is more. But you have to experiment and keep very good notes on ad placement. In other words, move the “single” ad block around and see what it does. Let it run for a couple of weeks or at least 500 impressions before you make a change.

    Kind regards,
    Dave Jackson

  54. i agree with your opinion about how to avoid our sites to smartpriced by google especially at poin number 2 which is our traffic should comes directly from Google for searches related to the advertisement. advertiser got the sales, we got more high revenue too

  55. great ideas. so basically traffic from google is directly proportional to adsense income…

  56. Smart pricing can be incredibly frustrating. I did some research last year into it and found that some authorities claim that taking Adsense off your site altogether for a period of time and then putting it back on can get ris of issues where Smart Pricing has occured. Has anyone here tried this technique before?

  57. Thought provoking and educational. Thanks Jon.

    As well as all the usual cheap clicks that we get, I’ve often seen a surprisingly high payout per click at various of my low-volume sites and wondered WHICH KEYWORDS attracted the visitor who clicked the ad. Is there any way to find out?


  58. Hi Jon,

    Thank you very much for this post, this is one of question in my head regarding click rates. It makes me understand what must to do and what prevent to do. I will try to improve my adsense click quality with the tips you provide. Once again thanks…

  59. I’ve also heard that adding privacy policy/terms and conditions/contact us links and relevant outbound links also increase your pay out per click – I’m not sure if that’s true but I can see the logic; Google could see you page as being higher quality so pay you more.

  60. I’ve found that a newer site gets higher priced clicks in the first couple of weeks and then it drops dramatically. Some days you will see an above average (price per click) but most of the time the clicks are worth less even though you have more clicks per day.

  61. Oh yes, this is the same exact issue that is happening with my adsense earnings too. I was wondering what could be the reasons and now I know. So, I will try to improve it with the tips you have provide.

  62. Age of a domain also counts toward the cost of the ad. The older the domain the more the cost of the click. Couple this to the specificity of the niche then you’re looking to get more for adsense clicks.

    Sometimes I get clicks that are $1.5 and other times I would end up with 5cents on the same site.

    So, yes, the traffic is specific as well. So Google being a powerful search engine tries its best to not overcharge clients by making sure ads on websites are monitored and charged based on many factors.

  63. I’m happy to read this blog post!

    If you target with your adsense site long tail keywords, it will also increase the targeted traffic coming to your site and the CTR.

  64. This lately on my site the click earning is high. I don’t know why this happen.

  65. I only earning less than 10 cents from some clicks. When I checked where those clicks came from, then I got that those clicks came from non-targetted country like India, Nepal, etc. The smallest earning per click from adsense I ever got is 3 cents.

    Anyway, thanks for your post jon that makes me more clear about adsense per click earning.

  66. Hi Jon,

    That’s really a fantastic post. I mean i never came across any blog or report on adsense telling about this. I do prefer to get traffic purely from search results, so that Google always prices my site high and better.

  67. Google Has “SmartPriced” Your Site

    Google smart prices all sites with Adsense. If you have Adsense and Google analytics on your site, Google knows more about your site visitors that the website owner ever will.

  68. For sure Google has to change something in the code or algorith at one point or advertisers just go away. Just downloaded more tahn 200 pages adsense guide….pretty interesting

  69. Thanks Jon for the explanation byway How about High paying keyword ….it’s work?

  70. I have sites that get over $1.50 per click and I have sites that get 10¢ or less. I think it is all relative to the content of the site and the quality of the traffic, like Jon says.

  71. Thanks for the timely post as I’m just about to begin launching adsense sites of my own and want to learn what I can about it. Right now I only have affiliate review sites. My impression is that adsense sites are easier to build and you don’t have to get into the minds of your visitors as much. Hope to get a better ROI.

  72. Jon, I agree with what you’ve said and have 1 thing to add.

    If you have all three of the text ad blocks that Google allows you on your page, depending on what the keywords are, your last ad or two or three will have much lower value than the ones before them.
    For example, at the top of a site there is one ad block with 3-4 text ads, maybe valued from $2.50-$1.25, then the second ad block has 3-4 more text ads valued from $1.10-$0.50, then the third ad block has another 3-4 text ads valued from $0.45-0.10. So when someone gets to the bottom of your page and decides to click, you’re getting way less than you were hoping for.

    You might want to put less Adsense blocks per page and mix in some other kind of ads or your own text ads that kind of look like Google’s. You’ll probably make more money. Just a thought.


  73. As always john very interesting post, and something I never actually thought about until now. Can you post some more hints and tips about adsense revenue?

  74. Do you have recommendations for getting more clicks. Do you think the way you place them gets more clicks than others. Or possibly the size or color of the ad? Thank you for explainig this to us.


  75. I operate a few dozens of sites with adsense and Google appears to underreport both the analytics and the adsense.. In many cases, the javascript is in the header and not the footer.

    I know this because the very accurate apache log tells me that a certain site is getting 2200 uniques daily.

    Google Analytics claims its only getting 140 daily and consequently the Google Adsense registers within 15% of the same number.

    I use the same web reporting programs that JL shows here on his page examples.

    So, if Google was really seeing my entire traffic and reporting it also in adsense my revenue would be 400-1000% higher.

    I use wordpress blogs.

    Has anyone else seen under reporting like this?

  76. Thanks for the adsense information Jon. That seems to make sense to me. I was curious as I’ve put up a few sites in the past month a few with adsense. I haven’t had that many clicks yet (about 7) most are from 0.20 – 0.50 ea. We’ll see over time if Google increases the click amount. Thank you.

  77. If you tend to stick to niches with BIG corporate advertisers like mortgages,car loans etc the payouts are normally higher due their larger advertising budgets and willingness to bid more in the content network.

  78. But remember not to search for your own stuff and then go and click on your ad, that is worse than just clickin on the ad directly

  79. I build adsense sites and have found that what Jonathan says about getting your traffic from Google is true. That is the only traffic I rely on and my clicks are substantially higher. You are right on as usual.

  80. Excellent analysis Jon,
    I would add that it isn’t your “site” that gets smart priced, but your entire adsense account.
    In my case, I have nearly 50 sites running on the same account and if I have one site that is not targeting properly, I see a drop in all of them. However, once I ID the offending site and remove the adsense from it (til I can prune the content properly) my payout increases on the others within a couple days.
    In addition, the targeted traffic must be laser targeted (talking search engine traffic here). If my site is about “blue widgets,” but I am getting traffic for “big widgets” and people click on “blue widget” ads, then Google pays me less because of the slightly off-target traffic. This happens because the adsense bot is not the same as the content spiders I think.
    Does that make sense? Do you agree? I am curious to get your opinions on that as I respect your knowledge a helluva lot man.

  81. How long usually it takes for Google to adjust its SmartPricing for particular website after changes on this website?

  82. great post,

    i hadn’t even considered the difference, i mean i know the difference but when doing my research i guess i completely forgot that there is a difference.

    one of those aha moments..
    thanks jonathan

  83. Great explanation Jon.

    Jon, I was taught inside a couple of thousand dollar courses that Smart Pricing is on an account-wide basis, but my experience does not bear that out. Google is so secretive, who knows, but I bet you could come up with a case study to find out. However I don’t know that the knowledge would be worth the time invested.

    Robert: Those bids are always lower on the content network unless the advertiser has no idea what they are doing.

    What frustrates me is that I’ll get $8.00+ a click occasionally on a site and at other times get only $1.30 or even less (actual example) per click on the same site. I think Google will always be a bit of a love/hate relationship. I do love them when their checks come.

    Warmest regards,


  84. Interesting thought, Jonathan. I’m a more active advertiser on Adwords, so I can confirm that I do pay less for Content Network ads than the targeted search network ads.

    A reason why a few people get extremely great Per-Click rates is because advertisers are involved in bidding on a “website-basis” also. Which means, there may be 10 advertisers trying to get their ad on… say “Digitalpoint Forums” – hence the bidding will result in a higher EPC.

  85. I totally agree with you amin stay away from competitive stuff and get the happy 30 cents a click everytime :)

  86. Very informative post. I’ve often wondered about why my Adsense click value was so much lower. I have a question that I would love to hear your thoughts on. It seems to me that Adsense income is a joke except for the very, very high traffic sites. Am I missing something. Some “gurus” claim to be making big money from Adsense and I just don’t believe them.

  87. On my Adsense sites I only ever get organic search traffic (but then I do use 1waylinks and 3waylinks to get that traffic) and for the simple niches I bother with I get about 30-35 cents.

    I don’t go near the high competition stuff – too much work, frankly. I’ve noticed that my earnings per click have been going up as the volume of organic traffic grows.

    I’d like the really high clicks and sometimes get them, but for very little work I’m happy to take a small amount like 30 cents a click, over and over.


  88. I believe some of the other contextual ad networks do the same thing. I have seen click pricing that mysteriously is higher across the board one day and then much lower site-wide the next day.

  89. Informative as usual, Thanks Jon.

    I actually never used Adsense to be honest. I’ve been using adbrite and others. I really try to limit my ‘interaction’ with Google as much as I possibly can. So rather than SEO, Gmail, Calendar and some ‘simple’ services, I do not use them. My question is kind of general here, is adsense worth the switch from other networks like advrite, bidvertiser…etc?


  90. It’s great to see this topic taken up again as there is always confusion around this topic and unfortunately, the low adsense pay outs tend to put a lot of people off trying to make an income this way. But it is do-able!

    I agree Johnathan – from my experiences also it seems like SP’ing is domain related, as I have similar sites where it can seem weird, for want of a word, that similar sites earn less than others even though they are both on page 1, within the same niche, but for different keywords, (but the Ad Words pricing is equally high, or low – as the case may be!).

    Great topic to shed light on..!

  91. My pricing seemed to go up when my CTR went up.

  92. Hey Jon,

    I believe that this is only a conversion rate problem.
    If you had only one ad and one click you get 100 %
    but if you have 3 ads and 1 click you get one third
    of the KW value.
    I use only one ad .
    What do you think ?


  93. My Adsense earnings per click went up when I began using only ad block (text only) per page. The theory behind this is that the highest valued ads go in the first block, lesser valued ads in the second block, and so on. By eliminating the lower valued ads, the clicks you do get earn you more. It may also be the case that ads in the first block are better targeted or more relevant than ads in the second and/or third blocks. Some day I hope to find the time to test these ideas thoroughly so I’ll know definitively.

  94. @Jon

    There is something else you might need to consider. Are you getting relevant ads showing up for the visitors (and this varies by country too I believe).

    Some things to try:

    1. Change the title or H2/H1 tags to a different related keyword. Try to play with the amount of optimization on the page (reduce or increase and see what happens over the next week).

    2. You can eliminate poor performing ads using the Category filter in the “Ad Review Center” of your Adsense account. For example, you can choose to exclude Political or Religious themed ads from your site. In addition, the “Ad Review Center” will show you the relationship between % ads served and % income generated per category. So, its pretty easy to just turn off the categories that are eroding your income. Please note: This filter is at the account level I believe.

    And the way to monitor this is to make a change, then wait a week or two and compare the Page eCPM’s of the traffic before and after the change. Using URL channels really helps to narrow this down to a site level (or you can go as far as setting up a channel for a single page and monitor it).

  95. Thanks for this information. I’ve always wondered how it worked. I’ve been driving quality traffic to my sites and get great click payouts regularly. But it is nice to know.

  96. I’ve experienced this first hand. My sites that get traffic straight from google searches outperform my sites that get traffic from say I never knew why….until now.

  97. I second Josip.

    I also have a domain on 3rd position, the traffic 100% from google, the clicks only $0.13

    I have another with traffic from ezines with clicks at $1.75 to $2.50.

  98. Josip:

    Although Google reveals nothing definitively, my general understanding is that Smart Pricing is on a domain-by-domain basis, not an account-wide basis. I could be wrong, though.

  99. Thanks for this blog post, Jonathan!

    I have to admit that I avoided Adsense for awhile, because my niche sites performed really well with affiliate offers, but recently I decided to change this and mix it up a bit. I’ve had a similar experience and a lot of the clicks that I get end up being below $0.20.

    Does smart-pricing affect the entire account or specific sites within it? I have AdSense on about a dozen sites.


    Josip Barbaric

  100. I’d be inclined to agree. My ad revenues seem to be higher paying coming from the Google Search engine first as well.

    I also think that those Content sites ads pay less in general. And those Adwords suggested bids are probably based on Search Networks and not necessarily Content Networks. Also people have the ability to customize their bids based on seperate use of Search vs. Content sites. And those bids might be lower on content sites.


  101. Very interesting. I think Google has “smart priced” a couple of my sites and I didn’t even know what that was before reading your post. Also found I wasn’t real clear on the Adsense/Adwords relationship as to how prices are done.

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