This month is shaping up to be another record.
Ditto. No really outstanding days (one bad one so far - Tuesday 19th - when Tuesday is normally my best day) but generally a lot more consistent and the daily average for the month so far is the best I've achieved. I say this cautiously because I know from experience how quickly things can change.
This is a result of several factors combining together and not one thing. Looking at the stats for previous individual months this year, I've seen more page impressions, better CTR, and better eCPM for certain months, but this month everything has come together in such a way to give an overall better bottom line.
I ditched my competitive filter list some time ago and have set all my ad blocks to image and text ads. I haven't blocked any ad networks or ad categories. At one point I tried, but I couldn't beat the system. Whatever I did to try to improve things, it just made things worse. I now simply allow G to serve the ads it wants to serve. After experimenting for a while with different ad link colours, I've just gone back to the standard #0000ff (which is what everything was in the first place).
I let my link colour experiments run for a month. It was tempting a few times to revert changes after a couple of bad days, but what I found was that a two-three day window wasn't long enough. Results looked very different over the course of the whole month and knee jerk reactions are best avoided.
Experimentation is difficult because G seems to be experimenting at the same time - according to some other helpful posts in this forum. If something changes, how do you know it's something you did or something they did? Considering my improved earnings, I'm happy just to let G do the experimenting and I will provide a blank canvas.