Posted:
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

Posted:
When we announced the pilot program for Exchange Bidding last year, our goal was to help publishers earn the most money possible, with the least complexity, while maintaining the best user experience.

We’ve been working on Exchange Bidding in collaboration with our publisher and exchange partners for the last year, and today we’re happy to announce the Open Beta of Exchange Bidding, available to publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers* globally. Our partners have been seeing great results during our testing, and we’d like to give you more details about this powerful enhancement to DoubleClick for Publishers.

Greater revenue without compromising user experience

When every millisecond counts, the fastest solutions yield the best results. Relying on client side connections over mobile networks to manage yield can result in annoyed users, lower viewability and lost opportunities.

That’s why we challenged ourselves and worked hard to prioritize speed during the closed Beta. To maximize revenue without compromising on user experience, we built Exchange Bidding directly into DoubleClick for Publishers.

The results speak for themselves. Publishers in our closed beta have seen double-digit programmatic revenue lift on average, with some seeing programmatic lift as high as 40%. Plus, Exchange Bidding is up to 15x faster than client side or server side solutions in the market today. While header bidding solutions add on average 500ms to 1,000ms of delay to ad delivery speed, Exchange Bidding adds only 60ms seconds of delay.

Publishers like Hearst Digital are seeing great results.

“Our goal is to move as much of our advertising code off our sites as possible. Less code loading on the client side is better. Exchange Bidding is great because it helps us move in that direction. It’s simple to setup and works with our existing DoubleClick tags.”
- Scott Both, Director of Programmatic Sales Engineering, Hearst Digital Media

Reduced complexity with all demand in one ad tag

Beyond speed and revenue lift, Exchange Bidding creates greater value for publishers by reducing the complexity of their existing yield management setups. Because Exchange Bidding is built into DoubleClick for Publishers, it works with our existing ad tags, requires no additional coding to a publisher’s site or app or additional line items cluttering up a publisher’s ad server, and puts no additional burden on users.

Instead of taking days or weeks of development and adjustments to set up, publishers can get Exchange Bidding up and running in less than a day. Instead of constantly updating the price and priority of partner line items or adding hundreds or thousands of new line items to implement header bidding, publishers simply create a handful of yield groups that define which third party exchanges can bid on specific inventory. And instead of spending days collecting reporting and billing information from multiple partners, reconciling discrepancies, and waiting to get paid, Exchange Bidding provides publishers unified reporting and consolidated billing on our standard terms.

“Integrating and maintaining client side headers is a significant investment for any publisher. Setting up server side bidding with Exchange Bidding was simple. It also helped us reduce a lot of the operational overheads associated with headers and it promises to reduce latencies and discrepancies whilst improving scalability”.
- Nat Poulter, Head of Programmatic at MailOnline

We only succeed when our partners succeed

We understand that in order to help publishers thrive we must foster a sustainable advertising ecosystem. That means creating solutions that deliver the most revenue possible for publishers, while maintaining great experiences for users, and providing all players in the industry equal access to high quality inventory.

To ensure we were getting the right feedback from all parties, we created an advisory board with members from our initial exchange partners. It’s feedback from this group that helped inform the development of Exchange Bidding and make it work better for every participant.

"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

We’ve seen great results during the testing phase of Exchange Bidding. Today, 100+ publishers can choose from seven trusted third party exchanges including our new partners, COMET, OpenX and Sovrn to compete equally in a unified auction against a publisher’s direct sold campaigns in DoubleClick for Publishers and bids from DoubleClick Ad Exchange. We look forward to working with our existing and new users to make Exchange Bidding the best solution for the industry.

Posted by Sam Cox
Group Product Manager, DoubleClick Ad Exchange

*Exchange Bidding is not currently available to publishers using DoubleClick for Publishers Small Business

Posted:
Cross-posted from The Keyword

The vast majority of online content creators fund their work with advertising. That means they want the ads that run on their sites to be compelling, useful and engaging--ones that people actually want to see and interact with. But the reality is, it’s far too common that people encounter annoying, intrusive ads on the web--like the kind that blare music unexpectedly, or force you to wait 10 seconds before you can see the content on the page. These frustrating experiences can lead some people to block all ads--taking a big toll on the content creators, journalists, web developers and videographers who depend on ads to fund their content creation.

We believe online ads should be better. That’s why we joined the Coalition for Better Ads, an industry group dedicated to improving online ads. The group’s recently announced Better Ads Standards provide clear, public, data-driven guidance for how the industry can improve ads for consumers, and today I’d like to share how we plan to support it.

New tools for publishers

The new Ad Experience Report helps publishers understand how the Better Ads Standards apply to their own websites. It provides screenshots and videos of annoying ad experiences we’ve identified to make it easy to find and fix the issues. For a full list of ads to use instead, publishers can visit our new best practices guide.


The Ad Experience Report lists when we have identified ad experiences on a site that are likely to harm users or violate the Better Ads Standards.

“We’ve always put our users first and fully support the Coalition’s Better Ads efforts and standards. At the same time, we deal with so many different websites and ad experiences it’s hard to tell at a glance which ads experiences we need to replace. The report’s videos and screenshots are incredibly helpful and make the Coalition’s research actionable for our teams. We’re impressed with the level of detail and transparency Google is providing and are 200% behind this initiative.”
- Troy Young, President, Hearst Digital Media

As part of our efforts to maintain a sustainable web for everyone, we want to help publishers with good ad experiences get paid for their work. With Funding Choices, now in beta, publishers can show a customized message to visitors using an ad blocker, inviting them to either enable ads on their site, or pay for a pass that removes all ads on that site through the new Google Contributor.

“Looking at the past few years, we’ve come to realize that to the rise of ad blockers has negatively impacted potential revenue across all of our properties, particularly in Europe. Funding Choices allows us to have a conversation with visitors using ad blockers on how our business works, and provide them a choice to whitelist or contribute to our newsroom. We’ve found that people are generally open to whitelisting once they understand how content gets created.”
- Marc Boswell, SVP, Sales Operations & Client Services, Business Insider

Funding Choices is available to publishers in North America, U.K., Germany, Australia and New Zealand and will be rolling out in other countries later this year. Publishers should visit our new best practices guide for tips on crafting the right message for their audience.

Chrome support for the Better Ads Standards

Chrome has always focused on giving you the best possible experience browsing the web. For example, it prevents pop-ups in new tabs based on the fact that they are annoying. In dialogue with the Coalition and other industry groups, we plan to have Chrome stop showing ads (including those owned or served by Google) on websites that are not compliant with the Better Ads Standards starting in early 2018.

Looking ahead

We believe these changes will ensure all content creators, big and small, can continue to have a sustainable way to fund their work with online advertising.

We look forward to working with the Coalition as they develop marketplace guidelines for supporting the Better Ads Standards, and are committed to working closely with the entire industry—including groups like the IAB, IAB Europe, the DCN, the WFA, the ANA and the 4A’s, advertisers, agencies and publishers—to roll out these changes in a way that makes sense for users and the broader ads ecosystem.

Posted by Sridhar Ramaswamy
Senior Vice President, Ads and Commerce