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Google has been very aggressive over the last year at promoting the content network (AdSense) to advertisers. One of the best innovations they’ve developed as a result is “placement targeting“, which enables advertisers to bid on a specific site (or a specific section of a site), rather than just buying the keyword “widget” and hoping that Google’s algorithm places their ads on the right sites.

Google’s placement targeting tool is very good at helping advertisers discover sites on which to advertise – they even have a mini-directory of top categories like “beauty” and “games” where you can immediately get a list of hundreds of category-specific sites.

But here’s the really weird thing about this category directory – there’s no category (or sub-category) for consumer finance. The very advertisers who practically power AdWords – insurance, credit cards, mortgages, pay day loans, debt consolidation, credit reports, banking, stock trading, etc, etc – you can’t find them in Google’s placement-targeting directory.

I cannot think of any reason of the top of my head why Google would want to hide this category from potential advertisers? Considering the billions they make off these advertisers on AdWords, it seems logical that they’d want to drive a lot of revenue through AdSense from these same advertisers.

I am certain, however, that this is not just an accidental omission – there is a good reason that Google has left these off the list, but what it is I don’t know. If anyone has any ideas, please post a comment with your theory!