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Along with a few others here, I experienced a decline in revenue a couple of months ago - the reason of which was unknown (but that isn't what this thread is about).
To try and combat this, I've done lots of testing on my sites and found a new ad position which improved CTR by ~20%, which is considerable. (Before someone jumps in here, 20% increase means x * 1.2, not x + 20 as some seem to use!?).
After rolling this out, the site earnings went up quite a bit. However, a couple of days after this, my earnings are the same as before! This site is still performing better relative to before, it is just the other sites that are doing worse. I've not changed a thing on them.
It is almost like the revenue has been pre-determined, as any improvement does not always increase the overall revenue. Of course, if I double or half the impressions there will be a difference - however increasing the CTR on one site doesn't do much.
I would have assumed this change would have provided a big increase in revenue, and in the past this would have been the case.
Although these comments are based on pageviews in the millions, so I would consider them statistically relevant.
Has anyone else experienced this, or have any comments on the matter?
Another issue could be other webmasters jumping into your niche. Once more people entered into your niche, they will start eating your earning due to demand and supply rule (or ad inventory get distributed among many publishers).
Better move to CMP network, it really pays well.
You can find several of my posts and others posts on what we call a earnings cap on this forum
we also deal with millions of page views a month like yourself, after looking at thousands of spreadsheets and charts I am convinced at some point googles system kicks over to a pure CPM model for your account.
As such Googles system determines a min/max cpm to pay a given account thus the rounding out of the daily earnings regardless of what site goes up others will go down to round out the account to a given aggregate cpm.
I have fairly conclusive scientific data to back this up.
I honestly dont believe this is a greed move after reviewing the data and thinking things over with a clear head as hard as that can be when you are the one being directly effected.
I believe it is a way to make sure no single account can take to much of the pie. A method of even distribution of both money and inventory. Most major ad networks are structured on a cpm model so I cant see why Google wouldnt implement such a structure when a large account reachs some milestone that has been preset.
Google does not have to divulge the exact % I get (though that would be nice) or the smart-pricing of my account (though that would be nice too), but it would be great if they could just come out and say that there are no earnings caps or targets placed on accounts and that everything is determined by market forces with smart-pricing thrown in.
As it stands, it certainly feels like I have a slowly adjusting cap on my account and has felt that way for years.
For example, you made an improvement and CTR increased by 20%, followed by a short-term increase in revenue, then it flattened out. If you did this in reverse, and reverted the change back to original, then CTR should decrease back to the original and be accompanied by a short-term decrease in revenue, which should then flatten out.
If it doesn't work both ways, then it's probably not something built into the system.