In the meantime, here is the kind of tips you’ll find in the soon to come Advanced Guide to Making Money with AdSense. You see, I’ve discovered that once you’ve covered the how-to and basics of Google AdSense then there is a whole another world on understanding how to make it really pay off.
Quick AdSense Fact
One of those bits of know-how is using the Competitive Ad Filter.
Now, if you are like me, you are thinking that you may not really have a lot of competitors, and even if you did, you don’t really think that they have the kind of muscle to push a ton of traffic based on ads on your websites.
That would be completely correct except for one lesser known fact about running ads on your sites. Sometimes, companies bid a super low per click amount and then basically set their ads to run anywhere they can without regard to how well they match the site. Since Google matches ads to content this won’t be a problem when your page has keywords and traffic that cause them to send numerous ads your way.
But, if your keywords don’t quite hit the ones advertisements are targeting and your traffic is low enough or the page is new enough, it might not match up with enough ads to fill all of your slots. In this case, Google gives you various choices including showing public service ads.
As always, there are weasels out there working the system without regard to its intent or spirit and with even less regard for the publishers who make the websites. They use every trick in the book to get their ads on your site despite very poor matching, or no matching at all with the lowest possible click payment (usually $0.01).
Needless to say, the users that see these ads are not very likely to click them which lowers your click through rate. If you users do actually click them, you get a measly penny. Worse, they are less likely to actually convert once they leave your site which also means they lower your value in Google’s eyes and can lead to you getting smart-priced.
(Don’t worry the advanced guide will go over all of this in detail, but for now think of it like having an advertising company with a product that has a 50% success rate when used well. Then, someone comes along and uses your product to send junk mail at random all over town. Now that product only has a 30% success rate which makes it less valuable. You would obviously want to stop that from happening if you could.)
Google’s Competitive Ad Filter Tool
Your only hope for combating these legal, but worthless ads is the Competitive Ad Filter which allows you to block specific sites. We’ll cover this in detail in the advanced guide, but for now, know that it is under AdSense Setup. Any domain or URL listed here will not be used for ads on your site. Keep in mind, that this means lowering your chances for getting ads published because you are reducing the pool of available advertisers.
Still, if you are getting low value ads on your sites and would just rather publish a blank space, then adding those domains to the filter will achieve just that.
I stumbled upon this tool after my personal finance website, which is called Finance Gourmet, kept getting ads for gourmet food sites. That isn’t anyone being shifty because my site title does have the word “gourmet” in it, but it still messes up my site’s ads, so I added the ones that seemed to be the most common to pop-up. Next thing you know, my site has ads for financial planners, credit cards, and so on, like it probably should.
Incidentally, do not use the Competitive Ad Filter to block ads that are legitimate matches for your site but you just don’t like for some reason. You only get something like 250 total entries, and it isn’t like there are a million advertisers jonesing to get an ad on a site that gets just 1,000 hits a month or anything. So, even if you don’t like reverse mortgages, don’t block ads just because they offer reverse mortgages.
I would have just put this all in the Writer’s Advance Guide to AdSense, but I decide to write this post after noticing something this morning.
Previously, on one of my sites I kept getting ads that went to carlskinsucc3ss <dot> com. (They used an e and not a 3, but I don’t want them getting any credit or links or whatever from here.)
They were all ads about removing wrinkles and my site was a finance website. I let it go for a while, but eventually, I blocked carolskinsucc3ss. (Which blocks them from all of my sites – again, we’ll cover this in the advanced guide.)
Then, this morning I noticed an anti-wrinkle ad on my motley-topic blog on computers, Internet, small business, and theoretical management, marketing, and social paradigms. (Needless to say, this unfocused site is not my pride and joy in the traffic department.)
My post had nothing to do with wrinkles, in fact, it was about the Google Update service that gets installed and runs all the time. When I got the domain name from the ad it was debraskinsucc3ss <dot> com. Well, isn’t that special?
Obviously, someone is playing the system even more than usual. After some research, I found some tips that I think everyone can benefit from right now, so I’m posting them here.
- skinsucc3ss.com and its derivatives all point to 3tbrowne.com.
- If this kind of thing ever happens to you with different domain names, use domaintools.com for domain search and click Advanced Search. There you can select parameters to show all domains with a string, with or without hyphens, at the front or at the end of the name, and so on.
- Using the domaintools site I found 30 skinsucc3ss sites that all start with a random girl’s name. (A couple start with other obvious words).
- There is an image of this search for your reference. I would add all of these domains and the 3tbrowne one on your first day with an AdSense account if I were you. Unless your site is about beauty or fashion or celebrities or something.
Do you know of others? Ever seen something like this on your site? Drop a comment below with the info so we can all benefit, or link back to your own site with the information.