A few days ago Frank Watson blogged here about a new AdSense feature that lets site publishers exclude AdWords ads they feel may be inappropriate for their sites.
AdSense publishers will be able to view ads that advertisers have directed to their sites via Placement Targeting, and choose to block ads they don't feel are "relevant" to their site visitors.
This will certainly be used by AdSense publishers to (attempt to) maximize AdSense revenues - - publishers will block ads that they deem "low-revenue" in favor of ads that visitors will click on more frequently.
But is it good for advertisers? Well, yes and no...
Most AdWords advertisers who create Placement Targeted campaigns have done time-consuming research to identify sites that have proven (or are expected) to be relevant, in terms of producing valuable clicks and conversions. Knowing their ads can be blocked at the whim of an AdSense publisher might make advertisers more reluctant to spend the time necessary to target their advertising.
AdWords advertisers will be able to see the reason an ad was blocked - if the AdSense publisher chooses to provide it. Google says "This feedback gives advertisers more insight on how to increase coverage by adjusting ad quality, content, and relevance. We also use this information internally to help improve products."
Nice theory -- but will AdSense publishers really provide (optional) constructive feedback?
As I've pointed out in my SEW Experts column, Content advertising requires significant work and diligence -- arguably more than for Search advertising. Dealing with blocked ads -- understanding why an ad was blocked, and possibly even corresponding directly with a site owner to appeal the decision -- could just add unnecessarily to the advertiser's workload.
Hopefully this won't happen often - and the system will work to each side's satisfaction and benefit.
But let's keep an eye on it.