Cross-posted from The Official Google Blog
Smartphones and tablets have revolutionized the way we access information, and today people consume a tremendous amount of news on their phones. Publishers around the world use the mobile web to reach these readers, but the experience can often leave a lot to be desired. Every time a webpage takes too long to load, they lose a reader—and the opportunity to earn revenue through advertising or subscriptions. That's because advertisers on these websites have a hard time getting consumers to pay attention to their ads when the pages load so slowly that people abandon them entirely.
Today, after discussions with publishers and technology companies around the world, we’re announcing a new open source initiative called Accelerated Mobile Pages, which aims to dramatically improve the performance of the mobile web. We want webpages with rich content like video, animations and graphics to work alongside smart ads, and to load instantaneously. We also want the same code to work across multiple platforms and devices so that content can appear everywhere in an instant—no matter what type of phone, tablet or mobile device you’re using.
The project relies on AMP HTML, a new open framework built entirely out of existing web technologies, which allows websites to build light-weight webpages. To give you a sense of what a faster mobile web might look like, we’ve developed this demo on Google Search:
Over time we anticipate that other Google products such as Google News will also integrate AMP HTML pages. And today we’re announcing that nearly 30 publishers from around the world are taking part too.
This is the start of an exciting collaboration with publishers and technology companies, who have all come together to make the mobile web work better for everyone. Twitter, Pinterest, WordPress.com, Chartbeat, Parse.ly and LinkedIn are among the first group of technology partners planning to integrate AMP HTML pages.
In the coming months we’ll work with other participants in the project to build more features and functionality focused on some key areas:
- Content: Publishers increasingly rely on rich content like image carousels, maps, social plug-ins, data visualizations, and videos to make their stories more interactive and stand out. They also need to implement ads and analytics in order to monetize the content and to understand what their readers like and dislike. The Accelerated Mobile Pages Project provides an open source approach, allowing publishers to focus on producing great content, while relying on the shared components for high performance and great user experience. The initial technical specification—developed with input and code from our partners in the publishing and technology sectors—is being released today on GitHub.
- Distribution: Publishers want people to enjoy the great journalism they create anywhere and everywhere, so stories or content produced in Spain can be served in an instant across the globe in, say, Chile. That means distribution across all kinds of devices and platforms is crucial. So, as part of this effort, we’ve designed a new approach to caching that allows the publisher to continue to host their content while allowing for efficient distribution through Google's high performance global cache. We intend to open our cache servers to be used by anyone free of charge.
- Advertising: Ads help fund free services and content on the web. With Accelerated Mobile Pages, we want to support a comprehensive range of ad formats, ad networks and technologies. Any sites using AMP HTML will retain their choice of ad networks, as well as any formats that don’t detract from the user experience. It’s also a core goal of the project to support subscriptions and paywalls. We’ll work with publishers and those in the industry to help define the parameters of an ad experience that still provides the speed we’re striving for with AMP.
We hope the open nature of Accelerated Mobile Pages will protect the free flow of information by ensuring the mobile web works better and faster for everyone, everywhere.
Posted by David Besbris
Vice President Engineering, Search
Over the years, we’ve found that maximizing competition for every impression produces the best results for you. That’s why we’ve developed new Custom and Flexible Ad Size controls in DoubleClick Ad Exchange to bring you even more competition for every impression so you can sell any ad size programmatically.
Maximum demand for all ad sizes
Region-specific ad sizes have always been difficult to monetize programmatically because they typically do not match IAB standard ad sizes. Now with Custom Size controls on DoubleClick Ad Exchange publishers can easily create and sell ads of any size programmatically. For example, in Northern Europe where the 800x250 ad size is popular, publishers can now benefit from the programmatic demand of Ad Exchange with all the controls and reporting they’re familiar with.
In addition to making it easier to implement Custom Sizes, we’re making it possible to increase the demand available to every ad with Flexible Size controls. Publishers can now allow any ad slot to accept bids from multiple ad creative sizes. For example, a custom size slot like 320x300 can now be filled with popular sizes like 300x250 and 250x250 in addition to exact 320x300 matches. Flexible Ad Sizes is now live on all ad slots for publishers globally and publishers can control the range of sizes their slots accept with the Flexible Size rule type.
With Custom and Flexible Ad Size controls publishers globally can sell ads of any size and maximize yield for them with programmatic demand. During testing, we observed a revenue increase across all Ad Exchange inventory with some publishers seeing CPM gains as high as 30% for affected ad slots.
"Custom Ad Sizes has enabled us to move the bulk of our programmatic deal making to DoubleClick Ad Exchange, which has simplified things a lot. The Finnish market is very much dominated by market-specific ad sizes, especially 980x400 and 300x300."
Ville Holopainen, Sr. Operations and Development Manager, Fonecta
Posted by Zutao Zhu
Software Engineer, DoubleClick
Since its launch in 2008, HTML5 has quickly gained widespread adoption and is now becoming the standard for developing digital creatives. The advertising industry is responding, and increasing numbers of advertisers and agencies are building HTML5 creatives.
If you’re a publisher, this means you’ll want to make your site HTML5-ready and help advertisers get up to speed on developing these new creatives. We know the transition from Flash to HTML5 will require some short-term work on your part, but we’re here to help you and advertisers with the process.
What’s so great about HTML5?
HTML5 has seen high adoption rates for a number of reasons.
One key to its popularity is that HTML5 offers strong cross-device support—the language works well on a variety of browsers and mobile devices. This is hugely important now that more people are searching on mobile devices than on desktops.
Browsers have taken note of HTML5’s speed and other benefits and have begun introducing power-saving plugins and reducing support for Flash. To increase page-load times, Chrome recently began auto-pausing Flash content that is not a primary part of a page. Safari had already done this and Firefox blocked Flash from auto-loading in July.
Getting ready for HTML5
With the web moving quickly in the direction of HTML5, here some steps that you, as a publisher, can take to prepare for this transition:
- Update your creative specifications: Explicitly include HTML5 as a supported technology and increase associated file-size limits to support large HTML5 creatives.
- Educate advertisers: Share the benefits of HTML5 and provide HTML5 creative specifications to your advertisers so they can build creatives that work on your site.
- Train your teams: Educate your team about HTML creative specifications and let them know what to do when they receive HTML5 ads from advertisers.
- Assist advertisers: Share free HTML5 ad conversion and creation tools with advertisers to ease their transition to HTML5.
All of this and is covered in our new guide to help publishers move to HTML5. If you’re looking for more information as you’re transitioning to HTML5, check out the HTML5 resources and HTML5 Toolkit on the Rich Media Gallery.
Also, our Doubleclick Rich Media team is kicking off an HTML5 Hangout series, where over five weeks we’ll set aside an hour to explore topics ranging from how to QA HTML5 ads to building dynamic creative (See the complete Hangout schedule). The first hangout is on September 10th (3pm - 4pm EST) and will introduce you to HTML5 development tools and best practices. Register here.
We know that change can be hard, so we want to make your move to the future of digital advertising a bit easier.
Posted by Alex Shellhammer
Product Marketing Manager, DoubleClick
As a brand trying to reach consumers in today’s increasingly fragmented media landscape, it is critical that you understand the impact of your ads on brand metrics such as awareness and consideration.
Viewability is the starting point, an initial understanding of whether the ad had a chance to be seen. We have talked before about why measuring the viewability of advertising matters.
In December 2014, we shared insights on the state of display ad viewability across the web. As a continuation of that effort, in May we released new insights from our video ad platforms, including YouTube, to start the discussion about the state of video ad viewability.
We wanted to take this research a step further, by analyzing the relationship between viewability and brand metrics.
To do so, we took our Brand Lift solution, which gives you insights into what impact your ads have on the consumer journey - from awareness, to ad recall, to brand interest - and tied the data to viewability metrics from our Active View technology for a set of YouTube TrueView ads. By connecting these two solutions, we were able to draw out some insights about the relationship between viewability and brand metrics.
Sight, Sound and Motion Combined Drive Higher Lift
When it comes to brand metrics, ad recall is a foundation for measuring the impact of your ad. As a brand advertiser, knowing if your ad breaks through with users is a key first step to understanding the overall impact of an ad on a suite of brand metrics. In this analysis, we were able to analyze how being able to hear and see your ad affected a user’s ability to recall your ad.
Our data shows that users exposed to even one aspect of your video ad (audio or video only), exhibit significant lift in ad recall. However, the full immersive experience of sight, sound and motion delivers more ad recall than either audio or video alone. In fact, the impact on ad recall was 23% higher when users were exposed to ads with audio and video together versus ads with just audio alone.
The Longer in View, the Better You Do (on Brand Metrics)
Time in view also plays a large role when it comes to moving the needle on brand awareness and consideration. We recently introduced the ability for Active View users to measure average viewable time - the average time, in seconds, a given ad appeared on screen - in Doubleclick Bid Manager. By connecting these measurements, we can see the relationship between viewable time and brand metrics.
We found that there is a consistent relationship between how long an ad is viewable and increases in brand awareness and consideration. The longer a user views your ad, the higher the lift in these two important brand metrics
What the Results Mean for Your Brand
These results prompt you to think about your brand advertising in a few important ways:
- Are users viewing your creative for longer periods of time? Brand metrics continue to get higher the longer a user views your ad.
- Are you buying the right media to have an impact on brand metrics? YouTube’s opt-in TrueView ads are uniquely suited to deliver long-form video content at scale for brand advertisers.
- Finally, are you thinking beyond viewability to capture effectiveness metrics? You want your ads to move consumers at the moments that matter, and measuring the impact on brand metrics will make for more effective ad spend.
This is just the beginning of understanding what impacts brand metrics for video ads. As brands look to measure the effectiveness of their digital video advertising, a continued understanding of what factors drive brand metrics will be crucial to more effective brand spend.
Read further research on the impact of online video.
To read all of our research on viewability, check out thinkwithgoogle.com/viewability.
To see how viewability is measured, visit our interactive Active View demo.
Sanaz Ahari, Group Product Manager, Brand Measurement
Over the past few years we’ve been committed to investing in a suite of new metrics that would be as actionable for brand marketers as the click has become for performance advertising. In that spirit, today we are announcing a new GRP solution, comScore vCE in DoubleClick, and updates to our Active View viewability solution.
Our goal is to enable brand marketers to answer some essential questions about the success of their campaigns:
Announcing an update to Active View - Ensuring your ads are seen
If a human being never has a chance to see your ad, then nothing else matters - the campaign will not succeed. That’s why we’ve been steadily introducing Active View technology across our product suite: the ability to buy based on viewability in AdWords, and reporting on viewability in our DoubleClick advertiser and publisher platforms. In a recent study that we published we found that 46% of all video ads on the web did not even have a chance to be seen. This contextualized the importance of video viewability and the launch of Active View for Video a few months ago.
We are firm believers in the IAB / MRC standard as the minimum viable definition for a viewable impression. We also recognize that there is a need for secondary metrics that complement the single standard and support individual advertisers’ objectives. In light of this, we are announcing that starting today, Active View users will be able to measure average viewable time - the average time, in seconds, a given ad appeared on screen - in DoubleClick Bid Manager.
Since introducing Active View, we’ve seen tremendous momentum with over 80% of clients having adopted our viewability technology. These advertiser and publisher clients have told us time and again that they would like to use Active View to measure viewability across all their media buys. So we are working with these clients to expand Active View beyond Google’s media and platforms.
Announcing comScore vCE in DoubleClick: Ensuring you reach the right audience faster
Last year we announced our partnership with comScore to bring to market a completely tagless and digitally actionable metric that would make real-time GRP measurement a reality for advertisers and publishers. Today we are announcing the culmination of that partnership: comScore vCE in DoubleClick.
comScore vCE in DoubleClick is the first independent, completely tagless, audience delivery measurement service to be directly integrated into an ad server and will give advertisers and publishers a trusted comScore audience measurement solution for both video and display that is effortless to set up and actionable.
This new GRP measurement solution is now widely available for all of our DoubleClick customers across DoubleClick Digital Marketing and DoubleClick for Publishers. This means advertisers can now see if they’re reaching their target audience as it happens. And publishers will be able to make adjustments during the course of a campaign to meet their advertisers’ needs -- no more after the fact reporting and make-goods.
With this tagless and single-click workflow, advertiser and publisher clients will have 100% coverage. Publishers will have the ability to forecast their audience availability to ensure they meet advertiser commitments. For advertisers, in addition to scheduled reports we are introducing new audience cards that surface reports with simple and easy to read visuals.
We will continue to look for opportunities to raise the bar on measurement through a combination of product innovation and partnership with industry leaders.
We’re excited about the progress we’ve made in enabling advertisers to ensure that their ads reached the right audience and were actually seen. But our biggest investments in measurement still lie ahead as we work to help advertisers understand what their audiences thought and ultimately did as a result of seeing their ads.
Posted by Sanaz Ahari, Group Product Manager, Brand Measurement
As programmatic buying continues to grow, one of the first steps publishers must take is to adopt a holistic cross-channel ad sales strategy.
A new op-ed by Paul Zwillenberg, Global Leader of The Boston Consulting Group’s Media Sector, explores this idea and shares the strategies and tactics employed by today’s most successful digital publishers.
Head on over to DoubleClick.com to read the full article.
A new study by The Boston Consulting Group, commissioned by Google, found that despite this trend, many publishers are failing to appropriately capitalize on the programmatic opportunity. For example, the study found that less than 25 percent of programmatic team time is spent on value-creating activities, causing publishers to miss out on significant revenues.
The study also closely analyzed the operations of those publishers that consistently outperform their peers in terms of value creation and efficiency, and arrived at best practices and approaches other publishers can follow to achieve similar success. Using simpler ad tech stack configurations, best in class publishers were on average 30% more efficient, had up to 24% higher CPMs, and delivered 10% more impressions otherwise lost to discrepancies.
Head over to DoubleClick.com to read the full study.
Posted by Yamini Gupta, Product Marketing team
At the DoubleClick Leadership Summit, we discussed the implications for brands, broadcasters and publishers of the shift from Primetime to All-the-time.
As part of our presentation, we focussed on four ways for brands to break through the noise and cut through the cross-screen complexity to drive more effective video advertising:
- Be on the best screen for the moment
- Connect and engage with every interaction
- Buy smarter across every screen
- Focus on impact not views
Read the article on the new DoubleClick.com to learn what each of these mean for advertisers, broadcasters and publishers?
Programmatic Selling just got better: Announcing Marketplace in DoubleClick Ad Exchange and Programmatic Guaranteed