In case you missed it, last month Google made significant updates to category management by adding new AdSense blocking categories. Publishers now have more control over the adverts that are shown on their sites. When used correctly, this can help increase revenue and improve customer satisfaction.
Google decided to make the changes based on publisher feedback, specifically of the desire to block certain adverts from appearing on a site. We have always been able to filter out specific categories since 2010, as well as blocking domains and individual adverts, this change just gives us more control.
470 AdSense blocking categories
AdSense used to allow us to block 250 subcategories, which was a significant feature that few other networks matched. With the update, it is now possible to block 470 subcategories, which means it is easier to filter out niche sites that may be competing directly with you, or displaying adverts that are not relevant, or wanted, by your market audience.
Before this change, publishers were forced to block entire niches from advertising on their website, which would often result in a drop in earnings. For example, a fitness website may have chosen to block all Drugs & Supplements sites, just so no irrelevant adverts showed from pharmaceutical companies. Now they will be able to allow ads from Sports Nutrition Supplements, while blocking Drugs & Medications. This should help them to maintain a more focused brand and not put off readers or advertisers.
To block or not to block? The decision to block should always be a business one, rather than a personal “I don’t like it” decision. We recommend that granular blocking is used to improve quality control, which helps to keep both your advertisers and your readers happy. For example, in the case of the fitness website mentioned above, their sports nutrition advertisers may not wish to be associated with weight loss pills.
We have seen cases where a good advertiser declined a website because of the ads that were currently showing on its pages. Likewise, ads can put off readers. For instance, readers of a serious sports and fitness website may welcome ads from nutrition sites, but feel that adverts for quick weight loss schemes and diet pills are spammy and unprofessional. In short, a bad advert can quickly harm a brand.
Can blocking increase earnings?
It can be very tempting to block the advertisers that tend to have lower CPM and CPC rates. However, any use of category blocking to push up earnings should be accompanied by strict split testing, as sometimes blocking the lower paying adverts means less competition, which can result in even lower earnings. Used as a yield management tool it can often result in lowering earnings by reducing advertiser demand. This should therefore be carried out with caution.
Also on DoubleClick Ad Exchange
These new AdSense blocking categories are not limited to your AdSense admin – they have also been added to DoubleClick Ad Exchange blocking rules, which will be good news for AdX publishers.
If you need advice or help in setting up and optimising your automated advertising, get in touch with OKO today. As Google Publisher partners, we work closely with Google to bring higher advertising yields to our customers. We have regular meetings with our dedicated Google representative, who keeps us up to date on the latest changes to their advertising rules, as well as direct support on major changes such as the ad blocking update. With careful planning and testing, this change can help you to earn more from your website. Call OKO today.