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Connection Between Interest Based Ads and Low CTR?

Are More Interest Based Ads Dropping CTR?

     
8:40 pm on Apr 27, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I know that there are a lot of posts having to do with a low CTR and I was looking at one of my blogs today and noticed that some of the ads were related to sites that I was looking at previously as opposed to the ads being about the content that is on the actual blog itself.

Could that possibly have something to do with getting low CTR - meaning having the ads being based on where the visitor was previously as opposed to the actually content on the site?
9:17 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Previous interactions with the advertiser: Searches on google and websites with AdSense ads (that didn't disabled interest-based ads). Hardly limited.
9:51 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Previous interactions with the advertiser: Searches on google and websites with AdSense ads

Where did you get that from? It actually sounds like interaction with Google, rather than with the advertisers.

Based on the example in the AdSense help (and on the definition of the word interaction), they need you to click through to the advertiser website to call it "interaction with the advertiser".

Sounds very limited. Practically a non-issue.

[edited by: true_INFP at 9:56 pm (utc) on May 8, 2010]

9:55 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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One way to check true_INFP is to search for some stuff unrelated to your site on Google and then see if you see AdSense ads for those things when you come back. I know that's what's happening for me and the rest of the folk here that are seeing IBAs on their sites.
9:57 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Well, I don't see any interest-based AdSense ads on our site after I search for things on Google. We have disabled them and it seems to work.

It's worth noting that I never click on any Google ads (whether in their SERPS or on any websites). In other words, I rarely (if ever) interact with AdWords advertisers.
10:03 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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true_INFP - are you logged in to Google (Gmail for example) when you search? That seems to be important because when I'm not logged in, I tend not to see IBAs.
10:06 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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From Googles "Interest-based advertising: How it works" [google.com]

Notice that it doesn't mention anything but visiting sites that use AdSense, no mention of any other "interaction".

Meet Mary

Mary's favorite hobby is gardening. With Google's interest-based advertising technology, Mary will see more relevant gardening ads because she visits many gardening websites. Here's how that works:

1. When Mary visits websites that display ads provided by Google's AdSense program, Google stores a number in her browser (using a "cookie") to remember her visits. That number could look like this: 114411.
2. Because many of the websites that Mary visits are related to gardening, Google puts her number (114411) in the "gardening enthusiast" interest category.
3. As a result, Google will show more gardening ads to Mary (based on her browser) as she browses websites that use AdSense.

.
10:07 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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are you logged in to Google (Gmail for example) when you search?

Sometimes I'm logged in, sometimes I'm not. No interest-based ads. *Shrugs*
10:14 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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ken_b, as you noted, the description you quoted is not a definition of "interaction with the advertisers". It is merely a general description of interest-based ads.

However, in the last few posts, we've been talking about the fraction of the ads that Google explicitly says you can't prevent from showing on your site. That is, ads based on interaction with the advertiser.

Based on the descriptions, any other interest-based ads (perhaps ~99% of them) can be prevented from being served on your site.
10:28 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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true_INFP

That is, ads based on interaction with the advertiser.

Please post a link to the Google page that defines the required "interaction with an advertiser" as anything beyond visiting the advertisers website.

I seem to have forgotten where that page is.
.
10:45 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Please post a link to the Google page that defines the required "interaction with an advertiser" as anything beyond visiting the advertisers website.

ken_b, I'm not sure why you ask me for that.


However, as for my previous posts, I base my opinion on two things:

1) Definitions of the words "interaction" and "advertiser". It should follow, that searching on Google and visiting AdSense partner sites is interaction with Google, not with advertisers. The visitor loads the ad content merely from the Google servers.

2) Google specifies the "interaction with advertisers" by giving an example at [google.com...]
It says "such as visits to an advertiser's website." Which seems to confirm 1).


Now, where does Google say that "interaction with the advertiser" is defined as searching on Google or visiting AdSense partner sites (as levo wrote above)?

[edited by: true_INFP at 10:47 pm (utc) on May 8, 2010]

10:45 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Contact advertisers directly and make 5 times more than with adsense.
11:00 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There's absolutely no question that Google is serving up IBAs. Maybe true_INFP doesn't see them now, but that doesn't in any way negate the fact that they are all over the place and probably here to stay.
11:02 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Contact advertisers directly and make 5 times more than with adsense.

3.Communications Solely With Google. You agree to direct to Google, and not to any advertiser, any communication regarding any Ad(s) or Link(s) displayed in connection with Your Property(ies).

[google.com...]
11:05 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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There's absolutely no question that Google is serving up IBAs.

Yes, they are. Who said they aren't?

The thing I said is you can prevent Google from serving them on your site except the very small portion where the ads are based on previous interaction with the advertiser (which means e.g. vising the advertiser's website, not just seeing their ads on Google or an AdSense site).
11:07 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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> The thing I said is you can prevent Google from serving them on your site

Maybe you can, nobody else here seems to be able to.
11:10 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I don't see them... on my site or others. [UK using IE6]
11:19 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Maybe you can, nobody else here seems to be able to.

How can they be sure they see interest-based ads? AdSense ads had been able to be off-topic for years before interest-based ads were introduced. The context matching algo has always been full of bugs.

Also, they may have interacted with the advertisers? That would enable the interest-based ads even if they disabled them.

(As I wrote, I never click on any Google ads (whether in their SERPS or on any websites). In other words, I rarely (if ever) interact with AdWords advertisers.)
11:21 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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> using IE6

Now that's funny! :-)
The most hated obsolete browser on the planet somehow gets a pass on IBAs.
11:26 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The most hated obsolete browser on the planet somehow gets a pass on IBAs.

FWIW, I'm using Firefox 3.6 and occasionally IE8. I check our website from Europe and from the US. Our AdSense account is European-based.
11:33 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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> using IE6

Now that's funny! :-)


Why ?

20% of my visitors use IE6.
I build sites for visitors, not adsense. So, I want to make sure my sites run okay on IE6. I prefer IE6 to IE7. 7 looks like it was made for kids in mind. IMO.
11:38 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Sorry, add me to the list of haters of IE6. Tried to co-exist with it and it's non-standard-compliant quirks for years. Finally had enough and decided to turn my back on it and anybody still using it. Surprisingly, I'm much happier.
11:45 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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You may be a hater of IE6, but as a user I do see an increasing amount of sites that fail to render properly. Even wordpress and blogs... many of which have adsense on them, but the adverts do not appear where they should... which could also be a reason why people are complaining of a lower CTR.
11:47 pm on May 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

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I won't see IBAs for the simple reason I block all that stuff in my browser. NoScript does a very good job of that (and my hosts file, too). JS turned off, etc...

I am, however, a rather small minority who goes that far.
12:08 am on May 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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> sites that fail to render properly.

Sorry, it's IE6 that's not rendering right. All the countless hours designers have spent over the years trying to suffice that nightmare, good ridance IE6.
12:11 am on May 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Hating IE might be a good topic for another thread.
5:54 am on May 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The answer is 11. The perfect number of available ads spots on your site. Tested it. Don't believe me, my bank account will thank you.
3:47 am on May 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Funny, a few weeks ago I was going to purchase some rock waterfalls for my swimming pool and I did a bunch of surfing doing some product and pricing research. I finally ended up purchasing one from a local seller (Offline).

Low and behold, weeks later I am still seeing advertisements for rock waterfalls instead of seeing ads for new products I am researching now.

I think that explains it.
8:49 pm on May 11, 2010 (gmt 0)

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bumpski,

Just did exactly that. Turned them off. Let's see if there an increase in CTR.
5:32 am on May 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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Just did exactly that. Turned them off. Let's see if there an increase in CTR.


Sigh.
10:06 am on May 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

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The timing of the original post made me wonder...wasn't there a very recent post on the AdSense blog that highlighted changes/improvements to the relevancy of the ads that they now offer after a user clicks on the AdSense link units? If you aren't using link units, couldn't this change have possibly had some effect on the regular AdSense text ads that are available for display on one's site?
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