Let’s start with defining what a viewable impression is and how it differs from just an impression. In an online marketing a viewable (net) impression is the metric that identifies how many times the ad was actually viewed by the visitors comparing to the gross impression when it gets recorded in the system once the ad is served no matter if it was viewed or not. The advertisers currently charge based on the gross number of impressions not taking into consideration the viewability factor. For instance, you are charged whether or not your display ads are being served on the bottom of the page and are not viewed or not being rendered properly, or not fully loading or other reasons. Therefore, the advertisers had to pay more for their ads to appear on the top of the page to make sure that they will be viewed by the visitors and bring more conversions and as a result higher return on investment.
On April 26th, 2013 Google announced that it has received Media Rating Council accreditation for the viewable impression product, Active View which was introduced last year. The advertisers will now be charged only for impressions that meet the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s proposed viewability standard of at least 50% on screen for one second or longer. Active View Reporting will also become available for DoubleClick for Advertisers and DoubleClick for Publishers.
Yes, now the technology is able to track if the ad is actually viewed or not. Isn’t it really awesome? Of course, many online marketers are very excited about the Google news and truly believe that the viewable impression is an actionable indicator. It will tell you the truthful story about the performance of the ad. Say, you are reporting 5,000 gross impressions (those that were served, not viewed necessarily) and 35 clicks, the click through rate is 0.7%. However, now you are seeing 3,000 viewable impressions (as it turned out 2,000 were served, but never viewed) and 35 clicks, the click through rate is 1.12%. By looking at the 0.7% click through rate you may make a decision that the ad creative is not performing very well, it requires improvement and you will go ahead and discontinue serving the ad. And, oppositely, with 1.12% click through rate you will realize that the ad is one of the best performers and you would want to invest more. That’s by the way one of the underlying Google’s theories – Google believes that the higher the click through rates are, the higher the likelihood the advertisers will invest more in advertising. So, it is a win-win situation for both the publishers and the advertisers.
What do you think about this?