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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

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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

Posted:

Welcome to the Google Marketing Next live stream! Tune in live at 9:00 a.m. PT/12:00 p.m. ET to learn about Google’s latest marketing innovations, the moment they’re announced.

Join the conversation at #GoogleMarketingNext.

Posted:

Picture this: You're chilling on your couch, streaming your favorite show. In the next ad break, the ad loads slowly and is grainy and pixelated. Clearly, you're frustrated because you expect more from your HD TV and lightning-fast internet connection.

You're not alone. Advertisers and broadcasters hate it when this happens too -- they want you to stay deeply engaged with what you're watching and not be distracted by the streaming experience. But providing TV-quality ad experiences has become challenging with the proliferation of connected TV devices that people use to stream video.

At DoubleClick, we are focused on helping deliver great user experiences by enabling advertisers and TV broadcasters to show seamless, high-quality video ads across all screen sizes and device types.

In this vein, we partnered with the IAB, CBS Interactive, Ad-ID and others last year to develop a new digital video standard that allows advertisers and broadcasters to deliver TV-quality ads to living room screens and devices. This standard, called VAST 4.0, updates previous video standards to work better for the viewing behavior in today’s world.

Today, we’re rolling out support for aspects of VAST 4.0 in DoubleClick Campaign Manager, DoubleClick Bid Manager, DoubleClick Ad Exchange, and DoubleClick for Publishers. It was important to launch this standard for both advertisers and broadcasters simultaneously to ensure that the whole ecosystem runs smoothly, from insertion order to ad serving.

To enable optimal viewing experiences on living room screens, we prioritized our focus on two specific aspects of VAST 4.0:

  • TV-quality viewing experiences: TV-quality creative files (known as mezzanine files) uploaded to DoubleClick Campaign Manager and DoubleClick for Publishers can now be passed to services that dynamically stitch ads into video streams (server side ad insertion platforms). This helps ensure a higher quality viewing experience, especially for connected TVs, by enabling the TV-quality ad creative to be transcoded and served in one stream alongside the video content.
  • More efficient ad delivery: A universal ad ID system helps the server side ad insertion platform better identify unique vs. existing creatives, which reduces unnecessary transcodes.

This updated set of standards applies across ad servers and server side ad insertion tools, helping advertisers and broadcasters provide high quality viewing experiences for their audiences.

To learn more about VAST 4.0 and how we’re supporting it in DoubleClick, please register for our webinar, coming up next Monday, 5/22, from 12-1pm ET.

Posted by Peentoo Patel and Sunil Gupta
Product Managers, DoubleClick Video Ads

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At DoubleClick, we’re committed to helping our partners deliver great advertising experiences while earning the most from every impression. One way we meet this goal is through native advertising. Native ads match the look, feel and function of their surrounding content, enabling publishers to serve non-disruptive advertising experiences to users.

One year ago, we made native ads on DoubleClick available across all screens — on desktop, mobile web and in apps. Since then, native impressions served through DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) have increased by more than 7x.1 Users are engaging more with these ads than traditional banner ads, so advertisers have ramped up demand as well. Since May 2016, average CPMs for native ads on DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) have significantly increased.2

Today, we’re excited to share some of our partners’ success with native ads and announce new tools for delivering better native ads on DoubleClick.

With higher user engagement, publishers see greater revenue

Native ads on DoubleClick are flexible and dynamic, enabling publishers to optimize their native implementations for better user engagement. In fact, we’ve found that users are more than twice as likely to click on a native ad as opposed to a traditional ad.3

“Moving to DFP native enables us to optimize for better performance. We dictate how we want the ad template to look and A/B test to ensure the best performing position and style combination. This flexibility lets us cater to our partners’ branded content needs. The result is better quality traffic and renewals, a 10% lower bounce rate and a higher average time on page."
- Jen Castillo, Director of Ad Ops, Slate Magazine

Slate is one of many partners benefiting from native ads on DoubleClick. As more publishers recognize the opportunity to increase performance and deliver compelling advertising experiences through native ads, partners such as the New York Times, Vogue, Daily Mail, eBay and Condé Nast are all using DoubleClick to deliver beautiful and responsive native ads.

Publishers are also benefiting from combining the flexibility and engagement of native ads with the scale and efficiency of programmatic. Australia-based real estate marketing provider Domain Group uses DoubleClick to offer advertisers dynamic native ads at scale. In addition to selling directly to advertisers, Domain makes their native ad inventory available on AdX. Compared to traditional banner ads, Domain saw a 38% increase in viewable impressions and a 12% increase in revenue with programmatic native ads.

“Programmatic native allows us to offer a truly differentiated product to our advertisers. They’ve significantly reduced the complexity and time required for our production team to code and compile individual creatives. And they’re driving significantly positive results.”
- Shannon Fitzpatrick, Operations and Performance Director, Domain Group

With better performance, advertisers ramp up on native

As users have responded well to native ads, advertisers have increased their investment. That's why today, we’re excited to announce that programmatic native ads are now available to all advertisers in DoubleClick Bid Manager, allowing more brands to build beautiful ads and deliver them at scale to mobile-first audiences.

In addition to Bid Manager, more than 40 demand-side platforms are currently buying native ads on DoubleClick Ad Exchange, including AppLovin, The TradeDesk, Criteo and Liftoff. And it’s paying off: for third-party DSPs, average click-through rates are more than 4x higher than traditional banner ads.5

“Since launching our support for native ads on AdX, we've seen native ads expand into one of our highest growth channels. We view programmatic native ads as one of the most effective formats for helping our advertiser partners engage with their target audience across all devices through an integrated format."
- Tim Sims, VP of Inventory Partnerships, The Trade Desk.

Growing native adoption with a common language for native ad creatives

To realize the true growth potential of native ads, we need to continue making native ads easier to execute at scale. One key challenge in doing that is ensuring buyers and sellers are speaking a common language when talking about native ad creatives.

The definition of native ads varies across publishers and technology platforms. This causes confusion for advertisers, and without clear guidance on the proper creative assets for effective native ads, they struggle to scale native experiences.

To help solve this problem, we’re launching a new interactive tool that lets advertisers visualize how their native ads could look across different environments. By uploading just one set of creative components, or leveraging sample creatives already supplied in the tool, anyone can see customized native ads dynamically render across multiple websites and devices. For publishers, this tool offers an easy solution for helping their advertising partners preview how their creative assets will assemble to deliver a compelling user experience.

This interactive tool is just the latest step in our ongoing effort to help buyers and sellers create beautiful native ads at scale. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll share new features that make it easier for publishers to create beautiful, high-performing native ads on DoubleClick.

In the meantime, build your native ad today to see what’s possible with native ads on DoubleClick.

Posted by Gabe Bender
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick
1 Internal data, DoubleClick, May 2016 - April 2017
2 Internal data, DoubleClick, May 2016 - April 2017
3 Internal data, DoubleClick, April 2017
4 Internal data, DoubleClick, May 2016 - April 2017
5 Internal data, DoubleClick, March 2017

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If you’ve watched a movie on your mobile phone or streamed a YouTube video on your TV, you’re not alone. People are watching great content wherever and whenever they want, across the small screens in their pockets to the large screens in their living rooms. We’re in the golden age of video, and while this explosion of great content is great for users, it creates a lot of complexity for advertisers and publishers.

As the lines blur between TV and digital video, it's important that marketers are able to reach their audiences across screens. That’s why we’re making traditional TV inventory available to buy in DoubleClick Bid Manager in the US. We are integrating with WideOrbit, clypd and Google Fiber to provide access to national, local and even addressable TV inventory in DoubleClick Bid Manager.


Manage TV and digital video campaigns in a single platform with DoubleClick Bid Manager

Historically, TV and digital advertising have been bought and measured through different systems and currencies. By adding traditional TV buying into DoubleClick Bid Manager, we are taking the first step towards allowing advertisers and agencies to manage their video campaigns across digital and linear TV, in a more efficient and effective way.

In addition, to help brands and agencies understand the effectiveness of their TV campaigns, we will be providing impact-based metrics in DoubleClick. For example, an advertiser will be able to measure the lift when someone searches for their brand on Google or YouTube after seeing their TV ad.

Programmatic technology has already automated some of the manual processes associated with buying digital video, and with these new integrations we’ll be extending many of the same workflow improvements to traditional TV.

Access to new advertisers for television networks and station owners

With their inventory now available through DoubleClick Bid Manager, television networks and station owners get access to new types of buyers, such as advanced TV buying groups in agencies, digital-first advertisers, and even global advertisers. Many of these buyers already use DoubleClick, but until now, have had limited access to US TV audiences.

As viewership patterns change, advertisers and publishers have new opportunities to provide audiences with great ad experiences across screens and content types. By bringing TV and digital video advertising together, we hope to help advertisers and publishers grow with video in a more impactful way.

Posted by Rany Ng
Director, Product Management, Google

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At DoubleClick, we’ve always focused on building solutions that help publishers and advertisers connect in better ways. Today, delivering on that goal means giving advertisers the programmatic tools to find and reach their audiences across their preferred publisher partners. It also means giving publishers the flexibility to negotiate a variety of different types of deals that can be delivered programmatically, including direct deals that were historically transacted via paper insertion orders and tags.

This was the premise for Programmatic Guaranteed. Advertisers gain guaranteed access to premium inventory on brand-safe publisher sites with the ability to optimize their campaigns programmatically. Publishers benefit from locking in revenue from preferred advertisers with greater efficiency.

With these benefits, it’s no surprise that Programmatic Guaranteed impressions served on DoubleClick grew at a monthly rate of 20% in 20161, making it the fastest growing transaction type on our platform. We’ve seen adoption from global advertisers like Turkish Airlines and Mercedes-Benz, and premium publishers like Condé Nast, Vox and MercadoLibre.

Building on our initial announcement last year, today we’re excited to share that Programmatic Guaranteed is now available to all DoubleClick Bid Manager and DoubleClick for Publishers users globally with two new key features—support for buyer audience lists and sponsorships.

Reach the right user with audience lists

Using Programmatic Guaranteed with audience lists, advertisers can target (or exclude) their own audience lists and secure guaranteed access to preferred publisher inventory while minimizing media waste. Publishers can forecast the inventory available against advertisers’ lists and guarantee they’re only serving ads to the buyer’s target audience. Since we announced this feature, advertisers and agencies such as i360 have used Programmatic Guaranteed with audience lists to meet their reach goals while targeting only their desired consumers on premium publishers. The net result: a 25% uplift in viewability and a 72% completion rate for their video ads.

Greater flexibility to transact fixed fee deals programmatically

Programmatic Guaranteed with sponsorships allows publishers to sell high-value inventory on a flat-fee sponsorship basis—a common practice among publishers transacting via traditional reservations. With this new capability, advertisers and publishers can maintain the control of a sponsorship transaction, while reaping the efficiency benefits of programmatic.

“Being able to sell sponsorships through Programmatic Guaranteed really benefits us. On one hand, we are able to transact high value placements through a new channel generating new business to Universo Online. On the other, we also see a lot of operational benefits for us and for our buyers. With this new feature, it is possible to bring agility to the entire workflow of booking, trafficking, credit checking and invoicing. Consequently, we have a more agile and efficient implementation process to run campaigns.”
-Adriano Marques, Head of Adtech at Universo Online (UOL)

Connect faster with Marketplace and Programmatic Guaranteed

Media buyers who use DoubleClick Bid Manager can discover and request to reserve premium inventory from any publisher participating in DoubleClick’s Marketplace. With the recent release of the new RFP workflow in Bid Manager, advertisers now have a simple solution to create a media plan. And with a single click, they can request quotes from publishers who they already know or from publishers whose inventory matches their campaign goals or their first party audience data.

Extending Programmatic Guaranteed to even more DSPs

Last year, we expanded Programmatic Guaranteed deals to more third party DSPs, giving publishers on DoubleClick access to even more advertisers looking to reserve inventory programmatically. Since then, we’ve seen successful campaigns executed by partners like Adobe Advertising Cloud, MediaMath and The Trade Desk. Given the benefits our publishers and DSP partners are seeing, we’re excited to share that we’ve continued to extend the program to new DSPs like DataXu.

"The days of programmatic buying being perceived as a niche tactic to build cheap reach are over. Brands are embracing automated, data-driven buying on their private and direct buys of the most premium inventory out there. Google’s expansion of Programmatic Guaranteed is part of what’s making that possible on the supply-side, and we’re proud to offer that inventory for cross-screen buying in Adobe Advertising Cloud."
-Keith Eadie, VP of Revenue & Partnerships at Adobe Advertising Cloud

“Providing programmatic access points to high quality, brand-safe inventory with guaranteed volumes is exactly what top advertisers want from their media buying platform. Expanding our integration with DoubleClick to strike Programmatic Guaranteed deals with premium publishers allows for just that and is a natural strategic progression of our partnership. Collaborations like these are a positive sign for the industry. We’re all trying to deliver great storytelling opportunities for brands and better ad experiences for consumers; it starts with quality inventory and data-driven decisioning. Programmatic Guaranteed offers both.”
-Tim Sims, VP of Inventory Partnerships at The Trade Desk

With the launch of these new features, we’re excited to prove the value Programmatic Direct can bring to every deal and all tiers of publisher inventory. Advertisers are reaching their audiences with more efficiency and accuracy on the publisher brands they care about, and publishers are making new connections to grow their businesses.

Stay tuned as we continue to expand the capabilities of our programmatic platforms to bring the full power of automation and machine learning to improve advertising performance for our partners.

Check out the latest Programmatic Direct trends in our newly updated report “The State of Programmatic Direct” or g.co/ProgrammaticDirect.

Posted by Kurt Spoerer
Group Product Manager, DoubleClick
Posted by Roshan Khan
Product Manager, DoubleClick

1 DoubleClick Ad Exchange data, Jan 2016-Dec 2016

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Cross-posted from The Keyword
A free and open web is a vital resource for people and businesses around the world. And ads play a key role in ensuring you have access to accurate, quality information online. But bad ads can ruin the online experience for everyone. They promote illegal products and unrealistic offers. They can trick people into sharing personal information and infect devices with harmful software. Ultimately, bad ads pose a threat to users, Google’s partners, and the sustainability of the open web itself.

We have a strict set of policies that govern the types of ads we do and don’t allow on Google in order to protect people from misleading, inappropriate, or harmful ads. And we have a team of engineers, policy experts, product managers and others who are waging a daily fight against bad actors. Over the years, this commitment has made the web a better place for you—and a worse place for those who seek to abuse advertising systems for their own gain.

In 2016, we took down 1.7 billion ads that violated our advertising policies, more than double the amount of bad ads we took down in 2015. If you spent one second taking down each of those bad ads, it’d take you more than 50 years to finish. But our technology is built to work much faster.

Last year, we did two key things to take down more bad ads. First, we expanded our policies to better protect users from misleading and predatory offers. For example, in July we introduced a policy to ban ads for payday loans, which often result in unaffordable payments and high default rates for users. In the six months since launching this policy, we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads. Second, we beefed up our technology so we can spot and disable bad ads even faster. For example, “trick to click" ads often appear as system warnings to deceive users into clicking on them, not realizing they are often downloading harmful software or malware. In 2016, our systems detected and disabled a total of 112 million ads for “trick to click,” 6X more than in 2015.

Here are a few more examples of bad ads we took action against in 2016:

Ads for illegal products

Some of the most common bad ads we find online are ads promoting illegal activities or products. Although we've long had a policy against bad ads for pharmaceuticals, last year our systems detected an increase online. We disabled more than 68 million bad ads for healthcare violations, up from 12.5 million in 2015.

Similarly, we saw more attempts to advertise gambling-related promotions without proper authorization from regulators in the countries they operate. We took down more than 17 million bad ads for illegal gambling violations in 2016.

17M ads removed for illegal gambling violations

Misleading ads

We don't want you to feel misled by ads that we deliver, so we require our advertisers to provide upfront information for people to make informed decisions. Some ads try to drive clicks and views by intentionally misleading people with false information like asking, “Are you at risk for this rare, skin-eating disease?” or offering miracle cures like a pill that will help you lose 50 pounds in three days without lifting a finger. In 2016, we took down nearly 80 million bad ads for deceiving, misleading and shocking users.
1,300+ accounts suspended for tabloid cloaking

Bad ads on mobile

If you’ve ever been on your phone and suddenly, without warning, ended up in the app store downloading an app you’ve never heard of, a “self-clicking ad” could be to blame. In 2015, we disabled only a few thousand of these bad ads, but in 2016, our systems detected and disabled more than 23,000 self-clicking ads on our platforms, a huge increase year over year.

Ads trying to game the system

Bad actors know that ads for certain products—like weight-loss supplements or payday loans—aren’t allowed by Google's policies, so they try to trick our systems into letting them through. Last year, we took down almost 7 million bad ads for intentionally attempting to trick our detection systems.

In 2016, we saw the rise of tabloid cloakers, a new type of scammer that tries to game our system by pretending to be news. Cloakers often take advantage of timely topics—a government election, a trending news story or a popular celebrity—and their ads can look like headlines on a news website. But when people click on that story about Ellen DeGeneres and aliens, they go to a site selling weight-loss products, not a news story.

To fight cloakers, we take down the scammers themselves, and prevent them from advertising with us again. In 2016, we suspended more than 1,300 accounts for tabloid cloaking. Unfortunately, this type of bad ad is gaining in popularity because people are clicking on them. And a handful of scammers can pump out a lot of bad ads: During a single sweep for tabloid cloaking in December 2016, we took down 22 cloakers that were responsible for ads seen more than 20 million times by people online in a single week.

Promoting and profiting from bad sites

When we find ads that violate our policies, we block the ad or the advertiser, depending on the violation. But sometimes we also need to suspend the website promoted in the ad (the site people see after they click on it). So, for example, while we disabled more than 5 million payday loan ads last year, we also took action on 8,000 sites promoting payday loans.

Here are some examples of common policy violations we saw among bad sites in 2016:
  • We took action on 47,000 sites for promoting content and products related to weight-loss scams.
  • We took action on more than 15,000 sites for unwanted software and disabled 900,000 ads for containing malware.
  • And we suspended around 6,000 sites and 6,000 accounts for attempting to advertise counterfeit goods, like imitation designer watches.
6,000 sites and 6,000 accounts removed for attempting to sell counterfeit goods

Publishers and website owners use our AdSense platform to make money by running ads on their sites and content, so we have strict policies in place to keep Google's content and search networks safe and clean for our advertisers, users and publishers. When a publisher violates our policies, we may stop showing ads on their site, or even terminate their account.

We've had long-standing policies prohibiting AdSense publishers from running ads on sites that help people deceive others, like a site where you buy fake diplomas or plagiarized term papers. In November, we expanded on these policies, introducing a new AdSense misrepresentative content policy, that helps us to take action against website owners misrepresenting who they are and that deceive people with their content. From November to December 2016, we reviewed 550 sites that were suspected of misrepresenting content to users, including impersonating news organizations. We took action against 340 of them for violating our policies, both misrepresentation and other offenses, and nearly 200 publishers were kicked out of our network permanently.

In addition to all the above, we support industry efforts like the Coalition for Better Ads to protect people from bad experiences across the web. While we took down more bad ads in 2016 than ever before, the battle doesn’t end here. As we invest in better detection, the scammers invest in more elaborate attempts to trick our systems. Continuing to find and fight them is essential to protecting people online and ensuring you get the very best from the open web.

Posted by Scott Spencer
Director of Product Management, Sustainable Ads