1. SEJ
  2.  ⋅ 
  3. Digital Advertising

What Blocking Options Are Available to AdSense Publishers?

AdSense publishers now have more editorial control over the ads that appear on their site. Here are various blocking controls available to publishers.


Hello AdSense publishers and partners!

In this article, you’ll learn all about the various blocking controls available to AdSense publishers.

You’re in Control

To give you editorial control over the ads that appear on your site, we provide several ways to block ads.

We’ve provided category blocking options for publishers since 2010, as we realize this is part of best practices.

We’ve heard feedback from publishers that they are looking for better, easier, and quicker ways to control the ads on their sites.

Additionally, we’ve heard feedback that publishers may want to block ad creatives from certain categories for several reasons, that can include brand protection, as well as competitive exclusions.

As a result of this feedback, we’ve expanded our category list from 250 to 497, which provides more precise controls for publishers. This includes:

For blocking, you can block at the product level, or at the site level.

What Can Be Blocked?

Publishers can block:

  • By URLs. A typical use case here would be to block your competitors URLs. After all, you may not want your competitors to advertise on your site.
  • Specific ad networks. We only allow certified Google ad networks to appear on your pages by default, but you can block particular networks if you choose.
  • By categories. This is where we’ve increased the number of category options for publishers.

In general, you shouldn’t view blocking as an optimization strategy.

Having more potential categories available creates a more competitive environment in the ad auction, with the largest amount of ad inventory possible competing for an impression on your site.

Therefore, choosing to block is a decision that must be taken after careful consideration.

However, due to our expansion of categories, the potential negative monetization impact of blocking has been mitigated to some extent, because blocking can now occur at a more granular level, allowing publishers to block very specific categories. This is an improvement over blocking a more broad category.

Potentially, some publishers could see monetization increases as a result of careful blocking. If a publisher notices a large percentage of total impressions, with low revenue coming from one category, blocking may be useful.

This blocking would then open up the auction for new potential advertisers, which may perform better.

Why Is Ad & Category Blocking Good for Publishers?

While monetization concerns should be taken into consideration, blocking does provide a number of key benefits for publishers.

  • Publishers that have particular sensitivities to certain categories (e.g., politics, religion, sexuality) should use blocking to prevent ads with this particular content from appearing.
  • Publishers should block ads from certain companies where they already have direct advertising deals.
  • Publishers can block ads from competitors to their business.

Publishers should take advantage of the controls they have in AdSense to control the ads that appear on their website.

Just as advertisers want to protect their brands, we believe publishers should have similar abilities to protect themselves against having ads from categories that aren’t suitable for their brands appear on their sites.

Final Thoughts

We want publishers to thrive within the Google ad network. Therefore, we are trying to provide as many tools and resources as possible to help our publishers.

Blocking can be a useful tool and something you should take advantage of.

Please refer to the AdSense Help Center for more detailed instructions and information on blocking options.

We love your feedback and look forward to continuing this dialogue.

Keep the questions coming!

Featured Image: Paulo Bobita

John Brown Head of Publisher Policy Communications at Google

As Head of Publisher Policy Communications, John collaborates with leadership and functional heads across the company to articulate policy direction ...

What Blocking Options Are Available to AdSense Publishers?

Subscribe To Our Newsletter.

Conquer your day with daily search marketing news.