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Selecing the Ads?
Andrew Thomas




msg:1345607
 9:51 am on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Is there any way of selecting the type of ads to be displayed.

For example my site sells red widgets. The adsense on my site is also advertising my direct competitors "red widgets".

Is there any way keep to adverise slighty different products which are not direct competition: IE Insurance for red widgets?

Or is its Google adsense team who select the ads?

My site is an ecommerce site.

 

21_blue




msg:1345608
 10:51 am on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

You can't directly select the type of ads, but you can use the competitive ad filter to stop competitor sites displaying ads on your site (the option is under 'adsense for content')

Note, however, that banning sites (and any other action limiting ads) will reduce your adsense income because you are reducing competition in the auction.

You could also try ad section targetting to get Adsense to ignore references on your pages to your product area and focus on related topics - I'm not sure if this would have the desired effect, though.

Finally, would banning the sites really help your mainstream business? The shopping centre argument is that by putting competitors together you attract many more visitors to that location, and each 'shop' gets more customers. By having an ad-based portal including competitors, might it enhance the standing of your site?

Andrew Thomas




msg:1345609
 3:27 pm on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks for your help.

To be honest, the site is very new (3 weeks old) so im not in Google yet. But for MSN im ranking ok.

Ive made just over $2.50 with adsense in the past two weeks, but no actual orders.

That is why i was wondering if users are just clicking straight off my site.

I know i have more work to do, & a lot more products to add. But i need to weigh up the advantages of keeping adsense on their, as im not sure if this is the reason i have no orders as yet?

david_uk




msg:1345610
 9:47 pm on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

Note, however, that banning sites (and any other action limiting ads) will reduce your adsense income because you are reducing competition in the auction.

Er - no, it won't. It MAY adversly affect earnings, but it MAY ALSO increase earnings.

About 3 months ago I started to banish all made for adsense (MFA) sites - scrapers, directories and general MFA junk. CTR went down by nearly 2/3, but epc jumped upwards by a similar factor and I was no worse off. That started a positive cycle, and smart pricing now values my clicks much better. Overall, I'm now earning nearly 6 times as much per click as I was on the day I decided to boot the junk.

I have to say that you can go too far with blocking. I never boot competitors, and I only boot ads that are REALLY way off target.

You may not know how the ad placement bot works. It goes on data of how an ad performs generally on the network, and not how it, or other ads have performed on your site historically. The algorythm figures that an ad that has a ctr of 10% but earnings per click of 5c is more likely (in the bot's opinion) to work on your site than an ad that pays 49c but has a ctr of 1%.

Bear in mind that the algorythm is looking at how ads perform ELSEWHERE. It may be that the ad that gets a 1% ctr on the rest of the network will do very well on your site because it's bang on topic. But the algorythm isn't going to take that into account.

My site is very tightly focussed, and the REALLY big beef I have with Google is that their daft algorythm is continually removing ads that are bang on target from real advertisers selling goods and services directly to my niche, and replacing them with scrapers and other MFA junk. Just blocked two more!

You may find that they are putting scrapers on your site too. The targetting bot really isn't that bright.

I personally would be very careful with blocking. You have to assess any changes you make carefully. IF you do try it, be aware that it may indeed work against you. Smart pricing (AKA Random Pricing(TM)) seems to hate change. If you block sites, block them over time so as not to cause dramatic changes to ctr that may give Random Pricing(TM) a fit of the vapours. That way you can measure any changes, and hopefully Random Pricing(TM) will not have too much of a wobbly. It took about 2-3 weeks before Random Pricing(TM) recovered after I started blocking, but since then it's been very positive.

21_blue




msg:1345611
 11:33 pm on Oct 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

david_uk wrote:
>(Re banning sites reducing earnings)
>It MAY adversly affect earnings, but it MAY ALSO increase earnings.
>About 3 months ago I started to banish all made for adsense (MFA) sites...
>I was no worse off. That started a positive cycle

You have a point, because we don't know how publishers are paid. What I should have said was that banning sites will "probably" reduce earnings, rather than "will".

I recognise that smart pricing can confuse the picture (in some unknown way) but your experience in the last three months may have been due to other factors rather than just the banning of sites. There have been a few people reporting a recent 'positive cycle', and I've posted about it myself: our earnings started climbing a couple of months ago (and still are) and some of the EPC seem to have gone through the roof. Yet we hadn't done anything to our site.

Also, banning *competitors* is different to banning scraper sites, so I still think that banning competitors is likely to reduce earnings because it reduces auction-room competition.

However, if the site is only earning $2.50 I really wonder whether Adsense is worth it at all - it depends on the value of the ecommerce business that might be being lost as a result.

To finish on a positive note, david_uk, I think we are agreed that you have to be "careful" when blocking ads. The only problem now is working out what "careful" actually means! If you find out, with some certainty, let me know! :-)

david_uk




msg:1345612
 7:13 am on Oct 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

You have a point, because we don't know how publishers are paid. What I should have said was that banning sites will "probably" reduce earnings, rather than "will".

I recognise that smart pricing can confuse the picture (in some unknown way) but your experience in the last three months may have been due to other factors rather than just the banning of sites. There have been a few people reporting a recent 'positive cycle', and I've posted about it myself: our earnings started climbing a couple of months ago (and still are) and some of the EPC seem to have gone through the roof. Yet we hadn't done anything to our site.

Also, banning *competitors* is different to banning scraper sites, so I still think that banning competitors is likely to reduce earnings because it reduces auction-room competition.

To finish on a positive note, david_uk, I think we are agreed that you have to be "careful" when blocking ads. The only problem now is working out what "careful" actually means! If you find out, with some certainty, let me know! :-)

I didn't mean to be negative:) I'm trying to point out that blocking can be effective, and in one thread on this topic, Adsense Advisor confirmed that if you have some effective method of ascertaining and measuring how blocking is affecting your statistics, then in Google's eyes blocking sites is perfectly legitimate use of the competitive ad filter. And I also agree that if a site is only earning a couple of dollars and showing no sign of improving, then it's hardly worth having Adsense on it at all.

I agree that banning competitors is likely to cause a fall in earnings. I did say in my earlier post that you can go too far, and in my experience blocking competitors WAS going too far. Unblocking them optimised the earnings again.

My personal rule (deffiniton of "careful" maybe) is that MFA sites are unlikely to be good payers, and are not an asset to my site. Advertisers that are offering goods and services are more likely to be good payers, and as long as they aren't REALLY badly targetted they can stay. I usually find the lesser targetted ads appearing at slack times of day anyway.

I have considered that my increase in earnings may be due to a positive cycle, and / or changes I or Google have made. In the time I've been blocking MFA sites google has introduced the optimised ads, and they no doubt will have been constantly fiddling with the Random Pricing(TM) algorythm, and yes - they are bound to have had an effect. However, it's interesting to note that on the graph of earnings and epc, both start to show a very positive, and sustained increase from the date I started banning. I'm now earning nearly double the total for the month banning started.

I can't state that banning is the only reason my income has doubled - but I suspect it's rather a big part of it. One factor I forgot to mention is that my site traffic is up - mainly due to repeat visitors. I've not changed the site an any way to make visitors come back again - I have been steadily adding content as we all do. I have a theory that having quality advertisers on the site reflects well on the site, and visitors are more likely to come back after visiting an advertiser. If they visit a scraper with back button disabled they obviously aren't meant to. I KNOW disabling the back button is against Google TOS, BUT it's a fairly common practice and Google seem to be doing diddly-squat to remove such sites.

I think I'm on a positive cycle, but the positive cycle is partly of my making. Having quality ads is an asset to the site, having an increase of repeat visitors is good, and all of this feeds round to Random Pricing(tm) valuing the clicks higher - in addition to whatever random influences are affecting the cycle.

Put it this way, I'm not going to allow the MFA's back just to prove a point :)

jaynl




msg:1345613
 8:59 am on Oct 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hi David,

I'm following the exact same strategy. I'm blocking all MFA sites, for the same reasons.

However, I'm almost reaching the limit of 200 domains that can be blocked. Especially while running a lot of sites with different topics, 200 is not enough for the long run.

Another important measure I take is blocking all unknown spidering bots that feed the MFA sites (and also spammers).

This is done in Apache and is mainly based on User-Agent (215 entries) and on the firewall (pf with dynamic blocking list, 1455 entries, varying from single /32's to complete /15's from cheap hosting companies where lots MFA sites are hosted, sigh).

The pf badhosts file currently contains:

2x /15 networks
2x /16
5x /17
5x /18
6x /19
2x /20
44x /24
4x /25
1x /26
3x /27
2x /28
3x /29
6x /30
19x /31
1351x /32 hosts

Furthermore I've added unique md5-hashes to all websites. These hashes can easily be tracked with Google Alerts (http://www.google.com/alerts). It's easy to find part of the MFA sites using your content.

More innovative ideas are always welcome!

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