How to choose ads and block unwanted ads with AdSense

A very common question from those new to AdSense and people considering it is ‘How do you choose which ads are displayed?’ In this article I will show how to choose ads that fit your site and block ones that don’t.

Another common question that newcomers to AdSense ask is ‘Do I have to approve each ad that is displayed?’ The thought of checking every advert on every page is a daunting task and one that they would not like to do.

You will be pleased to know that:

  • Choosing which ads are displayed on your website or blog is very easy.
  • You don’t have to check or approve every advert.
  • You can easily block adverts you don’t like.

Makse sense of AdSense ad categories

Adverts are organised into categories based on their content. There are categories for Arts & Entertainment, Beauty & Personal Care, Finance, Vehicles, Property, Health, Home & Garden, Travel & Tourism and many more.

In fact, there are 200 advertising categories.

You cannot check individual adverts, but you can approve categories. For example, if you have a travel website you can approve the Travel & Tourism ad category and then you will get ads that match the content of your site.

You can also block categories. For example, if you don’t want ads about politics or gambling, you can block those categories and then ads of those types will never appear on your site.

By selecting the categories you want and blocking the ones you don’t, the ads on your site will match your site’s content and interest your visitors. The visitors will not mind the ads so much because they are relevant and you will make money when they click the ads.

Allowing categories you like and blocking those you don’t means you do not need to check and approve each advert. After setting up the categories, no work is involved in placing ads on your site.

Let’s take a look ad AdSense categories

1 Open the AdSense menu

Go to the AdSense website ( and click the hamburger icon to open the menu in the sidebar. Click Allow & block ads.

The Google AdSense menu

2 Select the website to configure

Some people have more than one website or blog and you can choose the site to configure. Select a site or select All my sites.

Select the site to configure using Google AdSense

3 View the AdSense sensitive categories

Go straight to the Sensitive categories tab because this is where you are most likely to have problems. Just look at the categories – black magic, dating, drugs, politics, sex and more.

Google AdSense sensitive categories

Click the switches to block the categories of adverts you don’t want shown on your site.

4 Customise other ad categories

Select the General categories tab to see the full list of categories.

There may be categories that do not fit in with the content of your site and it is tempting to block them. However, there usually is no need.

Google works out what is best for your site and mostly shows ads that work. Take a look at this:

Google AdSense ad categories

RAWinfopages is all about computers and electronics, and the Ad Impressions column shows that 54.9% of the adverts displayed in the last month were from the Computers & Consumer Electronics category.

Even though Dining & Nightlife is an allowed category, Google did not show any ads – 0.0%. AdSense knows what works best.

Advertisers compete for advertising spaces on a website, so the more advertisers there are, the more competition there is among them and this drives up the price of ads.

This means that the more categories you enable, the higher the value of the ads and the greater the income when visitors click them.

Only disable categories you absolutely do not want. Categories that are harmless should be left enabled, even if they don’t fit your site’s content, because they raise advertising pressure.

5 Browse AdSense subcategories

Each of the categories has subcategories and the number in brackets shows how many there are. Click a category to see the subcategories. There may even be subcategories of subcategories.

Google AdSense categories

This gives you a fine degree of control over what adverts are displayed on your website.


Action points

  • Log into AdSense and view the ad categories
  • Block ad categories you do not want on your site


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