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In View of Ad Viewability

Advertising news as of late is chaulk full of discussions about ad blockers, major acquisitions and lawsuits; however, what used to be a hot and vastly misunderstood topic, viewability, has largely slipped under the radar. Yet, viewability is still something that is vastly important to digital media campaigns.

The basics of what constitutes an ad being viewable are still the same. When 50% of a display ad’s pixels are in view for at least one second, it is considered viewable. But according to Google in a recent study, Digital Marketers now have a little more insight into understanding viewability.

The overall message? “An ad served doesn’t necessarily equal an ad viewed”. With Google’s study they found 5 very interesting factors of viewability that all Digital Marketers should be paying attention to.

1. Above the fold doesn’t always mean viewable. Shock. Google found the old way of thinking about viewable impressions is over. While they found that 68% of above the fold inventory was supposedly viewable a whopping 40% below the fold was as well. This has major implications on how media used to be thought of and bought/sold.

2. Different Industry = different Viewability metrics. As the study noted, viewability fluctuates based on how involved the content is. For example, Reference and Online Community sites have better rates than Science, Hobbies and Leisure sites.

3. In many instances, page position is key to how viewable an ad may be. Notably, the most viewable position on a page is right above-the-fold, not at the top of the page as most would be so quick to assume.

4. Ad size has a lot to do with how viewable an ad is. Ok duh. The study reiterated that the most viewable ad sizes are the vertical units, not surprising since these remain on the screen longer as users scroll through the page.

5. The state of our industry shows that a small portion of publishers are serving the majority of non-viewable impressions. In fact, 56.1% of impressions are never seen, but the average publisher viewability is 50.2%.

With viewability still being an extremely misunderstood metric, studies like these are making headway into how to change thinking, buying and planning strategies. As we continue to decipher the value of viewability, it is important to keep our eyes open for any new insights that will better equip our decision-making.

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