Unfortunately for some the reality of the real CPC is only experienced after they have done all the hard work of developing, optimizing and promoting their site. It can be extremely disappointing when you expect to receive $5 clicks and all you get is a measly $0.20.
But Google has a tool that can help you judge more precisely what you can earn for a click on an ad on your site.
Typically, people type in a keyword in the keyword tool and they then determine the approximate earnings for that particular keyword from the approximate CPC that is given. This process can be seeing below:
The tool actually provides the suggested bid for a keyword or keyword group, and that bid is specifically for ads that are displayed on the content network i.e. your website. See screenshot below:
As you can see from the screenshot above I typed in the same keyword that I used in the previous screenshot (insurance quotes online). This tool then provides a suggested bid for that keyword and related keywords.
The suggested bid in this example is $3.05... WTH! That is a huge difference from the $47.54 that the standard keyword tool provided. In reality: if you target the keyword "insurance quotes online" as an adsense publisher you can expect 68% of the $3.05 as your highest EPC. Of course some advertisers will bid less and others may bid more and that will cause a fluctuation in the CPC. Competitive factors play an extensive role in determining your actual EPC.
The "Contextual Targeting Tool" is a fantastic mechanism for you to check the REAL CPC for a specific keyword, and it can help you assess your potential earnings with a greater level of precision.
This is a great tool guys, and it can really help us make a more informed decision when researching adsense targeted keywords.
Keep in mind: not everything is black and white in the adsense world... there are various factors that influence your earnings. Here is a video to help you understand why there are fluctuations in your adsense earnings....