Understanding AdSense Targeting Types

AdSense targeting types are the ways in which advertisers target different ads to web pages.

What are the AdSense Targeting Types?

  • Contextual targeting, ads related to the content on a page
  • Placement targeting, hand picked by advertisers for a specific part of a page
  • Personalised targeting, closely matched to viewers’ interests and browsing habits

You can see what methods advertisers are using to target ads on your site……

This report not only shows the numbers of impressions being bought through each targeting type but the CPM rates for each.  These can vary considerably on some sites.

This report can also be useful in planning inventory. For instance, if you see that placement targeted ads are achieving higher rates you might want to use more ad units of the type that advertisers are targeting. Filtering the report by ad unit will show this.

Contextual Targeting

Once a site is crawled and indexed, AdSense will examine the site’s content in order to determine exactly what the content is about and try and match google ads to each page. The more text based content on a page the easier specific google ads will be able to serve.

For instance, a travel blog with a lot of text based content about travelling to different countries is more likely to get travel related ads show up more frequently. As opposed to an image based site where AdSense has less to digest. The easier a publisher’s site is layed out with complete sentences and paragraphs the easier time Google’s crawler will have of understanding the website.

Placement Targeting

Advertisers will sometimes choose a specific ad placement, a site or particular group of ad units within a site, to run their ads in. This means that the ads served in these placements may not be specifically related to a sites content, but they are specifically picked by advertisers who’ve matched the website’s user base’s interests to what they offer.

Depending on the placement set up, this placement could be the entire website or a specific selection of ad units.

It is important to note that all publisher websites in AdSense are automatically offered as a placement to advertisers in their own right. They will stay like this unless publishers set up their own placements on their site.

Personalised Targeting

Another way of advertising to users is by looking at their interests and demographics. Google does this by looking at a user’s Google Account. This will show which items they’ve searched for and which websites they’ve browsed as well as their activity on other devices they run google apps from.

For example an avid football enthusiast frequently browses sports apparel stores looking at football boots and footballs. They also frequent football forums and team websites. When this user lands on a publishers website they are likely to see adverts showing new football boots from different retailers as that is what google has deemed they are most interested in.

It is also important to note that when targeting users; run of network, ads that are simply displayed across an entire site, and ‘none’ or ’other’ will show up on reports although these make up a significantly smaller portion of a site’s revenue.

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