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I have a fairly busy site, PR 5, automotive-related, about 15k page views a day. My AdSense earnings are around US$40 per day currently. I am sure I can get that to US$250 or more, but I need to work out why the ads I'm getting are paying so low per click. People on these fora have mentioned clicks of US$22 and up! Can anyone suggest a few well-paying automotive-type keywords for me please?
I wouldn't worry about trying to do that. Find the best way to monetize your site with the content you are providing your users.
Changing your content just to alter ads is not a very good strategy. If you want to check on some higher paying areas and write new articles and pages about that, that could be a road to go down. You need to do some research. Trying to find $22 keywords is going to be mostly folly though. I would not spend too much time worrying about trying to do that.
People on these fora have mentioned clicks of US$22 and up!
As you sail down the river of life, you are going to constantly hear claims of wonderful things that are happening to other people that are not happening to you. Some will be true. Most will not. And few of the ones that are true will be of any relevance to your situation. ("Yes, you too can be a millionaire and never pay taxes. First, get a million dollars...") If you believe in all of them, you'll be chasing rainbows forever.
5c to 20c is very much in the normal range of prices that can be expected. You can use channels to see if some thematic areas of your site do better than others.