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There are many issues impacting the health of the advertising ecosystem today. Counterfeit, misrepresented, and fake ad inventory are diverting revenue from high quality publishers. And, publishers are looking for tools to help them stop unsuitable ads from appearing alongside their content and damaging their brand. Addressing these challenges is critical to creating a healthy ecosystem where publishers can thrive. That’s why we’ve been investing in multiple initiatives to help alleviate these problems for our partners.

Helping stop the sale of counterfeit ad inventory

When counterfeit inventory is allowed to be sold or an unauthorized reseller puts underpriced inventory into the market, it prevents publishers from receiving the full value of their inventory. That’s why we fully support the IAB Tech Lab’s ads.txt standard. Ads.txt gives publishers and distributors a simple, flexible and secure method to disclose the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory. It increases transparency in the inventory supply chain making it more difficult to sell counterfeit inventory or resell inventory without a publisher’s approval.

We recently announced that DoubleClick Bid Manager will only buy a publisher’s inventory from sources identified as authorized sellers in its ads.txt file when a file is available. At our recent Partner Leadership Summit, we announced three updates to our publisher ad platforms to support the IAB Tech Lab’s ads.txt standard.

  • AdSense has begun to display ads.txt alerts in the user interface to let publishers know if we identify errors in their ads.txt file.
  • By the end of October, DoubleClick for Publishers will include an ads.txt generator and validator to help publishers create their initial ads.txt file and correct and modify their existing ads.txt files.
  • And most importantly by the end of this year, DoubleClick Ad Exchange and AdSense will filter unauthorized inventory, as identified by a publisher’s ads.txt file, from our auction.

The growth we’ve seen in ads.txt adoption has been strong. As of October 12, our ads.txt crawler has found files from over 11,000 urls. However, only 252 of the comScore 1000 publishers have published ads.txt files. The broader the adoption of ads.txt, the faster we’ll be able to help prevent the sale and purchase of counterfeit inventory and foster a fair and safe market for publishers to grow their businesses.

Number of urls that have posed an ads.txt file globally as found by our crawler

Keeping unsuitable ads off of publisher sites

We've heard from our publishers that they want more options and control to determine the types of ads that appear on their sites from our advertising partners. While we have strict policies on our own platforms to protect publishers and our users from harmful, misleading and inappropriate ads, we are introducing more controls and filters so publishers can make their decisions about what is and what isn't suitable for their brand.

We have released two new controls in DoubleClick that allow publishers to block sensational, tabloid-style ads and racy, suggestive ads from their sites. And we recently made changes to significantly improve the accuracy and quality of our automated creative classification filters. We’ve always had comprehensive controls to help publishers automatically block the types of ads that appear on their sites, and these updates will help publishers fine tune the types of ads that appear alongside their content.

Mock-ups of a racy, suggestive ad and a sensationalist ad blocked by our sensitive category controls

Creating a fair and safe marketplace for publishers

Helping publishers create sustainable businesses and continue to grow is core to our mission. That cannot happen without a healthy advertising ecosystem. By helping to stop the sale and purchase of counterfeit inventory, and giving publishers the controls to prevent unsuitable and unsafe ads from appearing next to their content, we hope to make it easier for our partners to succeed.

Posted by Pooja Kapoor
Head of Global Strategy, Programmatic and Ecosystem Health

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At Google, we’ve always believed that our mission “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible” is closely aligned with that of the media industry. Without you, there’s no information. This partnership is what sets us apart, and what fuels our commitment to helping you build thriving and sustainable businesses.

Our commitment is particularly evident in how we’re evolving DoubleClick. There’s no doubt that the dual explosions of programmatic advertising and mobile devices have ushered in a new digital era fueled by data. Today, you can be better news publishers, entertainment programmers or app developers — and make smarter content and business decisions — with the immense amount of information available to you.

We believe there is a new opportunity emerging to turn raw data into powerful insights. So, we are announcing the Insights Engine Project, an ongoing initiative to bring Google’s cloud computing and machine learning expertise to DoubleClick’s reporting and forecasting systems. We want to make it easier for you to optimize your business for success with both consumers and advertisers. Our teams have been hard at work for some time now, and today we are announcing seven features in development, many of which are already in testing with select partners.

Custom data analysis and visualization with BigQuery and Data Studio

All the data in the world is not much use if you can’t analyze it and see the results. To make this easier, we are connecting DoubleClick to two powerful Google tools — BigQuery and Data Studio. BigQuery is Google’s fully managed, petabyte scale, low cost enterprise data warehouse for analytics. Data Studio turns your data into customizable informative dashboards and reports that are easy to read and share. Both connectors are in beta now, with broad availability in early 2018.

Smarter decisions with insight cards and a new forecasting experience

Late last year, we started using Google machine learning to offer opportunities and experiments in DoubleClick for Publishers and Ad Exchange. So far, our partners have implemented more than 6,700 recommendations worth millions of dollars in new revenue.1 Often, the most valuable insights are not simply into what has happened in your business, but also into what your peers are doing, and especially into what comes next.

In the months to come, a new set of insight cards in DoubleClick will give you information about how you are performing relative to your peers on key success metrics like ad viewability, site latency, and more. And to help you be more confident about the future, we will also be launching a new forecasting experience that includes automatic growth detection, seasonal adjustments, and easy viewing of historical data side by side with future predictions.


Audience insights for more relevant content and ads

The Insights Engine Project does not stop with business data. We also believe that helping you learn more about your audience can help you deliver more relevant and higher quality experiences. In the months to come, we will be conducting two limited tests of sharing demographic and interest insights with our partners, including using those insights to deliver more relevant ads in programmatic deals with DoubleClick Bid Manager advertisers. These tests will help us explore the best way to make ads and content more relevant for users, while ensuring their privacy and preferences are respected.

Supporting the news industry with subscription offers

Finally, subscriptions are becoming a more and more important part of the business of our partners in the news industry. So, we are also testing the application of machine learning and audience insights to the subscription business — helping you optimize the best moment to reach users when they have a higher likelihood of paying.

The first step

As we enter the next phase of digital growth, in a world that’s AI-first and where data is king, we’re excited to partner with you in new ways to drive sustainable growth beyond tomorrow into the further future. We are confident that when you have the right pieces of information in the right places, the possibilities are endless. The Insights Engine Project starts with the initiatives I have described here, but will continue into 2018 and beyond, so stay tuned to learn more about how you can start taking advantage of these new capabilities.
Posted by Jonathan Bellack
Director of Product Management, Publisher Platforms
1 DoubleClick Internal Data, Oct 2016 - Sept 2017

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Cross-posted from The Keyword

At some point, we’ve all been caught off guard by an annoying ad online—like a video automatically playing at full volume, or a pop-up standing in the way to the one thing we’re trying to find. Thanks to research conducted by the Coalition for Better Ads, we now know which ad experiences rank lowest among consumers and are most likely to drive people to install ad blockers.

Ads, good and bad, help fund the open web. But 69% of people who installed ad blockers said they were motivated by annoying or intrusive ads. When ads are blocked, publishers don’t make money.

In June we launched the Ad Experience Report to help publishers understand if their site has ads that violate the Coalition’s Better Ads Standards. In just two months, 140,000 publishers worldwide have viewed the report.

“This report is great for helping publishers adapt to the Better Ads Standards. The level of transparency and data is incredibly actionable. It literally says here’s the issue, here’s how to fix it. I think it will be helpful for all publishers.”
Katya Moukhina, ‎Director of Programmatic Operations, POLITICO

We're already starting to see data trends that can give publishers insights into the most common offending ads. Here's a look at what we know so far.

It's official: Popups are the most annoying ads on the web

Pop-up ads are the most common annoying ads found on publisher sites. On desktop they account for 97% of the violations! These experiences can be bad for business: 50% of users surveyed say they would not revisit or recommend a page that had a pop-up ad.

Instead of pop-ups, publishers can use less disruptive alternatives like full-screen inline ads. They offer the same amount of screen real estate as pop-ups—without covering up any content. Publishers can find more tips and alternatives in our best practices guide.

Mobile and desktop have different issues

On mobile the issues are more varied. Pop-ups account for 54% of issues found, while 21% of issues are due to high ad density: A mobile page flooded with ads takes longer to load, and this makes it harder for people to find what they're looking for.

Most issues come from smaller sites with fewer resources

Our early reporting shows that most issues are not coming from mainstream publishers, like daily newspapers or business publications. They come from smaller sites, who often don’t have the same access to quality control resources as larger publishers.

To help these publishers improve their ads experiences, we review sites daily and record videos of the ad experiences that have been found non-compliant with the Better Ads Standards. If a site is in a “failing” or “warning” state, their Ad Experience Report will include these visuals, along with information about the Better Ad Standards and how the issues may impact their site.

We encourage all publishers to take a look at their report. Here’s how.

  1. Gaining access to the report
    The Ad Experience Report is part of Google Search Console, which means you need to be a verified site owner to access it. You can either ask your webmaster to add you as an owner or user, or verify ownership yourself. Learn more.

  2. Understanding the report
    If your site has been reviewed and the status is “Warning" or "Failing," the report will show videos of the ad experiences that are likely to annoy or mislead your visitors. Click on desktop or mobile reports to see the specific experiences identified.


  3. Fixing the issues and requesting a review
    Once you’ve identified the violating experiences, work with your ad ops and site design teams to remove the annoying experiences. After that, describe how you addressed each of the issues in the ‘Request review’ area and click ‘I fixed this’. You’ll receive a confirmation email saying your review is in progress. Learn more.

Looking ahead

Over the next few weeks we’ll begin notifying sites with issues. For even more insights on the types of sites and violations found, publishers can visit The Ad Experience Report API.

The good news is that people don’t hate all ads—just annoying ones. Replacing annoying ads with more acceptable ones will help ensure all content creators, big and small, can continue to sustain their work with online advertising. This is why we support the Coalition’s efforts to develop marketplace guidelines for supporting the Better Ads Standards and will continue working with them on the standards as they evolve.

Scott Spencer
Director of Product Management, Sustainable Ads

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When we announced the beta of Native Ads on DoubleClick, our goal was to help our partners earn the most money possible with ad experiences that are both engaging and complementary to the user experience. Since then, we’ve seen hundreds of partners deliver beautiful native ads that match the look, feel and function of the surrounding content. And we’ve learned that advertisers are willing to pay more for and users are more likely to engage with native ads compared to traditional ad experiences.

Today we’re happy to announce that all DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) partners can now deliver native ads programmatically to users across any screen.

Grow your business with native ads

DoubleClick provide a dynamic framework for delivering ad experiences that advertisers and users love. Rather than serving a static image or text ad, native ads deliver an engaging user experience by taking multiple creative components — such as a headline, thumbnail and description — and assembling them in real-time to match the style of the site or app.
Partners like The New York Times are using DoubleClick to deliver premium standalone ad experiences, increasing CTRs 6X. Accuweather is using native ads to grow programmatic yield on their existing ad placements. In fact, this strategy has improved CPMs 40%, with over 15% of their total impressions won by native-specific demand.

“DoubleClick's native product provides the perfect solution for us to increase CPMs while delivering a mobile experience that is consistent with what users expect from Accuweather,” says Bill McGarry, Vice President of Advertising Sales at Accuweather. “Since implementing Native Ads on DoubleClick, we've seen a significant increase in CPMs and we look forward to expanding our investment in native.”

All of DoubleClick, one flexible native solution

With DoubleClick, you can deliver beautiful native ads while leveraging the efficiency and scale of a single platform that works across all of your advertising inventory, sales channels and ad formats — whether they’re custom display, video or native ads.

One of DoubleClick’s strengths is the flexibility it provides in how you connect with advertisers — via Programmatic Guaranteed deals, Private Auctions or manually-trafficked direct deals. With this launch, you can make your native inventory available to advertisers across of your deals, irrespective of how they’re transacted.

We’re also helping you maximize your revenue by allowing these new formats to compete with traditional banner ads. By activating native demand across your existing ad units, you can capture the highest value from a broader group of advertisers competing to serve ads to your audience.

New tools for designing beautiful native ads

Finally, we’ve made it easier for our partners to implement native ads with the launch of 22 new and customizable native styles in DFP. While it's possible to create highly custom integrations from scratch, these templates can serve as a great starting point.

These templates take advantage of the many new features we’ve added this year:

  • Ad attribution and AdChoices badges can now overlap the primary image, removing the need to place these elements in a separate row.
  • Additional style targeting options, like devices and negative key values, help you to show the right style at the right time.
  • Better previews make it easier to see how your native style will look while you build it.

We’ve also developed a guide to building great native ads, with advice from Google’s design team and feedback from advertisers about the type of inventory they want to buy, to help you create beautiful and high-performing native ads.

In a world where high-quality ad experiences are more important than ever, Native Ads on DoubleClick provide a solution for delivering beautiful and impactful ad experiences efficiently while helping you build thriving and sustainable businesses.

To get started with Native Ads on DoubleClick, visit our Help Center or contact your account manager today.

Posted by Aaron Karp
Product Manager, DoubleClick

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At DoubleClick, we've always had a single mission — to help you grow revenue and build sustainable businesses with advertising. That means ensuring we're helping you make the most revenue from every impression, with solutions that keep up with advertiser demands for more programmatic access to inventory, while at the same time delivering on the expectations of users for great experiences with your sites and apps on every screen. To that end, over the last year we launched products like Optimized Private Auctions, optimized pricing in the Open Auction and DoubleClick for Publishers First Look.

Today, we’d like share some updates on how we’re using the power of automation and machine learning to create sustainable solutions that drive greater advertising performance and revenue for our partners.

Smarter yield through machine learning

Programmatic buying has created many opportunities for publishers to maximize revenue, but optimizing manually puts publishers at a disadvantage when programmatic buyers are constantly investing in smarter bidding technology. That’s why we’ve been applying optimization and machine learning techniques developed over the years at Google to help publishers make more money from programmatic demand. In fact, since 2016 we have run hundreds of experiments resulting in over 50 improvements to our auction algorithms. These optimizations have generated 15% more revenue for publishers using DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

Actionable insights with Opportunities & Experiments

Data can be an important input for making better decisions, but the best yield management strategies also include constant testing and measurement. To make this process easier, we recently launched a new Opportunites & Experiments tool that puts publishers in control of Google intelligence.

Publisher opportunities and experiments in DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange provide customized, actionable and quantifiable suggestions on how to increase yield. With a few clicks, publishers can safely run an experiment, and if they like the results, accept the change to apply it across their account. Publishers including The Soul Publishing in Russia, TV2 in Norway, and Match.com in the U.S. have grown revenue with Opportunities and Experiments.

"Opportunities and experiments lets us bypass the heavy, manual labor part of the yield optimization process. It lets us skip straight to projecting results of possible changes and testing a yield hypothesis against a control test group in a safe way. Essentially, the feature helps us find the test cases worth our time automatically, letting us focus on increasing yield and revenue,” says Mikaela Rimaila, Programmatic Manager, TV2. "Personally I’d love to do all my yield optimization through this feature, as it adds a safety layer to rule changes, easily giving us the chance to compare and analyse the effects of the test.”

"Opportunities and experiments in AdX has helped streamline our yield optimization process and boosted our indirect revenue. We receive customized suggestions to increase our yield, such as floor adjustments, and have seen significant gains as a result."
- Gregg Murphy Senior Director, Revenue Operations, Match.com

Bringing Exchange Bidding to more partners demand without compromising user experience

We’ve made a lot of progress since announcing our test of Exchange Bidding last year, and today we’re happy to announce the Open Beta of Exchange Bidding, available for publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers* globally. Exchange Bidding helps publishers bring more of their programmatic demand together into a unified auction and the results have been impressive. On average Exchange Bidding is delivering double-digit programmatic revenue uplift, with some publishers seeing programmatic lift as high as 40% with minimal impact to user experience. Today, 100+ publishers can choose from 7 trusted third party exchanges, including our new partners, COMET, OpenX and Sovrn.

"We've been working with Google on the development of Exchange Bidding for several months now and while it's still early, we are pleased with the level of partnership and transparency we have seen from the Google team. While there are still issues to be resolved and the product is very complex, their efforts have resulted in real and positive changes to the Exchange Bidding product. Based on our experience so far, and the excellent results we have seen to date, we are optimistic that we can deliver material value to our publisher partners via Exchange Bidding."
- Jason Fairchild, Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer, OpenX

Driving sustainability in the future

Looking back at the results from our latest yield management improvements shows us what’s possible, but I think we can do more. We’ve shown how machine learning can deliver more value to publishers, and in the future, we’ll continue to invest in it to deliver even more innovations. Also, the work our teams have been doing on server side technologies have revealed more opportunities to improve publisher revenue by taking advantage of synergies across our products. Publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange may have noticed our first step in this direction, a unified UI for both platforms. Moving forward you should expect more innovations like these to increase publisher yield.

Posted by Jonathan Bellack
Director of Product Management, Publisher Platforms
*Exchange Bidding is not currently available to publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers Small Business