Google AdSense works by displaying ads relevant to a page. To get relevant ads, Google AdSense crawler crawls your site and extracts keywords from the pages it visits to get relevant ads. When a visitor visits a page on your site, Google will serve ads based on the extracted keywords that Google AdWords advertisers bid on.

With that in mind, Google AdSense crawler needs to get the right keyword from your page. If it doesn't, it will display irrelevant ads or, worst, PSAs or Public Service Advertisements. Irrelevant ads get fewer clicks from your site's visitors, and PSAs don't pay at all.

Keyword targeting for Google AdSense, in a sense, is similar to keyword targeting in SEO or Search Engine optimization, with some unique targeting features of its own.

Steps to display more relevant ads in Google AdSense:

  1. Add relevant keywords to page content.

    Your page's content is where most of the keywords would come from. Try to repeat keywords that you want to target, but don't overdo it as it'll be unnatural to your site's visitors and would drive them away. Even worse, you could be tagged for keyword spamming by Google.

  2. Use relevant site title.

    The site title should be definitive. Using Page 1, Untitled, or anything similar doesn't have any keywords that could help you serve relevant AdSense ads. If your page is about AdSense, remember to have AdSense somewhere in the title.

  3. Add alt tag for images.

    AdSense crawler doesn't crawl images, but they sure can read your <img> tags. Use a meaningful name for your image, and be sure to include a meaningful description or alt text to your image as well.

  4. Enable Section Targeting.

    Section targeting is an AdSense feature that allows you to emphasize certain parts of your page in keyword targeting. You can also use section targeting to ignore certain sections of your page, such as the sidebars or the footer.

  5. Use relevant meta tags.

    Meta tags are some information inserted in the <head> area of your site. It's not visible on pages when rendered by web browsers but is useful for robots crawling your site. While the meta tags are no longer used for SEO, it's still applicable in targeting your site for more relevant AdSense ads. The 2 meta tags you can use for targeting is the keywords and description tags. You can enter keywords relevant to the page in both meta tags, though the description should be in more human-readable form.

    <meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword1 keyword2“>
    <meta name=”description” content=”Description of your site“>
  6. Test with Interest based advertising.

    Google by default serves ads based on your visitor's browsing history in what they call interest-based advertising. It aims to serve more targeted ads for AdSense, but it can have adverse effects, depending on the nature of your site.

  7. Enable Competitive Ad Filter.

    If you have implemented all the above tips, but there are still some ads that you don't want to appear on your page, you can just use the Competitive Ad Filter feature.

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