Publishers Feeling Screwed By Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter

Jan 16, 2009 • 8:21 am | comments (11) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdSense

In late December, we reported that Google's AdSense Competitive Ad Filter stopped working for many publishers. Guess what, it is still not working for many of them and they are feeling very let down by Google. If you don't know what Google's competitive filter is, it basically gives publishers the functionality to block specific ads from appearing on their pages.

Successful AdSense publishers depend on the competitive filter to block out the MFAs and poor quality sites from displaying on their sites. But since late December, the filter stopped working for many. Here are some of the continued complaints in the WebmasterWorld thread:

I've managed to keep earnings up by constantly monitoring and blocking ads but my filter is filling up with garbage. Once it's full and my site visitors see nothing but crap ads and stop clicking, that's it, buh bye AdSense.

I'm with coach. This is pretty sad.

I let it go a few weeks to see what would happen- Sounded like ASA was all over it. I guess not. I tried blocking a few more today and they were already in the ad filter. Nothing can be done I guess.

I am surprised the ASA has become quiet over this. It is not as if he/she isn't aware of the problem.

Is it intentional? Is Google doing this to earn more money? They recently cut jobs and products, plus they have been spewing ads everywhere and anywhere. Time will tell.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.

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Michael Martinez

01/16/2009 03:28 pm

How could Google earn more money if the publishers are earning less?

Barry Schwartz

01/16/2009 03:48 pm

Right... Well - it might be about volume in this case?

R Morris

01/16/2009 04:35 pm

Is there a filter that blocks by ad content, ie looks at the ad and determines what is in it?

Michael Martinez

01/16/2009 07:18 pm

Barry, I'm one of the guys who has had to make adjustments in my on-site monetization because of a decline in revenue over the past few weeks. Nonetheless, I don't see how Google is going to make more money by dropping my income to 1/3 what it formerly was? The changes I've made appear to be bringing back that revenue. Now, I'm not looking at the competitive blocks I put in -- I'm just looking at the revenue channels. While I cannot comment on what is broken, there just seems to me to be no mathematical way for Google to increase its revenues by screwing its publishers. That's equivalent to saying (in my perspective) to all the taxpayers in America, "We're going to cut your salaries so that we collect more taxes (without raising the tax rates)". How is that supposed to work?

Michael Martinez

01/16/2009 07:26 pm

I meant to make one other point and got distracted. Maybe these declines in revenue are due more to advertisers dropping out of the Content Network. I've heard complaints about the quality of Content Network sites and clicks. Or maybe AdSense arbitrage has found a new lease on life because the economy has reduced competitive bidding. If the filter isn't working, that just helps arbitragers even more, right? Just some ideas people should consider.

Barry Schwartz

01/16/2009 07:45 pm

You are right Michael. I ended my post bad, probably due to distraction as well. :) I would not be surprised if advertisers are cutting budgets, thus impacting the revenue publishers earn. Take away from this post is that the competitive ad filter is not working properly, as reported at WebmasterWorld and other threads. Why isn't it working? I can't say but I can make bad guesses.

Jennifer Giraldi

01/17/2009 02:36 am

This does't make much sense to me. As a previous poster mentioned, how will Google make more money if their publisher will earn less?

Barry Schwartz

01/17/2009 11:26 pm

Jennifer, read directly above your comment please.


01/20/2009 12:41 pm

I must say that my competitive ad filter is still working. Let's pray it stays that way of course. I do notice a large drop in eCPM though...


01/22/2009 11:28 pm

This is a big problem for many level one goggle publishers. I am one who is getting screwed by google. They refuse to send the PIN card so that I can collect my earnings. They have no email and to make matters worse the toll free number has no option for publishers! Many hundreds of publishers I have found getting screwed also. We are preparing class action lawsuit for fraud


05/11/2010 03:40 am

Ya I had a Good site in till google ads mess everything up. Now I use Conridium. This made my site 10 times better!!

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