Adsense Smart Pricing, One Bad Apple Spoils the Bunch


You can get out your trusty slide rule and calculator, but ever since smart pricing went into effect there's been some voodoo math going on behind the scenes. Jenstar talks about Adsense's smart pricing on her blog and gives us a little more insight into what the man behind the curtain is up to:

Smart pricing affects an entire account. It is not on a per page or per site basis.

One poorly converting site can result in smart pricing impacting an entire account, even sites completely unrelated to the poorly converting one.

Smart pricing is evaluated each week. So removing ads from sites you suspect are converting poorly could result in seeing an adjustment to a higher smart pricing percent in as little as a week.

Smart pricing is tracked with a 30 day cookie, so you could be rewarded for new conversions that saw the initial click from your site up to 29 days earlier.

Image ads are also affected by smart pricing.

With smart pricing, an advertiser could end up paying less than their minimum bid, which would theoretically include the minimum bid price available, meaning publishers earn less for even the minimum valued clicks.

For advertisiers this is good, as it helps keeps costs low and may even act as a penalty against splog networks. However with competition for contextual advertising starting to heat, and with competition from YPN and Chitika's mini, malls this kind of information doesn't help Adsense look like the best game in town.


Gaming AdSense?

So knowing that little tidbit the advertiser could theorectically game the system by only recording ROI part of the time, which would reduce the bid amounts and directly impact AdSense publisher's income.

More importantly, it would seem someone using AdWords site-targeting could do some serious damage to that site's income if they worked it just right.


I just read this myuself and I must say I was shocked to hear this. I have one website with killer CTR, but the rest is either average or really bad. I seriously need to consider setting up a "Quality CTR account".

Also on the site with killer CTR, nonde of the advertisers track conversion. Will this mean I get lower prices from the ads?


CTR doesn't neccessarily

CTR doesn't neccessarily reflect on how well a site can convert. A site with nothing but an AdSense ad unit would probably have a high CTR, but I bet it is smart priced pretty low.


Well my site is extremly valuable to advertisers as it is a total niche site dedicated to one theme and all my traffic is from search engines and related to the niche theme.

Does this work like a minimum thermometer?

In other words is smart pricing calculated mainly on

1. The lowest performing site
2. The lowest performing page
3. A weighted average of all sites
4. A weighted average of all pages

Makes a heck of a difference on what you weed out!

Oh, that's the reaosn why

Oh, that's the reaosn why we've been getting weird results across all our sites lately.

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