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Ongoing targeting problem

Adsense support replies with canned responses

     
12:32 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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My main site, which is about a very popular widget that plays digital music, has been getting all sorts of mistargeted ads lately: trademark registration, insurance, B2B software companies, cars, and of course some MFA that were quickly blocked.

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?

1:33 pm on Aug 11, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Have you tried using the Adsense "start & stop" tag within your code? Perhaps this would help to give you better targetted adverts - althou it does take a few days to "kick in" so to speak.
3:50 pm on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I've used both tags (the normal and the "ignore" one) without any good results.
5:22 pm on Aug 12, 2006 (gmt 0)

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On a side note... i am running two sites, completely opposite niche's but the ads are bleeding into each other. one site about computers is getting ads for travel which should go on my travel site which is getting ads for computers..
domains names changed to protect the naive..
great targetting, wrong sites...
9:37 am on Aug 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I've used both tags (the normal and the "ignore" one) without any good results

One of my pages is getting ads targeted at the text inside the ignore tags (and, yes, they've been there for months). Google has a bug and needs to fix it.

9:37 am on Aug 13, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Yes, I've used both tags (the normal and the "ignore" one) without any good results

One of my pages is getting ads targeted at the text inside the ignore tags (and, yes, they've been there for months). Google has a bug and needs to fix it.

2:06 am on Aug 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm getting generic site-themed ads instead of page-themed ads. My CTR is one fifth what it was a month ago. Adbrite is doing better and I didn't even get a canned response when I asked support about it.
2:10 am on Aug 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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On my site, waiting usually works. Some pages never get properly targeted ads: If Google's ad bot sees an article about ATMs, it has no way to determine whether the article is for ATM users or the ATM trade. But most targeting problems go away in a few days or sometimes a bit longer.
2:19 am on Aug 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have adlinks across the top of the home page of one of my sites and while the links are relevent, they are pathetic - poor topics, repeats of too-similar phrases, pointers to locations 1000 miles away, etc.
I've seen much nicer links on other sites in my niche *sniff* ;)
I finally got around to contacting Adsense recently and, while most of the response was canned, there was a one-liner in the middle where they agreed that the links seemed off but the process was automated and they can't do anything about it (but, honest! they are working on the relvancy!)
;)
So you aren't alone.
7:43 am on Aug 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For what it is worth, in the past I have found that once a page has wrong or bad adverts that seems it for life. I have found if I upload the same page with a different name ie originally bluewidgets.htm and change it to blue-widgets.htm I can sometimes - nearly always get the correct adverts. Worth a go anyway!
8:18 am on Aug 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Two days ago my travel destination site's homepage started getting ads for online messaging services and free screensavers. It lasted about 10 hours before returning to normal. Cost me four spots in the "Crappy Unrelated Ad" filter. I can't call it the "competitive ad filter", because I love taking their money more than any other.
3:23 pm on Aug 14, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I can't call it the "competitive ad filter", because I love taking their money more than any other.

LOL - Interesting sentiment!

1:30 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I've had (and still have) ads targetted to the text contained in the "ignore" tags too. And yes, been like that for months.

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.

3:34 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I feel the pain of the person who started this thread. Since 2/06 I've been dealing with an unhelpful support staff over the issue of "fear of flying" ads running on my aerospace news site.

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.

Grrrrrr.

5:04 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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. It seems it should be easy to say "this meaning of TLA, not that meaning".

I have the same problem as youfoundjake, I get ads on site B about the topic from site A. This happens to me all the time. If I could just give it a list of unrelated topics in the javascript then the problem could be solved.

6:25 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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?

8:20 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This is a set of recent posts from the ongoing "Smart pricing analysis" discussion that I thought might be appropriate for consideration here.

Chapman

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!

Chapman

[edited by: Chapman at 8:28 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2006]

8:25 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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But why don't they allow negative hints? Can anyone think of a good reason?

Sorry EFV... didn't meant to bury your question. And... NO I personally can't think of any reason!

Chapman

[edited by: Chapman at 8:27 pm (utc) on Aug. 15, 2006]

8:54 pm on Aug 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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On this topic, I have a question for everyone. I have a joke/entertainment site and I have one section with a bunch of jokes. I broke it up into pages so there are 5 pages of 25 jokes. For some reason I am only getting public server announcements, blank ads, or non-related ads. I have the word "joke" throughout the content. What could be causing this? It seemed to always have had appropriate joke ads displayed, but now it seems like google can't figure out the content on this page or something.... it's a bummer because it's my highest traffic page too.... All my other pages seem to be getting google ads ok.
3:33 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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For what its worth, targeting is back on track for me as of yesterday.

I don't know if Google sorted out their issues, or if me adding 180 unsuitable advertisers to the filter did it.

3:43 pm on Aug 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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).