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google_hints

     
8:08 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was examining an interesting adsense block, when I noticed that a 'google_hints' tag is used.
It carries some keywords specific to that site.
This looks interesting.. is that only for big publishers?

btw, they display the block in an iframe. Is that allowed?. Their iframe even refreshes every 2 min., displaying different block colors for text, links and stuff. The color tags that we kow are not there. Instead, there is several lines of js code.

[edited by: sallam at 8:13 pm (utc) on Jan. 20, 2006]

8:10 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes.
8:14 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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but wouldn't it be nice if google allowed that tag for the masses?
8:16 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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There is section targeting that is available for all. Just go to the help section of adsense, and type in section targeting and you will find out how to implement it.
8:17 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, but section targeting is flakey, to say the least.
8:21 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Ah - I said it "Existed". That doesn't mean that it isn't flaky :) I tried it, and it made targetting a lot worse! I have better targetted ads by not using it. I think if you have a problem with targetting then it's worth a try, but not if your targetting is OK.

Is "Hints" flaky? Anyone experience of hints?

8:31 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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but wouldn't it be nice if google allowed that tag for the masses?

Sure. I'm one of the Webmaster World members who have often argued that publishers should be able to use positive or negative keyphrases to help (not substitute for) the ad-targeting algorithm. For example, I'm currently seeing ads for San Diego and New York City on the home page of my European travel site. It would be great if I could have a list of "NOT" phrases associated with my Google account, such as:

NOT San Diego
NOT New York City
NOT SudsBuddy Beer Cooler [in an article on Munich's Oktoberfest]
NOT St. Martin [in an article that makes reference to Martin Luther]

Such a list wouldn't override the ad-targeting algorithm, so I wouldn't be able to pack my pages with ads for Viagra or debt consolidation or mesothelioma lawyers. I'd merely be able to give a helpful nudge to Google's ad-targeting algorithm when it consistently did something really stupid.

8:42 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They should give us negative hints, at least.

So, for example: If your page is about "widgets", but the word has two (or more) different meanings: (1) "foo" and "bar". Your page is about "foo" widgets, but not about "bar". But Adsense serves you ads about "bar" widgets. We should have a hint to block the "bar" widget ads.

You don't currently have that degree of control with section targeting. If you exclude (downplay) "widgets", you throw out the baby ("foo" widgets) with the bath water ("bar" widgets).

I can see where they might not want to entrust *all* publishers (including MFA scumbags) with positive hints, but negative hints--where's the risk?

9:50 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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The section targetting has help me a lot on select pages. Some pages just won't target without them. However, if you already have good targetting don't ad them "just for the sake of consistency." I've seen very bad results as well. Never try to fix what isn't broken.

That's why I don't include them in my templates by default.

Freq---

12:08 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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We've recently been introduced to the 'hinting' system, and it's actually really clever how it works.

Much like the keyword targetting that premium publishers use, it uses keywords AND content to determine what ads to display, for example a site with camera reviews as the topic, and 'holiday' as a hint, may get an ad for a printing company who deal in holiday photos.

It's a clever combination of section targetting, and keywords basically.

1:27 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'll hazard a guess the Google rep that authorized your use of hints also asked you not to disclose it so they wouldn't be deluged with requests.
2:24 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My experience with section targetting is this: If the targetting on my page is just totally "off," with no apparent relationship to anything on the page, section targetting isn't going to help all that much usually.

On the other hand, if adsense is targetting the wrong things on my page--for instance, stuff from the menu, or links, or whatever else might be on the page aside from the "main" idea of the page, then yes, section targetting fixes most of, if not all of, the problems.

ymmv of course, but that's how it's worked for me.

3:34 am on Jan 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Just about all of my section targeting problems pertain to link units. The results I see are often perverse, just the opposite of what I intend.
11:06 pm on Jan 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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On the other hand, if adsense is targetting the wrong things on my page--for instance, stuff from the menu, or links, or whatever else might be on the page aside from the "main" idea of the page, then yes, section targetting fixes most of, if not all of, the problems.

Unfortunately, not for me. It's still targeting ads for topics on the menu but not relevant to specific page. This is for ad units. Haven't tried it yet for link units.
12:03 am on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've tried to use adsense targeting to get adsense to stop advertising hypodermic needles on a page about sewing needles. It's hopeless so I just took adsense off that page.

How small a snippit can you put in the targeting tags? Maybe if I just put in the words 'sewing needles' it would work.

This was the one place that yahoo ads did better but overall they do so poorly I took them off.

5:03 am on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm tossing my hat in with the guys who found section targetting to be a joke. Never made one tiny bit of difference on my pages. I'm glad it's working for some, but it hasn't worked for me.
6:58 am on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I found that the easiest way to solve my targetting problem on the blog was to find the words that may have triggered the targetting, and change the word on the page for something else. I guess you could have used the (weight=ignore) option in section targeting to get the bot to ignore the words, but as I've never had any luck with using section targeting decided to change the page text instead. That worked.
9:17 am on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's all about spider food - if your blog is random topics forget targetted ads.

Make sure your blog uses H1s, H2s, etc for post headings, lots of on keyword links and your titles are in good shape as feeding a spider seemingly run-on content is about as targetted as Robin Williams' streams of humor that rambles all over the place.

If you can bust your blog into 1 topic per page you'll do yourself a favor.

4:03 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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It's all about spider food - if your blog is random topics forget targetted ads.

Maybe, but there's more to the targeting issue than that. There's absolutely no excuse for San Diego and New York City hotel ads appearing on the home page of a European travel site that has words like "Europe" and "European" in the title and in the text (and that does not have the names "San Diego" or "New York" anywhere in the text). Nor is there any excuse for having ads for St. Martin hotels appearing consistently on a page about the monastery in Germany where Martin Luther took his vows (which was happening for a long time on my site). If hints were more widely available, more publishers would be able to fix chronic mistargeting on certain pages--and they'd be able to do it without letting advertising determine how they write their editorial content.

5:07 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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When you insert the section targeting tags on your pages they are turned off by default.

After the media bot visits you site it will determine whether or not the section targeting will help produce more targeted ads.

If the technology determines it will not help get better results, section targeting will not be implemented.

/edit/ typo

5:39 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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EFV,

Had that same issue before with the regional directory section of my web site and support said that the ads may show a location based on YOUR location more than the topic at times.

Basically, the ads I'm seeing may be more relevant to my location than the location of the page which doesn't make sense to me but it did to them, go figure.

For instance if you're in Europe a travel site might show you ads to the US or Asia thsn Europe and what YOU see isn't what your visitors from other locations may see, it's a crap shoot.

5:53 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Had that same issue before with the regional directory section of my web site and support said that the ads may show a location based on YOUR location more than the topic at times.

While it probably makes sense for them to do that most of the time, there really should be a way to disable that for the obvious sites where it's a real problem: travel sites. Or, like EFV said, make the hints widely available to help solve that problem.

Just one more way in which Google does not give the measure of control needed to publishers.

You reading this Yahoo? :)

7:07 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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EFV, I would guess that your page views are more than 5 million/month. If so, why don't you contact Google about becoming a "Premium Publisher"?

I believe this status allows you to input keywords that will filter ads on your pages.

Of course if you're already a Premium Publisher, then you guys are talking about something way over my head! :)

7:11 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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No, I'm not a premium publisher, and my traffic isn't that high. (I doubt if any editorial site in the European travel niche has close to 5,000,000 impressions a month!)
7:52 pm on Jan 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Well, I hope you reach those numbers one day! I could've used your site when I was trying to locate a hostel in Sverige!

Anyway, it would be nice if Google offered that perk to all publishers. I would love to be able to input a list of keywords for which I don't want ads to display on my site.

8:25 am on Jan 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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make the hints widely available to help solve that problem

Um, uh, ah.... it doesn't solve the problem as the geolocation still overrides it

OOPS!

Said too much already