AdSense Earnings Down?
A small poll at Search Engine Roundtable (43 participants as of this writing) shows just over half reporting a decrease in AdSense earnings, the other half reporting that things are on the level or increasing.
It's hard to say that's a representative sample with just 40 respondents, but it does match a bit with the reports at Webmaster World: some are losing, some aren't.
Many plausible explanations have been proffered without any real, thorough site examinations, as no URLs have been given by those complaining. The center of conversation though, has been around Google's "smart pricing," and whether that is the cause of lower returns on ad clicks.
Anyone who claims to have his/her Adsense increase in the last 90 days either 1. isn't paying attention, 2. is deliberately misleading others or 3. just opened his account and started with zero.
Sad truth is that, on or about November 15th of 2007, practically all publishers saw a large drop when Google made it so that the only clickable part of the Adsense banner is either the hyperlinked title or the URL itself. Prior to that, the entire banner was a big juicy hot spot. For practically all publishers, that alone caused a huge income droppage. Big G called it a safety measure to prevent accidental clicks. Ok, whatever. Go argue with that.
Next came this smart pricing concept on or about the same time. Clicks that previously brought in significantly more now pay only $0.05-$0.10 -- if you are lucky. Sure some categories still pay a little more, but practically all took a beating.
Take a moment and think about this from Google's point of view, though. With the previously higher payouts, they got publishers to use their product in droves, they established themselves as the de facto place for companies to allocate advertising dollars, and they kicked the corporate tushies of MSN and Yahoo. Great strategy.
From Internet Marketing and Online Annonsering