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Problems with Competitive Ad Filter
loner




msg:3808502
 12:05 pm on Dec 16, 2008 (gmt 0)

I'm having problems with ads being displayed by advertisers that have been listed in my ad filter for months. I use the preview tool to list the URLs and paste them in there and it comes up with a duplicate warning. Anyway of actually getting rid of these advertisers?

 

Lame_Wolf




msg:3828332
 7:49 am on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

1. Google's Preview Tool which doesn't catch everything.

It did, but now allowing big-boy sites through. We are talking about sites that were once blocked now appearing.

2. Right click on an adblock, select view source and search for "adurl". The real URL is found right after that and can be stripped down to just example.com for the filter.

Been there. Done that. Got the T shirt (fits well too :)) Doesn't explain why ebay.com shopping.com etc are still showing. These are not redirected URL's.

[edited by: Lame_Wolf at 7:50 am (utc) on Jan. 17, 2009]

signor_john




msg:3828443
 3:08 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Could it be that they are exempt from being filtered?

I'd guess it might be related to what Maximillianos suggested: site-targeted CPM ads. The filter predates such ads, after all.

The economy could be a factor, too. CPM ads are supposed to be displayed only if better-paying contextual ads aren't available, and in today's economy, there may be more opportunities for lower-paying CPM ads to show up on sites that weren't getting many such ads in the past.

fearlessrick




msg:3828541
 7:40 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well, now I know why my ecpm cratered about 5 days ago.

Filling up the ad filter, but don't know if it will work.

fearlessrick




msg:3828572
 8:30 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

Here's a hint, guys and gals. I empty my ad filter after about 4 weeks of acceptable results. Save them to a text file and reload as needed, add more, rinse, repeat, ahhhhh!

Lame_Wolf




msg:3828606
 9:04 pm on Jan 17, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'd guess it might be related to what Maximillianos suggested: site-targeted CPM ads. The filter predates such ads, after all.

How do you then explain how sites that USED to be in the filter - and WERE filtered out - now appearing ?

Also, ebay does not site target my site.
Why is it just the big boys ? Small sites predates such filters, afterall.

signor_john




msg:3828671
 12:02 am on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

How do you then explain how sites that USED to be in the filter - and WERE filtered out - now appearing ?

Were those blocked-and-now-visible domains running CPM ads when you blocked them previously?

Also, is it possible that massive corporate ad buys are coming from a different source or system that feeds into the distribution mechanism after the filter stage? That's certainly possible, if only for logistical reasons.

We can only speculate on the reasons why the filter isn't working with some advertisers, but let's go back to something else that Maximillianos said: His business has had "pretty much zero" problems with ad targeting after having site-targeted ads disabled. If the problem persists and you can't live with it, following Maximillianos's solution might be a workaround worth trying.

Atomic




msg:3828681
 1:26 am on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Sites I had blocked began using ad servers and alternate landing pages to funnel traffic to them.

One example is Commission Junction. One blocked advertiser started using CJ links. I blocked each one evey time their ad reappeared. Then they started using ad servers to obfuscate things. I blocked several of those, too. This example is for a well-known product.

signor_john




msg:3828728
 3:39 am on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Sites I had blocked began using ad servers and alternate landing pages to funnel traffic to them.

Makes sense. After all, the competitive ad filter is a simple domain filter. Maybe there isn't a practical solution, short of disabling CPM ads.

Scurramunga




msg:3828759
 7:26 am on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Makes sense. After all, the competitive ad filter is a simple domain filter.

Makes a strong case for a better filter that will allow publishers to block not just by domain name or ip - but also by keywords and advertiser.

zett




msg:3828891
 2:33 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

what method are you using to determine the destination URLs you're adding to your filter?

Preview Tool. The domain and tld part that shows up first, e.g. if the preview tool shows http://www.example.com/blah/?1234567 then I'm blocking example.com - for the big wigs it just does not work. They appear to be immune to filtering.

zett




msg:3828893
 2:40 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'd guess it might be related to what Maximillianos suggested: site-targeted CPM ads.

Site targetting turned off. Long time ago.

The economy could be a factor, too.

Sure. If Google needs real-estate for low-paying ads, they might not care about the filter for some advertisers. The pressure from these guys must be very high. You explained very well (in the past) how Google needs inventory for all ads, not just high-paying ads. I could understand that they might be tempted to ignore the filter.

zett




msg:3828897
 2:47 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Were those blocked-and-now-visible domains running CPM ads when you blocked them previously?

Not that I am aware of. Then again, I opted out some time ago.

Also, is it possible that massive corporate ad buys are coming from a different source or system that feeds into the distribution mechanism after the filter stage?

That would be a good question for Google to answer. But from looking at the domains, I do not see re-direct domains (e.g. www.exampleclickmeasuring.com/blah&redirect=blah.com) but just plain domains, e.g. www.ebay.com/blah

His business has had "pretty much zero" problems with ad targeting after having site-targeted ads disabled. If the problem persists and you can't live with it, following Maximillianos's solution might be a workaround worth trying.

No CPM ads here, but I am still affected.

signor_john, it's good to see that someone is asking the questions that should be coming from the folks in MV. You are picking up the ball after all and looking into the problem. Thanks for that. (And maybe it helps the MV folks to determine the source of the problem.)

signor_john




msg:3828905
 3:09 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

Well, it may not be a "problem" per se, but merely a symptom of a weak economy--not unlike seeing three public-service commercials in a row during a late-evening TV broadcast. The ads in question may be the equivalent of remnant inventory that overrides the normal mechanisms. And while it might be nice if publishers could say "Just give me PSAs instead of eBay ads," such an option might be a mixed blessing, because it could lead to a rise in the number of publishers who were unprofitable for Google and needed to be purged.

fearlessrick




msg:3828922
 3:50 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

I got rid of the offending ads - ebay, shopping.com, etc., and a lot of just plain .02 cent garbage - by culling them from the herd and putting them into my competitive ad filter yesterday.

I should point out that I opted out of site targeted ads a long time ago, and that I had emptied my ad filter some time ago (with no problems), so the issue affected a large swath of publishers.

My first reaction - when this first showed up on Jan. 12 - was that it was the economy kicking in, finally, after a record (for me) December.

In a way, I was right. The poor economy is certain to affect just about all of us, but this was kind of a stealth attack, throwing up an assortment of pennies-per-click trash in place of better-paying ads.

Two possibilities: 1. it was an unintentional glitch which overrode everyone's filters. 2. G had such a huge volume of lowball ads in inventory that it had to move them, and they did (could actually be a good thing).

I say that if it was intentional and designed to move cheap inventory, that it may be good because it could signal that this inventory is not wanted by either G or publishers (it may have been overflow from the search network), and that it's being cleared out and maybe permanently purged from the system.

My situation seems to have been relieved by my actions, but, if I may, some advice to publishers: Opt out of the site-targeted CPM ads, then, clear your filter (save the offending sites) and then go through, maybe a day later, and put them back in. That may purge them from your sites.

Looking forward, AS remains the #1 ad network and it still should produce positive results this year and beyond. I'm confident in that with the following caveat: G and their corporate counterparts, yahoo, ebay, shop.com, and others, are going to face severe pressure this year to produce earnings and may band together to fight for market share. In a way, this foray may have been an initial salvo with more to come, but it's a losing strategy, because, smaller, more nimble companies should be better equipped to deal with a rapidly-changing landscape.

In the long run, IMO, the best paying ads come from small to mid-size advertisers, many of whom will prosper (and increase their ad spends) in this environment.

In the long run, the content network (us) may prove to be more valuable to serious advertisers than the search network.

Just my opinion, of course, but good luck to all.

signor_john




msg:3828939
 4:48 pm on Jan 18, 2009 (gmt 0)

In the long run, IMO, the best paying ads come from small to mid-size advertisers, many of whom will prosper (and increase their ad spends) in this environment.

Maybe in the direct-response text-ad space (even then, I'm not so sure). But direct-response text ads are only one segment of the Internet advertising market, and corporate ad money that's coming online from traditional media isn't all going into search or AdSense-style text ads. A lot of that money is going into display and "rich media" advertising, where Google has more--and stronger--competition than it does in the text-ad market.

I do think that, in the future, AdSense publishers who don't want to see continued erosion of their earnings will need to accept "image ads" (with their non-contextual targeting) unless they have more profitable ways to sell display advertising. Google bought DoubleClick for a reason.

Lame_Wolf




msg:3829163
 1:05 am on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Were those blocked-and-now-visible domains running CPM ads when you blocked them previously?

Are you referring to companies that target your site via the Ad Review Centre ? In which case, no. These sites have never appeared in the ARC.

I only have a few that target my site via there, and the last one was a us gov site.

That would be a good question for Google to answer. But from looking at the domains, I do not see re-direct domains (e.g. www.exampleclickmeasuring.com/blah&redirect=blah.com) but just plain domains, e.g. www.ebay.com/blah

Same here. Plus, if you block www.ebay.com, you still get www.stores.ebay.com which are also supposed to be filtered out.

Maybe there isn't a practical solution, short of disabling CPM ads.

And how exactly do you do that ?

I got rid of the offending ads - ebay, shopping.com, etc., and a lot of just plain .02 cent garbage - by culling them from the herd and putting them into my competitive ad filter yesterday.
I should point out that I opted out of site targeted ads a long time ago, and that I had emptied my ad filter some time ago (with no problems), so the issue affected a large swath of publishers.

.02 cent garbage ? You are beating me then :)

So it doesn't matter if I am in or out of site targeted adverts, it won't solve the problem. :/

Lame_Wolf




msg:3829164
 1:09 am on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

clear your filter (save the offending sites) and then go through, maybe a day later, and put them back in. That may purge them from your sites.

It doesn't work.

I have cleared out the filter so everyone can advertise, then a day or so later, add them back in again. I have a few lists saved to text files that I copy and paste into the filter page. One list may be the "big boys" list, another will contain adult sites, another may contain borderline sites, and another may contain all of the above.

icedowl




msg:3829177
 1:36 am on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Plus, if you block www.ebay.com, you still get www.stores.ebay.com which are also supposed to be filtered out.

Don't leave the "www." part in what you're filtering. Take it all the way down to example.com when you enter it into the filter.

Lame_Wolf




msg:3829193
 1:58 am on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Don't leave the "www." part in what you're filtering. Take it all the way down to example.com when you enter it into the filter.

i have www and non www ebay.xx in my filter. I just used that as an example.

signor_john




msg:3829218
 2:41 am on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Maybe there isn't a practical solution, short of disabling CPM ads.

And how exactly do you do that ?

With an e-mail to AdSense Support.

Lame_Wolf




msg:3829233
 3:37 am on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

thanks signor_john.

I look after 2 adsense accounts. One has access to the Ad Review Centre, the other doesn't. Yet the accounts were set up the same. I didn't do anything different, so I don't know why. I cannot remember ever ticking a box etc to disable them.

Just to confirm with you. CPM adverts *are* the ones you see in the Ad Review Centre. And if I disable that feature, the companies will revert to PPC.

Am I correct in that assumption ? Thank you.

signor_john




msg:3829239
 3:44 am on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

CPM adverts *are* the ones you see in the Ad Review Centre. And if I disable that feature, the companies will revert to PPC.

The CPM advertisers won't revert to CPC; you just shouldn't get their CPM ads (or anyone else's) if you have AdSense support disable CPM ads for your account.

Lame_Wolf




msg:3829328
 6:36 am on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

thank you signor_john

fearlessrick




msg:3829900
 10:27 pm on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Checking back in with an update.
I think it's a lost cause. After my revenue and ecpm went back up on Sunday, it was down again on Monday as more crap ads populated my site. I know that culling the offending, garbage ads is almost certain a waste of time as they just keep making new ones.

Couldn't G just institute some sane policies to keep out slime and marginal sites that pay .02 or .03 per click, like make the minimum click .10 with sites getting a minimum of .05? They really need to eliminate a lot of the garbage out there.

One thing I noticed for sure, Link Units must go. Full of spammy stuff and the eCPM they deliver is horribly low.

signor_john




msg:3829913
 10:50 pm on Jan 19, 2009 (gmt 0)

Couldn't G just institute some sane policies to keep out slime and marginal sites that pay .02 or .03 per click, like make the minimum click .10 with sites getting a minimum of .05?

A site with huge traffic might be able to earn decent money at two or three cents a click. For that matter, some AdSense publishers might prefer to get two- and three-cent clicks than PSAs. And how would Google benefit from setting (or allowing publisher-determined) higher minimums? If an advertiser can't get a positive ROI with a 5- or 10-cent minimum click, that advertiser will be gone in no time.

One thing I noticed for sure, Link Units must go. Full of spammy stuff and the eCPM they deliver is horribly low.

I'm not a fan of Link Units myself, but some members of this forum have reported good earnings with them. To each his own.

Lame_Wolf




msg:3830070
 3:15 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

I'm not a fan of Link Units myself, but some members of this forum have reported good earnings with them. To each his own.

I use them and have mixed results. Some niche's on my site are spammy in content. But some are clicked on a lot. Actually, my largest paying channel is a link unit.

(Just looked at my channels. So far this particular link unit it at the top of the list, and is 3 times higher in earnings than the next one in the list.)

zett




msg:3830127
 6:51 am on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

If an advertiser can't get a positive ROI with a 5- or 10-cent minimum click, that advertiser will be gone in no time.

Your reply suggests that many advertisers are seeing a negative ROI, which I highly doubt. Only some of the advertisers are seeing a negative ROI. A negative ROI basically means that an advertiser loses money with every click, i.e. he pays more for the click than the product generates in profit. Which is dumb. Most advertisers are not that dumb.

In fact, any advertiser is interested in paying as little as possible for traffic that converts. Why would they pay a fair price for traffic when they could acquire similar traffic cheaper, improving their bottom line?

So, it's not about getting a positive ROI. It's about getting a better ROI.

how would Google benefit from setting (or allowing publisher-determined) higher minimums?

Simple: Credibility within the publishing community. Believe me, once a competitor comes along with a better product, many publishers will leave Google. By giving publishers more control, for example over the eCPM or EPC, they could make sure that their long-term relationship with publishers won't be damaged. Also - most of the sleazy advertisers will be pushed to sites with little value. They can not acquire quality traffic cheap and re-sell that traffic through MFAs. A clean platform is certainly a huge benefit for Google (unless they just want to milk the system and do not care about their advertisers, publishers, or the user).

fearlessrick




msg:3830290
 1:27 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

"Credibility within the publishing community..."

Is that something Google even considers? I suppose they have to, though from what I've seen in 4+ years of dealing with AdSense, they don't value it as much as they do the almighty dollar, or, as the case may be, pennies, which they pay to publishers while allowing slime, MFAs, spammers, scrapers, and all kinds of arbitrageurs into the AdWords side.

Google's bread has always been buttered with revenue from their search component. Publishers have been treated as black sheep, even though it is OUR sites they index and spam to their SERPs. It's a real neat game they've got going, but with the economy in the crapper, I think more publishers will turn elsewhere if G doesn't start treating small web sites better. There are a slew of alternatives out there now with more every day. Plus, webmasters can always sell their own space (oops, I forgot, that's VERBOTEN in Google-land).

I'm just a little caustic this morning, as my eCPM has dipped below $1. It's really sort of sad, after G sold us on the majesty of their "targeting" technology. It's more like, "we'll throw up whatever crappy ads we can, until you decide to bail."

Trying to get in the inaugural mood...

signor_john




msg:3830423
 4:00 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Your reply suggests that many advertisers are seeing a negative ROI

No, it doesn't. It merely implies that advertisers who can profit with one- or two-cent clicks might see a negative ROI with five- or cent clicks.

Simple: Credibility within the publishing community. Believe me, once a competitor comes along with a better product, many publishers will leave Google.

We've been hearing that for years, and it hasn't happened yet. Odd, isn't it? If AdSense were such a lousy network for publishers, you'd think someone would have come up with a more competitive product by now. Still, that isn't my worry or yours. As far as I'm concerned, Google can decide whether one- and two-cent clicks are a threat to the viability of the AdSense network, since (a) it's their network, and (b) they're in a better position to make that judgment than I am.

Scurramunga




msg:3830492
 5:20 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

how would Google benefit from setting (or allowing publisher-determined) higher minimums?

Possibly by allowing unfettered market forces to set an optimal equilibrum price.

Your response to this might be that excluding low ball bids goes against the definition of "unfettered" however, it must be remembered that many of the lowball bids are successful because of goood/deceptive ad copy and a high ctr. Its a very artificial market, very much "unlike an auction because it is not soley based on demand and supply.

Then there is also the element of credibility as Zett suggested, which is almost non existent in some advertising niches. Misrepresentation might not be entirely eradicated in the context of sophisticated scams, however as a means to deter arbitrageurs, it should prove to be very effective.

[edited by: Scurramunga at 5:38 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2009]

Scurramunga




msg:3830523
 6:01 pm on Jan 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Google can decide whether one- and two-cent clicks are a threat to the viability of the AdSense network

One and two cent clicks in themselves are not the threat. It is the rif raf that they encourge into the network that is the threat.

This 81 message thread spans 3 pages: < < 81 ( 1 [2] 3 > >
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