I just got the “Ad Review Center” option on my Google AdSense account, and I decided to give it a whirl. I have Google ads on two sites: this one, and Pink Truth (my public awareness campaign against Mary Kay Cosmetics and similarly abusive multi-level marketing companies and pyramid schemes).
I didn’t take my participation in the Ad Review process lightly. Because my sites often mention MLMs and other business opportunity scams, a lot of the Google ads that show up are offering those very scams! In the past, I tried to use the competitive ad filter to block these ads. And that ended up worse than ever. As fast as I could block certain web addresses, the exact same advertisers were using other web addresses which just forwarded to the original ones I had blocked.
The Ad Review Center seems to be a better option. You can block an entire advertiser’s campaign… period.
But I was leery. Google advises that you might see a drop in revenue if you start blocking advertisers. The theory is that with fewer advertisers allowed to bid on your advertising space, the cost to advertise (and therefore the money you receive as a publisher) will likely go down.
I don’t earn much from the advertising to start with. I use the money to pay for the costs of running my sites, and with a high-traffic site like Pink Truth, the hosting alone isn’t cheap. Did I want to risk even that little bit of income to try blocking advertisers? Of course!
I have been blocking advertisers for two days now, and you would laugh if you saw how many I’ve got on the list that are completely blocked. But my advertising revenue has gone up! How can that be?
Well.. it’s simple. Now advertisements that my readers are actually interested in are showing up on my site, instead of these scam sites. So my readers are clicking on the ads, increasing my revenue. I don’t know how long this will last, but I suspect things will only get better as more interesting and relevant ads are shown to the readers.