Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter Tips, Bugs and Quirks

I did not plan on adding on to my previous Google AdSense competitive filter post but I encountered some weird bugs that everyone should know of, including Mr Google.

How To Accidentally Destroy Your Competitive Ad Filter List

You may run the risk of wiping out your entire competitive ad filter list when you REFRESH your browser in the event you see a screen like this:

Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter Tips, Bugs and Quirks

In the mini screen shot above, I encountered a blank page while I was adding new links to the competitive list. I thought Google was having some problems with their server so I clicked on the refresh button to reload the page. BIG MISTAKE! Do not refresh your browser when you see the screen above. Click on the back button instead! I have alerted Google about this bug but I doubt they can recover my list.

How To Create a Competitive Ad Filter List the Right Way

Google recommends using the c from an Internet Explorer browser. Once you have installed it, you will see a new menu item titled “Google AdSense Preview Tool” when you right click on an empty space on any web site.

Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter Tips, Bugs and Quirks

This is a sample of the AdSense Preview Tool. What you need to do is check on the ads you don’t want and click on the “Show Selected URLs” link. The default geographic location is set to “Auto”. If you want a more thorough list of ads to block from your web sites, try selecting ALL the countries available to generate loads of unrelated URLs.

Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter Tips, Bugs and Quirks

Instead of copying and pasting the URLs directly into Google AdSense, I recommend that you create a backup copy of the URLs in a text file in case your list gets wiped out like mine.

Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter Tips, Bugs and Quirks

Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter Tips, Bugs and Quirks

I like to use EditPlus to create text files because it has a nice sort feature that helps me sort my URLs according to their alphabetical order and remove duplicates. I usually remove the “http://www.” text from the URLs and include only the domain name in my list. Some web sites have subdomains and you may want to include the subdomain if you plan to allow other ads from it’s domain.

How Google Contradicts Their Own Policies

Google allows you to filter their ads but they do not guarantee that the ads in your filter list will be blocked from your web sites. This Google AdSense FAQ says, “Please note that Google does not commit that all ads for the websites that you add to your competitive ad filter list or ads containing objectionable content will be prevented from display on your site”. This doesn’t make sense to me at all!

My Open Letter To Google AdSense

Please consider these new features in your next Google AdSense update to allow Google and all your wonderful customers to make more money together.

  • Integrate Google Webmaster Tools with Google AdSense to verify ownership of our web sites so that we may block ads for a specific channel, web site, URL.
  • The competitive ad filter list should be unlimited instead of the current 200 limit.
  • The crazy bug that wipes out the competitive ad filter list should be eradicated.
  • Google AdSense should allow their webmasters to define tags that related to their web site and tags that do not relate to their web site to improve the relevance of the Google AdSense ads.

If more and more people bug them about these changes, they might relent and implement them soon. So please do your part and tell Google AdSense to listen to their customers and make a change.

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1 Comment On “Google AdSense Competitive Ad Filter Tips, Bugs and Quirks”

On 21st August 2007 11:27 AM, Linda P said:

Great stuff Vinnie!

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