Inside AdSenses Black Box

    November 2, 2005

An interesting line of conversation has been circulating around the blogosphere for the last few days. The conversation has to do with AdSense and how one poorly performing site can bring down the price paid per click down on all of them in a single company’s sites.

The conversation started with kurtpdx at WebMasterWorld. He had switched to Yahoo’s ad program, primarily for the payout difference. He received a call from Google’s folks asking him to come back. Then is when the information apparently got pretty good. The rep on the phone proceeded to part with some information many probably don’t have. It has to do with the inner workings of AdSense.

The one point everyone seemed to pay the most attention too and that circulated around the blogosphere was the part where their Smart Pricing, when dealing with multiple sites will penalize earnings for all if one site is performing badly.

He also said in his posts, “Smartpricing is re-evaluated for sites weekly. So if you make an adjustment to your site to increase conversions (some how) then it may take a week for smartpricing to re-adjust how much it pays you per click.

“Also, not sure if this is common knowledge or not, but Adwords uses a 30-day cookie to track conversions. So theoretically, a click could take 30 days to convert, which would mean that your smart-pricing could take 30 days + 1 week to re-adjust for new conversions.

“Also, this one is really exciting, but it’s also the only one that he’s yet to confirm for me. He believes that I can use Adsense Image Ads on the same pages that I’m using Yahoo contextual ads! He’s going to get back to me on this one.”

All this information is unusual because most people who follow this stuff know Google doesn’t part with information about itself very often, let alone something significant like this. It does help to understand their AdSense program a little better though.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.