Blocking Categories in AdSense

I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with AdSense. On the one hand, it’s an easy way to monetize a site. On the other, there’s this sheer lack of control over what appears on your site.

Yes, there’s long been the ability to block individual advertisers, but it’s not terribly effective when new sites start advertising all the time and you don’t always see what your visitors see.

Well, they’re letting categories be blocked now. Not a lot of categories, and they’re pretty broad, but it’s a nice start. And this isn’t too new, but I only just noticed the AdSense blog post. Really need to make it over there more often.


You can pick up to 5 categories from the list, and they show you what percentage of impressions each category currently has on your site and the percentage of your income it generates. Nice to know what you’re risking.

It’s a huge category for me, but yes I did decide to block the “Get Rich Quick” category, along with some others that are not relevant to any of my sites. We’ll see if that cuts out some of the too close to scammy or flat out scams that drive me nuts when I think about AdSense.

The next part will be seeing how it goes with earnings. I don’t get as much as I used to from AdSense because I made them much less prominent. If the ads are improved enough, they might get more prominent again to see how much I can earn. Otherwise, I can always keep testing other ads.

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3 Responses

  1. This is going to be useful. Thanks!

  2. Annie says:

    Interesting. I’ll have to check that out. One of the reasons I haven’t used AdSense on my blog is the rate at which formula ads pop up, as well as how deceptive the ads are. They ad will say something like “Breastfeeding Help” and then when you click on it, it is for formula.

    I wonder if the deceptive ads will be properly categorized as formula ads so that I can block them. I may have to do some more research…or if you know, please let me know!

    Thanks for sharing this.

  3. Stephanie says:

    Unfortunately, the categories are really, really broad, so I doubt you could block formula ads. That would be more along the lines of keyword blocking, which people have been begging for pretty much forever. Category blocking is a start, but not a perfect solution to poorly and/or ironically matched ads.