Google Ads: And the Research Means…?

December 8, 2014

I read “5 Viewability Findings from Google.” Frankly I am not certain if the five results are good news or bad news.

Here’s an example:

56.1% of all display ad impressions never appeared on a screen, Google’s research found.

Does this mean that Google needs to do more to get ads viewed? One approach would be to use the incredibly annoying approach that displays an ad, hides the “skip” or “close” option, and uses flashing text to communicate its powerful message. Perhaps soon?

Another example:

Page position isn’t always the best indicator of viewability, Google’s research found. In fact, far from all above-the-fold ad impressions are viewable, and many below-the-fold ones are. The median viewability for ad units above-the-fold was 68%, Google said, compared with 40% below-the-fold. Perhaps counter intuitively, the most “viewable” ads were not placed at the top of publisher pages, but were actually located directly “above-the-fold,” at the bottom of the visible part of a webpage immediately after it loaded.

So ads can be anywhere to be viewed? I like the “counter intuitive angle” because it suggests that Google data are clarifying what users really do. Don’t users look for results that answer their question? I suppose that too is counter intuitive.

Please, work through the other three findings.

It seems to me that Google ads appear to be chugging along as long at the user is accessing search results using a desktop computer. Don’t most folks access Google and other online information via a mobile device? Less screen real estate, right?

Are there other source of revenue that will replace the difference between the ad power of a dinosaur type of access and the new breed of cat access?

Stephen E Arnold, December 8, 2014


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