Google launched a new Adsense feature called the publisher scorecard a couple of weeks back. While the tool is a welcome addition for Adsense publishers who need a quick way to check on their site's performance, it does not provide the most insightful analysis and lacks in terms of giving you a real understanding of where your site stands relative to your competition. This is really ironic considering the fact that they made the publisher scorecard specifically to address the need for “benchmarking information on how your site is performing relative to the sites of other AdSense publishers.”
I have written on the issue of the Adsense scorecard not being able to deliver as a benchmarking tool, but acts as a mere checklist for industry best practices – and I stand by that. In fact, the more you use (or do not use) the publisher scorecard, the more you'll realize how crippled it is as a benchmarking tool.
Benchmarking tools are supposed to help you compare your site against industry standards, or in this case, your competition. But with the Adsense publisher scorecard comparing you with ALL other Adsense publishers, the information is useless, or worse can be misleading, since what you really need to know is how your site performs relative to websites in your niche. You do not need to compete with all Adsense publishers, only those that have sites showing the same ads that you do! Since this is not the case with this tool, then the conclusions you draw and the steps you take to remedy them might end up more detrimental to your site than what you're doing right now. As I've said before, each niche market is different and each site as well, so you need more personalized and detailed data to be able to draw a more accurate picture of your site's over all performance.
Despite many misgivings on the publisher scorecard, dismissing what this tool has to offer is not a wise move. It DOES make for a good checklist of industry best practice as I've mentioned above. So make use of the info you get and make sure to remedy any important issues (e.g. crawling errors) as soon as the scorecard warns you. However, you still need to figure out the strategy and ad format that works best for each of the blogs you maintain and accounts you manage. And no matter what the scorecard might tell you, it's still the amount of money you make on the ads that will tell whether you're on the right track or not.
Ankit Oberoi is co-founder of Ad Pushup, an ad revenue optimization tool. It lets webmasters and publishers optimize ad revenue from their websites by continuous A/B testing and machine learning based optimization.