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For me and my particular stats, 8% (assuming you're looking at stats that have "settled" and not just checking hour by hour) would be well outside the bounds of normal variation, and I would notify Google of that fact, tell them I'm looking to see if I can find any pattern of fraud, and ask for any help/advice they care to render.
In a day when Google's automated termination of AdSense publishers is "growing", I look real hard at anything that's more than 2 standard deviations from the mean. Haven't seen any postings here from folks who got terminated because they emailed Google that they were seeing unusual activity.
I advise doing nothing until it goes completely bonkers, like 40% CTR. Google will tell you if they think something's amiss. They're about at the stage where they have to be responsible. That article about click fraud in BusinessWeek has everybody with their hair up, but in reality, it was highly sensational. Ignore the paranoia; the reason for Adsense is to make money. Enjoy it.
Each site has it's patterns, and Google will look for those. So if a site normally has a ctr of 25%, then that's fine with Google. Similarly if a site normally has a 1% ctr then that's also fine. They may well look at natural variances of your site to see what is normal, and abnormal. But they also understand that variances (sometimes large ones) will occur as your page may get picked up by a forum and get a huge spike in traffic for a day or so, or it may have a lot of extra traffic due to search engine position change etc.
I personally think it's likely that Google are looking at several factors and not just CTR when they disconnect a publisher. CTR alone is not likely to get you banned IMHO.
No - not by my criteria, at least.
General Publishing - > 750 pages of content. Written by myself from research on the internet. Not "high value" or "authorative" content maybe, but I try to ensure my content is accurate and provides usefult tips and guidance to my visitors.
I also try to provide a service to my advertisers - by telling my visitors what they should be looking for and what to expect - I hope that this leads to a good conversion rate for my advertisers when I do pass traffic to them.
You certainly got my attention with this ronburk! :-)
As some of you may already know, yesterday I changed ad formats from Leaderboard to Large Rectangle and everything went up - including the CTR.
Today things have settled down a bit so not sure if it was just the novelty of seeing something new yesterday that caused people to click more than usual. In any event, the average CTR yesterday was 6% (as opposed to 2.5%) so definitely "more than 2 standard deviations from the mean" if I understand ronburk correctly. Before I contact Google about this, I'd be curious to know if anybody else finds they've exceeded the mean for any length of time and if so, by how much. Did you contact Google when this happened? Thanks.
[edited by: Play_Bach at 4:35 pm (utc) on Oct. 14, 2006]
Yes, unfortunately CTR on two of my channels fell dramatically over the last 3 days, :-( Do you think Google will help me improve the CTR back up, if I write to them :-) BTW how can they motivate people to click the ads? Ads seem to be well targetted as before, but these bl*** surfers are just not clicking! I guess , I better write to Google for help immediately :-)
joined:Apr 2, 2004