The Importance of Being Seen

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1 November 2014 The Importance of Being Seen Viewability Insights for Digital Marketers and Publishers

2 WHAT WE WANTED TO KNOW We conducted research using our Active View technology to learn about the current state of viewable impressions on the web. There is increased interest in viewability among brand advertisers and publishers now that the Media Rating Council has lifted the viewable transaction advisory. Brand advertisers want to ensure that their ads can be seen and are seeking enhanced ROI. Publishers want to enhance site viewability and to use viewable impressions as a currency to do so. Here we highlight the trends we discovered in analyzing the research data to help advertisers and publishers formulate their viewability strategy. thinkwithgoogle.com 2

3 WHAT WE DID Google conducted a study of our display advertising platforms, including Google and DoubleClick, to better understand ad viewability. According to the Media Rating Council and IAB standards, a viewable impression occurs when 50% of an ad s pixels are on screen for one second. The data used in this study are based on display ads in browsers (desktop and mobile) and does not include mobile in-app or video apps. thinkwithgoogle.com 3

4 WHAT WE FOUND State of publisher viewability A small number of publishers are serving most of the non-viewable impressions. 56.1% of all impressions we measured are not seen, but the average publisher viewability is 50.2%. Page position matters... The most viewable position is right above the fold, not at the top of the page....so does ad size The most viewable ad sizes are vertical units. Above the fold always viewable Page position isn t always the best indicator of viewability. Not all above-the-fold impressions are viewable, while many below-the-fold impressions are. Viewability varies across industries While it ranges across content verticals, and industries, content that holds a user s attention has the highest viewability. thinkwithgoogle.com 4

5 State of Publisher Viewability

6 A small number of publishers are serving most of the non-viewable impressions. VIEWABILITY DISTRIBUTION ACROSS DOMAINS % OF PUBLISHER DOMAINS % VIEWABLE Source: Google and DoubleClick display advertising platforms data, October thinkwithgoogle.com 6

7 56.1% of impressions are not seen, but the average publisher viewability is 50.2%. thinkwithgoogle.com 7

8 Page Position Matters

9 Average viewability by vertical position (728 x 90) 100% 80% Highest viewability at page fold VIEWABILITY 60% 40% Steep viewability drop-off after page fold 20% 0% RELATIVE BROWSER PAGE POSITION Note: Horizontal axis denotes position of top edge of ad impression. Source: Google and DoubleClick display advertising platforms data, July thinkwithgoogle.com 9

10 Average viewability by vertical position (300 x 250) 100% 80% Viewability high throughout top fold VIEWABILITY 60% 40% Viewability drop-off is seen at page fold 20% 0% RELATIVE BROWSER PAGE POSITION Note: Horizontal axis denotes position of top edge of ad impression. Source: Google and DoubleClick display advertising platforms data, July thinkwithgoogle.com 10

11 Average viewability by vertical position (160 x 600) 100% 80% Viewability high throughout top fold VIEWABILITY 60% 40% Viewability remains > 40% for longest page length Viewability drop-off *least* steep compared to other ad sizes 20% 0% RELATIVE BROWSER PAGE POSITION Note: Horizontal axis denotes position of top edge of ad impression. Source: Google and DoubleClick display advertising platforms data, July thinkwithgoogle.com 11

12 Average viewability by vertical position (468 x 60) 100% 80% Highest viewability at page fold VIEWABILITY 60% 40% Steep viewability drop-off after page fold 20% 0% RELATIVE BROWSER PAGE POSITION Note: Horizontal axis denotes position of top edge of ad impression. Source: Google and DoubleClick display advertising platforms data, July thinkwithgoogle.com 12

13 Average viewability by vertical position (320 x 50) 100% 80% The highest viewability point right before the page fold VIEWABILITY 60% 40% The drop-off in viewability right after page fold 20% 0% RELATIVE BROWSER PAGE POSITION Note: Horizontal axis denotes position of top edge of ad impression. Source: Google and DoubleClick display advertising platforms data, July thinkwithgoogle.com 13

14 So Does Ad Size

15 The most viewable ad sizes are vertical units. VIEWABILITY RATES BY AD SIZE 70% 65% 60% % VIEWABLE 55% 50% 45% 55.6% 54.9% 53.7% 52.5% 51.4% 48.8% 48.2% 48.0% 47.2% 46.3% 46.2% 45.2% 45.0% 44.0% 41.0% 40% 35% 30% AD UNIT SIZE Source: Google and DoubleClick display advertising platforms data, July thinkwithgoogle.com 15

16 Above the Fold Always Viewable

17 Above the fold is not always viewable while below the fold often is. Median viewability for above-the-fold ad units 68% ATF VIEWABILITY DISTRIBUTION Median viewability for below-the-fold ad units 40% BTF VIEWABILITY DISTRIBUTION % OF PUBLISHER DOMAINS 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% % OF PUBLISHER DOMAINS 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% % VIEWABLE % VIEWABLE Source: Google and DoubleClick display advertising platforms data, July thinkwithgoogle.com 17

18 Viewability Varies Across Industries

19 Viewability varies significantly across content verticals, with the highest viewability belonging to sites associated with more captive engagement. Reference 51.9% Finance 43.6% Online Communities 48.9% Travel 42.6% Games 48.4% Home & Garden 42.5% Arts & Entertainment 48.0% Beauty & Fitness 42.3% Jobs & Education 47.8% Law & Government 42.2% Business & Industrial 47.2% World Localities 42.0% Computers & Electronics 47.1% Autos & Vehicles 41.9% Science 46.6% Books & Literature 41.5% Internet & Telecom 46.4% Shopping 40.8% Hobbies & Leisure 44.8% Sports 40.2% Pets & Animals 44.6% Food & Drink 39.6% Health 44.0% News 38.8% People & Society 43.6% Real Estate 38.7% Source: Google and DoubleClick display advertising platforms data, July thinkwithgoogle.com 19

20 WHAT THIS MEANS FOR ADVERTISERS Viewability data enables advertisers to identify both high- and lowvalue inventory and then shift budgets and targets accordingly to maximize reach and ROI. By understanding trends about what inventory has the highest viewability, advertisers can better formulate their media strategies. thinkwithgoogle.com 20

21 WHAT THIS MEANS FOR ADVERTISERS Viewability varies significantly by page position and ad size. In general, advertisers should consider the relationship between page position and ad size while planning creative and targeting. Page position doesn t tell the whole story. Ultimately, advertisers should target based on viewability measurements to achieve the best results. Vertical ad units are the most likely to be seen by users. On average, publishers have 50% viewability rates, but some publishers have much lower viewability. Advertisers seeking viewable impressions should steer towards high viewability sites. Consider targeting sites with more engaging content to achieve higher viewability rates. thinkwithgoogle.com 21

22 WHAT THIS MEANS FOR PUBLISHERS Viewability data can help publishers increase the long-term value of their display inventory. By understanding the factors that affect viewability, publishers can enhance their sites to maximize viewable impressions. thinkwithgoogle.com 22

23 WHAT THIS MEANS FOR PUBLISHERS To achieve average viewability, publishers should aim for above 50% viewability. Publishers should consider which ad sizes are most effective at different page positions when making ad placement/layout decisions. Viewability can enable publishers to better identify and monetize valuable below-the-fold inventory. thinkwithgoogle.com 23

24 WHAT WE DID Google conducted a study of our display advertising platforms, including Google and DoubleClick, to better understand ad viewability. According to the Media Rating Council and IAB standard, a viewable impression occurs when 50% of an ad s pixels are on screen for one second. The data used in this study is based on display ads in browsers (desktop and mobile) and does not include mobile in-app and video ads. The data was collected in two months: October 2014 for the average viewability of impressions and domains, and July 2014 for the rest of our findings. thinkwithgoogle.com 24

25 WHAT WE DID Minimum measurable counts: Domains with less than 1,000 measurable ads over the period of a week were removed. This filtering ensures sufficient data points for each domain to be confident in the statistics and removes unmeasurable domains. Unmeasurable domains were removed to better represent true viewability numbers instead of presenting numbers artificially lowered by non-measurable sites. Minimum measurable counts (vertical position graphs): The vertical position graphs use a minimum measurable count of ten ads over one day due to the data sets small granularity. thinkwithgoogle.com 25

26 WHAT WE DID Minimum received rate: Active View ads send data pings regardless of whether they are viewed. Domains where we received pings from fewer than 50% of enabled ads are removed. Again, this is done to eliminate issues caused by non-measurable sites. With this filtering in place, we created a data set with over one week of data from impressions on DoubleClick for Publishers, DoubleClick Ad Exchange and the Google Display Network. thinkwithgoogle.com 26

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