google5In debates about the visibility of ad impressions, it is important both for the advertising media as well as advertising companies to understand which factors influence the viewability of the delivered ad.

To this, Google delivers in a study revealing findings, which can be summarized in five golden rules:

1. The bottom margin is the secret pole position: The most visible position is at the bottom of the page - and not the often used banner placement at the beginning of the page. Studies show that users are often blind to see and react to ads on top, hence are fast scrolling down.

2. Skyscraper excels Medium Rectangle: Vertical formats are more visible than horizontal ones. Of the campaigns studied with Active View, the Skyscraper reported on average a better viewability than, say, the format Medium Rectangle. This is not surprising as the Skyscrapers adapt to the scroll behavior of the users and 'co-migrate'.

3. ‘Below the fold’ is not a criterion for exclusion: Although banners in the visible page area (above the fold) have a per se greater chance of being seen, advertising materials in the non-visible range show a viewability of at least 40%. Prerequisite is of course that the page animates the user to scroll into the non-visible range as well.

4. The industry is crucial: Depending on the field category of the campaign, differences of viewability are becoming clear. Useful sites with information from the category "Reference", as well as online communities and games, have the highest visibility rates.

5. Good content boosts viewability: Last but not least, many environments should play to its strengths, which means content that is relevant and entertaining for the user invites them to stay. And that is not only pleasing the users but also the publishers and makes the advertisement more visible.

Not included in the study data were mobile in-app and video contacts, only globally delivered display campaigns on the browser (desktop and mobile) in the network DoubleClick for Publishers, DoubleClick Ad Exchange and the Google Display Network.

By the way, according to the standard of the International Advertising Bureau (IAB), ad impression shall be considered visible, if at least 50% of the area were in the visible area of the browser for more than one second. With Google’s Active View technology, this standard is automatically integrated into the delivery of campaigns as ads are measured that appear on Google Publisher Tags (GPT). The visibility provides information on the probability of an ad actually being seen by a user. Active View registers which part of an ad is displayed in a visible area on the screen and how long this part of the display remains visible.

By Daniela La Marca