Fixing Google’s Misinterpretation of a Blog Post

Sometimes, what you want to write and the way you want to write it does not mess with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and AdSense goals. This article illustrates this problem, and makes some simple suggestions that fix or reduce the problem of attracting the wrong AdSense ads.

The content for my travel blog consists of stories about interesting experiences I have had while visiting various countries.

I do expect the blog to make money too, that is why I have Google Adsense integrated in to the blog.

Google ads are supposed to be related to the content. The trouble is that some of my stories lack context that Google can understand. Humans like you and I can understand the context perfectly well: the site is about travel, and it is understood that the story is related to an experience I had while traveling.

For example, I just posted an article about an encounter I had with a rat in my room in the wee hours of the morning.

So what kind of ads did I pull for a story like that? How to permanently get rid of rats, fleas, bedbugs, you name it! One or two ads like this might be OK. Actually, I would love to know how to keep bedbugs out of my bed while traveling – I’ve had so much trouble with them in the past! On the whole though, I want Google to serve up ads about traveling I expect ads about India, since that is where the story took place.

When I stop and think about it, this misinterpretation of my story by Google is not so surprising.

The Challenge

The challenge is to pull the right ads, but keep the story as is. I like it just the way I wrote it, and I have no intention of rewriting it for Google Adsense!

There are a number of things I could do to fix it. One would be to use Scotty’s GenX software to make the content of the story invisible to Google, but perfectly readable to humans. It is a good solution for many applications, but rather a lot of trouble for a blog I think. Another way I could go about it is to put the story into Flash, and hide it from Google that way. This is also awkward, time-consuming, and may pose a barrier to some readers who do not have Flash installed on their system.

The The Solution

I decided to try something much simpler. I made the following changes to the post:

  • Change the Post Slug
  • Change the Title
  • Add a Post-script
  • Add a Relevant Link

Changing the Post Slug

In Wordpress, the Post Slug is included in part of the URL. By changing the slug from “Rats-and-Fleas-in-India” to “travel-story-in-india”, I removed misleading key words, and replaced them with key words that are very much in line with the context of the story.

Changing the Title

To Google, the title of a post is of much more importance than the same phrase in the body of the article. I changed the title from “Bulletin from India: The Rat” to “Travel Story from India: The Rat”.

Add a Post-Script

To make sure Google really “gets it”, I added a post-script, featuring the key words “India”, “travel”, and various related words. I added a direct link to the post-script for your convenience. While I was at it, I named the on-page target id “India-Travel-PS” for added key words.

Add a Relevant Link

Also in the post-script, is a link to an article in Wikipedia about India. Outbound links are good, and since the link is to an article about the country India, not the animal Rat, Google has more clues as to what the article is about.

The Result

With the above changes in place, most of the ads switched to being relevant to traveling. It didn’t take long to implement. Writing this article took much longer!


By keeping in mind how search engines work, you can do a lot to optimize your page without too much effort.


A great resource to learn more about optomizing your website:


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