Advertisers don’t want to pay for advertisement placements that people don’t see.

An ad loaded doesn’t necessarily equal an ad viewed. Publishers and advertisers have caught on to this and are naturally shifting toward valuing “viewable” ads rather than served impressions.

VG's advertising initiatives help ensure advertisements are actually seen by viewers.
VG's advertising initiatives help ensure advertisements are actually seen by viewers.

Verdens Gang has been working on improving the percentage of ads viewable on our Web site, and we are now guaranteeing a minimum of 70% viewability of ads.

What are viewability and viewable impressions?

A display ad is considered viewable when 50% of an ad’s pixels are in view on the screen for a minimum of one second (IAB 2015). The goal is to work toward 100% ad viewability.

Viewability requires 50% of an ad's pixels to be seen.
Viewability requires 50% of an ad's pixels to be seen.

The viewability rate is the percentage of ads determined viewable out of the total number of ads measured. Read more about the state of viewability transactions in this IAB report.

Three tactics were used to increase VG's advertisement viewability rate.
Three tactics were used to increase VG's advertisement viewability rate.

How have we increased the viewability percentage?

1. Remove auto-refresh. We deactivated auto-refreshing of content on desktop tabs that are not the active browser tab being used.

To ensure the latest news is being shown, Norwegian newspapers refresh their Web pages every 10 minutes. The whole page gets refreshed, including the advertisements. We have removed the refreshing of advertisements that are not active.

2. Use lazy load ads. This is a technical solution that results in the ad being loaded only when it is visible on the user’s screen, so called the lazy loading of ads.

3. Improve page download time. The download time of the front page of VG was improved by more than 40%. The scroll speed of our mobile iOS app was also improved. Both resulted in more in-screen ad views as users can quickly access content and scroll pages.

Viewability at VG is now 74% on desktop and 70% on mobile.
Viewability at VG is now 74% on desktop and 70% on mobile.

Results

  • 70% average viewability rate on all platforms.

  • Improved effectiveness of ad campaigns through increased viewability.

  • Improved user experience because the frontage loads 40% quicker than before.
VG's online advertisements are viewed nearly twice as often as those published on competitors' Web sites.
VG's online advertisements are viewed nearly twice as often as those published on competitors' Web sites.