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It's a little early to say, but I get a feeling that the higher volume in clicks is being evenly offset by the lower EPC, resulting in almost the same earnings.
The smart pricing may give a lower payout for lower CTR.
I probably won't keep the multiple ad units unless revenues goes up by at least 20%.
This all goes back to---and I will admit it is pure conjecture---how smart pricing may possibly work.
What is effective cpm? Why does google list effective cpm in their stats reporting?
Because it is a measurement of the "bang you get for the buck"--or rather google gets for the buck. I think it is one way (and there are surely several) for the adsense algo to determine the performance of a site's pages. If a page can deliver 1.0x cpm with 1000 daily impressions, then a similar page that delivers only 0.5x cpm per the same number of impressions will not appear to perform as well and may merit a lower payout.
Unfortunately, this is what multiple ad placements seem to do: raise your impressions while (in most cases)only giving you a modest increase in ctr. So, your cpm goes down and to the smart pricing algo your pages appear to deliver less bang for google's buck and your payout gets cut.
Why would this make sense (though, insane, considering the rollout of multi ads)? Because advertisers want conversion. And pages that need to show more impressions to get the same number of clicks as pages that can do the same job with less impressions may be thought to have less conversion value.
I think multi ads may be inherently at odds with smart pricing. And if that's the case, google didn't think this one through.
This leaves us with 2 ad units.
The main reason for this change was that it seemed as if due to the layout the best ads were appearing in the least effective areas.
G needs to rectify this simply by allowing us to specify which ad placement has priority number 1,2,3 etc.