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I then removed the second adsense ad. CTR went through the roof.
Seems like the trick to advertising is to appreciate the public's strong aversion to advertising.
I've found that on my primary AdSense revenue generating site I can increase my AdSense EPM by removing the 1-2 affiliate ads I incorporate into most of my pages, but my total earnings from AdSense and affiliate commissions combined is greater if I leave them. That's not a given for all publishers though.
Type A. If the visitors want to leave ASAP from your site (for whatever reason :)), then they will click only one ad (either Adsense or Affiliate link).
Type B. If the visitors like what your site offers, then they will click a few ads per visitor.
If you have more type A visitors, you'd better remove whatever makes less. In my case I removed Affiliate links from one of my sites.
If you have more type B visitors, you may want to arrnage the link layouts well so that people can click a few links per visit. There is no problem here having affiliate links and Adsense together. I have one site that has both and make same amount of money for me.
Also itisgene: on the issue of psychology of visitors; I've been using channels lately to track user response to different quality of content in order to answer the old question "If I put up really bad content will the user be more likely to click my ads just to escape?". ;)
It seems the opposite is true. The better the content, the higher the CTR -- to an extreme. My higher-quality content consistently results in a CTR three to four times that of my worst. I think perhaps earned trust is a strong factor in determining CTR. Something to consider!
Yes, I added more channels, doubled the traffic and # of clicks in overal, but the $ results were devastating.
I am almost giving up and getting more and more negative feelings towards Google and their often senseless algo's.