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Bad words trigger PSA's

Silly automated rules are overbearing!



11:11 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Just returned from a trip and noticed that my front page is showing all PSA's.... Searched the code trying to figure out what whould have triggered it... I've got a feed from my message board that puts up the latest threads... someone had a "computer crash"... that showed on the front page, and ..... triggred PSA's on my highest earning page.. GRRR!

I have read the reasoning behind what they do here and I'm ok with that, however, my god, can't they be a bit more intellegent about it?

Where in the world is "computer crash" a bad phrase or word? Now, I can see it for airplane crash or something of that sort but can't they train the little bot to do a bit better of selecting what's really bad?

Now, I guess I'll have to wait for a week or three before they crawl it again to get back to making money... this really sucks!



11:18 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Where did you read about this. I have never heard of words that trigger PSA's.


11:26 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Where did you read about this. I have never heard of words that trigger PSA's

I've not just read about it, I've actually corresponded with google about it. There are actually several threads here on this site that talk about it..

Apparantly, the rules are in place to keep from having say... an article with the headline something like..

"Baby burns in fire"

trigger an ad (as I've heard actually happened and started all this) for a CD burner with the title "burn baby burn" showing on the same page...

*THAT* I can understand... completely banning use of words, such as "crash" is just plain stupid and limiting... They need to train thier bots to look at word combinations, not just single use of words..



11:26 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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

Adsense Stop Words [google.com]


11:32 pm on Apr 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member ogletree is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

OK I missed that. I was not reading the adsense forum back then. I would have done a search for it but I did not know that it was called stop words.


12:00 am on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Google for trigger words also will get you a number of threads. I've probably personally posted to 20 threads here about it due to the vast majority of my pages showing PSAs early in AdSense's history, then for a few weeks early this year when I had the same thing happen to my site as happened to shortz. Paying ad impressions pretty much dried up overnight on March 11 (paying impressions down over 90% in one day, down 99% currently) and every AdSense publisher site with related pages (information sites, ecommerce sites and newspapers) is in the same boat.

My site and the pages I am referring to are about sex crimes. My site has been online since 1998, on AdSense since June. As a result of testing I've done I have confirmed that there are still advertisers which are advertising on content sites through AdSense because I can get them to display on new pages until after the Mediapartners bot visits. Unfortunately, as of yet I have been unable to modify the text of any test pages to get paying ads to show up and stay after Mediapartners visits. The kicker seems to be that the trigger words are needed to make a contextual match for the desired (or any actually) advertisements, but including them triggers PSA/AAs. Even if I could remove these words and AdSense would display ads, search engine positioning would drop like a rock since 98% of search engine referrals contain one of the trigger words.

I contacted the AdSense team in March and I got a human response (yes, it's true) that basically said that they reviewed the site and info. I provided, their system determined the pages contain "potentially sensitive" or "negative" content, their algorithms change constantly and they're sorry, but they can't manually alter the page category to allow targeted ads to be served. That's too bad for me, it's too bad for the advertisers whose services are an excellent fit to the bulk of the pages and Google which is losing out on their cut.


12:26 am on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jane_doe is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I keep tweaking my pages until I get the "stop" words out that trigger the PSAs. I've been successful on most pages, but on a couple I have not found a way to do it without rewriting the whole article.

Often the trigger seems to be a seemingly innocuous phrase such as "computer crash", or "killing germs", so sometimes I've had to read pages over and over thinking of all the possibly meanings for the words.


3:10 am on Apr 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I have a health related site. One page simply states that certain mercury compounds are the source of the odors we assoicated with cadavers and fecal matter. Trust me, those are stop words to AdSense. I just gave up and put Ad Sonar on that page. While their ads are somewhat poorly targeted they are at least ads.


9:53 pm on Apr 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

IMHO you guys are overestimating the power of stop words. My site is **** in nature and has always had a smattering of "****", "****", etc.

I am serving PSA's on my most popular pages that do not have any potential bad words.

Never had a problem; never ever saw any PSA's until 3 or 4 days ago.

There may have been an algorithm change that makes the bot supersensitive to stop words, but then, why are so many sites serving 90% PSA's?

Plus why would **** or **** organizations want to advertise on sites with dirty words?

I don't think that all these zillions of sites are using stop words.

I think there is a algorithm glitch or a hardware or software glitch. Probably an algorithm glitch because that is the most recently changed variable. When you see hoof prints, look for horses first before you look for zebras.

Here's what is different:

-The PSA's have a different format.
- For the 1st time, google is counting PSA's as page views. (which makes ctr's hover at .0X% rather than x%; (works out to be about 1/50th to 1/100th of what they were).
-click stats are more real-time as opposed to 3 or 4 updates per day.
- Total payouts are a teeny tiny payout of historical trend.

Here's what is the same:
-CPC are the same.
-content has remained stable.
-traffic is the same or higher

[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 5:00 pm (utc) on April 26, 2004]
[edit reason] please no specific sectors, keywords, or sites ;-) [/edit]


2:54 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

keypclkn, I can't speak for anyone else, but if you read my post 3 above yours you'd see that the negative content filters affected my site beginning March 11th and that the Google AdSense team told me that was the cause. I also had many pages on the same site triggered for negative content on three other extended separate occasions dating back more than 9 months ago. I've posted about these experiences in detail in the past along with details about the testing I did to be certain what the cause was. That's not to say that there isn't something else affecting other publishers now that they think is due to negative content filters, but actually isn't.

Also, contrary to what you stated, PSA impressions have *always* counted as impressions in the AdSense reports.


4:18 am on Apr 26, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

As little as I *do* know about the trigger words, I do know that "crash" is one of them, as it has triggered PSA's three times now that I know of. One was in a message thread with "crash-test facility" in it, another was "computer crash" and I can't remember the third..

It would seem to me that they could "train" the bots to leave crash alone, unless it was with other keywords, like "automobile crash" "airplane crash" etc....

It is a perfectly harmless word, however, they are taking it and others, completely out of context and banning them without exception.. Makes it sort of hard running a message board with "latest message board topics" on website template pages.. lose a thread, ok... no problem, lose almost all the pages on the site.. BIG problem..

I'm not complaining, really, because the revenue is good overall... it's just a little thing that seems like it would not be that hard to fix.. at least, now, when you remove an offending word, it seems you get recrawled pretty quickly, not a matter of days or weeks like it once was, more like minutes or hours..



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