I brought up a question in this thread [webmasterworld.com ]that probably requires its own thread.
About 2 months ago I got the following message in my adsense account.
A new 160x600 ad unit on *********.com will improve your ad performance
I ignored it as it would have required a change to a custom theme and I didn't really want to go through that process, the site was using 120x600.
However quite dramatically my RPM started to decrease and it steadily decreased to less than half my original RPM. This on a site that had maintained that same RPM for at least 3 years.
At this point I stopped being lazy and made the changes to the site to be able to incorporate the 160x600 banner. However that was only about a week ago and there has been no dramatic change to RPM. It is just as bad as ever.
I have 3 questions:
1) Is 1 week long enough to know if the changes would make a difference. (I suspect not)
2) Has anyone else had similar experience? "ken_b" has already replied in the other thread mentioned above saying he had something similar happen.
3) If anyone has had a similar experience and recovered what did they do?
personally if I don't recover I will have to go back to building up my email list from this site. Which I am happy to do as I do it with other sites. Only it is quite a bit more effort.
The suggestions that appear in your AdSense account are usually pretty generic. They're probably based on some kind of statistics that Google believes they know about your site and/or your traffic, but it doesn't mean it's right. I usually ignore those messages, because Google doesn't know what I know about my site or my visitors.
(However, if a real person from AdSense contacts you and asks if you want any tips, it never hurts to listen to those)
Whether or not a week is enough depends on how much traffic you get.
If your RPM has been halved, just changing out the ad unit probably isn't going to help. A *lot* of people's RPM has shot way down; there are a number of posts in the forum about it. Sometimes experimenting with new placements and ad styles might help bring your CTR up a little. It probably won't do a lot for your EPC though.
In my case it was a real person via email, including a screen shot of the proposed change. And while it may have been a coincidence, the drastic drop in RPM on the day I got the email, and again the next day, seems odd, at best.
[edited by: ken_b at 3:39 am (utc) on Sep 14, 2012]
Interestingly this particular site is more loved now by Google than it has in a long time. Although I have never done anything blackhat it got hit by penguin or panda. One of them I can never tell! but about august 24 (around latest panda update) traffic went through the roof. However earnings never changed. Funny thing is I haven't changed anything on this site in all that time. I have added a bit more content but to tell you the truth I was adding a lot more before it got hit. Who knows what Google is thinking I sure as hell don't!