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I seem to recall reading somewhere that content based ads would "override" or at least compete with interest based ads for placement. ?
Does this mean that my sites won't show ads relevant to my content anymore?
No, that's not the case -- interest-based ads won't replace the previous ad targeting options you're used to. Interest-based ads will compete in the same ad auction as contextually- and placement-targeted ads, and we'll continue to show only the ad(s) that will generate highest earnings for you. As noted above, interest-based ads will gradually become available to show on publisher pages, and with more available ads competing in the ad auction, you should see increased earnings over time.
I think it is pointless to take such steps based on experience of one user (you). The way the tech works is that no two users see the same ads anyway and G is always trying to maximize revenue for itself (and us) and their research shows that as much as you may dislike seeing certain types of ads, the vast majority of users want to see ads related to their interest in a given session.
Show ads based on user interest categories. Visitation information from my sites may be used to help create interest categories.
Do not show ads based on user interest categories. Visitation information from my sites will not be used to help create interest categories.
You would think that with the majority (at least from what I've observed) complaining that ad revenue is down that this notion of displaying ads based on previous topics isn't working.
As with other topics related to AdSense, the fact that the majority of publishers commenting here are complaining does not mean the majority of publishers are experiencing lower revenue - or that the lower revenue anyone is experiencing is related to interest based ads.
Sometimes two events that happen at the same time (interest based ads + lower revenue) are just a coincidence.
But often they're not.
That would *imply* that maybe you can turn it off. But who ever knows with Google. Turn it off if you think that's what's causing your problems; I'll be surprised but happy for you if it actually fixes anything.
Google is deliberately ambiguous about a lot of AdSense statements because there are tons of peoples - entire networks - working 24/7 trying to scam the system