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Google AdSense Forum

How to Deal with Poison Words
Low EPC words that displace high earning ads

 2:34 pm on Nov 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Marcia made a comment in another thread that seems, to me, to be worthy of a discussion in its own right:
>I've found there are what I call "poison words"

I have found this as well - not "poison words" in terms of affecting ranking, but words that encourage ads to prevade a whole site and displace much higher earning ads.

However, I don't think you need to remove ads from those pages permanently.

The pervasiveness of these poison words seems to me to be due to a naturally high CTR. Ads containing these words create a natural urge for the reader to click them, and perhaps even have a high conversion. This results in a naturally low EPC but high CTR for related ads. In view of their success on some pages, the Adsense bots try them on other pages where they again get a high degree of 'success'.

The best tactic I've found is:

  1. to remove them and ban advertisers in the short term (so that the rest of the site "recovers"),
  2. then to unblock advertisers and return ads to those pages, but place them well out of the hot spots so they get a low CTR
  3. monitor their CTR and make sure they remain well below the other more valuable topics you have on your site (if they start getting close, move the ads further away from the hot zones).

This way, you still derive some income from those topics without affecting the rest of the site.



 2:38 pm on Nov 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

How about using section targeting to ignore those specific words? Works for me.


 3:12 pm on Nov 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

LeChuck wrote:
>How about using section targeting to ignore those specific words?

That's a good idea, as a third alternative (to Marcia's ad removal and the more involved tactics I described).

I'm wondering if section targetting would work in our particular circumstance, though: we want some pages to have ads that are based on those poison words, but we don't want those ads to spread to other pages. That is, the words only become 'poison' when they start to appear on other pages.

It is my perception that ads will spread to other pages at the same site (or sometimes even to other sites within the same Adsense account) even when the keyword doesn't appear on that page. I may be wrong, though, in that the keyword does have to appear somewhere on those other pages, in which case section targetting would work.


 4:27 pm on Nov 20, 2005 (gmt 0)

Put those pages on a subdomain so that the mediabot sees it as a separate site?


 6:11 am on Nov 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

There seems to be default (or something) that occasionaly comes into play. I'm not sure I understand the mechanism, but here's how it affects my pages.

When I first began offering AdSense, the pages I used it on were western-cowboy related topics. Later, as I expanded, additional topics became very diverse: fishing, hospitals, etc. The point is that they had no relationship to "cowboys".

Whenever the ad inventory runs low, or AdSense just hiccups, I get cowboy ads everywhere.

Its not a big problem, doesn't last long.


 6:49 am on Nov 21, 2005 (gmt 0)

as well as section targeting they also have ignore tags to put where you do not want media bot to consider certain blocks of text for ads.

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