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but legally they can do anything they want when it comes to earnings split correct?
That would explain the plummeting CPC prices publishers are earning.
Perhaps... Even the golden rule of great content, organic traffic, write for the users is not working anymore with Adsense.
So if your content is good and Adsense doesn't like it... why....... bother......
That rule went out the window a long time ago, both for serps and Adsense. Both are now games of chance; if you get lucky then the latest algo favours your site, if not then you get screwed. It's out of your control and the quality of your content is almost irrelevant.
Google in their efforts to improve the internet are now ranking "yahoo answers" over some of my content.