How To Block Flash Ads In Adsense

Recently, a couple of my sites were overwhelmed by irrelevant Adsense adverts relating to the credit/loans niche. The mention of Harringtom Brooks and Adsense in the same sentence still makes me shudder! My sites had nothing to do with credit/loans so of course no visitors were likely to click on these adverts. Which means wasted page impressions that bring my Adsense CTR way down.

We can use the competitive ad filter in Adsense to filter out ads we don’t want to display, but we need either the display URL or the destination URL to input into the filter.

If the URL is not displayed in the ad (and even if it is), we can use the Adsense Preview Tool to find it. However, that tool doesn’t work on Flash Ads! My unwanted adverts were made using Flash. There was some branding that related to the advertiser’s site, but entering that URL in the ad filter didn’t affect these adverts. They were leading to a different URL.

Fortunately, there is a way of finding out what the destination URL of a Flash ad is without clicking on it. Remember kids, clicking on your own ads will make you go blind.

For this recipe, you’ll need a page displaying a Flash ad, and Firebug installed in Firefox.

Navigate to the page displaying the Flash advert and open Firebug by pressing F12. Firebug will open in the bottom part of your screen whilst retaining your web page in the top. Along Firebug’s toolbar that runs across the top of its interface, you should see the element inspector button:

Firebug Menu

Click that and then hover over the Flash ad on your web page. The source code for the Flash ad will be displayed and highlighted in Firebug. Within the highlighted code, you should find it easy to locate the destination URL and then filter that out using the Adsense Competitive Ad Filter.

URL In Flash Ad

Hovering over the ad displays the code, but when you move away from the ad the code disappears again. I found that clicking on a non-clickable area of the ad displayed the code in Firebug permanently.