Over the past few months I've averaged about a click per day, generally paying 50 cents or maybe a dollar.
A few weeks ago I had a months worth of clicks in just a few days - none paid anything and I'm sure Google decided they were bad somehow. No problem, though I've never had that many all at once.
Since then, however, I'm back to around a click per day, but earn at most a couple of pennies and usually nothing.
Does Google "sandbox" our clicks for fraud? I know they will cancel an account, but I've never heard of or seen weeks worth of apparently normal clicks that all pay zero.
Google "reads" if you click on your own ads. They can tell by your IP address that it is you. If you do the "bad" clicks, you can be penalized and even loose your Adsense account if it is a repeat offense. Not saying you did this, however, that is the ONLY association that I know of about "bad" clicks on ads.
An increase of ad clicks that are not "bad" as I referenced, only makes a person more money, HubPages more money as well as Google making more money, so there should certainly not be any penalty for an increase that is legit.
I have no idea where my spurt of bad clicks came from - certainly not me. I am far too aware of the consequences to risk clicking my own ads - the one time I did I promptly notified Google.
I did not notify them of the rash of clicks, however - they picked them up and devalued them before I even found them. Maybe I should have.
I just have to wonder if I'm getting nothing but trash ads now because of all those bad clicks. Google needs somewhere to put them (to earn themselves that 1/2 cent or whatever) and my hubs need "punished" but not to the point of cancelling the account. Do they do that sort of thing?
I am not sure of that, wilderness. I can only speak from what I have learned over time. I know that I have, a time or two, been in the process of publishing a hub and when the ebay selections come up in the capsule, I clicked without thinking to view the item...and I have a time or two with Google ads. I used to have Ad Block on my pages, but that defeats my purpose for see what is being displayed.
I did not want you to think, however, that I suspected you would or did any bad clicking, that was just the only "bad" clicking that I know of or have heard of.
Hopefully someone with more insight will be able to give you better answers and advice on this one.
Oh, it happens all right, and usually just the way you describe. I've clicked my own ads before. I have not, however, clicked them 11 times within an hour, or 20+ times in 3 days.
Bad clicks can be from outright fraud or from honest visitors that mistakenly click and immediately back out before they're even fully loaded. I suspect that a stay of only seconds would be considered "bad". HP was visited a while back from some kind of bot from facebook that went through thousands of hubs - if it clicked ads as well, I would bet that google could tell it was not an actual, interested person.
Bad clicks are not necessarily fraudulent - they can happen for a variety of reasons.
There is something called adsense smart pricing you could look into. Some sites with poor value to advertisers give their owners very low returns on clicks,
I've never had really high paying clicks - three or four $$ was the most I've ever seen. I don't write on the proper topics for the high $$ ads.
That's OK, and I understand that. It's just that the CPC has decreased, not by 50% or something (bad season, maybe) but to very near zero. I would consider very low return to mean a nickel or dime, but I don't often even see a penny any more and never a nickel!
Smart pricing - I can somehow "force" higher paying ads onto my hubs? I thought smart pricing was for advertisers, not writers...
I have no idea if you have been smart priced. It has never happened to me so, being lazy, I have never dug into it.
However, a lot of publishers do find that their accounts are smart priced and there are plenty of threads in the Google webmaster forums.
There is a piece here:
http://www.seroundtable.com/adsense-pri … 14657.html
Thanks, Will. From the video there, I would strongly suspect that I've been smart priced to near zero. All those bad clicks have convinced google that my site does not give good results to advertisers and thus no CPC to speak of.
Guess I've got some more learning and work to do. Not to see what I can do to get to an end of this. Knowing Google, probably just time, but I can try.
From what you said in your opening post, smart pricing does sound possible but I don't think it has ever been reported for a hubpages account before.
So, maybe you should hang on for a while and see if you start getting decent value clicks again. Waiting for a while is always my preferred option to getting gloomy.
That's exactly what I plan to do. Maybe read up on this a little - more information never hurts - but just wait it out for a while and see if anything changes. That's probably the only answer anyway - produce some decent visitor clicks and show G that I'm still worth something.
Adsense is not a big earner for me anyway as I use HPads and adsense went downhill big time when I changed over. If I go from $20 a month to $.50 it's not the end of the world.
It kind of sucks, though. Traffic has fallen 70% since January, HPad ecpm is cut in half and now this. Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be better.
According to the video, smart pricing is routinely applied to all accounts; it's just that some go up and some go down. It's a smart thing to do (if it works better than their SE algorithm) even if I got caught in the gears through no fault of my own.
Smart pricing is not for ever. Google keeps testing to see how the ads are used and if they give benefit to advertisers you get your reward. In theory.
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