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Who STILL Gets Good Ad Targeting?

I Am Getting D GAS.

     
5:07 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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D GAS - Default Garbage Ad Serving

I remember a few years back when Google provided Razor-sharp targeted ads. On EVERY one of the many unrelated subjects on my website. This resulted in VERY GOOD CTR, and a good experience for visitors.

I cannot understand why my appropriate targeting “flew the coop”, nor WHY.

With all the faults of Media dot net (unprovided stats, reporting delay, double-click required, etc.), they are AT LEAST able to include SOME of the same KEYWORDS in the ad, which APPEAR on the page. The drawback is that you are required to ASK them to target EACH page, one-by-one. This is a PITA, and should not be necessary. But they WILL DO IT.

AdSense, on the other hand, now provides ads to me which have NO CONCEIVABLE RELATIONSHIP WHATSOEVER to the SUBJECT ON THE PAGE - I get D GAS - Default Garbage Ad Serving. (Not all pages, just most.)
From a user perspective, untargetted ads are garbage, and worse than no ads at all.

So, WHO DOESN’T get targeted ads, these days?
Can someone please tell me why I get D GAS?

1. Sites that Google considers “not so good”?
--- a. Poor content? What is the criteria?
--- b. Low volume? What volume level is needed?
--- c. Individuals, as opposed to corporations? All good ads go to the big guys?

2. Advertisers dissappeared? I don’t believe it. ALL of them?

3. Is it a subtle hint to go away? “We don’t need or want your business.”

Is your experience similar to mine?

Please speculate on why YOU think a person may get D GAS?
Thank you for your thoughts. Any hints would be greatly appreciated.
I would love to see targeted ads once again from AdSense.
.
5:43 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Ads can be served either as contextual-ads, those are as based on the site content on which they appear, or as personalized ads based on the users's browsing history. So one needs to be cautious when drawing the conclusion you are trying to draw. This is not to say that there is not a lot of D-GAS out there. But it is likely less than you think.

Are you using the ad-balance feature? If you are not, my guess is that your site is more now more than ever subject to D-GAS. That is if many sites are limiting their inventory to only the highest paying ads then the bottom feeding advertisers will have fewer sites on which to show their crappy ads. The use of the ad balance feature has proven a very effective way of blocking crap ads, try it!

Poor CTR has more to do with mobile, than anything else. Mobile users see only smaller ads and are much more likely to scroll right past them or never reach them, as below the fold ads can often be pushed way down a page in a responsive layout. If the user doesn't see or notice the ad they wont click it.
5:59 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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My ad balance slider has been set at 66% for over a month, right at the "better user experience" borderline that they show.
Should I be even more restrictive?

It appears to me that the slider, right now, does nothing whatsoever.

Do you think that if I go to 10%, I might get appropriate targeting? Seems extreme, but maybe it is required to "dump the crud".
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6:07 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Should I be even more restrictive?
No I wouldn't.

Another change that helped is blocking specific categories. There was a change recently in Adsense that made the categories more detailed, so now you can be very specific with the blocking. Example, before I believe you could only block Beauty Products, but now you can block specifically Beauty & Personal Care / Anti-Aging, while leaving all the other beauty sub-categories unblocked. In my experience Anti-Aging ads has been amongst the worst.
9:06 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Targeting is the most important thing of all to me.
They can serve any category they want, IF IT IS TARGETED.
I don't want to appear as the "Yeah, I'll take anything, even if it is crud" kind of guy.
I am trying to always be "a cut above", and not just be a money-grubber (Thanks, Elizabeth W.).

All the whack-a-mole stuff (Ad Review Center) has wasted so much of my time in the past.
I just don't want to play that game anymore. Too demeaning and frustrating, especially since it DOESN'T HELP. They breed like rabbits.

I just changed my slider to 50% (estimated 94% of earnings). Let's see if that helps.
I will GLADLY toss 6% of earnings, if it helps me to look reasonable and focused, and NOT a grubber.

Next, I will go to 25% (75% of estimated earnings).
If that doesn't work, it may be time for me to walk away, and admit defeat.
Life is too short, to continually beat my head against the wall for peanuts.
There are other things I would like to do, that would provide FAR MORE satisfaction.
It would be different, if I were still making $600 a day (2013). But at $15 a day, screw it.
.
.

[edited by: Sally_Stitts at 9:27 pm (utc) on Mar 15, 2017]

9:23 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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Still believe that you should give at least 10~20% over the minimum threshold on the ad balancer. While periodically checking the values on a weekly/monthly schedule.

I do not use ad balancer myself, but I monitor the % of user experience value from time to time. Without setting it at all, the range for my account is from 15% ~ 33%. So that is at least 100% difference from the trough of 15%. Without actually using it at all.

I believe blocking categories or being too restrictive is a loser's game. (Unless it's for an overall age appropriate reasons, like blocking gambling ads on a children/tween site) Much of the best paying ad's nowadays are targetted personalized ads anyways. I find this especially true since my network site topics have extremely poor buying intentions.

From NickMNS's example, his anti aging segment might be bad for his audiences, but it's probably awesome if my audience is mainly consisted of 40~50 year old women. It all depends on the audiences, not the site topic per se. It's the trend that Google overall is going too, it's all comes back to become user pool and intention centric, not topic nor context. But rather being at the right place at the right time to serve the right ads.

But if a site is with strong buying intention, adsense is probably a relatively poorer monetise vertical anyways versus affiliates.

I think somewhat poor targetting nowadays is because many of the bids are really automated by various algorithms (within adsense and third party platforms that buy impressions). It's a trade off. In the long run, volume will win. It's commodification of impressions. Bad for publishers, but easier for advertisers. (Personally I think those mega authority sites that break their #*$!ty articles into 10+ pages are partially to blame).

In the long run, Impressions will be pressured to go even lower in terms of RPM. And the targetting will become even more non-sense to the outsider's view (without a glimpse into the big data sets that these advertisers are basing their bids on). What I mean is that...the D Gas may in fact be targetted, in one way or another that simply do not make much sense.

Ps. The balancer does not get rid of untarggeted ads. It gets rid of the zero paying ads / impressions, regardless of their targets.

However, I think that restrict categories based on their impression shown / earning ratio is a good place to remove poor audience targets. Like...if a category shows for 50% of the impression but only account for 10% of the earning. Then that is some form of mismatch which could be addressed.
10:11 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@frankleeceo
his anti aging segment might be bad for his audiences, but it's probably awesome if my audience is mainly consisted of 40~50 year old women.

I doubt that, the anti aging ads I was seeing were pure spam. But you may well be right. The thing is that Adsense shows you what percentage of your earnings are coming from the category and the sub-category. So obviously if there is a category that is generating revenue, don't block it. But it my case the category was only generating spam, the bunny breeding whack-a-mole type Sally described, and no revenue.

Note that even with the ad-balancer set near 60% I was still seeing the occasional anti-aging ad. But after blocking it was done. Far more effective than the ad-review center.
11:35 pm on Mar 15, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@ Sally - Clear your cookies and go have a look. Ad targeting improves for me until I get some surfing history. I do wish Google would or could deliver site content centric ads.

@ NickMNS - Where do you get information/sources on how Adsense targeting functions?
12:10 am on Mar 16, 2017 (gmt 0)

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@Edge from Adsense here: [support.google.com...]
 

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