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I don't think you should expect get an overnight success - it takes time to experiment and jiggle with things to optimise your pages to get the best out of adsense.
I'm not up to speed on the smart pricing issue however I do know that having more banners/towers on a page (max of 3) does not necessarily mean more money. Yes, you will have more options and maybe more CTs but those CTs will be of lower dollar value.
If I have 3 AS towers, each displaying 5 ads (if I have good keyword performance for that page) I see the same 5 AS ads in the first box. The other two towers will show AS ads of lesser click value (i.e. they are lower down the keyword bidding scale).
Eliminating the two lower towers still sees the first tower performing with the same AS ads. Impressions will go down, CTs may remain the same, but the CTR goes up and so does my revenue.
That's the way I see it. Others are welcome to debunk my point of view/theory.
Eliminating the two lower towers still sees the first tower performing with the same AS ads. Impressions will go down, CTs may remain the same, but the CTR goes up and so does my revenue
I don't understand that. I have assumed impressions refers to page views and should be unrelated to number of ads displayed. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
One point that interests me - if multiple boxes (or towers, etc) are displayed, does Google put the highest-paying ads on a particular box depending on format? Or it does order the ads according to the order of the boxes as they occur in the html? I.e., does Google put the highest-paying ads on the first box that loads?
[added] Please ignore that last point. I have found the answer on the Adsense FAQ [/added]
I have assumed impressions refers to page views and should be unrelated to number of ads displayed. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
On Asdsense, an impression means each time any adblock is shown. If there is one Adsense block on a page, that is one impression. If there are three Adsense blocks on the page, it counts as three impressions, and that is what shows up in your Adsense stats.
I have been considering adding another block, but this has made me pause. If there is little increase in clicks, with a higher number of impressions and therefore a lower CTR, does this have any effect on my earnings?
The "impressions" entry in Google's FAQ states an impression corresponds to a page view, but this entry could have been written before multiple ads were allowed.
They need to update that, the terminology they have is left over from when we could only run one block of ads per page.
It should say ad, or ad block, impressions now, that would clear up some of these confusion on this issue.
Also, here is an interesting thing to keep in mind. Remember Google AdSense displays ads in the order they appear on your webpage, but keep in mind what they really mean is the order they appear in the html. If your website is divided in columns, it is possible to have the first ad (with highest payout per click) be at the bottom of your page!
In my case, this actually worked out better! I placed a large rectangle underneath the article in an area called "Sponsored Links" and then had a banner ad Google Ad below that, and then a short column wide Google Ad in the left column. The Sponsored Links section get more clicks (perhaps because it is bigger and more noticable) than the one in the column, even though the one in the column actually appears higher on the page.
So, you may need to look at your page and see if the ad positions are working for you and perhaps try out some different layouts.
....in an area called "Sponsored Links" and then had a banner ad Google Ad below that, and then a short column wide Google Ad in the left column. The Sponsored Links section get more clicks (perhaps because it is bigger and more noticable) than the ...
Be careful with that setup. Enticing viewers of your page to visit G's links is a no-no in G's eyes. I'm not sure though where G draws the line on a webmasters skills in getting a visitor to click through. Using something like what you are doing I think is harmless but that's my opinion.
A quote from Google's FAQ section:
"We therefore require that Web pages do not include incentives of any kind for users to click on ads. This includes encouraging users to click on the ads or to visit the advertisers' sites as well as labeling the ads with text other than "sponsored links" or "advertisements."
Other that the words "Sponsored Links" there is no inticement given to click on Google Ads on our website.