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.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Posted by Scott Spencer, Director of Product Management, Sustainable Ads
At Google, we value users, advertisers and publishers equally. We have policies in place that define where Google ads should appear and how they must be implemented. These policies help ensure a positive user experience, as well as maintain a healthy ads ecosystem that benefits both publishers and advertisers.
To get your attention, some ads pop up in front of your current browser window, obscuring the content you want to see. Pop-under ads can be annoying as well, as they will "pop under" your window, so that you don't see them until you minimize your browser. We do not believe these ads provide a good user experience, and therefore are not suitable for Google ads.
That is why we recently clarified our policies around pop-ups and pop-unders to help remove any ambiguity. To simplify our policies, we are no longer permitting the placement of Google ads on pages that are loaded as a pop-up or pop-under. Additionally, we do not permit Google ads on any site that contains or triggers pop-unders, regardless of whether Google ads are shown in the pop-unders.
We continually review and evaluate our policies to address emerging trends, and in this case we determined that a policy change was necessary.
As with all policies, publishers are ultimately responsible for ensuring that traffic to their site is compliant with Google policies. To assist publishers, we’ve provided guidance on best practices for buying traffic.
Posted by John Brown, Head of Publisher Policy Communications
Today we’re introducing the new AdSense Native ads -- a suite of ad formats designed to match the look and feel of your site, providing a great user experience for your visitors. AdSense Native ads come in three categories: In-feed, In-article, and Matched content*. They can all be used at once or individually and are designed for:
A great user experience: they fit naturally on your site and use high quality advertiser elements, such as high resolution images, longer titles and descriptions, to provide a more attractive experience for your visitors.
A great look and feel across different screen sizes: the ads are built to look great on mobile, desktop, and tablet.
Ease of use: easy-to-use editing tools help you make the ads look great on your site.
Native In-feed opens up new revenue opportunity in your feeds
Available to all publishers, In-feed ads slot neatly inside your feeds, e.g. a list of articles or products on your site. These ads are highly customizable to match the look and feel of your feed content and offer new places to show ads.
Native In-article offers a better advertising experience
Available to all publishers, In-article ads are optimized by Google to help you put great-looking ads between the paragraphs of your pages. In-article ads use high-quality advertising elements and offer a great reading experience to your visitors.
Matched Content* drives more users to your content
Available to publishers that meet the eligibility criteria, Matched content is a content recommendation tool that helps you promote your content to visitors and potentially increase revenue, page views, and time spent on site. Publishers that are eligible for the “Allow ads” feature can also show relevant ads within their Matched content units, creating an additional revenue opportunity in this placement.
Getting started with AdSense Native ads AdSense Native ads can be placed together, or separately, to customize your website’s ad experience. Use In-feed ads inside your feed (e.g. a list of articles, or products), In-article ads between the paragraphs of your pages, and Matched content ads directly below your articles. When deciding your native strategy, keep the content best practices in mind.
Today, we’re excited to announce the addition of Urdu, a language spoken by millions in Pakistan, India and many other countries around the world, to the family of AdSense supported languages.
The interest for Urdu language content has been growing steadily over the last few years. AdSense provides an easy way for publishers to monetize the content they create in Urdu, and help advertisers looking to connect with the growing online Urdu audience to reach them with relevant ads.
To start monetizing your Urdu content website with Google AdSense:
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.
“We’ve always put our users first and support the Coalition’s Better Ads efforts and standards. 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 commend 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.
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.
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 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
As a publisher you face many challenges. One of the broadest and most encompassing of these is growing your user base while making sure your content remains high-quality and policy compliant. Your feedback has helped us understand this challenge, and we’re always working to improve. A few weeks ago, we announced two new AdSense features: page-level enforcements and a new Policy center. Today, we’re excited let you know that these features are available globally for all AdSense publishers.
Page-level enforcements for more granular policy actions To allow more precise enforcements, and provide you with feedback about policy issues as we identify them, we’re introducing page-level enforcements. A page-level enforcement affects individual pages where violations of the AdSense Program Policies are found. As a result, ad serving is restricted or disabled on those pages. Ads will continue to serve where no policy violations have been found, either at the page- or site-level.
When a new policy violation on one of your pages is identified, you’ll receive an email notification and ad serving will be restricted on that page. As this is a new feature, you may already have current page-level enforcements that were not surfaced through these email notifications. To make sure you’re not missing anything, head over to the new Policy center to review existing violations.
After you've addressed all policy violations on a page, you may request a review (previously known as an “appeal”). Reviews typically take one week but can sometimes take longer. We'll restore ad serving on the affected page or pages if a page is reviewed at your request and no policy violations are found. Alternatively, you can simply remove the AdSense ad code from that page and the page-level enforcement will disappear from the Policy center in about a week.
More transparency with the new AdSense Policy center
The AdSense Policy center is a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about policy actions that affect your sites and pages. You’ll be able to see:
Non-compliant page(s) or site(s)
Why a page or site is non-compliant
Steps needed to make your page or site compliant
Steps to request a review of the actioned page(s) or site(s)
Follow these steps to see your current page-level enforcements, and request a review of the actioned page(s):
Sign in to your AdSense account.
In the left navigation panel, click Settings, then click Policy center.
In the "Page-level enforcements" section, find the site or sites that have page-level violations and click Show details.
In the "Page" section, click the Down arrow to learn more about the enforcement, the violation(s) on the page, and how to fix them.
Click Request review and tick the box after you’ve made sure the violations on the page are fixed.
Our beta participants provided a lot of great feedback and suggestions on how to make the AdSense Policy center as useful as possible. We’re constantly looking to improve the clarity with which we communicate our policies and policy enforcements, so let us know what you think through the ”Send feedback” link in the AdSense menu.
In short, AdSense is a free, simple way to make money by placing ads on your site.
Google’s ad network connects advertisers looking to run their ads on the web with publishers like you, looking to monetise your website, making it simple for everyone to succeed. AdSense connects publishers and advertisers, giving AdWords advertisers the opportunity to bid on ad space on websites like yours.
By working with an ad network like AdSense, you can spend less time marketing and selling your advertising space and more time focused on creating the best content for your users. Learn more in the AdSense 101 article.
As a site owner, you’ll need pages with unique content that's relevant to your visitors and that provides a great user experience. Before you apply to AdSense, make sure your site's pages are ready by visiting the AdSense Help Center. If you’re ready to turn your #PassionIntoProfit, sign up for AdSense today.
How do I know if I’m eligible to join the AdSense network?
Before applying for an account, make sure that the site you own has been active for at least six months, and complies with the AdSense program policies.
If you also have your own non-host site where you’d like to show ads, then you’ll need to submit a one-time application form to tell us the URL of your site (you only need to complete this step if you want to monetize your site, and don’t need to take this action to earn money from your YouTube videos).
AdSense helps you to create a revenue stream from the valuable content you host on your site. AdSense saves you time with a quick and easy setup allowing you to focus on the elements of your business that require your focus.
It’s like an automatic car -- it removes most of the manual adjustments, allowing you to cruise along with less effort. You still need regular “tune ups” to get optimal performance, but you won’t need to shift gears to get from point A to point B.
What is DoubleClick Ad Exchange?
DoubleClick Ad Exchange gives you real-time access to the largest pool of advertisers.The main difference between DoubleClick Ad Exchange and AdSense is that AdSense does a lot of the technical settings and optimization work for you, such as automating the sale of all your ad space to the highest bidder. With DoubleClick Ad Exchange you manage these adjustments yourself, controlling exactly how your inventory is sold.
As an example, DoubleClick Ad Exchange allows you to choose which ad space is for public sale and which is reserved for private auctions. This additional input from you helps you to get the best results from DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
Another important distinction is that through AdSense, demand is primarily from AdWords advertisers, whereas DoubleClick Ad Exchange pulls demand from multiple sources. This means that in addition to AdWords advertisers, you can also access other major ad networks and agencies. Check out the more comprehensive list of differences at our Help Center.
WordPress doesn’t allow advertising on their free hosting plan (WordPress.com). If you’d like to show ads on your WordPress hosted site, then you’ll need to switch to a self-hosted WordPress.org domain. Visit our product forum and learn how to make this switch.
Can I monetize multiple sites under a single AdSense account?
Yes! AdSense allows you to add multiple sites in association to the same account. This will enable you to monitor the inventory on your sites from the same place, saving you valuable time. Here’s how to set up multiple sites on your account:
First, you’ll want to take advantage of the options within Google Search Console to make sure your site is visible for search users. The AdSense Help Center has all the information you’ll need to submit your site for index, diagnose any problems, and identify which keyword queries are driving traffic to your site.
Next, follow the Long-term revenue framework, a tool often used by our AdSense optimization experts, to better understand the four levers that can help you grow and develop your site.
Also, catchy titles are a way of pushing referral traffic from social media platforms, and Brandon Gaille wrote a great guest-blog for us that lays out how to approach naming your content.
Be sure to follow AdSense best practice policies when planning your strategy, to avoid violations on your account. It’s important to know that in order to maintain ad serving on your site and keep an AdSense account active, it's the responsibility of the publisher to keep up to date with, and adhere to, the AdSense program policies.
How do I increase clickthrough rates (CTR) in AdSense?
Please see our recent response to this question on Quora where Symone Gamble shared her best practices.
What are responsive ad units?
Responsive ad units automatically control the size of your ads using a single piece of ad code. They also allow ads to be resized after a screen orientation change. Using a responsive ad unit will allow your site to show the most appropriate ad size according to your user's device, and will help you to maximize your revenue potential. Learn more about how responsive ad units work and then check out how to customize responsive ads to match the style of your site.
Why do I have invalid traffic deductions in my AdSense account?
How do I stop my site getting hacked?
HTTPS protocol ensures your servers are talking to who they are expected to be talking to and the conversation cannot be interrupted by anyone else, and that content cannot be altered in transit.
Make sure your software is up to date: this might seem common sense, but up-to-date software means there are no holes or faults that might make you vulnerable to people with a less than honourable intention.
Passwords: Using safe, secure, and complex passwords will protect the security of your site. Avoid words that contain common words, names of friends, family and pets as these are all easily attainable using social media, leaving yourself at risk. Don’t forget to change your password regularly; set yourself a reminder to change your password every few months.
What can I do if a site that I don't own is using my AdSense code?
Since site code is readily available to anyone who inspects your page, it's possible for someone to copy your ad code and paste it on a site you don’t own. In this case, if the ad code ends up on a site that violates the AdSense program policies, your account will receive a policy warning.
To prevent this, site authorization is an optional feature that lets you identify your verified sites as the only sites that are permitted to use your Google ad code.
What are AdSense experiments and how can I run an experiment?
AdSense recently introduced automatic experiments, which allow you to take a back seat as Google runs A/B tests on a small portion of your traffic. To enable the feature, just visit the "Experiments" page on your Optimization tab, and switch on "automatic experiments".
The opportunities generated from these experiments will appear in the “Opportunities” page on your Optimization tab. They'll be labelled "verified by experiment,” so you’ll know they’re backed by data and tailored to your site and users.
8 minutes to read Now that you’ve got your account setup, and you’re writing winning content, it’s time to build a quality brand and create a sustainable revenue stream with AdSense.
What separates a website from a brand? Credibility, consistency, and community.
Think of the websites you visit most - chances are they’re updated regularly with content that’s familiar and trustworthy. You can also navigate these sites intuitively, without putting any thought into how you’re consuming the content you love or where the links you’re looking for are positioned.
In this blog, we’ll cover how to effectively measure how well your site is performing, how to use experiments to uncover new insights, and how to lay out your site in a way that engages your readers.
Measure your performance with reports
Only by digging deep into how visitors engage with your site can you identify the roadblocks that may keep them from returning.
To make sure you’re up-to-date with everything you need to know, check the ‘common reports’ tab in your AdSense account dashboard. Focus on the following key areas to analyze your overall account performance.
The reporting dashboard gives you a quick summary of three main reporting metrics: estimated earnings, page views, and revenue per thousand impressions (RPM). It’s a great way to quickly check the overall health of your account.
The entire account by day report helps you analyze daily performance, and gives you a better understanding of why your earnings change over time. If you’ve made recent changes to ad units or placements, then it’s a great way to measure how the adjustments affected click-through rates.
To find this report, visit the Performance reports tab, then Common reports on the left-hand panel, select Ad units and then add Platforms from the top as a secondary dimension.
Use Ad units + Performance to measure your campaign success by device. CTR and Active View Viewable (AVV) are the key metrics to monitor here, with AVV showing you how many of your total measurable impressions were truly viewable. If an ad’s active view percentage is below 50%, then consider placing it in a more prominent area to improve engagement. To learn more about viewability, check out DoubleClick's 5 Factors of Display Viewability.
The Platforms report identifies how ads are performing on different devices. For example, you may find that your ad units are performing better on mobile devices than on desktop (or vice versa). If that’s the case, then measure your web traffic and make sure that your ads are optimized for the devices you receive most traffic from.
If you manage multiple domains within a single account, then use the Sites report to compare performance. The report is especially helpful if you have different mobile and desktop versions of the same site, allowing you to find new ways to optimize UI for consistent experience across devices.
Every website is different, so if there are specific metrics you want to target, then learn how to create your own reports to measure what matters to you.
Use experiments to discover new opportunities
AdSense Experiments split your site traffic into two different ad settings, so you can compare performance and make more informed decisions.
There are three different ways to run experiments on your content:
Design it yourself by choosing the ad setting and variation you’d like to test.
Choose an experiment from an opportunity on your Optimization page.
Use automatic experiments, which allows AdSense to run experiments on a small portion of your web traffic that are tailored to your website.
Experiments can help you to measure the impact of both ad content and ad style on your earnings. Discover whether ‘text only’ or ‘text and display ads’ capture the attention of your audience, and whether or not changing the colors of your ads helps them to blend in.
We recommend allowing automatic experiments on your site, as a time-efficient and easy way to inform your decision-making.
Improve the usability of your site
Great content can get lost when it’s hosted on a website with poor usability. Pages that are slow, needlessly complex, or difficult to navigate are more likely to disrupt your visitors focus and drive them away.
Speed: A recent study by Google found a strong correlation between page speed and key performance indicators like revenue, bounce rate, session duration, and viewability. Web users are impatient when it comes to loading times, and are likely to get frustrated and abandon slow pages.
Scroll: Infinite scroll continues to add new content at the bottom of your page, taking away the need to load new pages.
It’s ideal for publishers that post lengthy articles, tutorials, or slideshows, and works particularly well for websites focused on mobile consumption.
Style: Your website needs to look attractive and consistent across all pages to build immediate trust with new visitors. Focus on two areas: content style and ad style.
For content style, choose a theme, layout, and color scheme, then stick to it. Consistency is key to developing a brand that your readers will grow comfortable and familiar with.
Responsive web design improves UX by maintaining the same look and feel to your site regardless of the device it’s being viewed on.
With ad style, the first thing to consider is how they will affect the flow of content on your site. Placing ads at natural breaks in your narrative, or in areas where the user’s attention may have waned, can improve UX and may encourage a higher CTR (click-through rate).
At Google, our policy teams are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience for everyone in the mobile digital advertising ecosystem - users, advertisers and publishers. Part of this involves listening to our mobile publishers concerns. One such concern that we are addressing in this policy update involves the limitations we’ve previously placed on 300x250 sized ad units.
We recognize the frustration around limitations we’ve placed on this sized unit on mobile webpages, and starting May 2, 2017 we will no longer disallow this ad unit from being placed above the fold on mobile web pages. After careful review, we've determined that when 300x250 ads are implemented above the fold in a user-friendly way, the ads do not annoy, distract, or result in ad performance issues.
With the removal of this restriction, you still must be vigilant to ensure that their mobile site layouts do not cause ads to push the page content below the fold in such a way that may lead to accidental clicks. To ensure a good user experience, we still recommend the site content should be clear and accessible above the fold. See our optimization guide for the mobile Web for tips on where to place your ads.
As well as having a mobile-friendly site, it's important to provide a good user experience for your mobile audience. By focussing on your mobile site's design, content, and ad placements you could help to increase user engagement. In turn, this could lead to an increase in your mobile ad revenue in the long-term. For guidance on ad implementation best practices, please review our help center.
We hope you find this to be a positive update. Keep providing us with feedback!
Posted by John Brown, Head of Publisher Policy Communications
We’d like to personally invite you to share your thoughts with us in this 10-15 minutes survey so that we can keep improving your experience with us.
In the past, we have used your responses to improve how we help you, ways you interact with our product, and what type of features we offer. This year the survey is shortened and mobile friendly. Our questions should take about 10-15 minutes to answer.
You may have received a survey by email over the last few weeks, if so please take the time to respond to it as we value your input.
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