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I keep trying those sites to the competitive filter, and I've contacted Google about it but they keep sending back canned responses about how their ads are determined automatically etc.
What can I do? Just keep adding sites to the filter and wait?
On a more positive note, I got a reply from Adsense support telling me they had fixed my problem - but then they mention the wrong site! Anyway it seems that they indeed fixed something, the targeting is a lot better if not totally dead-on.
Still waiting for reply on the "ignore" problem.
A website by pilots and aviation people for pilots and aviation people.
Been promised time and again it was fixed (after the boilerplate "use the ad filter to block..." nonsense). Finally, I asked for a manager to respond and they told me, in essence, sorry you are not happy - too bad.
You think they could bar keywords per publisher domain - or give us the tools to do so. At the moment that appears to be a bridge too far.
It'd be nice if they'd give us some access to the targetting (or counter-targetting) flags they've built for the premium publishers.
I can see why they don't allow positive hints: Every idiot and his quadruplet brothers would be vying for ads on "mesothelioma" and "Viagra." But why don't they allow negative hints? Can anyone think of a good reason?
I've noticed Google applies smart logic to ads having channel assigned. I'm almost sure Google analyses all the clicks on channelled ads, and then mostly shows ads of the same thematic/keywords. This means channels may produce poorly targeted ads. For example if I have webpage about bicycles, and first few click were on poorly targeted ads (lets say about gas or petroleum) then such ads become Google's priority for these channels. This may be the cause of lower payout on channelled ads. IMO.
I found what joelgreen said above to be true when I implemented Ann's test conditions (although for a while I thought I was imagining it).
I have a set of 60 some related pages that I've been having difficulty in achieving successful targeting for the past year... even with the use of a variety of section targeting and content tweaking formats. A week after deleting the custom channels and removing the channel information from the ad blocks... I finally started seeing the selection of ads I had been trying to achieve. No other changes were made to the pages ( the current section targeting concept was still in effect, however).
For the first time I am starting to see earnings build as the ads are finally what I always expected my visitors to be interested in. I have even returned content to the pages I had removed thinking it may have been the source of 'crawler confusion' (I just coined that :-)) and the ads have held steady. I was also able to remove over 30 URL's from my filter as those sites (simply WAY off target) no longer appeared!
However, since it's the "off-season" for these pages... I have another month to wait to see how they will really perform.
Kind of a side effect of the test... so thanks again Ann!
[edited by: Chapman at 8:28 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2006]
I don't know if Google sorted out their issues, or if me adding 180 unsuitable advertisers to the filter did it.
My home page's goofily mistargeted ads have been replaced by more relevant ads, and I haven't touched my advertiser filter, so I'd guess that the targeting improvement came from Google's end--and that a little algorithm tweak can have far-ranging consequences (for better or for worse).