Taking Control Over Your Adsense Ads (or, Taking out the Trash)

A long time ago I stopped displaying Adsense ads on several of my blogs, including this one, because of the types of ads which were showing. On a health-related blog I did not want to advertise drugs and weight-loss fads, and on this blog I did not want to advertise scams or get-rich quick schemes.

A long time ago I stopped displaying Adsense ads on several of my blogs, including this one, because of the types of ads which were showing.  On a health-related blog I did not want to advertise drugs and weight-loss fads, and on this blog I did not want to advertise scams or get-rich quick schemes.

While I could filter out Adsense ads from certain URLs, using the Adsense filters, this was sometimes not enough.  There were simply too many … erm … questionable (or maybe we should say, slimy) ads showing.  Why would I advertise something which I would normally tell people not to touch with a ten-foot pole?

Apparently I was not the only person to notice this.

On the Google Adsense Blog an announcement was made recently about Category Filtering.

You can now log into your Adsense account and choose up to 5 categories of ads that you do not wish to have displayed.  The categories to choose from are:

  • Cosmetic Procedures & Body Modification
  • Dating
  • Drugs & Supplements
  • Get Rich Quick
  • Politics
    Religion
  • Ringtones & Downloadables
    Sexual & Reproductive Health
  • Sexually Suggestive
    Video Games (Casual & Online)
  • Weight Loss

By selecting to filter out five of the above categories, you are basically telling your Adsense account not to display ads of that nature on your website.

So, in my case, I am able to filter out Get-Rich Quick (for this blog), Drugs & Supplements (for my health related sites), and a few other obvious categories 🙂  This means I can tentatively start placing Adsense ads on a few of my sites from which I had previously removed Adsense for reasons of ethics.  I will of course watch the ads and see how this goes – and decide whether to keep the ads on or remove them again.

To apply filters to your own Adsense account, simply follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Adsense account
  2. Click on “Adsense Setup”
  3. Click on “Ad Review Center”
  4. Configure your filters as per the instructions on the screen

I will see how this goes on my sites – like I said before, I will still watch the ads to see how well the filter is working. There is nothing wrong with displaying contextually-placed advertisements on your site with information that might be useful to your visitors. But no one wants to mislead his or her readers, or send out mixed messages.

If you are running Adsense ads on any of your sites you may have run into this situation before – so I hope this is useful for you! 🙂

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26 Responses to “Taking Control Over Your Adsense Ads (or, Taking out the Trash)”

  1. Stefan
    August 24, 2009 at 12:43 am #

    That’s always been the bad thing about Google AdSense. It’s not always relevant. More often than not dating sites shows without having something related to the content at all.
    .-= Stefan´s last blog ..How to Backup and Restore Your WordPress Blog =-.

  2. Web Career Girl
    August 24, 2009 at 8:58 am #

    Wow, thanks for sharing this! I definitely understand your frustration at the dodgy scam sites that turn up sometimes. I’m going to go and try this new category filtering right now.
    .-= Web Career Girl´s last blog ..The Week’s Progress – Fri 21 August =-.

  3. Dave Doolin
    August 24, 2009 at 1:42 pm #

    Thanks for the info.

    Currently, I’m only running adsense in RSS, figuring if people want to read ad-free they can click through.

    The big reason of course is I don’t like a lot of what adsense is serving up.
    .-= Dave Doolin´s last blog ..WIAW Week in Review: August 15 – August 21 =-.

  4. Forest
    August 25, 2009 at 4:31 pm #

    Wow thanks. I never even noticed this…. I need to get filtering!
    .-= Forest´s last blog ..Musically Motivated Monday – Wake Up! =-.

  5. Jenny
    August 25, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    Thanks for the tip Anna, I noticed this on some of my blogs but didn’t realize there was a way to fix it.

    Do you use a certain plugin for your adsense or one you find works best?
    .-= Jenny´s last blog ..Internet Marketing Frustration =-.

  6. Anna
    August 27, 2009 at 4:00 pm #

    Hi everyone – glad the post was useful. I also hadn’t noticed the change right away. My email filters were a bit to rigorous! Adsense-related emails are now going straight to my inbox. If you do use Adsense, it’s always a good idea to subscribe to the “Inside Adsense” blog.

    Dave, the filters can now be applied to Adsense for Feeds as well 🙂

    Jenny – I simply insert my Adsense code into “Text” widgets on my WordPress blogs. Unless there is no widget in the area I want to use due to the layout of the theme. In this case, I use this plugin:

    http://websitesandwebhosting.com/goto/mbp/maxbannerads/

    There is a paid version and a free version of that plugin. The free version includes a link to the plugin itself (which can be an affiliate link). The paid version allows you to remove the link. It is an awesome plugin, I love it, and it also has a great interface which makes it really easy to add ads and banners to your blog, rotate different banners, and track click-through rates of different banners at a glance. I have been meaning to write a post on it one day. But, I digress …

    Web Careeer Girl, I hope it works out well. Let me know how it goes.

  7. Mr. I
    August 30, 2009 at 11:02 pm #

    I did not know about this feature of AdSense.

    I had also stopped AdSense on my blog about 5-6 months ago. I started experimenting again with it and this time, targeting seems to be improved(I guess keyword optimization also helped a lot).
    .-= Mr. I´s last blog ..Daniel Scocco’s eBook- Make Money Blogging =-.

  8. BlogrPro.Com
    August 31, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    Well said. Many people don’t even follow these methods.
    .-= BlogrPro.Com´s last blog ..Pros and Cons of Alexa ranking =-.

  9. Mp3 player accessories
    September 1, 2009 at 4:55 am #

    i have a real bad experience with adsense.. i have been trying to get approval of the adsense account.. but with out any success. i have been updating my blog at least twice a daily

  10. Ajith
    September 1, 2009 at 10:56 am #

    Nice information on category filtering. This along with the competitive ad filtering should make ads that are served more specific and content targeted. If only I knew the average eCPM for this categories 🙂
    .-= Ajith´s last blog ..Blog Search Engine Optimization – Simple Tricks via Reorganizing Content =-.

  11. Anna
    September 1, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    Actually Ajith, and I should have mentioned this in the post, when you go to filter your ads, your account will show you what percentage of your income is coming from the types of ads you are about to filter out. So you can make a more informed decision from the financial side as well.

  12. Trade Online
    September 8, 2009 at 7:43 am #

    I am no adsense pro, but I think the adsense that shows on your blog depends on how you write.

    Another one I wish that could be done is how to stop the same ad from showing on the same page. For instance if you have 2 adense ads in a post, adsense can show the same text link twice.
    .-= Trade Online´s last blog ..Trading Forex During Summer Holiday Period =-.

  13. itinfocube1
    September 12, 2009 at 5:00 am #

    However, you cannot automatically (or use the wizard) to do it. The wizard does not offer channels for it. You have to go in and open the code of your template, then find where Adsense under posts are placed and replace it with the code that has the channel

  14. Walter
    September 13, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Hey, I did not know about this. Thanks for sharing Anna. 🙂

  15. Website Design Sydney
    September 15, 2009 at 8:51 pm #

    Regardless of the method you use, we highly suggest testing your ads. Every blog is unique and will see different results for each method used. The more you test, the more information you will have to optimize your blog for the best earnings.

  16. Anna
    September 28, 2009 at 4:37 pm #

    @itinfocube1 – Did you read the post? It seems like you are referring to something else other than what I wrote about.

  17. realtor in The Ridges
    September 29, 2009 at 3:02 am #

    I set up my Adsense with my new blogger blog and was wondering how to filter out Ads which were not at all relevant with my blog, I think I missed a trick by not logging into my Adsense account and finding it out myself, instead I was looking for options into Blogger’s Monetizing area.

    Thank you, will set it now.

  18. Anna
    September 29, 2009 at 9:42 am #

    @realator – you are correct, you can’t change these settings within blogger. You have to log into your Adsense account. I hope you’ve been able to figure it out now.

  19. San Diego Homes
    October 16, 2009 at 6:17 pm #

    I’ve always been reluctant to use adsense, because I am concerned about the content of the adsense ads that would be displayed on my site. I don’t want questionable material on my San Diego real estate website. The content filtering is a great idea, and it may now make sense to use Adsense.
    .-= San Diego Homes´s last blog ..San Diego Luxury Home Foreclosures =-.

  20. Avoid foreclosure in Las Vegas
    October 27, 2009 at 2:37 am #

    That is informative of you. I haven’t used adsense due to those irrelevant topics that I might be incorporating. I’ll be giving that a try, being able to filter those that are not related to my site. Thank you.

  21. Sid
    November 8, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    Thanks for the insight on adsence I am just now starting out with adsence this was helpful info for me.I will be applying this.
    .-= Sid´s last blog ..Ways to Earn Money Online updated Sat Nov 7 2009 1:59 pm CST =-.

  22. Ruri
    November 22, 2009 at 2:07 am #

    I don’t really care what ads that adsense will put in my site. but I don’t really like if adsense put public ads. However, I come to adsense setup but I don’t see any option for ad review center just like you said above.
    .-= Ruri @ Free online article directory´s last blog ..Who Knew? Medical Transcription Canada Is A Thriving Business =-.

  23. Anna
    November 22, 2009 at 2:20 am #

    @Ruri – I am not sure why you don’t see it, it is the first thing on the screen when you reach the ad review center and kind of hard to miss. But if you don’t want to filter categories anyway, then I guess it doesn’t really make much of a difference for you.

  24. jake
    March 2, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    Ok, I was also concerned about such ads on my blog but I think I will check out the category filtering now too.

  25. claim
    December 10, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    Hi thanks fior this. I wasnot awareof this feature.I thin I also need to get filter.

  26. Andy
    August 10, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    Thanks Anna for sharing your experience. Not only that but you also give steps on how to filter out the categories you don’t want. Not too many blogs go through the trouble of doing what you did.

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