What the New Content Enhancements Will Mean for Advertisers

You may have noticed earlier in the month, that Google has announced some upcoming enhancements to the content network on the official Google blog. These changes are made in part due to the furthering of Google’s relationship with DoubleClick, the digital marketing innovator, and because the content network has become the focus on usability improvements for Google over the past couple months.

I am going to briefly detail what these enhancements are, and explain what kind of impact advertisers may see in their content campaigns in the upcoming months.

Google’s explanation of enhancements:

  • Frequency Capping: Enables advertisers to control the number of times a user sees an ad. Users will have a better experience on Google content network sites because they will no longer see the same ad over and over again.
  • Frequency Reporting: Provides insight into the number of people who have seen an ad campaign, and how many times, on average, people are seeing these ads.
  • Improved Ads Quality: Brings performance improvements within the Google content network.
  • View-Through Conversions: Enables advertisers to gain insights on how many users visited their sites after seeing an ad. This helps advertisers determine the best places to advertise so users will see more relevant ads.

Here is my take on the following enhancements:

Frequency Capping:

This is exactly the type of tool we need to better manage content campaigns. A site with good content will ultimately win regular viewers. Over time the views from these regulars will overlap and accumulate, and the impact of the displayed ads to these regulars will be reduced. Over weeks and months of seeing the same ad, the impact eventually nears zero. Of the millions of impressions your content campaign creates, a reasonable portion of this comes from repeat views. Capping pares this down so that you can control the amount of impressions that are repeats – simple as that. This is similar to what Google does on Search, where Google keeps history on what ads you ignore, and moves them towards the bottom of the page as you continue to make searches that would trigger these ads.

This essentially means that some of your content campaigns that are perennially positioned on the second page of content ads (or below the page-break of about position 3) could see a boost in impressions and clicks out of content as more advertisers play around with frequency caps. It also gives the ads a general sense of freshness and may improve relevance of users. I’m sure we’ll hear more about the functionality of frequency capping before it’s released.

Frequency Reporting:

This will give us additional data for analysis within the content network. You will be able to view and modify the results of your frequency capping settings and see the output here. For instance, you know that 90% of your conversion actions are created on a user’s initial visit to a web site, and none of your conversions have occurred from a visit beyond the 10th. You would be able to modify the settings to make sure that your ads were no longer being fed to users on XYZ web page after their 10th visit. This will be interesting to play around with.

Improved Ad Quality:

This could mean a lot of things. The most literal explanation is that by giving advertisers more tools to work with the content campaign, the quality and relevance of displayed ads will improve – making content a better tool for advertisers and more relevant ads will improve site experience for searchers and publishers.

View-Through Conversions:

Essentially the ability to monitor Click Through Rate broken up page by page – very interesting, and will be very useful to use in tandem with Google Placements. This would be a huge step in Google’s ability to bring some sort of quality score analysis over to the content network. We’ll keep our fingers crossed.

Google is keeping its word (at least in principal) and giving us more control over our content network campaigns. I’m excited to see these changes roll into effect over the next couple of months.

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