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Since I didn't get a timely response from support, I decided to try other ad networks and YPN isn't doing too bad. The CTR isn't great because the ad targeting blows but the payout per click appears to be high enough for the few days I've tried it so it's all averaging out in the end.
I'm going to start some expanded A/B testing later today for the 2 networks and see which will pay out the best, but it's really sad that it's come to this.
Did Google crank up smart pricing, chase off advertisers with quality score nonsense (while letting domain parks litter the ads!), or did they just take a bigger pay cut out of the ad sales?
Don't know, don't care, but I'd call it not-so-smart-pricing as they just lost 50% of my pages and maybe 100% based on the results of my testing.
[edited by: incrediBILL at 5:47 pm (utc) on Nov. 2, 2007]
Since 11/09 to date BTW, eCPM has been holding near pre-glitch levels, CTR seems just a bit low but earnings seem ok, which is what counts to me.
Our Google product referrals now yield higher (but still miserable) ecpm than adsense ads.
Since product referrals pay per action/conversion, it means that whatever new smart pricing was used on our account since Oct 20, it unfairly punishes us.