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Trying to Better Understand "Topics" and "Interests"

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

How are "topics" and "interests" assigned, matched, and maintained? 

I'm trying to make sure I correctly understand how bid adjustments for "interests" and "topics" work. 

Specifically:

 

  • How many "topics" might a page be assigned or matched to?
  • How many "interests" might a visitor be assigned?
  • How much, and how recentmust a user have expressed an "interest," to be matched?
  • How and when do "interests" expire

 

I assume that each parent grouping includes all sub-groups, so if I haven't checked any of the sub-groups, those interests will be included if I've selected the parent grouping. I also assume that if I have selected both a parent grouping and a child grouping, AND bid higher on the child grouping than on the parent grouping, then the parent grouping effectively won't be considered when a match is found for the child grouping. 

Also, how do I determine what Google's algorithms consider a match for a specific topic or interest? Some of the categories are quite broad: for example, the category "Internet & Telecom > Service Providers > ISPs" might theoretically include (as a topic) any page regarding internet service, including cable companies & phone companies, which I assume could then trigger your algorithm to view the user who views such a page as "interested" in that category.

 

Moreover, if a user views a web page regarding AT&T internet service which also mentions a wireless router, I assume you might also treat the page's topic, and the user's interest, as including "Computers & Electronics > Networking > Networking Equipment." 

I also assume that if I were to EXCLUDE an "interest," I would exclude all people who are believed to be interested in the excluded topic, even if they also are interested in one or more "interests" that I've bid on, and if I exclude a "topic," it would also exclude any pages which Google matches to that "topic," even if the page matches one or more topics that 
I've bid on. 

I also assume that Google's algorithms regarding "topics" and "interests" work with absolutes (match-or-no-match) result, not a range or scale, and that matches aren't made to multiple mutually-exclusive categories (for example, a page mentioning "routers" wouldn't match to both "Networking Equipment" and "Woodworking," where the meaning of the word "routers" can only match one or the other). 

I'd appreciate a much more detailed explanation of how topics and interests are assigned and maintained.

1 Expert replyverified_user
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Zee (Community Manager)
September 2015

Re: Trying to Better Understand "Topics" and "Interests

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hello;

These are nice questions;

 

Google does not fully disclose how the information it gathers is processed; Goggle does disclose on its privacy policy the sources of information collected, and the intended usage. Google also says that it combines information from different sources.(e.g. "We may combine personal information from one service with information, including personal information, from other Google services – for example to make it easier to share things with people you know"). But, again, no clue what is the algorithm, how the information is processed and how Google interprets /transforms it to users' interests.

 

Read more:

Google's privacy Policy:

 

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Trying to Better Understand "Topics" and "Interests

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
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In the last year or two , all of Google's methods of automatically selecting sites and pages from the display network have become much poorer quality than they used to be. Topics and Interests have always been marginal, but display keywords used to work fairly well. Not anymore... the traffic we get from display keywords, topics, and interests has been very irrelevant and very poor quality, and getting worse.

 

It got so bad we had to move completely to whitelisting only a few months ago. We only take traffic from sites we have specifically chosen. This works fairly well and the quality is pretty good on these hand-selected sites.

 

Granted, we are in a very nich industry, where we are trying to appeal to people with a very specific need. If we were in an industry where we could target very general broad categories of people, then Google's targetting methods might work better. Their targetting is definitely not what it used to be, though.

Re: Trying to Better Understand "Topics" and "Interests

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

@HYSPPC;

For auto placements to work better (though not as well as managed placement ) you need to add keywords so the system can find relevant webpages with content that matches the theme of the keywords

 

I do agree; though; that Google should be more "picky" in choosing sites added to the list on the display network. I also agree that in niche markets managed placements is the better than topics or interests.

 

-Moshe

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Trying to Better Understand "Topics" and "Interests

Follower ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
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This is a great question, I myself would like to know the answers to these questions.

Re: Trying to Better Understand "Topics" and "Interests

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
I've noticed another interesting "circularity" problem. Certain Made-for-Adsense web sites, including some parked domains, display links associated with high-value keywords, topics, and interests, even though the domain name is unrelated, and Google gladly displays our ads on these pages as if they were legitimate sites. We notice these because we'll suddenly see a site like s8d7f8gh7ds65s89.com generating a substantial number of high-cost clicks (with CTRs of 5% to $20%), with a 100% bounce rate and of course zero conversions-to-lead.

Re: Trying to Better Understand "Topics" and "Interests

Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Collaborator ✭ ✭ ✭

Hello,

 

There is an option to exclude the Category "Parked domain" also as you can add to exclusions the placement "anonymous.google" to avoid website that hide their identity.

 

You can read here a previous debate about anonymous sites with a link to a blog from AdWiser who explains how to evaluate if an anonymous site is good for you or not, using analytics.

 

https://www.en.adwords-community.com/t5/Manage-ads/anonymous-google/td-p/167102