Google Adsense Cost Per Click Variation on Same Site

Why does the Google Adsense cpc or cost per click vary so much from day to day on the same site?

Keyword research is an essential part of building any website. If you are building a website with the intention of monetizing it using Google Adsense advertising, the CPC is a very important part of finding keywords that are likely to result in a reasonable return from the advertisements you place on your site.

But why do those clicks vary so much in value when visitors to your site find something of interest in an advertisement and click to find out more? It is not an easy question to answer but here are a few suggestions for why you may have noticed this phenomenon on your own site(s).

  • 1. If your Adsense account is set up to ‘allow interest based ads’, your site will not only be showing advertisements based on the content of your site, it will also be showing some ads which are personalised to the visitor viewing them and which are based on that visitor’s interests and recent web viewing history. So, for example if a visitor has just viewed a site on leather armchairs and your site is about curtains, instead of showing all advertisements based on types of curtains and blinds, you could find some that are relevant to anyone interested in leather armchairs – and of course, you will not see these, they will only be shown to the visitor for whom they are relevant.

    This can work for or against you. It is possible that the visitor has just viewed a site where the keywords cpc is worth a lot more than on your own site – or it could just as easily be the other way around. The question of whether or not you display interest based ads on your sites showing Adsense ads is difficult because you have to make the change globally, you cannot pick and choose sites that will show these interest based ads – it’s all or not at all!

  • 2. Another factor that can affect the cpc values you get is the geographic location of the visitor to your site as they may come from a country where there are no high paying advertisers.


  • 3. Another factor is ‘smart pricing’ which is something I need to do more research on but my initial findings seem to suggest that if your site is pretty new, Google needs to work out how valuable to its advertiser, a click on one of their adverts from a visitor to your site is likely to be. So, my understanding is that, if you send high quality visitors who are really looking to buy and are not just the web surfer equivalent of a ‘tire kicker’, Google is more likely to reward you with ads with a higher cpc. In a nutshell, it seems that the higher the conversions (or sales) from visitors coming via an advertisement placed on your site, the higher your earnings will be.


  • 4. The type and size of an advertisement and the position of a particular advertiser’s link on any given advertisement will also have an effect on the cpc. Generally, Google really help you out on this, advising you on the most popular sizes for advertisements to place on your site (as well as the position on the page to place them in) – it stands to reason that the more popular a size of ad is, the more likely that there will be advertisers in competition for a place on that ad. In addition, if your visitor chooses to visit the advertiser who has the number one spot on an advertisement, you will get a higher payment for that than if your visitor had clicked on an advertiser whose link is at the bottom of the ad.

Adsense Cost Per Click Variation over a two week period on a site

adsense cost per click

Of course, the cpc we get from the Google Adwords Keyword Tool is really only a guide to what Adsense publishers might expect to receive from adverts on their site targeting any given keyword phrase. Another useful tool that also gives an indication of the cost per click you might expect to get, it the Contextual Keyword Tool that Google supplies (also found under tools when you are logged into your Adwords account).

I hope that this article has gone some way to explaining the cost per click variation earned by Adsense publishers on sites displaying Adsense advertisements.

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WordPress Problems, Unable To Edit WordPress Post in Firefox

I recently found that I could not edit two of my wordpress sites in Firefox – but luckily, I found a very quick fix – here is what happened.

After the recent update to WordPress 3.2.1, I started having problems editing two of my sites in the latest version of Firefox. I could get into the edit post screen but I could not view the ‘Visual’ editing box, only the html, I could not add images and could not log out in the usual place in the drop-down menu at the top of the screen, only by going to view the site by clicking on the site name at the top of the editing screen and choosing logout from the wordpress menu bar that runs along the top of the screen.

Wordpress problems

Nothing I tried worked and I could not find an answer online but luckily, I was able to get this answer from a friend with more experience of wordpress.

“IT sounds to me like some CSS files may have been overwritten during the last WordPress upgrade….Can you try logging into you wp-admin from Firefox and then doing a ctrl + f5 refresh twice in a row to see if that clears it up?”

I followed these instructions for the first site. I found that all functionality in editing had been restored except I still could not view the ‘Visual’ editing pane. I repeated the ctrl + f5 and all was restored to normal. I repeated the procedure and found that this time, I could view the ‘Visual’ editing pane but it was displaying html, not text and images as it should. I repeated the ctrl + f5 and again, everything back to normal.

I hope that if you find yourself with this problem that this method will fix the problem for you too. Please note that this tip worked for me on my site but I take no responsibility for any problems that you might experience if you try the same tip on your own site.

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Use Google Webmaster Tools To Laser Target Your Backlinks

Google Webmaster Tools is an amazing resource for anyone serious about gaining page 1 rankings on Google.

This is how I target my backlinking, using the data provided by Google in the ‘Search Queries’ section of Webmaster Tools. In this article I am going to show you how, using Google Webmaster Tools to laser target backlinking campaigns, you can uncover high search volume keyword phrases you already have some ranking for (maybe already some on page 1!) and which it would be easy to boost your ranking for.

First of all, when you log into Google Webmaster Tools, on your dashboard for each of your sites, you will see a section titled Search Queries showing the keyword phrases with the largest number of impressions and the number of times your pages received a ‘click’ for those phrases. Beneath these top ones, is a link ‘more>’. If you click on this, you will see a complete listing for the past month.

The headings along the top are pretty self-explanatory:-
Query, Impressions, Change, Clicks, Change, CTR, Change, Avg. Position, Change

Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click the link that says ‘download this table
This downloads all the data as a csv file which you can open with an excel spreadsheet.

Now the fun begins, how to get those keyword phrases for your laser targeted backlinks!

First of all, open the spreadsheet and delete the top two lines which are not part of the data, so that you have those headings as your first row. The headings now become your column headings so first of all, do a ‘custom sort’ on the spreadsheet column ‘impressions’.

custom sortBecause there will be a large number of results with <10 (less than 10), you cannot sort this column from largest to smallest straight away, choose the A-Z sort and this will put all the <10 results at the bottom. Delete these rows from your spreadsheet by just selecting all the lower value ones and hitting the ‘delete’ button. Then redo the sort, this time the data in the column will be recognized as numerical data so you can sort largest to smallest – so you will have the keywords with the highest number of search queries at the top.

This gives you the keyword phrases that are getting the most searches – you need to decide which ones you are going to reject – I usually reject 500 or below (unless of course there are some in the 300-500 region which I know are great adsense earners!). Delete these rows from your spreadsheet by just selecting all the lower value ones and hitting the ‘delete’ button.

Now you have a much shorter list, with just the high search number keyword phrases. Now do another custom sort, this time, on ‘avg position’ column – this time, from low to high. This will give you the list of keywords in the order you are ranking for them. In other words, if you have any keywords that you are ranking #1 for, these will be at the top of the list.

sort avg position

Now I can decide which of these I want to use in my next backlinking campaign. In the example I have chosen those keyword phrases that I am already ranking in the top 20 for – a bit of a push should have all these on the front page and earning me some money.

keywords for campaign

You now need to establish exactly which page on your site is ranking for these keyword phrases, so for this, you can either key in each phrase to google, one at a time and check your ranking page (you will know roughly where to find it based on the average position from the google data. As an alternative, if you have Market Samurai, it is really easy to do a ranking check on your domain and add those keywords and find out exactly which url, each one is ranking on. Then just copy and paste the information into notepad and construct your resource boxes, or hyperlinks ready for inserting in your article marketing, blog comments or wherever or however you are building your links.

So there you have it, laser-targeted backlinks on keyword phrases that your site is easily going to get ranked on page 1 if not #1 for – the more keywords your site is ranking for, the better it does – stick at it!

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Google Adsense CPC Column Missing

This is just a very short post for anyone who, like me, went to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool (external) to do some keyword research and found that there was no longer an Adsense CPC column available. Previously when you made your column selections you had the option to display the Approximate CPC on the right hand side of the results.

There have evidently been some changes to the tool and you now need to log into your Google Adwords account to be able to see the CPC column which is very useful in keyword research as it does give an indication of the sort of return you are likely to get if you monetize your site with Google Adsense.

If you do not have an Adwords account, don’t worry it is free and easy to set one up and you do not need to pay any money into the account or use adwords advertising. However, it does give you the opportunity to make full use of the tool.

For example, when logged in, you do not need to solve a captcha before you start your research. When you do start your researching, you will find that many more keywords are returned. In addition to the facility to download keywords for reference, you also have the facility to ‘star’ keywords and these are saved in a list which you can access anytime you log into your account to do more research.

google keyword tool not logged in

This is what you will see on your screen if you are not logged into your Adwords account

How I Use The Google Keyword Tool For Research

keyword tool logged in column options

These are the column options you get when logged in to your Adwords Account - the Approximate CPC column is back again!

My favourite method of doing keyword research is to find a word or phrase I am interested in as a likely niche and after starting the search, changing the search type from ‘broad’ to ‘exact’, setting the country for ‘local’ searches (in my case this is usually to the USA).

Then, I use the advanced settings to show only local search volume greater than a specific number (for main page keywords, this should probably be set higher, around the > 1500 mark but for supporting posts where I am aiming for easy to rank for keywords and phrases, I often set this to as low as > 200. Then I set the average cpc in the advanced settings. In the UK, for main page keywords, I choose > £2 (about $3 in the US) and for supporting posts at >£1 or >£1.50. Continue reading

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Google Webmaster Tools, Queries, Impressions, Clicks

Google Webmaster Tools is a resource that I am only just beginning to get to grips with! I was asking a friend with a lot more online experience the other day about something that I was very confused about.

If you go to webmaster tools and from the menu on the left hand side, choose the ‘your site on the web’ option and then ‘search queries’ you get a choice of two pages, one for ‘top queries’ for the site the other for ‘top pages’(in terms of the number of visits). I was confused on the ‘top queries’ page because under the graph was a series of stats for ‘Queries’ ‘Impressions’ and ‘Clicks’. Please see the screenshot below to explain what I mean.

webmaster tools

I tried to find out online what these meant and only got more confused so, as I say, I asked my friend what these figures meant as it didn’t seem to have any relevance to the adsense earnings I have been getting from this site! On the image above, you can see that the figure for Queries is 1,705 and the number of Impressions is an impressive 75,000 – my friend explained that the Queries figure is the total number of search terms relevant to my site were keyed into the Google search engine.

The number of impressions is the number of times my site showed up somewhere in the results – which sounds great until we get to the Clicks statistic which is showing 1,300! This figure represents the number that someone clicked through to my site because one of my pages showed up high enough in the rankings for them to be able to find it!

Two things about this, first of all, I am pretty pleased that a site I started only a few months ago with not very much online experience is getting this number of visitors in a month from Google (of course there are also other visitors from elsewhere, other search engines, referred traffic from links elsewhere on the web and so on). Secondly, the 75,000 searches that my site was relevant to, shows me the potential there is for growth in my traffic if I keep at it and keep increasing the number of search terms the site is ranking for.

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