Showing display ads is one of the easy options for all online publishers to make money from their content. Google AdSense is the safe and reliable program for small scale publishers to start the journey. However, one of the annoying problems when using AdSense is to see irrelevant ads on your site. this happens due to various reasons like a specific advertiser choose your site for displaying their ads. As a publisher, you need to protect your visitors by not showing irrelevant ads on your site. If you are concerned about this, here is how to block advertisement categories and specific advertiser URL in Google AdSense account.
Blocking Ads in AdSense Account
There are two ways you can block advertisements in your Google AdSense account.
- Using blocking controls – this will be applied to all traffic based on your selection.
- By creating a blocking control experiment – the experiment will run on 50% traffic.
Let us explain both methods in the following sections.
Using Blocking Controls
Login to your AdSense account and navigate to “Blocking controls” menu from the sidebar. This section has options to block advertisement based on different levels depending upon your account. You can block ads for content, search, YouTube, shopping links, etc. In this article, we will primarily focus on blocking “AdSense for Content” ads. So, expand the “Content” option to view further blocking possibilities.
You have three blocking control options – use Ad Review Center, apply control for all sites or use site level restrictions.
Using Ad Review Center
Ad Review Center shows the ads with most impressions and prioritized for your review based on Google’s analysis.
You can go through the advertisements under “Prioritized for review” and “Most Impressions” sections. If everything looks fine, click on “Mark all as reviewed” button. From here, you can click on the “Block this ad” icon on each irrelevant ad to block multiple ads at once. However, we recommend clicking on the sample to view further details. On the next page, you can view the advertiser’s destination URL, ad type, and impression details. You can completely block the advertiser’s Google Ads account by using “Block account” option. Otherwise, use “Block ad” option to only block that particular ad from the advertiser.
You can view blocked and reviewed ads in Ads Review Center’s first page to revoke your action any time later.
Using All Sites Option
Under “All sites” option, you can view block ads based on advertiser’s URL, categories, networks and ad serving.
- Advertiser URLs – let us say, you have a technology based website and notice a dating advertisement is showing on the site. If you know the website name of the advertiser, you can use this option to search and block the ads.
- Sensitive categories – this is the most useful option to block sensitive category of ads. For example, you can block all dating related ads by selecting the “Dating” option under “Sensitive categories” section. Make sure to check the % ad impression and % earnings for last 30 days before blocking at category level. Otherwise, you will end up in losing huge revenue if you block high earnings/impressions category.
- General categories – this is similar to sensitive categories option and allows you to go through categories and subcategories level to block them.
- Ad networks – we do not recommend using this option as it can negatively impact your revenue. If you are really sure about an ad network, then use this section to block that network. You can view all the available networks for your site and select the network to manually block them. Google will automatically allow all new certified networks which you can disable from this section.
- Ad serving – here you can enable or disable specific type of ads. For example, you can disable personalized user-based ads or animated display ads.
Note: Applying blocking through “All Sites” option will affect all sites in your account. Instead you can also select single site in your AdSense account and use the above blocking controls.
Creating Experiments to Block Ad Categories
You can use blocking controls by creating an experiment instead of applying directly as explained above. The difference is that experiment will be only applied to 50% of traffic instead of all traffic. It will run for 90 days and you can either choose the winner automatically or manually.
- Go to “Optimization > Experiments” section from the sidebar.
- Create a new blocking control experiment and provide a name for it.
- You can use one of the three options for blocking – General ad categories, Sensitive ad categories or Ad serving. Choose the one you like to use.
- Select the categories that you want to block. As mentioned, make sure to view the current earning from the category you want to block from “Ad Review Center”. This information is not shown in the “Experiments” section.
- Choose whether you want Google to automatically select the winner of you want to select manually based on the experiment’s result.
- Save your changes to create blocking control experiment.
Remember, you can only run one blocking controls experiment at a time. You need to stop the current one if you want to create a new one.
As you can see, Google allows extensive controls over the advertisements shown on publishers’ sites. You will not get such controls when using other programs like BuySellAds, AdThrive, etc. Though these controls help to show only relevant ads on your site, it may also reduce revenue if you block high earning categories.