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Google Display Network Going 100% Viewable

     
1:35 pm on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Pay attention to those Active View Viewable numbers. Google made an announcement (targeted to AdWords Advertisers, but that trickles down to publishers) about how they're going to be charging advertisers (and thus, paying publishers) for Viewable Ads:

Most display ads — 56% in fact — never had a chance to be viewed because they were below the fold, scrolled out of view, or in a background tab. Soon, we’ll make the GDN one of the only media platforms where advertisers don’t pay for an ad impression unless it was viewable. This means your media dollars will only be spent where they can have impact. In the next few months, all campaigns that buy on a CPM basis will be upgraded to be viewable CPM (vCPM).


[adwords.blogspot.com...]
3:04 pm on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Or: how they're not going to charge advertisers for ads that are not Viewable.

Thanks for the heads up.
4:01 pm on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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And yet another reason to make the transition to RWD and proper ad placement to make sure the "billboard" has a chance to be viewed.
4:02 pm on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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A reminder that the definition of viewable is still not exactly...

An ad is counted as "viewable" when 50 percent of your ad shows on screen for one second or longer for display ads, and two seconds or longer for video ads.

However, it does mean that for AdSense publishers ad block placement and content that can draw visitors to where such placement is viewable is ever more important.
7:57 pm on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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According to the new adsense reports only about 7% of our revenue comes from views, the rest from clicks, so I'm thinking not much will change...the cost of viewable ads will end up higher than current display ads which will compensate for the ads that never get seen...

Except maybe the mobile 'fixed to the bottom of the screen' ads might actually become profitable if they count as viewable? (until now they have not been a success on our sites)
10:43 pm on Oct 3, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Is this really a significant change?

Doesn't it really mostly affect CPM ads? CPC ads didn't cost/pay anything until they were clicked, and they probably aren't clicked (by a human) unless they are viewable (and probabaly for more than 1 second) anyhow.

Now if bots click ads, would the ad be classed as "viewable", ig not could this help with that issue?

.
12:31 am on Oct 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This is a ramp back on the google promise of display for the advertisers. Also a reality check on the gnat interest of folks hitting websites.

And, oddly, the "too many ads above the fold" algo change sometime back which killed a lot of ad production (views).

Just another "tweak" to try to keep all and sundry happy (or as happy as they can be in these days and times)
1:52 am on Oct 4, 2015 (gmt 0)

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According to the new adsense reports only about 7% of our revenue comes from views, the rest from clicks


Actually my CPM revenue is about 20% of the total and has been slowly rising for several weeks. On a few occasions my impressions RPM has exceeded my clicks CPC. As I've said before, it's almost like G is pulling back from CPC and placing greater emphasis on CPM ads. This could be part of that process.
8:32 am on Oct 5, 2015 (gmt 0)

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A big trend this year for me has been an increase in View impressions and a decrease in Click impressions. I'm not sure how to interpret that outside of a RPM decline for CPC ads (little competition among advertisers? Not as many well targeted CPC campaigns for my topics?) which opened the gates for cheaper CPM ads. And now that I'm converting many of my sites to responsive design, my Active View Viewable percentage is also going down. What used to be seen by most in the top corners is now only seen when a mobile visitor scroll down a whole lot until the end of the article. It's been a lousy year with Google Search and Adsense, both requiring changes that affect negatively the other.
4:24 am on Oct 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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"Most display ads — 56% in fact — never had a chance to be viewed because they were below the fold, scrolled out of view"

So let's see, this pretty much REVERSES everything they've pushed us for in the last 2 years. 'Not too many ads above the fold or we'll crush you into non-ranking oblivion'. 'You MUST USE the asynchronous mode because we're soo slow loading ads these days that we're holding back your fast-loading well-designed pages waiting to decide which of our slow loading, buggy ads to serve. Too bad everyone has scrolled by them before they ever get seen. But we'll just blame it on the publishers.' Sounds more like their own problem than ours.

Sounds to me like G is collapsing beneath it's own overgrown weight and beleaguered by cross-department infighting. Time to get the Search and Ad departments together in the same room for once to discuss what they REALLY want from us publishers until they finally take over and replace us ALL with "their own" content scraped from us, like those internally generated info boxes of theirs. Ever notice how with more and more searches these days that actual organic results don't even come up on the entire FIRST SCREEN (and sometimes even two screens) of google results? My bottom line notices. The day of the independent publisher is numbered.
8:18 am on Oct 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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One way for Google to assure advertisers that adblockers aren't costing them money.
9:32 am on Oct 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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So let's see, this pretty much REVERSES everything they've pushed us for in the last 2 years. 'Not too many ads above the fold or we'll crush you into non-ranking oblivion'. ...


Don't confuse Google AdSense with Google Search. Different products, different people, different goals.
10:31 am on Oct 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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@EditorialGuy - You do realise that these two things are related right? If you don`t have ads above the fold, then all ads that will be displayed on your website will be "not viewed" leading to many advertisers shying away from these websites and favor those that serve their ads "properly", which in terms makes what @MikeNoLastName said absolutely valid. They are both different products, but that does not mean they are not mutually punishing each-other at the expense of the publishers.
12:33 pm on Oct 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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They maybe in conflict, but AdSense and Search are still separate and they will likely always be separate because of the deliberate wall between AdWords and Search.

Personally I don't think it's so much an "above the fold" thing as a "responsive design tends to put all the ads too far below the content" thing. I'm quite sure that's the reason in my case (and am working on a new layout accordingly)
4:47 pm on Oct 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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f you don`t have ads above the fold, then all ads that will be displayed on your website will be "not viewed" leading to many advertisers shying away from these websites and favor those that serve their ads "properly",

You need to qualify that statement by saying "all CPM ads," because CPC advertisers are paying by the click, not by the impression.

FWIW, our site has one AdSense ad per page (at most), and the majority of those ads are slightly below the fold. I move the ads up or down now and then for testing purposes, and the location doesn't seem to have much impact on CTR or revenue. Maybe that will change with Google's new policy for CPM ads--or maybe the decline (if there is any) will be barely noticeable, depending on how many readers scroll below the fold.
5:18 pm on Oct 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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f you don`t have ads above the fold, then all ads that will be displayed on your website will be "not viewed" leading to many advertisers shying away from these websites and favor those that serve their ads "properly",


Quite the opposite I think - if an (cpm) advertiser is only paying for ads viewed they will be quite happy for the ads to be anywhere on the page, unlike at the moment where they are probably hesitant to advertise when many ads will never be seen.
8:14 pm on Oct 6, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Quite the opposite I think - if an (cpm) advertiser is only paying for ads viewed they will be quite happy for the ads to be anywhere on the page, unlike at the moment where they are probably hesitant to advertise when many ads will never be seen.


I'm not sure how you draw that conclusion; at any rate, as quoted above, Google is not going to even charge the advertiser for any unviewable ad.
4:54 am on Oct 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I'm very concerned about this. I use Google AdX and I'm pretty sure everything is CPM.

I don't understand why this was announced in an Adwords post and there hasn't been a post to Publishers.

None of my ads are more than 40% viewable. When I've run anchor ads they've only been 80%-90% viewable.

A 320x50 near the top of a responsive website on mobile should not be less than 40% viewable. That's the advertiser fault. They're loading the ad together with too many scripts and slowing down the ad from being displayed. That's not my responsibility as a publisher, but how do I control that, why aren't there metrics for which advertisers ads loads the slowest in Adsense or AdX?

But my biggest problem is with this crap load of shock and disbelief from the advertiser side and in the media for the past year. They've know exactly what they've been paying for the last 20 years. The low viewability rate is not a surprise. That's why the CPM's are so low. Now they think they are going to pay the same minuscule price for 100% viewability. That's not going to happen. They need to pay 3 times the price.
Yet, that's not the way the Adwords blogpost is portraying it. They're effectively saying its a buy 1 get 2 free sale brought to you by the fine folks at Google and their Publishers. Because we as publishers have somehow been caught selling ads that no one was seeing. If an advertiser is buying display ads by impressions then it's a branding campaign. Whether they buy anonymously to get the cheap CPM's or even if they buy branded that's a risk and that risk is built into the low price.

This is an attempt to screw publishers and make a show out of it as well.
My ads are not going on sale! You want 100% viewability then you pay for it. It's always been like that. An intrusive ad whether it's a popup, anchor ad, or whatever you want to call it. The ad pays according to how intrusive it is and it is a lot more that 3 times a banner ad.
12:42 pm on Oct 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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AdSense is what it is. It's never been (and never will be) a platform with much publisher control. Google doesn't choose to offer a platform like that, and whenever there's a choice between advertiser and publisher, they will pick the advertiser. Pretty much every time.
4:50 pm on Oct 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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as quoted above, Google is not going to even charge the advertiser for any unviewable ad.

Yes, and that's why advertisers needn't shy away from the possibility that some ads will be "unviewable" because of location on the page. (Mind you, not all ads below the fold are unviewable: Some Web users actually scroll down and read.)
5:26 pm on Oct 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Recently G told me my footer ads were only 3% viewable. My overall viewed stands at 40ish%. I assume my footer ads bring this viewable count down,would it be better to remove the footer ads in the hope that the cpm price goes up,or would it not affect it?
5:44 pm on Oct 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I don't think anyone can tell you for sure; all you can do is test it.
12:03 am on Oct 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This may not be as big a deal as many are making it out to be. If only those ads which are viewable are going to be the ones that advertisers pay for, I'm betting they will be willing to pay a lot more for the ad slots that usually will display those ads. More competition will also raise those bids.

Publishers may see less monetized impressions, but the CPM should in theory be way higher. Might end up being pretty close to a wash.
12:06 am on Oct 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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Only responding to turn off the goddam notification.
5:45 pm on Oct 9, 2015 (gmt 0)

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I have an ad link unit which displays in a column top left of the page when viewed on desktop computers and landscape ipad views.

When on smaller screens, mobile, ipad portait orientation etc., the ad unit appears 3/4 of the way down the page.

My Mobile/Desktop ratio is approx. 50%. Allowing for adblockers at 10% - should leave around 40% viewable.

Adsense reports the ad is seen by only 1% of viewers.......
5:17 am on Oct 10, 2015 (gmt 0)

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MY below the fold footer ads have a higher CTR and RPM than my above the fold ads (floated, with the main article text wrapping around it, just below the title).
 

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