I'm still not 100% certain that my experiences are exclusive, a trend, temporary or what. It's still possible that technical type issues or smart pricing are affecting my income. I'm not sure how many would agree that Google has tightened the belt on clicks that count or click that count and pay well. It's that "quality traffic" buzzword they keep talking about.
I bring this up because for me, Adsense is and always has been the lowest paying. In my situation there is pretty much an affiliate program which would/could replace my Adsense units. Yes I've had both Adsense and affiliate codes on the same site.
It really comes down to this. If getting decent click payouts from Adsense continues it suddenly becomes a situation where you make a choice. Lots of low paying clicks vs big payouts which occur more rarely. The conundrum is that IF you need glorious traffic sent to Adsense advertisers to pay well, then why wouldn't you look at sending those converting glorious peeps to an affiliate where you can get paid a big chunk of cash?
There is a threshold to this and I'm approaching it on a few of my sites. I can look at relatively pathetic click payouts or just bite the bullet and get conversions via affiliate links which make it worth more my while. If my traffic is so good or has to be so good and valuable, then the best solution is getting the best payout which would be affiliate links.
So it's really this or is becoming this. Get paid pennies on a weekly basis or get a chunk of cash once a week or once every couple weeks. The question is whether that affiliate chunk is going to out perform all those Adsense clicks.
So in summary, if you need great traffic to get juicy or good paying Adsense clicks, then ultimately you're passing up on making bigger money by sending those people directly to the affiliate links. So do you think that by having Adsense you are eating your other arm?
I know everyone is doing excellent with their Adsense incomes lately so this may be a niche discussion. If I'm required to have "gold star" traffic clicking ads who convert well, then I'm sending those people to an affiliate program instead. I just can't decide quite yet whether I wait this out of just pick a site and do it. It's a tough call.
In closing, if it's true that you need better and better converting Adsense clicks, then this crossroad is inevitable. It really comes down to if 1 affiliate conversion is worth 10, 100, or 500 Adsense clicks. The dilemma is that you won't know how this plays out until you remove Adsense entirely and just put some affiliate links. Otherwise you might be sending those converting clicks to Adsense and not your affiliate link. Sounds strange saying it that way.
Is anyone jumping ship as an experiment?
[edited by: MrSavage at 4:53 pm (utc) on Jul 14, 2012]