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This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >     
Ads gone wild?!?!
Ads from Google seem to have gone nut, and have NO relevancy to my content!
diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 4:45 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Okay... I noticed that yesterday, the ads placed on my home page have
NOTHING to do with my content. It has been perfectly fine for a long
time. I've been with AdSense for years.

<snip>

The ads should be about pets, reptiles, bearded dragons, or related
stuff. But I'm college educational programs, UCSD banner ads (nice to
see my alma mater, but not relevant), Jet Blue, AAA, Chicago Equity.

#*$!? Has Google AdSense lost it's mind?

The only significant change to the content of that page was an
addition of an article summary about a pet shop burning down.

Consequently, I've seen the performance of the Google ads on that page
drop massively. Note, that if you click it and you see a non-Google
ad, I do rotate time slices for different ad sources.

Is anyone else seeing this? I've sent a support message to them, but I find that takes a while for a response sometimes. *sigh*

-Alex

[edited by: martinibuster at 6:14 pm (utc) on April 4, 2007]
[edit reason] Removed URL. [/edit]

 

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 6:17 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Site reviews aren't allowed on WebmasterWorld but I'm going to make an exception in your case.

Your pages are more about animal abuse, businesses burning down, deaths, and theft than they are about lizards. Take a good hard look at your home page.

The best targeting on your site was on the product review page. Of course, that page wasn't held back by citations of deaths, thefts, fires, etc.

It's not Google's fault. It's your content that's triggering what you consider off-topic ads. If you want to see targeted ads then you may want to consider ditching the news stories about lizard tragedies and switch to reviewing lizard stores and products.

Good luck!
;)

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 6:30 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Ahh... sorry. I wasn't necessarily asking for a "review" as much as if anyone else was experiencing this issue. There is no mention of the page on AdSense's Site Diagnostics, which I would expect, if they're flagging it for inappropriate content. Nor have I received any email warning about it.

Yes, those topics are varying (fires, theft, etc.), but they're ALL about reptiles. If that is Google's issue, then they seriously need to rethink how they decide to filter things. I mean, a site with a particular focus does overlap with other things.

Well, hopefully I will hear back from Google. What it most odd though is that the ads they ARE showing, are all over the place. I see little to NO consistency in the chosen ads.

-Alex

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 6:39 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Oh, and the page isn't about reviews of lizard products. It's intended to be a page that summarizes stories/announcements of interest to my visitors. It's a shame that the underlying content topic (consistent throughout) is not detected.

Maybe I'll just have to deal with the limitations of Google's detection, move the articles of interest to another page, and focus the home page more. I mean, it seems rather ridiculous that one would be required to limit so narrowly what types of topics regarding the primary topic needs to be present. To say that a site has to limit itself to what Google deems related to my primary content, and that it is MY fault (as opposed to the failed detection of Google) is a bit silly, don't you think? Everything on that page is about a particular reptile. And those article summaries have mostly been up (except for that last one) for weeks/months.

Oh well... we'll see what Google has to say about it.

-Alex

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 6:44 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Oh, and the page isn't about reviews of lizard products.

The directory says, yoursite.com/reviews/ and has a title of Reptile Product Reviews. Makes sense to you now?

FWIW, on the home page I see ads about police careers. That's pretty relevant on a page that essentially is about crime.

The care of lizards section is all spot-on, couldn't be more targeted.

On your promotional page it mentions local laws and regulations, and I think that is what is triggering at least one ad about real estate, which makes sense if you think about it.

Imo, you need to examine your pages and deduce what is triggering off-topic ads. On your home page especially, you have alternate themes (crime, tragedies, etc) that are interfering with what you may think your page is about. Your page is about a lot more than you are realizing.

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 6:53 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

True, I do not deny that. But throughout ALL of that, is a consistent use of words like reptiles, dragons, bearded dragons, etc... intermixed with the various topics surrounding that. My point being that it seems more an indication of a flaw in the detection algorithm than it is with the content. It seems silly that a flawed algorithm should be was is deemed "correct".

I understand that in order to "work their system" I have to manipulate the content. And what's worse is their flaw limits what things I CAN talk about regarding my topic. As I said, ALL of that is about one thing. They simply do not seem to be able to pick that out.

But some of it, is totally NOT related... An ad for UCSD and other college education programs, employment screening, 1-800 mattress, hair academy, church volunteers? ALl that because I mentioned a pet shop burned down? Jeeze! The "world according to Google" is a strange place.

I will be reworking it. But I do not accept that the fault is that of the content, since from a HUMAN perspective, the content is relevant and correct. The fault is the limitation of the computer algorithms used to determine what my page is about. Do I think it would be easy to improve? No, probably not. I am a software engineer (have been for 12-13 years now), so I understand the limitations. But I wouldn't go so far as to say that if a computer crashes because someone managed to click the wrong sequence of buttons, that that was user error. The system is falwed because it is not capable of keeping up with reality. THAT is the truth of teh situation, it seems.

-Alex

jatar_k

WebmasterWorld Administrator jatar_k us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 7:02 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

you might want to look at the weighting though

as an example
if only 5% of your words relate to your chosen topic but you have larger percentages that relate to other topics, then your content really isn't about your chosen topic.

I would suggest entertaining the idea that martinibuster is suggesting. If there is possibly an issue with your content then it would be in your best interest to make some tweaks to help your ad targetting.

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 7:06 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think I'd learn how to properly feed the spiders before claiming they have Alzheimer's.

I caught the URL before it was removed and didn't comment because martini was dead on with his remarks. Your page has a mixed message about stuff being stolen and lost so I'm seeing ads for security systems and all sorts of other things.

AdSense isn't really semantic, it weighs the ads based on the most relevant words and when your lead article is about FIRE or THEFT, it kicks off those ads. Not only that, you don't even tell the spider which is a heading <h*> or which is text, it's all just scattered about in div tags which mean nothing regarding the weight of the content.

Of course I don't know what I'm talking about since I only have 40K+ pages with the most targeted ads you'll ever see.

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 7:52 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

True, I do not refute that the page has words relating to other content. But it ALL relates to reptiles. In any mention or word (like "fire") there is an accompanying "reptile" related word.

My point about where the fault lies is valid. The website is developed for PEOPLE. To decide what content is and is not allowed surrounding the primary topic, as opposed to what people would perceive, is a flaw in the algorithm to accurately detect relevancy as PEOPLE perceive it. What you guys are saying is that it is "correct" to stray from keeping content oriented towards people to better suit a computer algorithm.

I know someone who had a site called "Something Exotic Pets". Google banned them from having ads because of the word "exotic" used on their site. "Exotic pet" is a valid and standard term and has nothing to do with mature/adult content. But the people at Google just stuck to their guns that the site was "inappropriate". It's the same basic flaw... failing to properly recognize REALITY as humans (ie. the people website are SUPPOSED to be designed for) see it.

Here's a thought for improvement... when in doubt, or a page seems ambiguous, look to the META data. The tags for the page attempt to try and offer additional assistance in determining the correct topic. I know that it can't be used for primary purposes, but I would think that in cases where the algorithm is seeing lots of ambiguity, it would look to see what the SITE says it is about.

So... yes, I do stand by my statement that I think the algorithm is flawed in that respect. To think otherwise is to say that human perception is what is flawed. Looking at the site, it is highly relevant to people reading it. And it provides information on the reptile related topics people reading it care about. This was the idea that Google was originally seeking (targeted content). I think a little perspective about what is "right" and "wrong" in regards to interpretation of content is needed. If the algorithm is out of line with what people think/need/want, then IT is what is flawed. The algorithm exists to properly interpret data as would be understood by people (relevancy to what people are looking for). It is VERY good at what it does, I don't doubt that. But it IS flawed in many circumstances. And to deny that is to say we should just be quiet and do what the machine tells us to do because it knows better. Sounds just a bit too Matrix-like to me.

-Alex

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 7:59 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Oh, also to note, this JUST started to happen. The only thing that changed somewhat recently was the article intro about the fire at the reptile petshop.

-Alex

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 8:03 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

The only thing that changed somewhat recently was the article intro about the fire...

Can't possibly be a connection, that's too far fetched for me to believe. ;)

incrediBILL

WebmasterWorld Administrator incredibill us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 8:12 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I did have one instance where AdSense went bonkers for a couple of days, nothing on the site changed at all so I new it wasn't anything I had done, so I wrote to support and they fixed it.

Try that, worse case they'll tell you it's your content ;)

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 8:12 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Martini: I have said this 2-3 times now. I do not doubt I need to alter my content based on what you said.

My only point of debate/disagreement is the perspective that the algorithm is "correct" and that content is flawed. I acknowledge that that article is likely the cause to trigger misinterpretation of the page by the algorithm. I did so a while back on this thread.

What I find interesting/odd, is that everyone seems to assume the algorithm is the definition of what is "right". And that the world should be shaped in its image and what it deems relevant. I think that is a rather warped perspective. I can see that as the case, if the goal was to manipulate things to serve monetary value as the #1 priority. But for sites actually putting its visitors as the priority (which is kind of the idea of quality content), it seems that an algorithm that
"punishes" (due to misinterpreting the ultimate content topic) for providing people what they want on a certain topic is where the fault lies.

I understand the fact that there are limitations. And that a site will have to manipulate things to accomomdate that. But again... the FAULT lies in an incorrect representation of what PEOPLE perceive as relevant to their primary topic. That really is my only remaining point of debate. Not that I will ultimately have to make the changes to work around the flaw. But it is a work-around, not a correction. It's very much akin to my analogy of the computer user and the computer crashing. The work-around would be for the user to not click those sequences of buttons. But the flaw is still in the software that caused the crash.

martinibuster

WebmasterWorld Administrator martinibuster us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 8:17 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

What I find interesting/odd, is that everyone seems to assume the algorithm is the definition of what is "right".

That's not the assumption at all. You asked why nutty ads are showing and we told you why, and in excruciating detail. That's it, nothing further.

Why you insist that we are defending the algo is beyond me.

and that content is flawed.

It's not that your content is flawed. It's that your content has multiple themes. No one said there was a flaw in your content. It just has multiple themes.

However, as Bill pointed out, your code is flawed because you're not adhering to proper coding standards in terms of identifying a hierarchy of subject matter in your content. I ran your home page through the w3C validator and requested an outline of what your page is about. This is what I got:

Below is an outline for this document, automatically generated from the heading tags (<h1> through <h6>.)

If this does not look like a real outline, it is likely that the heading tags are not being used properly.

No outline.

jimbeetle

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jimbeetle us a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 8:37 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I happened to catch the URL earlier also and the words "died in a fire" leapt out. I'm actually kind of surprised that paying ads showed at all.

The AdSense bot is actually pretty dumb; you have to keep in mind that it's just reading and matching strings -- not interpreting them. It knows that the page is about the string "lizards" -- just not what a lizard is. Sometimes there are things about AdSense we have to -- and can -- work around, other things we just have to live with.

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 8:43 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I did have one instance where AdSense went bonkers for a couple of days, nothing on the site changed at all so I new it wasn't anything I had done, so I wrote to support and they fixed it.

Try that, worse case they'll tell you it's your content ;)

Thanks. I've sent their support a message, so we shall see what they say. As I said, I know I'll likely have to adjust content, which will probably make me rethink the main purpose of the home page's content, unfortunately. It would just be nice if the algorithm was better at identifying the overall topic of a page. I develop my site with the visitors in mind, and not with a primary focus on getting the most our of AdSense. It's just having the completely off the wall ads (some, I just don't see ANY relation to, like Hair Professional Academy) that drive me nuts. The goal for me is to have additional revenue to pay for the site's costs, not for manipulating the site just for the ad optimization.

-Alex

atreides9999

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 11:25 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have cases where adsense went crazy. It fixed itself within a day or so.

It's also worth noting that the targetting seems to tighten up over time. I have noticed that after time, your ads take on the feel of the overall site topic, rather than individual pages.

I imagine that these off topic ads will naturally filter away, as the algos notice that they simply don't convert. With all those software gurus at google, I can't imagine they havn't sorted this one out. This is why I think targetting improves over time. I have seen a glitch on my site, seemed like all the data was reset, and targetting re-tuned itself before long.

My advice is don't panic. But keep an eye on your keyword balance as someone else suggested.

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 11:40 pm on Apr 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have cases where adsense went crazy. It fixed itself within a day or so.
Yeah, I've seen minor screwiness before, but never had something this off the wall.

It's also worth noting that the targetting seems to tighten up over time. I have noticed that after time, your ads take on the feel of the overall site topic, rather than individual pages.
Yes, I got the same feeling. This site's been with Adsense since 2003. I noticed that new pages seem to almost immediately assume the general "topic" of the site.

I imagine that these off topic ads will naturally filter away, as the algos notice that they simply don't convert. With all those software gurus at google, I can't imagine they havn't sorted this one out. This is why I think targetting improves over time. I have seen a glitch on my site, seemed like all the data was reset, and targetting re-tuned itself before long.
That's a good point. It may readjust when (hopefully not "if") it the drop in performance is detected.

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 4:14 am on Apr 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Well, I'm guessing that either Google did something or it fixed itself. A little while before I got an email from their support about "taking a screen shot if it happens again", it had started working. I'm not sure if they did something to influence, but all my usually sets of ads are showing up again. *shrug*

One thing, though.. I'm not working on at least using header tags more (h1, h2, etc). I dunno how much Google's methods care about that, as opposed to textual content... but it can't hurt.

atreides9999

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 7:03 am on Apr 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

One thing, though.. I'm not working on at least using header tags more (h1, h2, etc). I dunno how much Google's methods care about that, as opposed to textual content... but it can't hurt.

It can't hurt. It's good practice anyways. I imagine it's more informative to a computer anyways.

For that matter, I think it's worth Running you pages through a HTML validator, just to make sure googlebot sees them as you do. (If your using the Opera browser, just write click and click 'validate'). (Although I don't think google cares too much about good html, but again its good practice).

Also, Keep a good eye on the title and description tags of your page, to help keep targetting ok.

Glad to hear all is back in order. I've seen it happen, and it always corrects. I normally wait a good weeek before contacting google.

I wouldn't be surprised if this is also caused by google bringing servers on and offline. If you are refered to a back-up server for ads, the server may not have up-to-date information about your pages. (Again something that will correct itself.)

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 7:09 am on Apr 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yeah... most of the HTML is relatively correct. I've been planning to go through the pages and correct the things that are found. Largely, it's a lot of where I tend to make all the HTML XML compliant (closing all tags, etc.). Thanks. I already have my meta tags and title and descriptions and such optimized on most pages (focusing on the more popular ones). For the most part, ads have been very well targeted. They just kinda wigged out today (and yesterday). *shrug*

joelgreen

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 10:37 am on Apr 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

You could also use these tags to improve ads targeting
https://www.google.com/adsense/support/bin/answer.py?answer=23168

diverman

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 2:26 pm on Apr 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I remember reading that a little while back, but ended up forgetting to go back to it. Very much appreciated.

-Alex

racerman28

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 11:03 pm on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)


System: The following 6 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adsense/3305873.htm [webmasterworld.com] by martinibuster - 8:05 pm on April 8, 2007 (utc -8)


Hi All,

Just in the last 3 days, my Adsense ads have gone completely off my sites theme but only on the homepage, and as a result my earnings have plummeted.

I haven't done anything and i've never encountered this before.

Is there anything i can do?

Any help would be appreciated!

Kenneth

Januuski



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 11:35 pm on Apr 8, 2007 (gmt 0)

Targeted ads perhaps? Maybe you are "lucky" and your website is being targeted by some cheap suckers.

racerman28

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 1:08 am on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Is that possible? Because this is the first time in 3 years that this is happened. Normally, the ads are targeted to auto racing because it's a NASCAR news site.

?

Januuski



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 1:47 am on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Check and compare your stats. Check how many site target impressions you have.

At the same time AdSense ads are lately way off for me and many others too. I even emailed my rep a screen shot where 10 out of 12 ads was nowhere near my niche. She got no answer for that. I have local US website and even some stupid Italian ads were being displayed. Go figure.

Scurramunga

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 2:23 am on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've been suffering from the same problem from time to time. Still can't figure out why a page that's been well targeted for months suddenly becomes a problem. Last time I emailed google I received some canned response about how I should place these ads into my (already full) filter. LOL

[edited by: Scurramunga at 2:24 am (utc) on April 9, 2007]

europeforvisitors



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 3:40 am on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've had similar problems on my home page, but only from time to time.

The solution is to (1) wait for the next ad-matching tweak, which should fix the problem, or (2) take the AdSense code off the home page.

I opted for the second approach. If you depend on your home page for the bulk of your traffic, you might want to consider building up your "inside pages" to spread your risk around and expand your revenue opportunities.

traveldude

5+ Year Member



 
Msg#: 3302302 posted 6:06 pm on Apr 9, 2007 (gmt 0)

Have you tried adding Google hints to the code?

This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31 ( [1] 2 > >
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