I'm not particularly pro google or the opposite, but having been in adsense since close to the beginning, I have to wonder whether google cares about whether it has any credibility with webmasters and those that use adsense.
I don't mind so much that since I've been with adsense, my income has dropped by >50%, and CTR has dropped by 50-70%, and of course CPM has dropped hugely. I expect things to change.
What gets me, and starts me wondering WTF is when the data jumps around in extreme ways, turns one way for a few days, then drops, then jumps, and so on. I think Huskypup has remarked on this a few times. It's the WAY the data goes, and not so much that there's less money now.
Minor changes and fluctuations will happen, but extreme ones will happen far less often than happens on my sites. Sometimes you can explain stuff by what's going on in the world. Not so for a good 12 months.
When I see crazy data (today almost everything doubled while everything pretty much tanked about the time of the panda update which didn't change volume of traffic) that cannot possibly be explained by market forces, or advertiser behavior I HAVE to question what Google is doing, why it is doing it, and why there are simply NO reasonable explanations for insane data. It SURE looks like google is knob-tweaking behind the scenes.
I've looked at enough data sets in my career to know when something isn't a result of "naturally occurring forces".
Maybe there are good explanations. But as far as I'm concerned (and I'm not a google is messing with us person), I've seriously lost a lot of confidence.
How can I trust a party in business who won't explain even basic stuff about why the money they are send us fluctuates insanely with no apparent reason.
I've started removing adsense from some of my sites or from some places on specific days. If I'm going to suffer financially, I'd rather it be that I understand why. It might be that the economy is such that I'm losing regardless of the many business models I use, but at least I'll know why things are not going well.
I'm pretty tired of the whole thing. My bet is that as/if other monetization alternatives emerge, there will be a mass exodus from adsense. I'd certainly leave, because I've just lost confidence, from the insane data I see. I'll even take earning less money to do this, since I'm much shorter on time than money.
When on Tuesday (hypothetically) I have ZERO click thru's and the next day I have a 2.7% click thru rate (thousands of impressions) and this craziness happens across all my sites (different topics) without us changing anything, I have to wonder. How could ALL my sites tank at the same time? Nd then get better all at once? Market conditions?
I look forward to the day when I can say: "Goog, me ole trout, give me a shout when you decide to offer explanations for all this nutty data, but until then, here's a hammer, and a bucket of sand".