Daily Dose of iQ: A Look at Google's New Metrics for Online Ads

Apr 18, 2012 — Allan Pulga

Today, Google announced "Brand Activate," a new format for tracking the effectiveness of online ads.

According to the company's DoubleClick Advertiser Blog, Brand Activate's first two solutions are:

  1. Active View: Counting "viewed" impressions based on ads that are at least 50% viewable on-screen for at least one second; and
  2. Active GRP: Applying Gross Rating Point, typically used to measure offline media like large scale TV ad campaigns, to web ads.

The big benefit to advertisers will be getting a more accurate picture of how well a given ad campaign is doing, by expanding the types of metrics used to track ads.

By tracking how long an ad was viewable for, the advertiser can get a much better idea of its effectiveness than just knowing that it loaded on the page. It also sounds like this will work for videos, letting advertisers know how long their video ad was played for, not just that it started.

How is this a departure from the “old way” Google would track ad metrics?

It’s more of an extension that a departure. They aren’t getting rid of the old ways, they’re just adding new ways to evaluate the effectiveness of a campaign.

What’s interesting here is it doesn't appear Google is changing the way it charges businesses for ads based on these new metrics -- the new metrics are just for tracking purposes. This also seems to mark a big push at Google to compete with TV more directly, trying to lure traditional TV advertisers over to digital by speaking more of their language (with its own "online" adaptation of GRP, traditionally a TV ad metric).

How will this affect consumers?

This shouldn't have much of an effect on the average customer, except that it shows Google is ramping up efforts to pull more and more types of ads online, which could mean more advertising in the future.

Takeaway message: Metrics really matter, and the right metrics can drastically change how an industry behaves. In its Brand Activate blog post, Google notes how better research tools in the ’50s led to a boom in TV advertising. Google is probably banking on a similar surge of advertising dollars by transforming the metrics used to track digital ads today.

Topics: Wireless Trends, Mobile Industry, Business Intelligence, Retail Marketing

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