The Google AdSense Blog announced they are retiring the legendary Google AdSense PSA, Public Service Announcements, ads that Google AdSense has been using to fill ads when they can't otherwise.
Google AdSense would show PSA ads, free ads for non-profits, for a number of reasons including the page is new, the page has sensitive content, Google can't access or understand the page, the account has been disabled or pending approval, and so on. Google described the PSAs as, "PSAs are unpaid non-profit organization ads that are served to pages when targeted ads are unavailable, or when Google is unable to gather content from the page. Publishers do not receive earnings for clicks made on PSAs."
But they are going away. Google said:
We frequently review our product and feature offerings to ensure they’re as effective as possible. Based on these reviews and on feedback from our non-profit partners, we’ll gradually begin retiring public service ads (PSAs) from AdSense sites so that we can focus our efforts on developing new opportunities for these partners.
Now keep in mind that PSAs on AdSense have been around virtually since AdSense launched.
Google says they are not doing away with Google Grants, where non-profits can get free ads on AdWords and AdSense. Google said, "we're committed to supporting our non-profit partners, which is why we’re continuing to offer free AdWords advertising," but not in the form of PSAs.
As a publisher, Google will begin to fill PSAs with blank space. If you do not want that, you need to select other options. To select other options, you can do so as follows:
- New AdSense interface: Visit the My Ads page and select the ad unit you’d like to update. Then, change the settings for ‘Backup ads.’
- Old AdSense interface: Visit the Manage Ads page under the My Account tab, and click ‘Edit Ad Settings’ for the unit you’d like to change.
Here is a screen shot of the options I see today:
A WebmasterWorld thread suggests that if you are upset that charities might lose out, then "consider setting up an alternate ad of your own that gives exposure to a charity of your own choosing."
Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld.