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How to get a site listed amongst Managed Placements?

How to get listed amongst AdSense Display Network's Custom Channels?



10:11 pm on Sep 29, 2012 (gmt 0)


As an advertiser, I regularly run AdWords campaigns on behalf of different customers and their websites. As none of these projects are selling virtual bagels I prefer to carefully select sites and URLs on where to advertise. I rarely if ever allow Google's system automatically determine on which sites ads appear. In all this gives me a high level of control and peace of mind in terms of over where exactly ads are shown.

On the other hand, as an AdSense publisher, I also allow other advertiser's text and graphical AdWords banners be shown on different sites, which again is pretty straightforward. However, I have not been able to get any of these sites listed amongst URL placements for other advertisers to search and find within the Google AdWords Placement tool.

Is there a particular procedure to get a site qualified amongst Google's Display Network of Managed Placements? Currently, no advertiser can pick any of my AdSense enabled sites to advertise on, which is not helpful to either a publisher's or advertiser's point of view.

Having searched extensively already I could find countless tips on how to advertise using Google's AdWords system with managed placements, not how to make one's own sites available within the placement tool towards other advertisers, which I guess is not an automatic process. So as mentioned, sites I have configured to carry AdSense served ads are therefore reduced to showing only ads from advertisers who have allowed Google's system to freely and automatically determine wherever to display their ads.

Any advise or links to where this topic is discussed would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks,


7:00 pm on Sep 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

did we hit any of your points last year?



7:58 pm on Sep 30, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the info, will check.


7:22 pm on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Having read the thread at [webmasterworld.com...] and numerous how-to's, watched videos how to set up Custom channels and URL channels, I've been unable to make my AdSense ad-serving sites findable by potential advertisers in the Placement Tool through any AdWords account.

While I can easily spend in excess of €1.00 p/click in various AdWords display scenarios, with plenty of friendly support staff at Google assisting me in the process, I'm normally not earning more than €0.05 p/click in my unrelated AdSense account. This may partially be due to the fact that ads can only be served on behalf of advertisers who are choosing AdWord's auto-placement target option. Still, all Ad-units I create in the AdSense account include a custom channel that gets flagged “Targetable” after having ticked the “Show this custom channel to advertisers as a targetable ad-placement” checkbox option. Since the option actually doesn't take effect, flagging the channels as “Auto-targetable only” would be less ambiguous on Google's part.

In asking Google's AdSense support staff why my AdSense sites are not found in advertisers placement tool, there was no response. This draws me to the conclude that for whatever reason AdSense are preventing my URLs from appearing towards potential advertisers, who may otherwise find and bid specifically on targeted placements. This lack of available site-specific bidding may partly account for the very low earnings p/click, leaving me to scrape the barrel of low-quality and less relevant ad-servings, usually by large-scale advertisers that may allocate certain excess portions of their budgets towards auto-targeted low-bid placements, the very type of ad-servings I avoid as an AdWords customer when searching for the most relevant site-specific placements.

Perhaps AdSense staff are quietly performing some kind of manual qualification process of sites that are requested to include Targetable placement channels by their AdSense customers.

Has anyone experienced a similar scenario? Perhaps someone has found their AdSense serving sites having gone from findable to non-findable or the reverse in the Managed Placements and Placement Tool section of the AdWords display network?

I can understand if non-fully developed low-traffic sites should not be findable in the AdWords system, but this should not necessarily include all sites in my AdSense account. It makes me consider other ad-serving solutions, such as offering advertisers randomly rotating placements directly. It would easily pay more than AdSense.

War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ketchup is a vegetable.


7:35 pm on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Same problem, almost certain it is due to the custom channel not having enough traffic as all the channels I defined that get allot of traffic, show up for me while the ones that don't, are no where to be found.


10:15 pm on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thank you for the feedback. In case it is indeed the same reason which applies to both our cases, I wonder what traffic threshold for a channel or URL may be necessary to trigger appearance in the placement tool.

One of my sites and Custom Channels incurred a bit over 1000 Page Views according to the AdSense stats in the last 7 days. I presume that is also the number of ad-impressions. Could that perhaps be a too low figure for it to appear in the managed placements in comparison to any of your examples?

Maybe Google AdSense also consider other ranking factors that triggers a show or no-show amongst possible managed placements.


10:35 pm on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

The only channels of mine that show up averaged just over 1000 impressions a day last month.


10:54 pm on Oct 3, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ok, good to know! It sounds quite likely then that 1000 page views p/day is currently the magic number :-)

Whenever I get above that number, I will see if it triggers a show in the placement tool and will post the outcome here.

Anyone has a different experience, please share your results here.


1:43 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

wondering, side question, did you ever use the DoubleClick Ad Planner (now called the GDN Ad Planner) to see what it says about your site?



9:40 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks, I had not tried Ad Planner before, so I just logged in as AdWords user and found that my AdSense sites are not in the database ("Ad planner could not find GDN data... ").

If the number of AdSense ad-servings vary for my channels between 1000 and 2000 a week, while as Kobayashi pointed out his channels require 1000 servings p/day to appear, I presume that without at least that number of ad-servings, a channel and URL cannot be found in AdWords and Ad Planner. As such, I will remove my sites from AdSense. There's simply is no need for me to clutter my sites with ads just to earn €0.0.. something p/click, when I can easily sell a banner placement to a single customer directly and who will pay more than the total AdSense earnings in the last 1½ years (I only recently topped my minimum €70 payout limit).

The AdSense system is surely working well for those publishers whose publications can be found and specifically picked by advertisers, but for those whom this is not working, the AdSense system is providing a half-service only, both to advertisers and publishers, by missing a vital part of any intermediate advertising media placement service.


3:11 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

it is weird to me that G, who stresses quality and relevance, appears here to be dismissing sites on a size basis.

when i look for placements, i most often do that from among the sites that are automatically matching contextually - if it sells, i don't care about the size, i add as a managed placement and bid it up.

and i do find some that are tiny, tiny.

so it feels like we're missing something here, to me.


3:12 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

if you can't be found on initial build, that's not fun, but shouldn't stop people who contextually hit you, from falling in love. that said, i am assuming rational behavior of other advertisers, and that's quite a big assumption. :-)


7:51 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

So far I've not seen any really tiny sites in the AdWords placement tool, although it's difficult to compare stats that show something like 10kb-100kb in ad planner or 0-10,000 impressions p/day in AdWords, being for example a search for "pets" in the "placement ideas" search box.

If however you find tiny sites, perhaps some of those fully qualified for manual placement at an earlier stage in AdSense's history. Maybe the traffic volume threshold for manual placement was lower in the past. Maybe certain smaller sites are given preferential treatment and are subject to manual approval by AdSense staff. Whatever the case, Kobayashi's experience certainly indicate a likely reason for his and my own current no-show status.

AdSense being the largest ad-placement system in existence, Google certainly earns enough revenue not having to cater for small fish:

“In Q1 2011, Google earned US$2.43 billion ($9.71 billion annualized), or 28% of total revenue, through Google AdSense.”

From [en.wikipedia.org...]

Maybe Google prefers not to overwhelm its AdWords customers with too many placement choices. And of course, it will almost always be the large traffic portals that generate the most income, even if some may have a lower clickthrough percentage value of any total ad-servings number.

Maybe Google finds that large media sites are less susceptible to click-fraud, thus designing their system so as to make it more difficult for smaller publishers to automatically qualify amongst manual placements.

My personal experience with AdSense is somewhat mixed, starting with finding a lack of clear information about necessary privacy policy requirements via Google itself (no examples), to a painfully lengthy and even vague in places set of Terms and Conditions (https://www.google.com/adsense/localized-terms), clearly written by lawyers for lawyers. I eventually trawled through all the information but not until several months after opening the account. No doubt many new AdSense users fail to comprehend all details, which is probably one good reason for the reportedly high fallout rate amongst new AdSense accounts.

In AdWords I prefer to pick specific sites to advertise on and I do not trust auto-placements a bit. At the same time, Google AdWords sales staff encourages AdWords customers, myself included, onto auto-placements, as this surely provides their system a greater flexibility where to distribute ads over time in order to maximize revenue, regardless where ads end up being served.


6:05 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

"In AdWords I prefer to pick specific sites to advertise on and I do not trust auto-placements a bit."

It's not a matter of trust really. Auto Placements means it is very likely to be contextually relevant. But, contextually relevant <> converting. So you bid AutoP low, let many sites come flowing in contextually, see which sites / pages get clicks and most importantly, which get conversions. Add ("Keep") the good ones as Managed Placements, exclude ("Kill") the bad ones, let those that still lack clarity as good or bad, continue to flow in as Auto Placements. We call this our "Keep or Kill" strategy.

So if you're not found in the planner or interface when initial searches are done for sites, yes, that's a bummer. BUT, contextually you should be getting matched to things that are relevant to your site, and over time, demonstrating that you are a good converter for some. For this reason, you may need to let it bake for a while before you feel the love.

As you write content, consider both your relevancy and convertibility aspects... you'll catch more flies with honey than vinegar.


7:10 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

For me I have a general interest directory with about a dozen well defined and very different categories. So I created custom channels for each one so that I could refer people who inquired about wanting to advertise within a category at my site to AdWords to do so. Since the vast majority of the custom channels don't show up as managed placements in AdWords they can't be targeted so this did not work.

RhinoFish, while I agree an advertiser's ad can still show up on one of the custom channels due to an auto placement, if the custom channel does not show up in the managed placements they can't "keep" it so to speak right?


8:26 pm on Oct 6, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the info. So I understand, low paid clicks often relate to auto-placements whereby advertisers may conduct some kind of test-marketing and media pre-selection process.

In terms of relevance, I see countless ads which don't relate to my interests or a site's contents at all. I remain sceptical about auto-placements in general and will likely continue to favor manual placements, involving careful analysis of each media outlet. With AdWords, I often have campaigns on hold simply because I cannot find enough niche sites. There is surely a wide array of suitable placements hiding in the system which are not available due to the high number of ad servings required in the manual placement tool.

Any site cluttered with too many ads often reduce their usability, so to maintain quality of content, I will not apply more than one banner on any one page of my own sites at anytime, which could make it harder to reach AdSense's manual placement tool inclusion threshold in the first place.

My mind is usually far removed from any advertising when writing. I can however see more of a love hate relationship with ads in general, not limited to AdSense.


5:42 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

"RhinoFish, while I agree an advertiser's ad can still show up on one of the custom channels due to an auto placement, if the custom channel does not show up in the managed placements they can't "keep" it so to speak right?"

Yep! For our Keep or Kill strategy, we look through the Auto Placements streaming in, everything shows there. You can check the ones you like, and add (Keep) them as Managed Placements. Check the ones you don't like, add them as Excluded (Kill) sites / pages.


5:47 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

"So I understand, low paid clicks often relate to auto-placements whereby advertisers may conduct some kind of test-marketing and media pre-selection process."

Yes, smart ones do. Contextually matched sites / pages are the way advertisers can scale their efforts - it's too time consuming to JUST search for pages and sites to hit. Contextual matched targets (Auto Placements) are the easy way to discover sites that convert. But, not all advertisers are rational, smart, or thorough. Many just setup contextual targeting and never do anything more. Others who work a little harder, might search for Managed Placements at the beginning. The best results come from doing both of these things contextual Auto Placements and best-guess Managed Placements, then SEE what happens and react to it.

Contextually matched <> converting.

But it's a good starting point.


5:54 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

"low paid"... the way I'm describing things to you, YES, you bet. When you identify sites that convert, you bid them up, get more of their traffic. Again, if you're a rational, hard-working advertiser who is driven by the data.

We often start with a 50% between APs and MPs, meaning we might bid Auto Placements at $0.25 and screened Managed Placements at $0.50. Over time, if ROAS warrants it, we might have MPs as high as $2.75. These numbers are examples, it varies all over the place depending on many factors.

Advertisers who segment bids (and targets) like we do, are driven by ROAS, not bid guessing. No bid is too high or too low to us, but instead, is just right when it yields our target ROAS.

I've bid as high as $8 a click for a specialized niche product with very high margins - for sites that convert.


6:06 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Solving the communication gap between "good fit" advertisers and publishers is in everyone's interest... but we all know what would happen if G allowed you to chase down advertisers (I'm pretty sure contacting advertisers violates AdSense TOS, but that's a guess), advertisers would be inundated with requests, and they'd be from publishers that definitely weren't a good fit at all.

A real conundrum!

As more advertisers use tools like the DCO though, perhaps the "finding" of converting sites issue will improve. So you've got that to look forward to! If your site converts for certain folks, the DCO algo will be like moths drawn to the flame.

The key to making money with AdSense, imho, is to have high quality traffic that also has an inherent commercial interest or intent.

If you own a political blog that people frequent to spew dogma, your clicks (your ad space) have a low value (to advertisers). If your page compares the best BBQ grills money can buy, has pictures of them in celebrity homes, lists their square inches and fuel consumption ratings, their warranty lengths, reliability factors, and more... well, the people visiting are comparing grills, they are dripping with commercial intent. Some grill advertisers will be salivating over your pages, adding them as MPs, and bidding them up.


10:03 pm on Oct 7, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

tuxedo, hope the following helps.

There are two types of ad placements, site wide ones which Google automatically creates for each domain and optional custom channels created by site owners.

As we have discussed I suspect AdWords advertisers can only find either type of placement in the following tab:

Display Network > Change Display Targeting > Search for placement ideas > search box

if each has sufficient traffic as those are the only ones of mine that show up for me.

As RhinoFish points out, if your site shows up to an advertiser in the automatic placement report, the advertiser can add it as a managed placement. It appears this is the case even if it cannot be found in the above described search for placements tool.

Also advertisers appear to be able to target the site wide and perhaps custom channel placements even though neither is returned in the above type search by going below the above mentioned search box to the "Add multiple placements at once" feature. There one can manually enter domains and site pages.

Keep in mind just because you can add them, does not mean it solves the overriding problem. Meaning, I was able to add domains of mine as managed placements in AdWords that don't show up in the managed placement search using the "Add multiple placements at once" described above but when I hover over their status icon they state my ad is not showing due to "This selection has very low ad traffic".

Also if the advertiser has any keywords in their adgroup and Google does not think they are relevant to your site, the advertisers ad may not show on your site even though the advertiser has managed to add it as a managed placement.

To see if anyone has ever targeted a custom channel, login to AdSense and click the Performance Reports > Targeting Types and select All Time for the date range and if anyone has targeted one of your custom channels "Placement" will show up in one the the report rows. If it shows up, click Placement and then change it from Days to Custom Channels and you will see a breakdown of the custom channel placements. Unfortunately site wide placements that have been targeted do not appear to show up in this report.

Still wish either kind of placement could be found in the search box regardless of traffic as that is the most intuitive way people are going to look for placements but for advertisers that inquire though your site you could tell them how to add your site manually and just hope you have or eventually get enough traffic for their ads to show.


12:08 am on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

BTW, just realized something strange when using the AdWords search for placement tool within an AdGroup, the site wide and custom channels of mine that show up only do so when I type in the domain without the .com at the end. With the .com AdWords appears to show placements for other sites that it thinks are related to my site. While on the Tools and Analysis > Placement Tool section's form it finds them no matter if the .com is included or not.


2:04 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the various tips. I will try your suggestions. I also found a similar but minor glitch in that when clicking an AdPlanner Profile -> "View Profile" link from within the search results of AdWords' Find placements section that the request inset into the following Placement profile form field for "domain:youtube.com" (or whatever a domain is) will be made in AdPlanner. Here the "domain:" part should be omitted. Or maybe it's just a browser specific issue. Either way, the system is obviously complex enough for even Google's expert programmers to have difficulty keeping bug free. We may expect other errors.


7:01 pm on Oct 8, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Yeah I see what you mean about the domain: bug for default placements, custom channel placements work ok.

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