Google has enabled a new ad blocking option for sensationalist ads shown through parts of their network. Sensationalism currently appears as a sensitive category in Ad Exchange ad blocking rules and is disabled by default. The new sensitive category option has not yet appeared in the AdSense control centre and we believe that it is currently limited to English only.
Google defines Sensationalism as:
Ads that aim to induce users to click them by appealing to their curiosity, often using a teaser message with hyperbolic language or imagery. Includes ads that center around sensationalistic subjects (such as celebrity arrests, deaths, or divorces) or aim for shock value.
Whether or not the new category will soon be added as an option in AdSense is unclear. It isn’t unusual for the sensitive categories to differ between the two sibling products. Ad Exchange already offers “Significant skin exposure” and “Consumer loans” as sensitive categories that AdSense doesn’t match. AdSense however has exclusivity on “Social casino games” in its sensitive categories list.
The new category comes with the usual disclaimer that Google cannot guarantee that all ads are classified correctly, which hardly comes as a suprise considering the subjective nature of Sensationalism.
We are yet to run tests on the demand impact of this new blocking option.