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What Causes My Adsense Earnings To Fluctuate

If you’ve been using AdSense for a while, you have probably seen your earnings, revenue per click and click through rate fluctuate.  In the existence of an AdSense publisher, this is pretty normal. It’s rare to see big fluctuations across the site, but it does happen.  When we see these, they tend to be system-wide changes that affect most AdSense publishers.

If you’re running a vertical site or smaller site there are a few things to look at when you see big swings in AdSense earnings. Has there been a change to your ad sizes and positioning?  The number one cause of changes in AdSense performance is placement.  Placement of a single ad can change the performance by as much as 40%.

Have you made any recent changes to your channels such as removing a channel?  If you change channels, it’s possible to lose site targeted buys.  Site buys may increase earnings but you lose the earnings if you lose them.

It’s possible for a site’s traffic pattern to change quickly and can have an enormous impact on AdSense earnings.  When you see a big increase in natural search traffic, it have a positive effect on CTRs and CPMs.  If you get a jump in traffic from a source like Yahoo Buzz, then you’ll most likely see CTRs and CPMs decrease because this type of traffic is much less likely to click on ads.  To diagnose this, it’s useful if you are using analytics on your site and can study reports that show the percentage changes.

Be careful not to let the quality of your content slip.  As the quality decreases, CTRs will increase because the AdSense ad is offering more value to the user relative to the content.  There is a point where AdSense content ads are so much better than the content on the page that users will click at a much higher rate.  Nevertheless, AdSense is pretty good at adjusting revenue per click when this occurs.  So, it’s likely that you’ll see revenues fall.  Also, increasing the quality of your sites content will have a big positive impact on revenue per click because more advertisers will want to be on your site and drive your advertising rates up.


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