Dissappointed with Google AdSense’s Ad Targeting

Dissappointed with Google AdSense’s Ad Targeting

I’ve never been an All-Star AdSense publisher. I’ve never made it to the almighty UPS club. Still, I consider myself to be fairly experienced with Google’s AdSense program in general.

Having run AdSense on a number of my sites now for years, I have to say that I’m still a bit disappointed with the out of the box ad targeting.

While Google does allow you to use specific tags for content matching ads to your content, it still loses touch with what I would expect.

While I’ve written off some of the issues because of geotargeting, I cam across one of my sites that was just miles away from where it should be…

On a web page focused on the review of a Cosmetology school… I found ads for:

  • Kodak Digital Cameras
  • Greenwhich College in London
  • St. Mary’s College in London
  • IT Colleges through an “Engineering Schools” portal

I’m browsing the site from Rhode Island, just south of Providence. Additionally, the site is using the content matching tags that include the fact that the school in particular is located in Boise Idaho.

When I search for the school’s name directly on Google, I’m getting the following ads:

  • School Of Cosmetology
  • Schools for Cosmetology
  • Scot Lewis Beauty School
  • Idaho Beauty Schools
  • School Of Cosmetology
  • Idaho Cosmetology Schools

Clearly, those are much more targeted. The question for me then becomes.. Why is there such a hangup? Why the glaring differences? And why is it as an advertiser, should I end up suffering the conesequences of poor ad targeting?

I understand of course that these advertisers who are much more on point with my search query may have content matching disabled on their AdWords account. I totally get that — but am concerned about the fact that this is not at all an isolated issue.

At this point, I’d like to open up some points for discussion through the comments area here…

1.) Are you impressed with the AdSense ads and their relevance to your content?

2.) Do you use the content-targeting codes from Google?

3.) What do you think Google should do about this?

3 thoughts on “Dissappointed with Google AdSense’s Ad Targeting

  1. I’m new to adsense, my first website has just been up 3 weeks and the adverts are totally irrevelant to my content. I guess they are getting content totally based on my file extensions. maybe google should go back to basics and bring more humans into the work rather than algorithms.

  2. I completely agree with what both of you said. On my site, half the time there are ads for tombstones and memorials. No where on my site is there anything about death. They need to develop a better system in which it can read key words and then supply ads based on those KW’s. We’ll see what they can come up with, if any.

  3. Ironically, as I view this page now to read comments — I’m seeing two ads for cosmetology schools and another for a beauty institute. Amazing!

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