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Last ad in source gets the highest CPC - is it possible to optimize?

2:06 pm on Jan 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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(I've crossposted this to AdSense Google forum, hope you don't mind)

I know you (moderators) don't like links, even to images, but in this case an image is worth a thousand words. Please see the dummy "screenshot" to understand my question: [18103791804392046531.googlegroups.com...]
If I can upload the image to anywhere else more trustable, please advise me so.

So, from what I've read, the first position in source gets the highest paying ads.
But, in this case, my last position gets 3x the CPC of the first position. That sounds a bit strange right?

I've conjectured three hypothesis:

1 - the advertiser that pays more only uses 728x90

2 - the clicking visitors to position 1 don't convert, the clicking visitors to position 2 do convert

2.1 - position 1 visitors don't convert because they're misleaded by the ads, click and expect to see something else (bad ad copy?)

These hypothesis could be believable if there wasn't enough sampling but, we're talking about +80k page impressions/month and almost 100% coverage over at least a 30 day period...

Question: can I optimize this?
3:45 pm on Jan 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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votes: 54

I would agree as well that the first ad does NOT result in the highest RPM for both sites that I manage. Even though AdSense tells you that in theory it should. I think what's gotten worse if the relevancy of the ads; meaning most of the time the most relevant ads are shown on page 2 or 3 clicks in. This is frustrating, and confusing, to me that if I have a page that is about a specific consumer brand - let's call the company SnowX. The page is almost exclusively about SnowX and SnowX is an advertiser. SnowX ads usually show up in ad spot 2 or 3 on the first landing page. Sometimes not until the user clicks onto a second or third page. SnowX is also a MAJOR national advertiser so it's unlikely that they are not bidding as much as the smaller Adwords advertisers appearing before them. Anyway, that's just my observation on the sites I manage.
7:36 pm on Jan 23, 2014 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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votes: 222

Have you gone deeper to those stats? Have you broken it down between image ads and text ads? Desktop users or mobile? Contextual and IBA?

There's a lot more to AdWords these days, which means there's also a lot more to AdSense earnings.

Also, bear in mind that Google says the first ad unit in the code gets the highest paying ad. But that doesn't mean that the users always or even usually click on the highest paying ad. For whatever reasons, they may be more interested in other ads.

Google gives the publishers very little control over this because the publishers would drive a truck through it if they could, which in turn would damage the credibility of the network with the advertisers