Play_Bach, I think this brings Adsense to how it was a few months ago - where an ad here or there will show up if I happened to visit a site (like Target.com, and then a Target ad shows up - I think that's fine).
But in the past few weeks, I would go to a site about gardening, then I would go to a site about diabetes, for example, and 100% of the ads on the diabetes site would be about gardening, and the ads were not for actual company websites I had visited. I don't know what that's called, but that is not happening now that I disabled the "interest-based advertising preference," and my CTR has shot up since I clicked that button yesterday.
@thatjen..I discussed all this publicly here in these fora with the last but one ASA as soon as personalised ads came out....who after checking with the mother ship ..confirmed it actually works like I said it does ..and not like you think it does..
And I've referred countless times to that thread since then when people like yourself assume ( as Google meant you to ..it is designed to confuse ..and misdirect ..like a magicians hands) that it means that you can opt your site out of showing IBAs..
As Play_Bach points out to you ..the important bit of what they write is "that" bit ..
Everyone else here knows this is the way it works ..trust us ..we've been dealing with it for years now..and in the case of certain ..the consequent stalking by images of doughnuts ;-)
The fact that temporarily you are not seeing interest based ads and that your CTR has jumped means that they have run out of IBAs to present to many visitors to your sites ..or that they are targeting it better ( temporarily ) ..IBAs rarely account for more than 30% of ads shown on a site..
Some sites you will ( almost ) never see IBAs on ..others will get them sometimes ..others all the time..G plays bait and switch..with each individual IP that connects to them.. depending on the time of day , what the cookies are telling them...and a myriad other things that they are analysing continuously..
They did not suddenly make that part of their TOS mean what you have taken it to mean..correlation does not mean causation..
I'll sometimes see IBAs on my sites that have adsense ..and sometimes not ..on the very same sites ..and sometimes the proportion will vary ..and sometimes these things will happen over days ..even weeks ..and then it will begin again..and sometimes the same ads will be over multiple networks including but not restricted to adsense ..I'm currently being followed by ads for HD docks on my sites and virtually all others whether they are running adsense or not ..before that it was photo retouch software ..and my sites are signed out ..( not that it makes any difference ..just that I wanted to be able say that I had said "no" ) ..that and I don't run adwords or pay for other ads for any products or services I sell currently ..so I would gain nothing by allowing my sites to influence what a visitor saw subsequent to being on one of mine...
oh yeah ..and they feed you IBAs even when you are signed out ..just less of them..there is a site ( can't find the link ATM ) that lets you"opt out" of seeing IBAs from the various networks ..but each time you reboot etc ..you get opted right back in again..
[edited by: Leosghost at 1:40 am (utc) on Aug 5, 2011]
If you are selling something...via adwords..or any other ad network ..you may as well leave it on..you might pick up a sale further down the line just by wearing them down ;-)..because you ad will be haunting them ..from time to time..
If not ..makes no real difference whether you leave it on or off..
If you want to opt out ..( temporarily from seeing them yourself from Google and other ad networks..
Take a look at this post [webmasterworld.com...] Sgt_Kickaxe ..gives you the link I couldn't remember ;-)) ..and also one of many discussions about IBAs from recent times here [webmasterworld.com...]
And just to be on topic ;-) ..IBAs on your site can be good for some sites ..Netmeg and DaStarBug ( and many others ) do well from them ..and IBAs do badly on others sites ..( the list of those who do badly since IBAs came in is too long to begin )..plus you never know what someone else is seeing ..so you cant research it ..all you can do is try to make your site/page so obviously about the subject that you want ads to be shown for that site targeted ads will show to most visitors in preference to IBAs..
Not sure what's happened in the last week, but I'm guessing I've gone up the rankings on another keyword, and that's bringing in another 1000 new visitors a day, and as a result I'm getting more clicks than normal, however it's paying badly. I was doing far better with less visitors, not to mention I'm on the limit of my monthly bandwidth quota, and to upgrade to the next package is literally twice the annual cost. What are you doing to me Google Adsense?
I know disabling Adsense's "interest-based advertising preference" isn't supposed to do anything, but my CTR has been up a 1/2% since doing it (and eCPM is up a bit), and most of the ads (except for a few) are totally on target, unlike before, when 100% of the ads on my less popular sites were showing ads for genres I had previously looked at (gardening ads on a diabetes site, for example).
I've looked at my sites on 3 different people's computers, and aside from the occasional remarketing ad (like a Target ad cause my friend had looked at Target.com), the ads on my friends' computers are the exact same ones I see at home. Anyway, I'm not holding my breath this is actually doing anything, but it's giving me the illusion that things are sucking slightly less for me for now.
Oh dear...I've just looked for the first time today...I wish I hadn't...AdSense and rats deserting a sinking ship come to mind, (I was going to write Lemmings however this been proven to be a bit of a fantasy!), nonetheless, totally $hite:-)