AdSense Expandable Ad Units

Posted on Mar 10, 2009 in AdsenseAdvertising
5 Days ago, AdSense has announced a new type of ad: Expandable Ad Units
We’re excited to introduce to you expandable ads, a new type of ad that can appear on your pages. Expandable ads are rich media ads that can expand beyond the original size of the ad unit, following a user-initiated action. This creates more real estate for the ad, allowing for more interaction from interested users. For instance, expandable ads may stream a movie trailer, show video game clips, or display various views of an item for sale. source
expandable_adGoogle AdSense Expandable Ad UnitsAs for myself, I’ve discovered them a few days ago and decided to write a little bit about them, so it’s basically doing research yourself while giving out information to others. To summarize this short: They basically look like an image ad, but when a user clicks on it it expands and it will cover up some of the publishers website. (problem #1, read more about that below)AdSense says that these ads are served on both a CPC (cost per click) or CPM (cost per impression) basis (advertisers choice). If they are CPC you only get paid if people click the ad and visit the advertiser (problem #2 – see below).Ads will only be available to publishers meeting all of three criteria:
  • If they’re located in North America or Europe, with a website in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, or Spanish
  • If they’ve added the AdSense code directly into their site’s source code
  • If they’ve enabled image ads
Could they Pay More Than Other Ad Units?Keep in mind that these are rich media ads, and advertisers who have a small budget usually prefer text links. Advertisers who do have a budget and wanting to use these sorts of technologies are willing to pay extra to show off their recognizable brands.Problems?Some publishers will be annoyed that these ads are more interruptive than normal image ads. While AdSense say that they’ve got strict guidelines in place around what kinds of ads can be shown – when clicked they will cover parts of the publishers website. Moreover, a click on the ad might not generate any revenue because some people still click the ad away after it popped out. The first click doesn’t guarantee you the revenue, only the second one does. This means that an advertiser gets the benefit of someone noticing their ad and interacting with it (good for their branding) while the publisher is only rewarded when the user clicks two times. That however also has advantages for both the advertiser and publisher, read below. AdvantagesThe advertisers sometimes get missclicks. Those clicks are generated when the user accidentally clicks on an ad. Those users are not interested in purchasing any products on the advertiser’s website. Those clicks are useless for advertisers. They are potentially dangerous because with less conversions the advertisers are also no longer willing to pay the same amount of money. Your CPC lowers.That’s the advantage of AdSense’s new expandable ad units. If the user missclicks then the ad will open but it doesn’t count like a click yet. The user will notice that he accidentally clicked on the ad and will just click it away. The user has to click once more on the ad to get to the advertiser’s website. The chance that user missclicks twice is a lot lower. You generate higher quality clicks using the expandable ads. Of course, your CTR is lower but your CPC increases on the longterm. So what if you don’t want expandable ads on your site?AdSense said clearly in their announcement that there are ways to stop these ads appearing on your site. They give two methods (although there are 3):
  1. You can block advertisers using the Competitive Ad Filter
  2. You can use the Ad Review Center
Third: Disable Image Ads. Although this might be the most effective way to counter the expandable ads, some publishers prefer to use Image ads on their website.What do you think of them?If you have something to say about this post, or expandable ads, do not hesitate to do so :). We are currently testing them and would love to hear what you have to say.