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To bring you up to speed on the issue in past threads:
AdSense Stop Word Threads [google.com]
From these threads I found lots of hints but nothing satisfactory. Contacting Google about this issue only got a few more hints, but nothing satisfactory, they are very tight lipped about their negative filter in AdSense.
So, here's what I've learned trying to identify and eliminate PSAs:
* If you install the alternate ad code in AdSense you can detect PSAs loading this code from your servers which will show up in your log files and you can determine just how serious this problem is on your web site.
* If you have a serious amount of channels defined you can easily spot which channel is most likely displaying PSAs with clues like $0 for a channel with 1,000 impressions.
* Most of the topics Google forbids are not surprisingly in their negative filter list so terms like guns, porn, etc. will trip the PSAs and many times it's a combination of words on a page which wouldn't appear to be offensive whatsoever.
So knowing this, how do you get rid of the PSA?
I've found it works pretty easily doing the following:
* Copy the page to a temporary file name like temp1.html, remove any potentially offensive words, upload to the server and display the page. You should initially see some default ads on the page. Now wait for the mediabot to come check the page, usually within the hour, and redisplay the page in your browser. If you continue to get actual ads on this page for a whole day you've probably fixed the problem.
* If the ads disappear and PSAs show up, try chopping up the page content into sections and put them on the server as temp2.html, temp3.html, etc. Then display each page and wait for the mediabot as before. Note - consider your navigation, page title and possibly even meta tags are causing problems so you may need to peel it down.
* Once you've determined which part of the page is causing the problem further narrow down the specific sentences, etc. as temp10.html, temp11.html, etc. and again load those pages and wait for a verdict from the mediabot.
* When you know what's causing the PSAs, try assembling everything left as maybe temp20.html and see if that page will work. You know the drill, load the pages from your domain in the browser and wait for a verdict from the mediabot.
* With a clean page, replace your original page with the corrected content and wait for Google to reindex, could take a couple of weeks. If you're impatient just redirect the old page name to a new corrected page name and get immediate results, but this could impact your SERPS so be careful.
One last set of notes - GET RID OF ALL THE TEMPXX.HTML FILES WHEN YOU'RE DONE as you don't want Google indexing these. Also, use a different set of file names with each test as mediabot seems to remember page names with offending content so keep using new page file names to test with and don't use names you might actually want to use as that name could get stuck in Google's memory, not a good thing to happen.
Hope this helps some of you and if anyone else has better methods or information please ad to this thread.
Thank you for the effort of putting this information together for all WW members. Excellent work! Indeed incrediBill. :-)
I know that nobody here knows the stop-word list, but I have one page that would not display ads. I looked at the copy and the code again and again, but I could not see any stop-words. It's a page containing a photo of a village in Italy. The page before shows the same village - and displays ads. The page after shows another village of the same region - and displays ads. So it's not a lack of ad inventory. It's definitely a problem with the page.
Just out of curiosity, have you seen such a behaviour in your research as well? (I am displaying alternate ads that point to an aff partner right now, so I'm happy, but I would like to understand why this happens.)
The original is page one. Page two, three & four immediately started receiving relevant ads however the original page one started receiving disaster ads, eg. 2000 tents available, disaster relief planning, etc..
I've been over and over the page trying to find the trigger words that are causing it without luck. I finally removed the ads except for one ad block that runs in a common border. Also the ad links unit will not present categories.
I guess Bill's method is the only solution to finding the problem unless anyone else has any ideas. Before the changes everything was fine with this page.
Those with chronic PSA issues should take a close look at their navigational content and see if part of the issue is there. Making the change to the navigational wording can solve a PSA issue that plagues many pages on the same site. Then it isn't such a painstaking page-by-page process to figure out what is causing the PSAs.
Any ideas about how one can adapt this guide to work on a forum site?
My web site is dynamic but not a forum, so much of my content is random as well.
Being that the forum is dynamic you can simply save a copy of a specific forum page displaying PSAa and use my methods to identify what part of the page you see is triggering the PSA.
Now there are some mechanisms I've applied to this problem for a dynamic web site which is a pre-emptive strike to block and filter words that might trip the Mediabot's negative filter from either being entered or displayed. You really need to filter at both the input and output stage as Google's Mediabots negative filter seems to change based on current events so whatever pages displayed ads last week might not display ads this week.
During data entry you can block the profanity and certain keywords you know will trigger a PSA and allow the author to re-write his content to get around these negative words.
Before displaying my pages I have code that does a global search-replace in the page that finds all suspect words in my current negative filter list and either substitutes the word or simply eliminates it if there is no good substitution word that won't trigger a PSA.
Not a perfect solution but it's a start.
In general, the fact that a page will trigger PSAs is a good thing, to avoid some of the poorly timed ads showing up on certain news pages (suitcase ads on a page about body parts being found in a suitcase is one of the very first examples from the beginning of the AdSense program). But they can be difficult to deal with when you have sites that skirt close to those very same issues.
Why do we need PSAs? They are making something so obvious and simple into something very complicated. In terms of their algo and in terms of work and headache for the customers helping their bottom line.
Do away with PSAs. Create a run of site ad and let people bid on it. When you would have shown a PSA, show a ROS site instead. I know it brings up other issues, but those issues are far easier to deal with than PSAs.
If you don't like the ROS idea, use categories like Yahoo is trying out...do so on a domain basis.
Speaking of Yahoo, they are following this same ridiculous path (so far) of PSAs like lemmings. DOH.
Why do we need PSAs?
PSAs are there to keep advertisers ads off pages of questionable content, it's all about protecting the advertiser.
The problem is when you have a non-offensive page being penalized due to a false positive by the Mediabot that Google, even after reviewing the page, won't tell you how to stop the PSA.
So you're on your own playing a rousing round of Where's Waldo trying to locate the words causing the PSA on your page.
But even better than that, if my site is about widgets, I'd like to show widget ads on all pages that would show PSAs. If the worry is the advertiser showing his ad on a crap page within a site about widgets, that could be taken care of by letting them opt into it through categories or something similar in the adwords interface.
These are 2 off the cuff ideas. If the adsense team spent some effort they could come up with plenty other ideas.
Although PSAs do solve an honest problem, there is a far better way to handle the problem. IMHO.
How do I implement an Alternate Ad?
FWIW, putting YPN as an alternate ad may just result in displaying YPN's PSAs instead.
"I hate to tell you..."
"I could have died when she told you..."
"It's never okay to shoot from the hip when..."
This really becomes a problem if you write on topics like insurance:
"If your home is destroyed..."
"If you die and you don't enough insurance..."
I've learned to use phrases such as:
"If your home is ruined..."
"If you happen to pass on and don't have enough insurance..."
It also seems to me that accurate meta tags work. PSAs wll also target pictures, so if you're using alt text, you need to be careful there too.
I still think PSAs for stop word issues is a good thing. Even what you think could be the least offensive ad could be offensive in the right (wrong?) situation. Luggage ads would seem like a perfect run of network ad for cases like these.... until it is an article about a dismembered body found in a suitcase. Just like a CD burner ad with "Burn Baby Burn" in the text could seem inoffensive... until it is shown on a page about a housefire where small children were killed.
then make your changes and then access it like this:
Then make more changes and do this:
Keep increasing the value of the "bogus" parameter until you've figured things out.
Trust me, this works. You'll see the Mediapartners bot come visiting the page each time you set the query parameter to a different value. Much easier than splitting things....
Firstly, it makes Google look good, not me. At my expense. Secondly, I choose my charities carefully. I'm offended by the Red Cross, who gets a lot of PSAs. The CEO makes $400k+/yr in salary and they have perverted the initial concept they were built on. They were never supposed to sell blood. Now they do. Calling themselves a charity is itself a charity. When you need to raise millions just to pay the upper echelons of management their salary, you are no longer a charity in my book. You are a sophisticated corporation.
I don't want to detract from the conversation or start one about charities...and I don't care if people agree with me or not, but I just don't want you to think that I'm being this uncaring insensitive person. I actually have done a fair bit of research into charities and know people running some and have volunteered at a big one and seen it from the inside. It ain't pretty at all. It was rather disheartening in fact.
I do understand where you're coming from...hopefully now you know a little where my beliefs are. It is a deeper topic though. The smaller charities have to go through a lot of trouble to satisfy government requirements and by itself makes it hard for small caring groups to start one.
Whether I'm right or wrong, why should Google make the decision for me.
I suspect a lot of people hate them, they're just scared to say it out loud because it will make them look like bad guys.
Good tip on incremental changes, I should've thought of that as I've seen PSA pop up on "blah.html?page=2" when there was 20 other pages showing ads.
However, you still need multiple pages when you get to the point you need to chop the page up into 3 or 4 (oe more) segments when you're stuck, unless you want to wait on the mediabot to validate 1 chunk removed at a time.
I'm a bit impatient for that ;)
I'd imagine they did this because there's around 100 different wreck histories on the site and it's been live for the last 5 years i.e. they could see it was an established site with a readership that would be interested in scuba related Google ads.
I find this much easier to keep track of changes, and remembering what is different as I am making each of the ten or so pages - much easier to do than if I was saving, uploading and checking, then making another minor change, saving, uploading and checking.