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On my entire site I had one high value word page. At one point it was getting as much as $20. per click. Then, it sank to maybe $5. or $6. per click.
Now it's down to pennies. However, the ads appearing are the same as they were in the beginning.
If your site has a user base that is built of repeat visitors for the most part, it is highly likely that many of the clicks come from the same users over time. I have seen similar experiences as you describe and this is the best theory I have come up with. It could be a part of the smart pricing, or not. But I have never thought it was plausible for G to track invalid clicks by user alone. This reduction in payout would be a solution to that issue for them without having to ban every publisher who has a loyal user base.
Just my opinion, anyone see this type of pattern?