It is really sad to know that the online market was finally hit by the US crisis. It seems that most online shoppers are getting really careful with their purchases which can be noted by the increased search volumes for cheaper online goods, but in the same time increasing the average advertising costs which lower the average Cost Per Conversion price for merchants. In the same time the advertiser budget is getting smaller and smaller since everybody tries to tie up loose ends and therefore we get lower average CPC values.
This is actually not new, but now we can feel its climax as AdSense revenue is lowered to about half and even less than what we used to get year ago while traffic increased with the same percentage. The average CPC is now about a quarter of what it used to be and is getting lower with every month. This is really unfortunate and its effect is shown in Affiliate Marketers as well (note that in order to give affiliate percentage the price is a bit higher then the cheapest market prices which turns people to smaller cheaper merchants who advertise themselves using cheaper advertising options such as Search Engine Optimization. We can clearly see that nowadays the online market is a bit more professional and small AdSense Publishers are suffering.
The really bad part is that there is no light at the end of the tunnel as more and more companies cut resources. We hear all day of large market losses and employment crisis. I just hope that the government will do something quicky and gets us out of this miserable situation.