Google made an important change to AdSense publisher accounts last week, yet it is a change that seems to have gone almost unnoticed by publishers. Performance reports now have two new metrics available: Active View Measurable and Active View Viewable.
These can be found by selecting the ‘matched requests’ option under columns.
What is Active View?
Active View is a measurement of how ‘viewable’ an ad is. An ad impression that has been at least 50% viewable for at least one second is measured as an Active View. Active View is based on the criteria of the Internet Advertising Bureau and been approved by the Media Ratings Council.
Why is this important?
Advertising buyers want their adverts to be seen. Buying adverts that are tucked away and rarely looked at does nothing to support an advertiser, so being able to measure the ‘viewability’ of an advert is important.
Ad buyers can already optimise their ads for viewability using Active View – choosing to only pay when and advert is seen rather than just shown (see below). This gives them confidence to bid for the true value of those impressions.
What do the Active View numbers mean?
Active View Measureable is simply what proportion of your AdSense for Content impressions Google is able to measure using the new Active View technology.
Active View Viewable is the proportion of your AdSense for Content ads that meet the Active View Criteria.
Both of these numbers are based on samples. It is worth noting that reports containing insufficient data to be statistically significant will not contain Active View reporting.
How can I use this?
Active View is measured using the AdSense code – the good news is there is no need to install software to benefit from it.
At this stage the best use of this new data would seem to be to increase your Active View Viewable scores. Driving that number up will make your advertising inventory more valuable to publishers using placement or interest based targeting. Pushing that metric up is likely to also have a positive effect on click through rates – as users cannot click on ads that they don’t see. This should also help improve earnings from contextually targeted ads.
The best way to drive up your Active View score is to experiment with ad placements to see which result in more ad units being seen for at least one second. Tools that analyse view port (the parts of the page visible to users) and mouse position can speed up the process.
(Let us know if you’d like to see a blog post about how such tools can be used to raise both Active View scores and CTRs).
Why is this happening?
Google is on a mission to get bigger brand advertisers spending money on its network. Much of what is happening around AdSense and Doubleclick is about improving the value the network offers to such advertisers. Some changes are about raising the quality of the network, others are about making that quality more measureable.
This is all good news for AdSense publishers. More advertisers mean more bidders which in turn pushes up rates – brand advertisers have the ability and budgets to push those rates up more quickly. The ‘trick’ to capitalise on their budgets is to make sure you have a website they want to be seen on.
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