AdSense Preview Tool

Previewing ads with the AdSense Preview Tool.

There are times when you may wish to prevent certain ads from being displayed on your site - for example, those which are directly in competition with your own product or service, which is one of the curses of contextual advertising! To do this you need to apply a filter to the ad(s) in question. I will explain filters at a later date, but to apply the filter you need to know where the ad points. This isn't always evident by looking at the ad - the actual URL might not be displayed in the text depending on the format. Probably the easiest way to find out where the ad leads is to click it but, if you do this carelessly, you run the risk that Google will think you are making fraudulent clicks. You want to avoid this because they will almost certainly ban your AdSense account - once banned almost impossible to get back into the program.

The Preview Tool is a useful little plug-in for Internet Explorer 6+. It allows a publisher to physically click on their ads without the fear of incurring invalid clicks. The tool only works with Internet Explorer, so if you only use Firefox, Safari or Opera it isn't for you.

Install the Preview Tool by clicking on the following link (check the link properties for your own piece of mind before clicking): Download Preview Tool. Close your internet browser windows before running the registry file. The file will self-install and then you can open up Internet Explorer and use the tool. Use the tool by browsing to your AdSense bearing page, right clicking and selecting 'Google AdSense Preview Tool'. The preview tool will open in a new window, and will display a sample set of ads for that page.

You have three main options with the previewed ads:
  • 'Choose Options' - which allows you to view different ad formats and geographical variations.
  • 'Choose Colors' - which allows you to experiment with the colour palette of the previewed ads.
  • Click on any ad displayed in the preview window to see the destination page. By ticking the check-box next to the previewed ads you can also see the destination URL.
If you wish to uninstall the Preview Tool download and run the following registry file (again, view the link properties for your own piece of mind before clicking): Download Preview Tool Uninstaller.


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Ken said...

So have you filter competitors' ads yet? I've thought about doing it but have not because that could potentially lower by earnings.