RhinoFish - 6:05 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)
"In AdWords I prefer to pick specific sites to advertise on and I do not trust auto-placements a bit."
It's not a matter of trust really. Auto Placements means it is very likely to be contextually relevant. But, contextually relevant <> converting. So you bid AutoP low, let many sites come flowing in contextually, see which sites / pages get clicks and most importantly, which get conversions. Add ("Keep") the good ones as Managed Placements, exclude ("Kill") the bad ones, let those that still lack clarity as good or bad, continue to flow in as Auto Placements. We call this our "Keep or Kill" strategy.
So if you're not found in the planner or interface when initial searches are done for sites, yes, that's a bummer. BUT, contextually you should be getting matched to things that are relevant to your site, and over time, demonstrating that you are a good converter for some. For this reason, you may need to let it bake for a while before you feel the love.
As you write content, consider both your relevancy and convertibility aspects... you'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.