What goes into viewability?

Ever wondered about the metrics that make up ad viewability? We’ll break down what’s bringing in the big bucks when it comes to your viewability.

what goes into viewability

There’s a lot of different factors that come into play when calculating viewability of an ad. Before we dive into the how and why, let’s discuss what viewability is when it comes to online advertising. The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) defines viewability as an advertising metric that aims to determine whether an ad impression had the opportunity to be seen or not.

For an ad to be considered ‘viewed’ or ‘viewable,’ the IAB decided minimum thresholds for impressions. It outlines the amount of time an ad should be visible on the page, and the amount of ad that should be visible. Both of these parameters must be met for the ad to count as an impression.

When is an ad considered viewable?

For your standard, smaller static ads, at least 50% of the unit must be in view for at least one second. For larger units, like banners along the top of the page or site takeovers, at least 30% of the ad must be in view for one second.

For video advertisements, at least 50% of the video must be visible for two consecutive seconds for the unit to count as an impression. Doesn’t seem like that much, does it?

So, when does an ad not count as ‘viewed?’

An ad might not be considered viewable for a few different reasons. If the user can’t see the ad in the first place, either due to a load failure or to the user employing ad blockers, the ad won’t count as viewable and won’t contribute to your revenue.

If a user is scrolling through the page quickly, or clicks off the page before the ad is in view for the specified time to be considered viewable, the ad won’t have been viewed. Even though they may have had the opportunity to view the ad, if it hasn’t remained in view for long enough, the ad won’t have been viewable.

What about mobile ads?

The same standards apply to mobile ads when the user is within a browser, but viewability standards for apps hasn’t yet been decided as of this article’s publication. The IAB is working to test new parameters for app advertisements to set a standard for the industry.

We’ll keep you updated on any developments with viewability. Understanding how and why your site revenue is calculated is crucial to seeing higher returns on your content. For more industry explainers, you can check out our blog here. You can also check out our downloadable content about SEO, global privacy legislation, and more on our Resources page.

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