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Thread: AdSense ads for competitors

  1. #1
    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    AdSense ads for competitors

    Someone recently asked me if it was possible to block AdSense ads for specific companies from appearing on his site. I told him it was indeed possible, and showed him how to do it using the AdSense control panel.

    When I asked him why he wanted to do this, he said it was to prevent ads appearing on his site for his competitors. At first, that sounded reasonable. But then I started thinking about it.

    It seems to me that if the aim of your site is to promote your own business, then you should not have any third-party advertising of any kind. My point is that all such advertising will be in competition with you. Even if the product or service being advertised is not a direct competitor - even if it is complementary to your own product - it will still be competing for the attention of your visitors. And if a visitor clicks though to the advertiser's site, they will be leaving your site, which means you will have gained a few pennies in CPC, but will have lost a potential customer.

    At least, that's my opinion. Do you agree? Or am I over-reacting?

    Mike

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    Chabrenas (4 September 2014), dsieg58 (4 September 2014), Kay (4 September 2014)

  3. #2
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Thanks, Mike. That's a great question to ask. But. I'm going to disagree with your take on it. What a surprise. I'm always such an agreeable person.

    It depends on what type of site you're running. Let's look at a few scenarios - good and bad. Imagine I sell purple widgets.

    Good

    My content pages are displaying ads for blue, red and green widgets (which I don't sell). The visitor doesn't find what he's looking for on my pages so he clicks away on the ad for the other stuff. Result - I get paid for the exit click and the visitor goes to a site which provides the info he's looking for.

    If the ads are targeted to what my visitor wants, whatever it might be, I'm performing a useful service in helping them to find it, albeit by exit clicks (which I get paid for).

    Bad

    There are certain ads that I hunt down and shoot on sight, for example, anything promoting any 'activism' for any group. I don't want my sites to be used to convert anyone's thinking on any issue - politics, religion, fanaticism of any sort.

    Competitors

    I used to block these too. Why would I let my competitor advertise on my site? No! But that's a daft way to look at it. My visitor isn't so stupid as to think I'm the only person in the world providing information about purple widgets. If they have any sense, they're going to look around for the site that best suits them. If my competitor provides info that better suits the visitor, again I have provided a useful service to the visitor - and earned money for the exit click.

    Type of site

    All of what I said above applies to a content site, ie a site that provides information. If my site is there to sell purple widgets, an eCommerce site, then there's no way I want the visitor to go to a competitor's site where they can buy purple widgets. In which case, what the heck am I playing at by having AS on the site in the first place?

    **

    AdSense can be a wonderful thing on a content site, but I can't see it has a valid or useful place on several other types of site. I wouldn't even consider using it on any site that has the specific purpose of selling goods or services. You can get away with it (even though it lowers the tone) on an informational site. On a site that exists to sell, then I'd not even contemplate using it.

    That's just my take on it, and I'd be glad to hear other points of view.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!



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    Chabrenas (4 September 2014), Mikl (4 September 2014)

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    I'm in general agreement with you, Kay. I certainly don't and wouldn't ever put ads of any kind (other than links to other sites that I own) on my ecommerce site itself. I have never done so, but I can imagine special cases where I'd run an information site that had ads for both my stuff and competitors' stuff, but I's be careful about the detail.

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    Mikl (4 September 2014)

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    Marketing Mentor Mikl is a Premium Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    That's a great question to ask. But. I'm going to disagree with your take on it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chabrenas View Post
    I'm in general agreement with you, Kay.
    Hang on. You're not disagreeing with me. Or are you?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    If my site is there to sell purple widgets, an eCommerce site, then there's no way I want the visitor to go to a competitor's site .... AdSense can be a wonderful thing on a content site, but I can't see it has a valid or useful place on several other types of site. I wouldn't even consider using it on any site that has the specific purpose of selling goods or services.
    Quote Originally Posted by Chabrenas View Post
    I certainly don't and wouldn't ever put ads of any kind (other than links to other sites that I own) on my ecommerce site itself
    I was only saying that you should not allow third-party ads "if the aim of your site is to promote your own business". I think we see eye-to-eye on that?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay View Post
    There are certain ads that I hunt down and shoot on sight, for example, anything promoting any 'activism' for any group. I don't want my sites to be used to convert anyone's thinking on any issue - politics, religion, fanaticism of any sort.
    Quite right too. On my recipe site, I try to kill all ads that promote weight loss. I want my visitors to cook my rich, indulgent, fattening recipes. I don't want them to be reminded of the consequences.

    But tell me: How do you go about eliminating specific ads? Weight loss products and activism are no problem, as they are both covered by AdSense's "sensitive categories" feature. I know you can also block specific URLs. But in more general terms, is there a tool that lets you monitor all ads that might appear on your site? Or is there some reliable way of always knowing when an objectionable ad appears?

    Mike

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    Kay (4 September 2014)

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    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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    At least, that's my opinion. Do you agree? Or am I over-reacting?
    Mike, I don't think you're over-reacting and I agree with you. I also don't allow any ads of any kind on my main product websites. Or the only ads are my own. I've been offered money to let non-competing services run ads on my site. I'm aware I'm leaving money on the table. But my viewpoint is, serious buyers, once they go to the trouble of searching the web for my competitors, which they will anyway, they'll end up back at my site because I think I have the best products, and the best info relating to my niche anyway. The nonserious buyers I can do without, leave anyway because the way my offers are set up, they can't scam me, so they don't buy. That and Adsense just looks tacky on a serious website.

    My opinion only.

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    Mikl (5 September 2014)

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