Last week, I really gave it to Google hard with my post named Publishers Feeling Screwed By Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter. In short, the complaints about the Google AdSense competitive ad filter not working had lingered on with no response from Google.
Google caught wind of the increased level of dissatisfaction from publishers and finally posted in the WebmasterWorld thread saying:
Sorry, guys. This one is entirely my bad. It's not that AdSense dropped the ball, it's that I dropped the ball.
We've been looking into it, but I haven't provided updates because I've been out of the country. I apologize for not giving you all a heads up.
I'm going to message a few of you privately to get more specifics if you don't mind providing them (for troubleshooting use only) so we can determine if there is an issue on our end.
One quick question for all of you: what method are you using to determine the destination URLs you're adding to your filter?
Okay, fine, so she/he is human and missed this thread. We forgive you. But what I find very interesting is the last line of the response. AdSenseAdvisor said:
What method are you using to determine the destination URLs you're adding to your filter?
To me, that implies that the issue is not necessarily with the competitive ad filter not working, but it not working as publishers think it should work. Publishers might be blocking URLs, thinking they are blocking a whole domain, when in fact, they are not. It seems to me, that this may be more of an issue of education then of bugs. Or maybe not?
Forum discussion continued at WebmasterWorld.