How Embarrassing! The Problem of Inappropriate Ads

We’ve all been in the awkward position of having to deal with inappropriate ads that display on our website. This is especially true if your website’s content is sensitive (though still within Google’s terms and conditions).

Sensitive ads can offend certain members of your audience, and some ads might not even be permitted in certain countries! You can block sensitive ads by category (e.g., sex and religion), but we don’t recommend this general approach. If you block ads by the general category, you could lose advertisers and have unfilled ad slots.

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Banning too broadly simply replaces one problem (inappropriate ads) with another (unfilled ad inventory and lost revenue).

stop sign

Photo by Steve Johnson on Flickr.

The ideal solution would be a happy medium: an ability to block legitimately inappropriate ads while leaving your fill-rate intact.

Google Ad Exchange just introduced a solution to this issue in the Ad Review Center. The Ad review center is a publisher tool that allows you to review individual ads with full control over which ads to display.

Pretty cool, huh?

This powerful Ad Exchange tool gives you full transparency over which ads are displayed. Your audience will trust you more if they know that they won’t see ads that offend their sensibilities. And if, for example, you run an atheist blog that discusses religion, you don’t want to run ads for Bible study programs on your website.

Your advertisers will also benefit from the Ad Review center because then they can trust that their ads are only being displayed to audience members that will be receptive to them. Advertisers don’t want their ads to be wasted on unreceptive visitors!

Here’s how to review ads before blocking them:

In the Ad Review Center, you’ll see a link from “Categories blocking” section. This option lets you see which ads fall under which category. In this preview, you can decide whether to block a particular ad in a category or — if all the ads in a category are inappropriate — the category as a whole.

You can also review ads on the account level. Here’s how:

Review by account level

  1. Click “Allow & Block ads” tab.
  2. In the “Blocking options” tab, look for “Sensitive categories”.
  3. Under “Sensitive categories”, click “Review creatives”.
  4. Block ads as needed under Ad Review center’s filtered view.
  5. Go to the “Sensitive Categories” page to block a category.

Inappropriate ads don’t do anyone any favors: they run the risk of offending your audience members while having low click-through rates because they aren’t relevant to your audience.

While it’s certainly never fun to block ads from your site, but it sure beats the alternative: inadvertently displaying inappropriate ads that turn off members of your audience. It’s better to turn away a few advertisers than to alienate entire segments of your audience; it is far easier to find another advertiser than it is to rebuild a shattered audience.

Are you ready to take your ad revenue to the next level? Sign up for a Starter account at MonetizeMore today!

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Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean has been a pioneer in the AdTech world since 2010 who believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals, programmatic advertising, and building ad technology as keys to scaling ad revenue. Here, he provides publisher resources and guides covering areas like website monetization, AdSense optimization, Google Ad Manager, Ad Exchanges, and much more.

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  1. Nicole

    Thank you for this information. I just asked an ad company to remove all their ads from my site. They were displaying inappropriate ads and gave no workable solution to removing them, so I left the company. I have been wondering if there was another company that allowed a website owner to choose their on type of ads.

    • gamemn02

      looking for the same thing but for mobile apps. did you find anything?


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