You can use the Competitive AD Filter to block your competitor’s ads or any other specific ads from appearing on your pages. You can block up to200 URLs using this filter. Most of the publishers using AdSense do not make a use of this filter simply because they are not AdWords advertisers and hence they feel that blocking the ads would reduce the revenue generated by their website. However, not making use of Competitive AD Filter you are losing money unknowingly to Made for AdSense Sites and Arbitragers.
Arbitrage and MFA (Made For AdSense) sites
There are many sites that I can put into the category of Made For AdSense sites. How do you find out whether a site is MFA or not? Well MFA sites have crappy content or in some cases no content at all. Any content if present would be describing an affiliate program or product with lots of excerpts of interviews and recommendations from their so-called users who have benefited after using their products. In some cases, you would only see a search box, 3 blocks of Google ads, 3 text link ads with welcome to my site logo in the middle.
Their only purpose they is to make money from Google AdSense program. How does a MFA site affect your AdSense revenue and reputation? These sites advertise using Google and other PPCprograms by bidding a very low CPC to get the cheapest traffic to their site. If you have checked your AdSense account and you notice you are getting only 1 to 2 cents per click chances are very high that readers might have clicked on the Ad of MFA site. Here is how these sites operate.
- MFA sites bid lowest possible CPC amount for a keyword on your site.
- The ad from MFA site displays on your site.
- Readers click on the ad and visit MFA site fetching you 1 to 2 cents for the click. MFA displays nothing but ads. So readers are tempted (or forced as there is pretty much nothing else that they can do on MFA sites) to click on the ads displayed on the MFA site, thereby fetching them $1 per click.
- Remember not everyone will click on the ads displayed on these MFA sites though but enough number of readers will to make the MFA site to get from 50% to up to 1000% in return.
The above process is PPCArbitrage and may dent your AdSense income very badly. It also gives your reader a very poor experience, since he clicks on the ads displayed on your website to find useful information not another site with even more ads and no information. The most annoying part in this entire episode is that Google can easily ban these sites but they will not because they get a large amount out of their total revenue from these sites. Google cares less as to whether clicks come from your site or from MFA site as long as the clicks keep on coming, because Google benefits from this. There is no incentive that Google will get by banning these sites. As long as Google does not take an appropriate step, you will have more and more Arbitragers creating MFA sites to take advantage of this loophole and hurt Legitimate and Genuine sites.
Use Competitive filter to keep MFA sites at bay
To prevent MFA sites from advertising on your site and take advantage of your website or blog is to use the competitive ad filter and block them totally from appearing on your site. Another advantage of this being that high paying ads would appear on your website instead of these low paying ones.
To block an ad, you will be required to enter the destination URL or display URL into the Competitive AD Filter. The display URL is visible within the text of the ad displayed. Display URL is not visible in all the ads. In this case, you may be required to provide the destination URL of the ad in order to block it from appearing on your site.
You can obtain the destination URL of the ad using the following two methods:
1. TheAdSense Preview Tool
2. Viewingthe Link Properties
Google suggests use of preview tool for finding out the URL, mainly because it is easy to use and has additional functionality. Beware that even when you are using the AdSense Preview tool do NOT click on the ads to get the URL as this is against AdSense TOS and you will be banned for the rest of your life.
A much easier way is to use the AdsBlack List to block these low CPC and MFA advertisements. This site helps you build a list of 50 MFA sites for you to filter. If you sign up and become a member of this site, you can build a list of 200 sites, the same as allowed by Google Competitive AD Filter.
Everyone can use ads black list easily, all you have to do is type your site URL and hit the get Black List button. After getting the list, you have to place these URLs in your Competitive Ad Filter. It takes up to 24 hrs after you enter these URLs for Google to start blocking these ads completely. In addition, I suggest you add tinyurl.com to your filter as many MFA sites redirect to their using this domain.
If you ask me, the size of the competitive filter that Google is offering (i.e. 200 that is the current limit) is not enough to filter out these MFA sites. However, Google being a profit making enterprise I don’t see them increasing the filter limit in the near future as it makes huge money off these MFA sites and would dent Google financially if Google were to impose a ban on these sites.
By using the Competitive AD Filter, you would not only increase your Google earnings but you would also force these arbitrage sites to increase their bids or vanish totally. Unfortunately, I might add that only a few people out of the total Internet users read my blog, so do not expect that MFA sites would disappear soon.