Tag Archives: AdMob

Protecting the mobile app ecosystem

Mobile apps have transformed the way people engage with the world. From gaming, to ride sharing, to messaging, apps enrich the lives of billions — and are often funded by ads. Ads help make content available to everyone, creating a more diverse ecosystem of apps for people to enjoy. But one of the biggest threats to ad-supported content is ad fraud, a pervasive issue for users, developers, and advertisers alike. 

For over 20 years, Google has been heavily investing in creating a healthier ads ecosystem that generates value fairly, for everyone involved. In 2019, we delivered on key initiatives to protect advertisers, publishers, and users. 

  • Protected advertiser spend by reducing ad fraud:Google blacklisted numerous bad actors that were found to be committing large scale invalid traffic and ad fraud, which violates Google policies. In 2019 Google removed tens of thousands of apps and developers that were found to be in violation of our policies, from both AdMob and Play. Taking corrective action was an imperative step in protecting advertiser dollars, leveling the playing field for legitimate publishers, and removing bad app experiences for users.
  • Protected publisher revenue from app spoofing: Bad actors may attempt to disguise their inventory as a high value app to unfairly claim associated ad revenue. To help publishers publicly declare authorized inventory to combat this issue, we launched our app ads.txt solution in August 2019 and in just four months, the majority of Google’s app ad inventory is now ads.txt-protected.
  • Improved safety of family-friendly content for users: In addition to fighting ad fraud, the Google Play and Ads teams both announced new steps to help ensure that ad content served in apps for children is appropriate for their intended users. The Play team updated its Families Policies and the requirements for inclusion in its Designed for Families (DFF) program to better ensure that apps for children are appropriate. AdMob now offers a maximum ad content rating to give publishers more control over the ad content shown to their users. 
We know that ensuring a safe and high quality app experience has never been more important to the success of your business. That’s why multiple teams across Google are coming together to further secure and protect the ads ecosystem for our most important audiences. As a preview, here are three key areas where we are focused and you can expect to hear more from us in the months ahead:

  • Double down on safeguarding advertiser spend from invalid traffic: One area of focus for the Ads team is developing new ways to detect disruptive ads shown outside of the app — for example, out-of-context ads from an app not currently in use. This behavior violates Google policies, so Google removes these apps from both AdMob and Play — in fact, a recent enforcement sweep resulted in the joint removal of nearly 600 apps. Our investigations are ongoing and when we find violations we will continue to take action.
  • Help app publishers towards compliance with industry regulations:As industry regulations evolve, Google is providing tools for app publishers to manage their compliance strategy, maintain user trust, and minimize the risk of losing revenue.
  • Give users more control over their app experiences:Android is making fundamental platform changes to minimize interruptions in app experiences and keep the user more in control of what's shown on their screen. 

We’re excited to build on this momentum in app ad safety as well as peace of mind. Stay tuned for more updates over the next year on how Google is protecting its ad systems and improving ad traffic quality. 

Join the Women of Publishing webinar series

The 2020 Women of Publishing Leadership Series is now open for registration. This annual program is designed to facilitate industry connections, provide access to resources, and enable the future growth of women-led small publishing businesses. Apply by February 21 to join us on the live stream sessions, as well as an in-person event bringing together our female publishing community.


What you can expect

This March, the Women of Publishing Leadership Series is bringing together female entrepreneurs and leaders, who have successfully funded their passions through monetization platforms using Google AdMob or AdSense. The first online class kicks off on March 10, just after International Women's Day. 


This multi-part web series will teach you how Google tools can help to fuel the growth of your publishing business. The course will include data-driven monetization tactics for both web and apps, as well as discussions on sustaining momentum in this fast-paced and evolving digital ecosystem.


You can find detailed information about the online course below: 

Keynote

  • Date and time: Tuesday, March 10 at 1:30 PM ET 

  • Summary: Join an honest discussion on one woman’s journey in the publishing industry. We will also discuss how to optimize your audience engagement strategy.


Monetization and Reporting Deep-Dive, Web

  • Date and time: Tuesday, March 17 at 1:30 PM ET

  • Summary: Get a closer look at how to efficiently earn more for your website using the new and improved AdSense Auto ads.


Monetization and Reporting Deep-Dive, Apps

  • Date and time: Thursday, March 19 at 1:30 PM ET

  • Summary: Learn how to think about optimizing your app’s monetization structure and which metrics matter the most in tracking your app’s performance.


Protecting our Digital Ecosystem

  • Date and time: Tuesday, March 24 at 1:30 PM ET

  • Summary: Gain insight on how to maintain user trust and secure your content in an evolving ecosystem.

Google is committed to women’s success in the publishing industry

We’ve seen great strides  toward women’s parity in the global labor market in recent years. However, there’s still work to do. The empowerment of female entrepreneurship is especially critical. Globally, there are less women than men among entrepreneurs, contributing to the 50 percent gap in total income (all types of revenues) between men and women.


The Women of Publishing Leadership Series was designed to help participants learn how to maximize the value of their publishing business and earn more revenue. The curriculum is tailored for small and medium-sized businesses. Women from all types of digital backgrounds: apps, news, gaming, entertainment, video, e-commerce, etc. are encouraged to apply. Not using Google AdMob, AdSense, or Ad Manager? No worries—join the program to learn which product best suits your business needs.


Applications close on February 21, 2020. Join the 2020 Women of Publishing community by applying on our website.


Source: Inside AdSense


Google for Games Developer Summit is coming to GDC 2020

We’re excited to see you at the upcoming Game Developers Conference (GDC) from March 16-20 in San Francisco. If you can’t make it in person, sign up to keep up to date with our announcements and view the livestream. You’ll learn about new products and solutions from Google that will help developers for all platforms take their game to the next level. 

Everything kicks off with the Google for Games Developer Summit Keynote on Monday, March 16th where product leaders from across Google will share the biggest announcements for game developers. After the keynote, join in on two days of developer sessions to learn how to use Google solutions to create great games, connect with more players, and scale your business. Check out the agenda today.

Starting Wednesday, March 18th, visit our booth in the GDC Expo to experience demos and meet one-on-one with Google product experts. 

If you can’t attend GDC in-person, you can still watch the Keynote and other Developer Summit sessions via the live stream at g.co/gdc2020.

We’ll be sharing more details about what we have planned at GDC in the coming weeks—be sure to sign up to be among the first to hear the latest updates. On-site events are part of the official Game Developers Conference and require a pass to attend.

See you there!

Iterate your way to success with A/B testing

Many app publishers attempt to maintain stability in their app by not making any changes, despite the constantly evolving mobile ads business.  This approach can be detrimental in the long run by causing you to miss out on growth opportunities. Continuously testing new approaches in your app is an essential part of an effective monetization strategy, so we’d like to go over a few examples of tests you can implement now to get you started.

What are some things I can test?

With AdMob, you can test any feature of your app that can be defined with a variable. Here are some experiments you can start with:

Ads alongside in-app purchases

If you currently monetize your app exclusively through in-app purchases (IAPs), testing ads alongside IAPs is a low risk approach that allows you to understand the impact of including another monetization model.  For example, game publisher Four Thirty Threeused to rely exclusively on in-app purchases (IAP) for their revenue.  They used smart segmentation to divide their users into likely purchasers and likely non-purchasers.  This allowed them to remove any risk of harming their IAP revenue by ensuring that ads were only shown to users who did not spend within their app anyway.  After serving rewarded ads to non-paying users, their retention, session duration, and revenue increased.

New features

A/B testing can be a great way to gauge your user’s reaction to new features before rolling them out to your entire app.  For example, Onefootball, a leading soccer app, wanted to test a Top News section in their app’s News stream. However, they first wanted to determine whether this potential change would lower revenues. They set up a test with a control group and two exposed groups, which showed them that this proposed change would not hurt revenue.  As a result, the feature increased daily engagement by 5 percent, and articles read on the app rose by 6 percent.

Pricing

A/B testing can be an invaluable tool to help determine the best price point for a subscription or in-app purchase. Le Figaro, France’s oldest and largest daily newspaper, was looking to increase paying customers and retain paid subscribers. They used Firebase to test different subscription price points, and even found that the largest increase in paid subscriptions was driven after embedding real time interactive infographics into their mobile and web articles.

How can I test it?

If you haven’t yet linked AdMob to Firebase and wish to A/B test, we recommend you do so. Integrating Firebase into your AdMob account is simple, and lets you test small changes to your apps without having to push updates. After setting up your account, endless experiments become available to you with just a few clicks. If you’d like a quick summary of what Firebase can do for your AdMob account, check out this YouTube video.

Top 3 misconceptions about mobile ads

Although ads are often a cornerstone of successful app businesses, some developers have misconceptions that hold them back from trying ads in their app. We thought it would be helpful to address some of the more common misconceptions we’ve heard to help app publishers uncover opportunities to increase their revenue.

1) Ads interrupt the app experience of my users

One common misconception is that ads will negatively impact the app experience, when in reality most ad formats today are designed to either integrate seamlessly with your app, add to the user experience, or both.

For example, rewarded ads can give people a bonus in exchange for watching an advertisement and are a great way to make premium content available to non-paying users.

image3.png

                                                       Example of a rewarded ad

Interstitial ads are shown at natural breakpoints in your app, such as between levels or at loading screens, and allow you to engage users when they would otherwise be looking at a “waiting” screen.

Rewarded Ads

                                                      Example of an interstitial ad

Finally, native ads can be designed to match the look and feel of your app to integrate seamlessly with your app’s content, causing virtually no disruption to the user experience while earning you revenue.

Cropped gif native

                                  Example of a native ad

2) I can't control what ads show up in my app

App publishers are justifiably concerned about what ads show up in their app, so we’ve taken steps to ensure that your app will only serve ads that meet the guidelines you’ve set. Our ad controls allow you to set a maximum content rating level orblock ads by category, ad type, URL, and more.  Both of these controls can be applied to a single app or to your whole AdMob account.  


For example, applying a maximum rating of G to your account ensures that only G-rated ads are served across all of your apps.  However, you can simultaneously set a maximum rating of T for a specific app to allow it to include PG and T rated ads as well.  For even more control, our Ad Review Center allows you to review individual ads on a creative-by-creative basis to decide whether you want to continue serving them. We’ve designed these features to ensure that you only serve ads you feel are appropriate for your users.

3) Ads will drive away my paying app users

Some publishers avoid including ads in their app because they don’t want to interrupt the experience of their paying users.  To address this, we offer a tool called smart segmentation that allows you to only show ads to non-paying users while preserving the ad-free experience for paying users.


Smart segmentation has worked well for several publishers including BlackLight Studio Games, who wanted to expand monetization in their game Ludo SuperStar without hurting paid user experience, retention, and in-app purchase (IAP) revenue.  After implementing smart segmentation, they experienced a 23% increase in game revenue with no changes to user retention or average revenue per user (ARPU).

We hope this helps clear up some common misconceptions around how ads can fit into your mobile app. Even if your app is paid or offers in-app purchases, consider testing ads in your app to maximize your revenue and grow your mobile app business.  For a more detailed breakdown of app business models, download our free No-Nonsense Guide to App Monetization. And if you’re ready to start earning money with ads, sign up for an AdMob account today.


Introducing adaptive anchor banners

In today’s mobile-first world, app publishers who use banner ads must serve them across a greater variety of screen sizes and layouts than ever before. Existing responsive banner ad formats often produce ads that are too small and not optimally tailored to the specifications of each device.

To address this, we’ve created a new banner type called adaptive anchor banners. These banners dynamically adjust creative size to deliver an ad that is ideally sized across all of your user’s devices, without the need to write any custom code.

These banners are designed to replace standard 320x50 and leaderboard banner sizes, as well as smart banners. Here is a comparison of the 3 formats on a standard mobile device:

Standard banner vs. smart banner vs. AdMob’s adaptive anchor banner


Migrating your banner implementation to adaptive

Here are a few simple steps to update your banner implementation to use adaptive banners:

  1. Ensure your UI supports a variable height banner. Depending on what constraints or layout mechanism you are using to position your banner, you may need to remove height constraints such that the layout accepts variable content size.
    • For Android this can be done using WRAP_CONTENT.
    • For iOS constrain your banner in terms of X and Y positions, you may also give it a width constraint, but ensure any height constraint or content size is placeholder only.

    Note that the max height is 15% of the device height or 90px, whichever is smaller.

  2. Use the adaptive banner ad size APIs to get an adaptive ad size. The adaptive ad size APIs are available for different orientations.

    Android:
    AdSize.getCurrentOrientationAnchoredAdaptiveBannerAdSize(context, width)
    AdSize.getPortraitAnchoredAdaptiveBannerAdSize(context, width)
    AdSize.getLandscapeAnchoredAdaptiveBannerAdSize(context, width)

    iOS:
    GADCurrentOrientationAnchoredAdaptiveBannerAdSizeWithWidth(width)
    GADPortraitAnchoredAdaptiveBannerAdSizeWithWidth(width)
    GADLandscapeAnchoredAdaptiveBannerAdSizeWithWidth(width)

    Unity:
    AdSize.GetCurrentOrientationAnchoredAdaptiveBannerAdSizeWithWidth(width)
    AdSize.GetPortraitAnchoredAdaptiveBannerAdSizeWithWidth(width)
    AdSize.GetLandscapeAnchoredAdaptiveBannerAdSizeWithWidth(width)

    Which one you use depends on your use case. If you want to preload ads for a given orientation, use the API for that orientation. If you only need a banner for the current orientation of the device, use the current orientation API.

    Once you have an ad size, set that on your banner view as usual before loading an ad. The banner will resize to the adaptive ad size as long as you have laid it out without any conflicting constraints.

  3. Update your mediation adapters. If you use mediation, update your mediation adapters to the latest version. All open source mediation adapters that support banners have been updated to support the adaptive banner ad size requests. Note that adapters will still only return ad sizes supported by their corresponding ad network SDK, and those ads will be centered in your adaptive banner view.

Review our developer resources

For further information including detailed implementation guidance, review our developer resources:

As always, please reach out on our developer forum if you have any questions.

Upgrade your banner ads with new adaptive anchor banners

In today’s mobile-first world, people use a wide range of device types. As a result, app publishers who use banner ads must now serve them across a greater variety of screen sizes and layouts.  While some responsive banner ad formats exist, they often produce ads that are too small and not sufficiently tailored to the height and aspect ratio of each device.


To address this, we’ve created a new banner type called adaptive anchor banners. These ads dynamically adjust banner sizes to deliver a creative that is ideally sized across your user’s devices without the need for any custom code.

The adaptive anchor banner advantage

Adaptive anchor banners are designed to be a drop-in replacement for the industry standard 320x50 banner size and the smart banner format.  Standard sized banners return the same sized creative across every screen, which often results in ads that appear too small or too large. Smart banners only support fixed heights, so they often return creative that appears too small on high-res devices. 


Unlike other banner APIs on the market, adaptive anchor banners consider the device in use, the ad width you’re comfortable using, and the aspect ratios and performance of all available demand.  Adaptive anchor banners return creatives with the best height and aspect ratio for each device, with hard limits to prevent the wrong sizes from being served.


Your banners will look better than ever in your app, and writing custom code to handle different devices will be a task of the past. Using this format in place of standard and/or smart banners can help you maximize revenue while also making managing your ads less complex and more efficient.

Adaptive Anchor Comparison Screenshot Shortened

                Standard banner vs. smart banner vs. AdMob’s adaptive anchor banner

Getting started with adaptive anchor banners

Adaptive anchor banners are a great option for AdMob publishers who want the simplest solution to getting the best banner ad returned across any device.  This format is still in beta on Google Ad Manager, so publishers who want to try it out on that platform should reach out to their account managers or contact our support team.


Adaptive anchor banners are currently only available for anchored placements—banners locked to the top or bottom of the screen. However, AdMob is actively developing another adaptive algorithm for in-line banners placed in scroll views or within content.


To get started with adaptive anchor banners for AdMob, check out our implementation guides (iOS, Android). We walk you through when it’s appropriate to use adaptive banners, implementation notes, and code examples.


We recommend testing adaptive banners against some of your existing banner ads to understand how they can help you maximize fill rates, engagement, and revenue.

AdMob’s new reporting delivers better insights

At AdMob, we’re focused on helping publishers make smarter decisions to grow their mobile app earnings and deliver the best experience to their users. Clear, comprehensive reporting is a big part of this, and we’ve recently released some updates to our reporting so that you can gain more actionable insights about your app users. 


More insights about how people use your app

We’ve enhanced our AdMob SDK to begin providing insights into how your users are interacting with your app and engaging with your rewarded ads.  To enable these new features, you need to do two things:


  1. Update your SDK to the latest version (Android SDK 18.1.0 or later, iOS SDK 7.44 or later)

  2. Log into AdMob and take a few simple steps to enable user metrics  (Help Center Article)

Once you’ve done both, available new features will include:

User engagement card

When you log into your AdMob account, we’ll now present you with important basic user engagement metrics on your App Overview dashboard.  This report helps you keep an eye on your app’s most important top-line user numbers so you always know how your apps are performing.

User engagement card

             Basic metrics in the user engagement card

Holistic revenue report including in-app purchases

We’ve updated our revenue reporting to look beyond AdMob earnings to also include in-app purchases and subscriptions. This will minimize time spent going back and forth between interfaces so you can spend more time working on your app. IAP reporting is currently only offered on iOS, but will be coming to Android soon.

Holistic revenue report

                             Holistic revenue report including in-app purchases

Rewarded ads report

You’ll now have access to the rewarded ads report, helping you understand how users are interacting with rewarded ads.  This report captures activity from the entire AdMob platform, including AdMob, Open Bidding, and 3rd-party inventory. We’re also working to provide additional reporting around each of your ad formats so you can make the most informed decision with your app business.

Rewarded ads report

                                                   Example rewarded ads report

Expanded functionality and ease of use

In addition to adding new reports, we’ve also launched several new features that make it easier for you to access, analyze and understand your data: 


AdMob API

Traditionally, developers have had to use the AdSense API to access AdMob stats.  This was a suboptimal solution, as AdSense uses different ad metric definitions than AdMob, resulting in inconsistent reporting.  To address this, we’re introducing a brand new AdMob API to help you retrieve your publisher reports programmatically. Metrics in the AdMob API will be consistent with those in the AdMob front-end interface and will be more accurate than those in the AdSense API.  This API is currently in beta, so reach out to your account manager or a mobile specialist if you’re interested in trying it out.


Easy comparison reporting

When looking at changes to a single AdMob metric, such as revenue, we know that context is key. So we’ve added the ability for you to compare two metrics within the same chart (see upper right in image below) so that you can more easily correlate trends within your data.


You can also now break out metrics, such as estimated earnings, by dimensions like app, ad unit, format, and country (see upper left in image below).  Our improved graph interactivity allows you to add or remove dimensions by simply clicking on the corresponding circle in the key, as shown below on the upper left.

Reporting improvements gif

                                          New comparison and usability chart features

Reporting is an integral part of optimizing any app ads business, and we’re continuously taking steps to make actionable insights easier to discover for publishers.  We hope these new features will help publishers better understand their users and ad performance so they can focus on driving more revenue and delighting their users.

Share your feedback about AdMob and Ad Manager mobile app integration

We’re continuously improving our guides, code samples, and other developer resources for the Google Mobile Ads SDK to help you integrate AdMob and Ad Manager into your mobile apps.

To learn more about what's working well and what could be improved, we're announcing our second annual developer feedback survey for the Google Mobile Ads SDK. We'd like to hear from you about where we should focus our efforts.

SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

Your answers will be completely anonymous. The survey should take about 15 minutes to complete and will close on September 30, 2019.

Your feedback is truly important to us. Here are a few highlights of the changes we made based on feedback from last year’s survey:

  1. Continuous translations of the developer docs in several languages
  2. Continuous build integration of sample applications via Travis CI
  3. Launched a Developer tutorials playlist on the Google AdMob YouTube channel
  4. Launched the App Policy Center to help publishers handle policy violations

Please let us know what you’d like us to focus on next. Thank you in advance for helping us continue to improve the developer experience for everyone.

Simplifying our content policies for publishers

One of our top priorities is to sustain a healthy digital advertising ecosystem, one that works for everyone: users, advertisers and publishers. On a daily basis, teams of Google engineers, policy experts, and product managers combat and stop bad actors. Just last year, we removed 734,000 publishers and app developers from our ad network and ads from nearly 28 million pages that violated our publisher policies. 


But we’re not just stopping bad actors. Just as critical to our mission is the work we do every day to help good publishers in our network succeed. One consistent piece of feedback we’ve heard from our publishers is that they want us to further simplify our policies, across products, so they are easier to understand and follow. That’s why we'll be simplifying the way our content policies are presented to publishers, and standardizing content policies across our publisher products.

A simplified publisher experience

In September, we’ll update the way our publisher content policies are presented with a clear outline of the types of content where advertising is not allowed or will be restricted. 

Our Google Publisher Policies will outline the types of content that are not allowed to show ads through any of our publisher products. This includes policies against illegal content, dangerous or derogatory content, and sexually explicit content, among others. 

Our Google Publisher Restrictions will detail the types of content, such as alcohol or tobacco, that don’t violate policy, but that may not be appealing for all advertisers. Publishers will not receive a policy violation for trying to monetize this content, but only some advertisers and advertising products—the ones that choose this kind of content—will bid on it. As a result, Google Ads will not appear on this content and this content will receive less advertising than non-restricted content will.  


The Google Publisher Policies and Google Publisher Restrictions will apply to all publishers, regardless of the products they use—AdSense, AdMob or Ad Manager.


These changes are the next step in our ongoing efforts to make it easier for publishers to navigate our policies so their businesses can continue to thrive with the help of our publisher products.