For many advertisers, the Google display network can feel like a wild west. With so many websites available, manually reviewing which ones your ads should appear on is nearly impossible.
This leaves the issue of Google placing your ads on websites that are either irrelevant to your business or will not result in any sales. In the long run, this wastes both your ad dollars and your time!
But how can you improve your results without having to go through every Google display network site manually?
Fortunately for you, we’ve already done all of the legwork!
After months of tracking millions of websites, we discovered tens of thousands that simply do not result in conversions. And we’re giving you all of these websites for free in order for you to exclude them from your PPC campaigns.
What Are Exclusions From Display Placement?
Placement exclusions should be nothing new to you if you’ve ever run a display campaign. You can use these exclusions to specify which websites, apps, or channels you don’t want your ads to appear on.
There are currently over 10 million websites registered with Google’s AdSense network, but not all of them are relevant or appropriate for your ads.
The most common use case is to prevent your ads from appearing on websites that you believe are irrelevant or of poor quality. You wouldn’t want your gardening ads to appear on a tennis website; engagement would be low, and any clicks would rarely result in sales.
Fortunately, Google’s placement exclusions tool gives advertisers some control over which websites their ads will appear on. This is especially useful when Google’s targeting is incorrect and your ads are displayed on unrelated websites.
Why Should Certain Websites Be Excluded?
Excluding websites from display campaigns may appear strange to many newcomers. After all, you want as many people to see your display ads as possible, right? And, since you only pay for each click, what difference does it make?
Although this is true, there are several valid reasons why excluding specific websites from your campaigns is a good idea. Here are a few of the main reasons.
1. Safeguard Your Brand’s Image
The first and most obvious reason why advertisers might want to exclude their ads from running on a specific website is to protect their brand’s image. In recent years, brands have become extremely cautious about what they are associated with, as any negative association can harm their brand and sales in the long run.
If your ads are running on a website that relies on user-generated content, moderating thousands of posts from users can be difficult. If your ad appeared in a racist, sexist, or homophobic article or forum post, that would be bad news for your brand. Users may believe that by advertising on a website that promotes hatred and racism, you are endorsing those views.
2. Avoid Visiting Irrelevant Websites
Another reason you might want to exclude a website from your display campaigns is that it isn’t relevant to your ads. Google will obviously do its best to display your ads on relevant websites, but Google will frequently get it wrong.
It’s pointless to place advertisements on a baby website if you’re trying to sell electronic cigarettes. Even if you do get clicks, chances are they will be by mistake or will result in no conversions, costing you money in the long run.
3. Eliminate Ad Fraud
Ad fraud is a little-known reason why advertisers should exclude websites from their campaigns. Over the last few years, there has been a significant increase in the amount of ad fraud, particularly on pay per click ads. This type of ad fraud, known as click fraud, costs advertisers billions of dollars each year and shows no signs of abating.
Believe it or not, there are numerous websites whose sole purpose is to generate as many clicks on their advertisements as possible. This entails participating in a variety of unethical ad placements, such as ad stacking, in which ads are stacked on top of each other to increase clicks.
When a user clicks on an ad, they are actually clicking on several ads without realising it, and Google charges the advertisers for that click.
These ad farm websites profit from each click they receive while robbing advertisers of money by returning no conversions or sales. If you can identify these websites, it’s a no-brainer to exclude them from all of your display campaigns.
4. Increase ROI
Sometimes, no matter how good the ad placements are, it is simply not cost effective to continue advertising. Maybe you’re getting a lot of website clicks, but for whatever reason, those clicks aren’t converting into sales.
You could experiment with different ads and landing pages to see if you can boost conversions. But, if nothing changes, it’s time to stop running ads on that particular website. After all, it’s conversions and sales that pay the bills, not ad clicks!
How We Made Our Selections List of Exclusions
Now that you understand why advertisers might want to exclude websites from their display campaigns, let’s talk about our exclusion list.
If you didn’t already know, our click fraud protection software saves advertisers hundreds of dollars per month that would otherwise be lost due to fraud and poor display placements.
To help advertisers get the most out of their display campaigns, we’ve compiled a massive list of the most common websites that are frequently flagged as suspicious. This procedure entailed analysing data from hundreds of user accounts and determining which websites our software routinely blocked. And, surprise, there is a long list of websites that appear repeatedly among all of our users.
Our list currently has 60,000 exclusions, which include individual websites, mobile apps, and YouTube videos.
In GDN, how do you exclude websites?
However, before downloading the list, you should understand how to use it and exclude websites from your campaigns. If you already know how to do that, you can skip ahead to the next section and download the entire list below. However, for those who do not, excluding websites from Google display network campaigns is a simple process.
The first step is to open the top menu and navigate to the tools and settings section, which is indicated by the wrench icon. Select the placement exclusions list from the drop-down menu, as shown below.
Step 1 of the exclusion list
Once you’ve exhausted the placement exclusion lists, you’ll need to start over. To do so, click the blue button in the upper left corner and select New List.
Step 2 of the exclusion list
At the bottom of the next page, select enter multiple placements, which will allow you to paste in as many or as few placements as you want.
step 3 of the exclusion list
Once you’ve added all of the domains, you’ll need to name the list at the top so you can use it in future display campaigns.
Now that you’ve created your placement exclusion list, all you need to do is enable it in your display campaigns. This is very simple to do and can be done on a single or multiple accounts with ease. If you’re not sure how to add placement exclusions to specific display campaigns, read Google’s tutorial on the subject.
By now, you should understand why advertisers would want to prevent websites from displaying their ads on their site. With so many bad websites out there, there are a variety of reasons why you might not want your display ads to appear on them.
I’m a digital marketing practitioner by the day, and a student at night. If I were to pick a label, I’d call myself a digital marketing Jedi. I have never been able to choose between SEO and SEM. It’s almost like picking a favorite between my siblings, a practically impossible task. I’m a strong proponent of the belief that hard work trumps talent every time. When I’m not working, I enjoy being a loving father to my daughter and like to spend as much time as possible with my wife and parents.