15 July 2007

Competetive Ad filtering

One of the issues that confronts the website or blog publisher with AdSense on their site is the issue of ads appearing for competitive products or sites.

Now this can be both a blessing and a curse. If you have a blog about a particular niche then your visitors will be coming to your site hopefully with the subject of that niche in their minds. If your traffic is coming from the right sources they will be coming primed to find out just the information or product that you are going to present to them. ( You came here to find information about improving your AdSense performance I assume?)

So you will quite legitimately have written your posts with an eye to this and with the aim in mind of meeting your keyword objectives. Hopefully you will also be imparting some useful information or service to you visitors.

Those same keywords that are in your mind as you post are the same keywords though that trigger the ads on your page. And guess what? A proportion of the advertisers who are bidding on your site will also be attempting to meet the same niche needs as you are.

So your visitor comes to your site and they are primed not only for your content but also for the messages that your advertisers are giving. Of course if this results in the visitor simply leaving your site straight away by clicking one of the ads then this may or may not be a problem for you.

Why do I say may or may not be a problem?

Well it depends on the nature of your site.

There are in general three types of AdSense publishers.

The first are those that are giving you a tangible product for example selling you things.
The second are those who are providing you with useful information or opinion. ( This blog falls into that category)
The third are generally useless and have little real content and are simply a place to hang adverts.

So which type of site has a problem with competitive adverts?

Product sites in my view have the most to worry about in relation to competitive ads because once the visitor has gone then a potentially lucrative sale has in all probability been lost.

Information and opinion sites have a little less of a problem. They were not trying to sell you something in he first place ( except themselves) and when the visitor leaves they get a small payment for the click. But wait - its not that simple. Most information or opinion blogs want more visitors and repeat visitors. So if someone arrives and simply sees an attractive competitor ad and leaves straight away you may be losing a repeat visitor. You may be losing someone who would have read your material and bookmarked you, or emailed your link to a friend, or written a post about your site.

So you need to think carefully about the impact of competitor ads and the use of the competitor ad feature in your Google account. Strike the right balance between excluding direct competitors who will suck your traffic away - but don't go overboard and lose potential AdSense income.

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