Archive for January, 2017

31.01.2017

In the next edition of the #SuccessStack series, we look at page speed, a metric that became even more important in 2016 and directly impacts the first interaction your site has with its users.

What is page speed?

Page speed measures how quickly the viewable elements of a web page load. In other words, it measures how long it takes before a user can view and interact with a page on the site. It’s a particularly critical metric for the mobile user experience — recent research from DoubleClick indicates that 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if pages take longer than 3 seconds to load.


 The ultimate mobile page speed infographic

Consider page speed a user-centric measurement since users typically focus on one page at a time and expect fast experiences on every page they interact with. If your page speed isn’t good, you may lose the opportunity to keep users engaged and on your site for longer.

How does page speed impact ad revenue?

The more quickly a user can access your content, the more likely they are to engage with the content on the page and explore more pages on your site. Our study shows that ads on faster mobile pages are likely to be more viewable. The study also projects that mobile sites that load within 5 seconds vs 19 seconds earn up to 2X greater revenue.

While revenue can be impacted by many factors, improving page speed will lead to a better user experience and possibly increased ad revenue.

The ultimate page speed infographic

Our recent page speed studies found many notable learnings that may help paint the picture of the importance of page speed and the impact it can have on your site’s earnings.

AdSense publisher growth blog post   week3 infographic v5%2B%25282%2529 The ultimate mobile page speed infographic

Next steps

If you’re wondering which Google tools will be most useful to help grow your business, then you’ll benefit from a chat with one of our experts. They can offer a personalised consultation to help you make the right choice for your site. Book your consultation today.


 The ultimate mobile page speed infographic

 The ultimate mobile page speed infographic

 The ultimate mobile page speed infographic

In the next article in our #SuccessStack series, we look at a tool used by leading publishers and marketers that offers your publishing business an opportunity to grow.1

Programmatic Direct allows advertisers to programmatically execute deals that were once reserved and transacted directly. Advertisers can now use real-time data to reach the right people in the right moments in brand-safe publisher environments. A shift is happening, and more and more advertisers are adopting Programmatic Direct deals to optimize their direct and guaranteed transactions.

What is Programmatic Direct?

Programmatic Direct unites traditional media reservations with the power of real-time bidding. It offers early access to premium inventory, data-driven targeting, a direct relationship between the advertiser and publisher, and automated workflows. Programmatic Direct offers four different deal types and lots of flexibility to meet the needs of advertisers and publishers.

Why are 90+ Ad Age’s top 100 global marketers1 and 50% of ComScore top 50 US media owners2 using it?

  • Advertisers are empowered: Programmatic Direct offers real-time data, flexible deal structures, efficient workflows and brand safe premium inventory. These benefits can improve user engagement and may translate into greater ad spends with your business.
  • Publishers grow new relationships: Programmatic Direct creates more opportunities to deepen relationships with existing advertisers and generate new business in a brand-safe environment. Darby Sieben, President at Mediative says, “We see Programmatic Guaranteed as another important step to connect advertisers with premium publishers’ inventory. Google’s technology helps automate the buying and selling of premium inventory, which is important to ensure that we can deliver the best experience for our advertising and publisher partners.”

Is Programmatic Direct right for your business?

Programmatic Direct isn’t for everyone. Publishers who don’t currently use DoubleClick for Publishers or negotiate deals directly with advertisers may not see advantages to adopting programmatic.

Others, though, will find it a great fit for their businesses. Here are a few signs that Programmatic Direct might be the right direction for your publishing business:

  • You’re looking for operational efficiencies on the traditional direct model: Programmatic Direct reduces the administrative burden of creating and managing direct ad deals with features like automated billing and collections. This usually offers substantial cost savings to the publisher.
  • You need control: Advertisers and publishers alike benefit from the controls offered by Programmatic Direct. For publishers this means greater control over the ads you show on your sites. 
  • You have the resources to support it: You don’t need hundreds of full time employees, but you will need someone with the time and energy to dedicate to creating and managing your Programmatic Direct deals for optimal earnings.

Next steps

If you’re wondering whether Programmatic Direct might be a good move for your sites, then you’ll benefit from a chat with one of our experts. They can offer a personalized consultation to help you make the right choice for your business. Book a slot.

 Discover why leading publishers and marketers are using Programmatic Direct 1 – DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014-Dec 2015. Minimum $1K spend.
2 – DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Oct 2014 – Dec 2015. Cross references with ComScore 50 US list December 2015.

 Discover why leading publishers and marketers are using Programmatic Direct

 Discover why leading publishers and marketers are using Programmatic Direct

25.01.2017
Cross-posted from The Keyword 
A free and open web is a vital resource for people and businesses around the world. And ads play a key role in ensuring you have access to accurate, quality information online. But bad ads can ruin the online experience for everyone. They promote illegal products and unrealistic offers. They can trick people into sharing personal information and infect devices with harmful software. Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to users, Google’s partners, and the sustainability of the open web itself.
We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads. And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.
In 2016, we took down 1.7 billion ads that violated our advertising policies, more than double the amount of bad ads we took down in 2015. If you spent one second taking down each of those bad ads, it’d take you more than 50 years to finish. But our technology is built to work much faster.
Last year, we did two key things to take down more bad ads. First, we expanded our policies to better protect users from misleading and predatory offers. For example, in July we introduced a policy to ban ads for payday loans, which often result in unaffordable payments and high default rates for users. In the six months since launching this policy, we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads. Second, we beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster. For example, “trick to click” ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realizing they are often downloading harmful software or malware. In 2016, our systems detected and disabled a total of 112 million ads for “trick to click,” 6X more than in 2015.
Here are a few more examples of bad ads we took action against in 2016:
Ads for illegal products 
Some of the most common bad ads we find online are ads promoting illegal activities or products. Although we’ve long had a policy against bad ads for pharmaceuticals, last year our systems detected an increase online. We disabled more than 68 million bad ads for healthcare violations, up from 12.5 million in 2015.
Similarly, we saw more attempts to advertise gambling-related promotions without proper authorization from regulators in the countries they operate. We took down more than 17 million bad ads for illegal gambling violations in 2016.
Image2 How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016
17M ads removed for illegal gambling violations

Misleading ads
We don’t want you to feel misled by ads that we deliver, so we require our advertisers to provide upfront information for people make informed decisions. Some ads try to drive clicks and views by intentionally misleading people with false information like asking, “Are you at risk for this rare, skin-eating disease?” or offering miracle cures like a pill that will help you lose 50 pounds in three days without lifting a finger. In 2016, we took down nearly 80 million bad ads for deceiving, misleading and shocking users.
Bad ads on mobile
If you’ve ever been on your phone and suddenly, without warning, ended up in the app store downloading an app you’ve never heard of, a “self-clicking ad” could be to blame. In 2015, we disabled only a few thousand of these bad ads, but in 2016, our systems detected and disabled more than 23,000 self-clicking ads on our platforms, a huge increase year over year.
Ads trying to game the system
Bad actors know that ads for certain products—like weight-loss supplements or payday loans—aren’t allowed by Google’s policies, so they try to trick our systems into letting them through. Last year, we took down almost 7 million bad ads for intentionally attempting to trick our detection systems.
In 2016, we saw the rise of tabloid cloakers, a new type of scammer that tries to game our system by pretending to be news. Cloakers often take advantage of timely topics—a government election, a trending news story or a popular celebrity—and their ads can look like headlines on a news website. But when people click on that story about Ellen DeGeneres and aliens, they go to a site selling weight-loss products, not a news story.
To fight cloakers, we take down the scammers themselves, and prevent them from advertising with us again. In 2016, we suspended more than 1,300 accounts for tabloid cloaking. Unfortunately, this type of bad ad is gaining in popularity because people are clicking on them. And a handful of scammers can pump out a lot of bad ads: During a single sweep for tabloid cloaking in December 2016, we took down 22 cloakers that were responsible for ads seen more than 20 million times by people online in a single week.

Image1 How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016
1,300+ accounts suspended for tabloid cloaking

Promoting and profiting from bad sites
When we find ads that violate our policies, we block the ad or the advertiser, depending on the violation. But sometimes we also need to suspend the website promoted in the ad (the site people see after they click on it). So, for example, while we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads last year, we also took action on 8,000 sites promoting payday loans.

Here are some examples of common policy violations we saw among bad sites in 2016:

  • We took action on 47,000 sites for promoting content and products related to weight-loss scams. 
  • We took action on more than 15,000 sites for unwanted software and disabled 900,000 ads for containing malware.
  • And we suspended around 6,000 sites and 6,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods, like imitation designer watches. 
Image3 How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016
6,000 sites and 6,000 accounts removed for attempting to sell counterfeit goods

Publishers and website owners use our AdSense platform to make money by running ads on their sites and content, so we have strict policies in place to keep Google’s content and search networks safe and clean for our advertisers, users and publishers. When a publisher violates our policies, we may stop showing ads on their site, or even terminate their account.
We’ve had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites that help people deceive others, like a site where you buy fake diplomas or plagiarized term papers. In November, we expanded on these policies, introducing a new AdSense misrepresentative content policy, that helps us to take action against website owners misrepresenting who they are and that deceive people with their content. From November to December 2016, we reviewed 550 sites that were suspected of misrepresenting content to users, including impersonating news organizations.  We took action against 340 of them for violating our policies, both misrepresentation and other offenses, and nearly 200 publishers were kicked out of our network permanently.
In addition to all the above, we support industry efforts like the Coalition for Better Ads to protect people from bad experiences across the web. While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here. As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems. Continuing to find and fight them is essential to protecting people online and ensuring you get the very best from the open web.
Posted by Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management, Sustainable Ads

 How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016

 How we fought bad ads, sites and scammers in 2016

23.01.2017

In the fourth article of the #SuccessStack, we explore viewability and its increasing importance in retaining and growing ad revenues for your publishing business. We’ve recently received a lot of questions on viewability from our AdSense publisher community, so this post should answer the most frequently asked ones.

What is viewability?

Media Rating Council (MRC) and IAB standards state that a display ad is counted as viewable when at least 50% of the ad is within the viewable space on the user’s screen for one second or more.

Why is it important for your ad revenue? 

An ad served doesn’t necessarily equal an ad viewed, and digital advertisers and publishers are catching onto this as the industry shifts toward valuing viewable rather than served impressions. This is because ads that are considered viewable have a higher chance of being seen and are more likely to engage an advertiser’s target audience.

As a result, more savvy advertisers are paying closer attention to ad viewability and it is increasingly becoming a factor in their decision making around ad spend.

If an ad isn’t seen, it can’t have an impact, change perception, or build brand trust. That’s why measuring viewability matters. For AdSense publishers, this means that increased viewability may encourage greater investments from advertisers.

Let’s get started

Before you get to work on increasing viewability, make sure you choose the right tool to give yourself the best possible potential earnings. To help you with this, be sure to schedule a free consultation with one of our experts who can help you to choose the right solution for your business.

 Viewability is vital for publisher business growth

How can you increase the viewable impressions delivered by your site? 

1. Put ad units just above the fold.
Interestingly, ads placed just above the fold of a web page produce higher viewability metrics than those at the top of the page. Try horizontal ad unit sizes, e.g. 320×100 for optimal increase in viewability metrics. It’s important to note that it’s against the AdSense ad placement policies to place a 300×250 ad unit above the fold on mobile pages, so be sure to place those larger ad sizes below the fold. 

Bonus tip: Switch 320×50 for 320×100 ad units.

Replacing your 320×50 ad units with 320×100 on your mobile device can improve viewability and potentially increase earnings. Revenue per thousand impressions (RPMs) tends to increase when you move to the larger mobile banner ad. This is because using the 320×100 ad unit allows both the 320×50 ad and the 320×100 to compete for the same ad space, doubling the fill-rate competition. It’s best practice to put the ad just above the fold as mentioned above, which could further boost your revenues.

2. Use mobile-friendly ad formats.

Mobile is becoming an ever more important part of online ad sales. Here are three mobile friendly ad formats to try:

  • Use large high impact ad units such as the medium rectangle (300×250), large rectangle (336×280) and large mobile banner (320×100) to get the best results. The first two work well on desktop and mobile (below the fold), with the third being designed specifically for mobile. 
  • AdSense also offers two kinds of page-level mobile ad formats, anchor ads and vignettes. Both are designed to increase mobile viewability. 

Once you’ve implemented the tips above, you can find even more advanced best practice viewability tips in this infographic.

 Viewability is vital for publisher business growth

 Viewability is vital for publisher business growth

Over the last few weeks you may have noticed the Ad balance subtab under My ads. This new AdSense feature will give you more control to create a great ads experience for your users.

Ad balance lets you reduce the number of ads you show to your users. Finding the right balance between the number of ads you show and the user experience on your site can lead to better overall engagement with your content. With Ad balance, you’re able to see how changes in the volume of ads you show affect your earnings, and find the balance that makes the most sense for you and your users.

By only showing your best-performing ads, you may see a minimal drop in your earnings. However, these changes may result in an overall earnings increase, since an improvement of the user experience often leads to users staying longer on your site and engaging with more of your content*.

 Introducing “Ad balance”   focus on your best performing ads
Ad balance is the first example of a Lab that’s being made available to all publishers. Those of you who had the Show fewer ads lab enabled have been automatically moved over to Ad balance**. Thank you for trying it out!

To learn more about this new feature, please visit the Help Center.

We’d love to hear what you think about Ad balance. Please leave your feedback within your AdSense account by clicking send feedback.

Posted by:
Dongcai Shen, Software Engineer
Rikard Lundmark, Software Engineer
Spandana Raj Babbula, Software Engineer

*We don’t guarantee any specific results. And, just as a reminder, you’re responsible for the content and layout of your site.
**Find out how you turn this feature on and off and make changes to your settings in the AdSense Help Center.

 Introducing “Ad balance”   focus on your best performing ads

 Introducing “Ad balance”   focus on your best performing ads