How Does Google Measure Ad Viewability in 2022

Ad Optimization
Last updated: November 8, 2022 | by Kean Graham
How Does Google Measure Ad Viewability

This post was most recently updated on November 8th, 2022

According to Google’s research on ad viewability metrics, there is an increased interest in ad viewability among advertisers and publishers in the digital advertising industry. As per the viewability definition if an ad isn’t measured as viewable, it cannot impact the campaign performance and improve inventory value.

Many ad networks consider what qualifies as a viewable impression as advertising currency, replacing the served impressions for all campaigns. This data enables advertisers to identify how many times a creative was seen, making it easier to understand their campaigns’ true impact. They’ll know which inventory provides the high or low value and target accordingly to maximize reach. Likewise, Publishers would also know their best-performing inventory and be able to formulate their optimization strategies better.

How is viewability measured?

Google uses Active view technology to determine if your ad is viewable by the users on a website or in an app. This technology evaluates ad viewability based on creative measurement to fully comply with MRC Viewable Ad Impression guidelines by using a special DIV inserted during rendering to locate and measure the ad creative within the ad iframe.

Per IAB Viewability Standards 2021 and MRC definition, an active view ping is considered if an ad meets the following criteria:

  • Display: 50% of the ad’s pixels are visible in the browser window for 1 continuous second. For larger ads (those having greater than 242,000 pixels), 30% of the pixels are visible in the browser window.
  • What is viewability in video ads: at least 50% of its area is visible while the video is playing for at least 2 seconds (video viewability rate benchmark).

Active View is integrated into all of Google’s advertising products and measures every impression in real-time whether an ad was viewable.

What are Active view metrics?

Active view metrics are calculated based on the total impressions served.

  • Eligible impressions: An impression is considered to be eligible if the ad’s creative has an Active View enabled tag, and the impression is counted with a downloaded pingback.
  • Measurable impressions: Not all impressions are measurable by Active View, as some factors may prevent the data from being captured, such as impressions that are rendered in a cross-domain iframe. This metric can help you understand how often your ad appeared in locations measured by Active View, a subset of eligible impressions.
  • Viewable impressions: Subset of measurable impressions that were considered viewable based on MRC standards. This metric shows the number of times your ad’s impressions were considered viewable.

How to check active view pingbacks?

All viewability pingbacks can be seen in Chrome Developer Tools.

Step 1: On the Live page, open Chrome dev tools and filter with the keyword  ‘activeview?’ in the Network tab. For video active view pingbacks, type ‘viewable_impression’ in the search bar.

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