Up until October my earnings every month this year had beaten the corresponding month last year. October was the first month to drop below last year's earnings. November is currently headed the same way, but the last week of November last year was very strong. If the same thing happens this year I will be happy and today has been very good.
I'm just a numpty with a hobby site so don't expect to earn a lot, but when Adsense is going well it provides a useful extra income. I don't take it very seriously and don't spend a lot of time on it these days because I have other commitments. However, I delved a bit deeper yesterday.
The first obvious thing was that my page views have really dropped in the last year - now about half compared to the end of last year. At first I attributed this to giving up a site on which I use to have ads and ignored it. However, even taking the lost site into consideration there has still been a huge drop.
Page views have been declining since November 2012, with a few big drops in 2013, for example at the beginning of the year and then again at the beginning of September. I spent a little time over at the Google SEO forum and it seems that I am not the only one.
The fact that my yearly earnings so far are better than last year despite the big PV drop is an indication of how much CTR and EPC have risen. I am pleased about these things, if only I could get my page views up again.
Yesterday I had a few hours spare and did two things on the parts of my site that get most visitors. I updated the ads to asynchronous and changed the 300x600 units (which had been performing poorly) to 300x250. Today, the 300x250 ads are my best performing units.
I had run the 300x600 ads for a while. Maybe they are too big and look a bit spammy or maybe advertisers haven't completely taken to the format yet. I also read that sometimes 160x600 ads are put in a 300x600 space and therefore there is a lot of white space.
Despite seeing an improvement today, my Google scorecard indicates a worse rating. It's early days yet - and Tuesday is normally my best day of the week anyway - but early indications are that the 300x250 ads are performing a lot better. I intend making the same changes to the rest of my site soon.
Before I changed the size of the ad units I ran an experiment just changing the font to Open Sans, as suggested above, but it made no difference. I have now returned to the original Verdana.