Over the past week or so I had been watching my Google AdSense income for one of my sites slowly decline. First it was barely noticeable until finally, the ad revenue reached an all time low. The drop was so severe I had to check to see if my website was still online.
I navigated to the site and found that it was still online it loaded relatively fast and the content was still there. My traffic is down a bit but that’s nothing new. Google has been toying with this site for years so I’ve come to expect little to no Google search engine traffic.
Still trying to figure out why the total collapse in earnings, I took notice of the ads. No matter what the subject matter, the Google ads were all about belly fat. I’m sure you’ve seen them before, “Lose 2 inches of belly fat instantly” or “Lose that Belly Fat” or “Fat Belly Diet Book” and so on.
These “context sensitive” ads were not sensitive to the context of the page. How is belly fat related to house training a pup?
First Logical Reaction
My first reaction was to ban the URL from displaying ads on my site. After all, Google AdSense has a place in their setup which allows bloggers to prevent certain competitors or URLs from displaying ads on the site. Under the AdSense Setup tab, there’s a link for Competitive Ad Filter. That’s where I would insert the unwanted URLs.
Once I accessed the Competitive Ad Filter section I thought why not just list the URLs displayed in the ads and my problem would be solved, right? Well, not so fast. Unfortunately, the URL displayed in the belly fat ad is not necessarily the destination page a reader is taken to upon clicking the ad.
I don’t quite understand the intricacies, but suffice it to say that banning the URL appearing in the ad would not stop the belly fat ads. I needed to find the destination URL.
My next big question was how am I going to find the destination URL if I’m not allowed to click on my own Google Ads?
Google Preview Tool
I searched the internet and found forums where webmasters and bloggers were complaining about the dreaded belly fat ads. I also found out that Google
has had a downloadable Preview tool. The tool displays the destination URL without having to click on the ads.
I downloaded and installed the little tool (which only works in Internet Explorer by the way), opened up Internet Explorer, navigated to the pages with the belly fat ads and right mouse clicked on the page in order to access the Google Preview tool.
The tool displayed the related ads on the page and gave me the opportunity to select the offending ads to find out their destination URL. Many times I found that the destination URL was not related to the URL displayed in the ad. As a matter of fact, it looked like some other company got in between the Google ad and my webpage. The URLs seemed to be tracking URLs such as gtracker.info or searchtracker.info or sitetrax.info. There were about three or four more, but you get my drift here. Something just wasn’t right.
Stopping the Belly Fat
I added the offending URLs to the Competitive Ad Filter of my Google AdSense account and within minutes the belly fat ads were gone. In addition to the removal of the ads, my Google AdSense income rebounded.
Belly Fat Be Gone!
Not only do I have to keep up my running/walking/crunches and leg lift routine to stave off belly fat, I’ve got to periodically check my sites and use the Google Preview tools to keep the fat off my sites too. Oh well, a gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do!
About the Author: Felicia A. Williams is a freelance writer and blogger. She spends the majority of her time with her family and writing. If she's not writing or commenting on NJFM, she's either outside smelling the roses or writing articles for one of her other sites which include Tidbits and Stuff, BLULOW, A Dose of Health and a few other sites/blogs scattered around the internet.