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The real way to tell whether this benefits publishers is to monitor the Effective CPM.
Definately worth implementing and monitoring...
I have a three page site
page A gets 1000 hits
page B gets 500 hits
page C get 100 hits
each page shows one AdSense banner for a daily total of 1600....and I get 1% ctr for 16 clicks at 10cents per click...$1.60 total at a cpm of $1CPM
now if I put three ads per page
I now get 4800 impressions and I can only expect a slight increase in clicks....say from 16 to 20....because having three ads on a page will not make a person three times more likely to click. Your cpm at that point goes to $0.42 presuming you still make ten cents a click making $2 revenue.
I think the real variable to watch is daily revenue. Your ctr will tank. No doubt about it. Basic maths. I now have two ads per page and my ctr is down to 55% of what it was before but my impressions have doubled.
Your epc will fall slightly, in an all-other-things-being-equal situation, as lower paying ads now have a foot in the door.
Your cpm will also tank for the reasons outlined above.
Daily revenue is the be all and end all of this new deal with AdSense.
I think unleashing this in this way on every AdSense site is going to drive the quality through the floor.
Then, if publishers reached a pre-defined publishing standard (in terms of qualified clickthrus, quality content etc.) they could be invited to have two placements rather than just the one.
Unfortunately the proverbial cat is somewhat out of the bag now.
I'm currently experimenting with one adpanel and a second collapsible adpanel, but I'm keeping an eye on my bottom line. If it hasn't gone up significantly six weeks from now I'm going back to a single adpanel.
But to put two or three ads on each page? I don't think that would work for my sites.
it should also be considered that the addition of the code will cause the page to load slower as the ads are pulled from Google's servers.
Why? It's a relatively easy thing to overcome.
Place all third-party ads/images/etc just above the </body> tag & place it in the desired spot it with CSS positioning.
Go that route & your page will be displayed in it's entirety before the ads are even called for.
If the ads are slow in showing up, it only slows down the displaying of the ads themselves, instead of your entire page.
A minor point in the thread, but felt it was worth mentioning.