I blogged earlier about the new Google AdSense category targeting that was announced earlier today. So, I asked the AdSense team plenty of questions while they were on the ADSPACE panel.
First, this is in a limited beta, meaning if you haven’t already been asked to participate, you won’t be in the initial wave of beta testers. They didn’t have a timeline for when it would be expanded, but I would expect that if the initial tests go well, it should become more widely available. If you have an account rep, you might want to contact him or her to see if you can get in on the next wave.
For those who are wanting the ability to block weight loss ads, you are in luck… weight loss is one of the categories. There are 11 in total including costmetic procedures & body modification; dating; drugs & supplements; get rich quick; politics; religion; ringtones and downloadables; sexual & reproductive health; sexually suggestive; video games (casual and online); weight loss.
I think the categories are pretty well chosen, and cover the biggest publisher pain points of the types of ads publishers don’t want on their sites.
Here is a screnshot of the new interface within the AdSense control panel (click for larger image):
As you can see, Google will show the percentage of revenue that has recently been earned in those categories, so you can be aware of the potential income loss by blocking. Remember, these ads are showing up because they would earn the publisher the most money, and however annoying the flat stomach weight loss ads were, they did drive significant revenue and was part of the reason they were sowing up everywhere.
Right now, ad categories can only be blocked on an account level, there is nothing in place to allow blocking on a site-by-site basis within the account.
Hopefully this will go in a wider beta soon, or go to all publishers There is also more on the Inside AdSense blog.