Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from 220.127.116.11
However, I've unsurprisingly noticed a few amusing quirks here and there... understandable, since even fine 'artificial intelligence' isn't infallible.
For instance, on one page in which I detail various anti-smoking initiatives and express my strong distaste for the cigarette industry, AdSense has inserted ads targeted to -- you guessed it -- smokers.
On a page about blogging (philosophies, techniques, etc.) AdSense has consistently inserted all ads for... coffee products?! What, bloggers stay up late or somethin'?
Do note that I'm just playfully tweaking AdSense here. I do definitely like the program overall, and realize that its algorithms will be fine-tuned over time, or perhaps allow for Webmaster-specified overrides.
In the meantime, go ahead and post any of your goofy or amusing examples that you've noted from your pages :)
I decided to try adding AdSense to the [clean] "Relationships" area of my discussion forum.
I was puzzled when I noticed that every page had ads for ".cc domain registration" offers. Huh? Why would people who are talking about friendships and dating and communication issues be interested in registering a domain?!
Then I realized what was going on. The URL for this area of my site begins with mysite.com/cc/individual_discussion_pages.htm with "cc" being the name of one directory because this area of my site is the "Conversation Corner."
So it appears as though AdSense is giving significant -- and perhaps too significant -- weight to the name of directories. Hmm.
Moreover, there would be no need to worry about spam since a webmaster who would be spamming this meta tag would be a fool. In fact, more targetted the ad, more the CTR.
on one page in which I detail various anti-smoking initiatives and express my strong distaste for the cigarette industry, AdSense has inserted ads targeted to -- you guessed it -- smokers
This could be a very serious issue for sites that are "anti-something" (use your imagination) and the ads on their pages are actually promoting the something that the site is railing against. Procede with caution.
But the front page of my blog -- as with most blogs -- is simply a reverse chronological listing of entries.
A recent entry -- in which I've commented on how U.S. Senator Hatch's Web site was accidentally sending traffic to a porn site -- has resulted in some particularly unexpected AdSense targeting. Here's a quote from the entry:
Up until a day or two ago, his Web site was linking to a former-Utah-Tourist page that had been "porn-napped" to trumpet "Huge Natural" attractions of a different sort.
Well, perhaps you can guess what happened. Despite having just posted this on Friday, and despite other entries on this same page talking about affiliate marketing and other serious issues, AdSense is now sending me all Utah Personals advertisements! :O The fact that I (h2) titled the Hatch entry: "Senator Hatch favors 'booby traps' of all sorts" probably sealed the fate.
Booby. Huge. Porn-napping. former-Utah-Tourist page. Hmm... if I were an AdSense bot, I guess I'd come up with Utah Personals, too :D
But I've occasionally noticed similarly weird results on topic-oriented sections of my blog (travel, politics, etc.)
Let's face it... even pages with the most narrowly-focused themese are bound to still pose occasional problems for the Google bots.
Take, for instance, The Onion -- a clearly humor/satire-oriented site -- would be showing e-mail software and webmaster-focused ads (according to the see-what-ads-this-site-would-show feature here [google.blogspace.com]).
AdSense is only appropriate on pages that have a clear single topic. That's why I haven't used it on any of my index pages, or anywhere else I can see a contex-analysis robot haveing problems.
On my European travel-planning site, Google has a little trouble figuring out what AdSense ads to display. Sometimes they're about luggage (because I have a blurb for a packing article this week), and sometimes they're about rail passes or other travel-related services. But that's okay, because they're related to my site's overall theme even if they aren't as well-targeted as a luggage ad in a packing article or a railpass ad in an article on rail travel. So far, I haven't had any complaints. I might be less pleased if my site were just called "John Doe's Blog" or "The News Site" or something else that didn't convey a theme, let alone a clear single topic.
Specifically, there was an article about a couple kids that suffocated in an old refrigerator. And yes, there were AdWords along the side from refrigerator manufacturers.....