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Is there a way to make words non-spiderable?

Or does that render the AdSense engine impotent against spam?

     
4:02 am on Sep 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I finished off an article last night.
One of the sentences in the article read:

"Unfortunately there has been no accounting for cultural sensitivities in this proposal..."

I spellchecked the page, added the appropriate AdSense unit code, saw the usual PSA's and went to bed.

This morning, I checked the page to see if the PSA's have been replaced by adverts. They have, but, as you've no doubt already guessed, three of them are for companies which do 'accounting'.

Now, of course, I could re-edit the text.

But I wouldn't re-edit the text of an article if any other advertiser requested it, because I think it's important to maintain editorial integrity and not be beholden to advertisers.

So I don't see why I should re-edit the text (technical shortfalls notwithstanding) because the AdSense spider can't identify the meaning of a word based on the context in which it appears.

So, my question is... for the sake of principle, is there any way I can render the word 'accounting' unspiderable...?

By using document.write for example?

5:05 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You can do it using SSI. Just hide the word from the spider. I don't know if it's legal, but you can do it like this (works for apache, don't know about other servers):

<!--#if expr="${HTTP_USER_AGENT}!= /Mediapartners-Google/" -->accounting<!--#endif -->

or you could also use javascript, but people who have js disabled wouldn't see the word. Server side solution is better.

6:06 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Regrettably, I'm not using an Apache server >;-<
So javascript document.write would work?

What about spelling the word using ISO character codes? Or would that make no difference to typing the word normally?

More to the point, is any of this legal? It opens up a Pandora's Box of spamming techniques, doesn't it?

6:19 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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You could use a graphic to represent the word. Do a screen grab then crop the image down to the individual word.

D.

7:05 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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the spider will see the same using ssi, use js.
7:49 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Hi ronin,

As a "longer term" solution I would at least email Google with the Page URL that is providing poorly targetted ads.

That way, their developers will get to see examples of pages that are fooling their alogorythms and gives them a chance to improve.

I guess they're already studying pages that achieve a low CTR anyway; but there's no harm in providing some concrete evidence of mis-targeting.

8:16 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Suggested rewrite:

"Unfortunately, this proposal has not taken cultural sensitivities into account ..."

This retains the original meaning and is also slightly more concise.

9:49 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I think dmorison has it.

Basically I would not recommend you trying to manipulate the AdSense code (and I know that is not what you are trying to do) but messing around with hidden words etc is as I presume as dangerous as hidden text with the SERPS.

When we see ads whichare not 100% targetted then we leave it or remove the adsense code depending what page the ad is on.

As dmorrision says if you feel so strongly the ad should be different then email then don't try and cheat them.

10:00 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Just a thought. Ive never seen anybody here post anything about this behaviour which I THINK I'm seeing, but often i get the feeling that adsense has 2 or 3 tries at getting the relevance right over 1 to 7 days. Every time they get better. Ive seen the same behaviour as you - the picking up of present but tangential keywords but between one or two days later it is fixed up.

Maybe at a later crawl they take the context more into account such as theme of site, from directory names etc.

I remember one section we have named "Sapphire reviews" with the directory being /sapphire/ (not real name but real name is another precious metal. The section name was just branding to reinforce the premium/quality nature of the articles in that section. The articles had nothing to do with gems but for the first few days, all ads were for precious gem dealers. Then other more relevant ads crept in, and after 7 days, finally all the gem traders were gone!

What im saying is give it a few days before changing it, otherwise you will be re-writing ad-infinitum..

10:05 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Just a thought. Ive never seen anybody here post anything about this behaviour which I THINK I'm seeing, but often i get the feeling that adsense has 2 or 3 tries at getting the relevance right over 1 to 7 days.

Good point. The algo may come up with, say, 3 or 4 "possibilities" for the topic of a page and then try them out over a few days until it finds the one with the highest CTR...

11:22 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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Sure, I've seen it page target, then fallback to site target, then over a few days settle in to targeting the page's content.
11:48 am on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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I have some pages (some of which have been with Adsense for weeks) that rank in the top 5 for a particular keyword in the SERPS because the pages were optimized for that word. Yet the Adsense ads reflect a site-wide theme completely unrelated to the theme or keywords used on the page.

It seems to me that if the regular Googlebot can get it right, Mediabot should be even better. But apparently that isn't the case.

I thought that maybe there were no available ads to target, but a search on a few of those keywords in Google returns several pages of unique adwords ads. Surely at least a few of those advertisers chose to allow Adsense to display their ads.

12:03 pm on Sept 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

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This also makes me wonder if the mediabot spider only considers on-page text, or if, like the google search spider, it also makes use of off-page factors like backlink anchor text.