Google Display Network Adds Viewability As Buying Option

by , Dec 12, 2013, 4:15 PM
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Brands waste millions of dollars buying online ads that site visitors never see -- and Google hopes to change that. The company announced a payment model Thursday that allows advertisers to buy ads on the Google Display Network (GDN) that Web site page visitors actually view. 

The model is based on the Interactive Advertising Bureau's viewable standard, which requires 50% or more of the ad on the Web site page to remain visible for one second or longer.

Nearly half of online advertisements are placed in spots that site viewers never see because they don't scroll down the page. The buying option based on Active View, Google's MRC-accredited viewability measurement tool, lets an advertiser bid in the auction as usual, but only pay for the ads that run in slots deemed viewable.

Advertisers will see a report of how many viewable impressions they received, which can distinguish when ads are in the viewable portion of a screen across desktops, tablets and mobile phones, according to a Google spokesperson.

Although Google execs already deem this model a success, the company will keep other optional ad payment models such as pay per click and pay per engagement.

Earlier this year, Google said it would sell reservable inventory on GDN, paying only for impressions that meet the IAB proposed viewability standard -- a method that would give the industry a universal metric when analyzing and attributing which ads reach an audience.

It's common sense that site visitors can only click on an ad they can see. The longer the person views the ad, the more likely they will click through to the landing page. In a move toward widespread adoption, the viewable impression will give brand marketers more credibility to increase online advertising budgets and keep publishers honest by proving the brand's ads are seen. This provides an opportunity to build closer ties with consumers knowing they viewed the advertisement. 

4 comments on "Google Display Network Adds Viewability As Buying Option".

  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein
    commented on: December 13, 2013 at 8:46 a.m.
    50% of the ad visible for one second or longer? Pretty high standards, don't you think?
  2. Michael Kaushansky from Havas Media
    commented on: December 13, 2013 at 9:22 a.m.
    FINALLY built into the buying model this will make buying digital media simpler and more reliable. The question is whether Google will be more biased towards their properties - I can't see them doing that and subjecting their brand to trust issues. Sounds like a winner.
  3. Alexis Wrightson from Net Communities
    commented on: December 16, 2013 at 9:06 a.m.
    Funny how this arrives after OnScroll deliver a solution to the marketplace that allows buyers to buy either programmatically or direct with premium publications. Ad viewability was already solved last year!
  4. Moe Eshaghian from GumGum, Inc.
    commented on: January 2, 2014 at 5:56 p.m.
    GumGum applauds Google’s announcement regarding viewability. As brand dollars continue to shift to digital, there is an increased expectation on ROI and viewability is a key component to ensure that advertisers get what they pay for. We too have been studying viewability closely and also recently announced that all of our campaigns are measured by MRC-accredited viewability firm DoubleVerify. Read the press release here:

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