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Have I been smart priced? Should I panic?

     
5:57 pm on Mar 14, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In the last 7 days I've seem a drop in my RPM (earnings for each 1000 impressions) from about $40 to $25.

The CTR has dropped a little bit, and the CPC dropped quite a bit.

As I was sure to be Smart Priced, I decided to start showing ads only to visitors coming from SEs.

What impresses me is that my CPC is the same now as it was before, even though I expected the visitors from SEs to yield a higher CPC.

Now I'm not even sure if I'm Smart Priced, and/or if I should keep showing ads only to SE visitors.

Please advice.
8:49 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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$40 RPM? Sounds legit.
9:44 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I would love to be smart priced at $25 RPM.
9:45 pm on Mar 17, 2013 (gmt 0)

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And yes, you probably should panic. Or you could Keep Calm and Carry On.
11:41 am on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Yes panic, and if you can't find a reason to panic then be sure there is one just round the corner.

$40RPM - sounds exceptionally high to me.
2:39 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@All - About the RPM, I never knew this was high. I'm actually talking about page RPM though, which is higher than the RPM for each Ad.

@nomis5 - What do you mean?
2:55 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Personally, I believe we're *all* smart priced - the smart pricing is built into the entire system. And sometimes that works to our advantage, and sometimes it doesn't.

Advertisers don't want to pay full price for clicks on sites that don't convert. That's why Google came up with smart pricing.

Whether or not you panic is up to you. Me, I'd be looking to see if there are any patterns I can spot as far as what has dropped - is it sitewide, or over specific pages, is it a particular type of traffic, or a particular ad unit.

There's not a lot you can do, but you won't know until you figure out what might have changed.
3:12 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@netmeg - Thank you for your useful reply. Can't say the same to others...
4:13 pm on Mar 18, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Back when adsense support was more chatty than they are nowadays, I mailed back ond forth with one of them about smart pricing. The conclusion from that exchange was that smartpricing is something you have or do not have and if you have it it is a huge hit, there was according to that support person at least no "little bit" of smart pricing, it was always a very big hit. I doubt going from 40 to 25 RPM would mean smartpricing. I'd first look at CPC to determine it and if it's not a big factor (10 is big), I'd rule out smartpricing and consider other options such as somebody who used to target you dropping out, A|B testing by an advertiser, A|B testing by Google, those ugly arrows, Google giving the better paying ads to somebody else, ...

Smartpricing would be the last om my list, unless I'd see a CPC cut by a factor of 10 or more.

Dear GOOG: if you ever do that to me, I'm out.
7:26 pm on July 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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I am just seeing this thread now and have a question about something the original poster said.

"As I was sure to be Smart Priced, I decided to start showing ads only to visitors coming from SEs."

What do they mean when they said "decided to start showing ads only to visitors coming from SEs." I am interpreting this as ads only to people coming from Search Engines. But even if that is correct...how can you control that?
8:29 pm on July 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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In the last 7 days I've seem a drop in my RPM (earnings for each 1000 impressions) from about $40 to $25.


Can you give some indication as to the amount of traffic you have coming to your site? How long have you been running AdSense?
8:43 pm on July 10, 2013 (gmt 0)

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What do they mean when they said "decided to start showing ads only to visitors coming from SEs." I am interpreting this as ads only to people coming from Search Engines. But even if that is correct...how can you control that?


I expect there's some referrer based script that's running. Show ads if the referrer string is Google | Bing | Yahoo | etc.

But of course that would break down with mobile traffic, because iOS now shows search engine referrals as Direct. (You should see what it did to my Analytics this year now that 70% of my traffic is mobile some days)

So it would be harder to do accurately than it was (and I'm not at all sure it addresses the problem in the first place)
2:30 pm on July 20, 2013 (gmt 0)

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@avalon37 I was using a script to check for the browser's referrer, but as Netmeg pointed, it's not too reliable

@Chrispcritters I won't tell you that, but it's enough traffic for enough time to have an accurate data

By the way, I had one of those consultations with an "Adsense Specialist" and he told me that 1. My site didn't have any infractions 2. He really didn't think my site was Smart Priced

On the other hand, I feel like these Specialists don't know much about what's really going on
7:50 am on July 22, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"But of course that would break down with mobile traffic, because iOS now shows search engine referrals as Direct. (You should see what it did to my Analytics this year now that 70% of my traffic is mobile some days)"

I didn't know this, that explains a lot.

@ rlopes $25 RPM is very high. Be thankful. I avg around $11.
7:22 am on July 23, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Everyone is 'smart priced' - that's how the system works.

While you can't avoid it, you can do some things to stop if from pricing your site too low such as blocking traffic from countries that send junk traffic.