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Magazine Ads - Text ads converted to display ads with arrows

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Is anyone seeing very high CTR coming from TEXT ads. Like in excess of 1%? We began to see this trend emerge with text ads getting CTR 2%,3% and higher. We ran the site level report and we started to look at these sites with the high CTRs. We started to see a pattern on almost all of them;

 

1. The text ads were converted to Google " Magazine Ads" - these are the ads that have an arrow and very little definitive border. They are shown in display spots.

2. We found them mostly near slideshow content. This is content where the end user is looking at some type of list of images. Like "top 10 Best beaches in the world". 

3. The ads typically surround the content and the arrows in the ads tend to be superior to the actual arrows or button that the user would need to click to advance the content.

 

Our assumption is the high CTR may be associated with mis-clicks of end users, and thus the high CTR. We also see very little if any conversion on these sites so that may back up our theory on this.

 

It appears that there are 100's and 100's of publishers with this type of set-up slideshow content near magazine ads. Check your campaigns.

 

We have reported this to Google at the URL level as T&C violation and to various reps, but we still see the same sites with the same thing going on. Here is an example

 

FYI - Google offers no reporting in the use of magazine ads and they are essentially converting your text ads to these and adding an arrow. So if your client require pre-approval of ad units be advised these exist in the wild.

 

example.png

 

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Magazine Ads - Text ads converted to display ads with arrows

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Jumpcurve,

 

I wouldn't say that the ads are converted per se.  Google shows ads in many varying formats around the web.  I have noticed that in some of my display campaigns that text ads do not perform as well as traditional image/display ads and this type of scenario is one of the likely culprits of that. 

 

Its not a requirement to use text ads on the display network but by removing them, you also reduce your reach by a large margin.

 

-Tommy

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Re: Magazine Ads - Text ads converted to display ads with arrows

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
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Well they take a text ad and change it into a display ad with and arrow maybe not converted but they modify the intended ad without the following

1. There is no way to opt out of magazine ads.
2. There is no direct reporting on magazine ads.

It all controlled by Google with zero transparency,

If when you say perform you mean convert as well. Yes unless you are selling something that is very much impulse or simply based on any kind of traffic this ads most likely are delivering unqualified traffic from people who thought they were clicking to advance content so the end user is not thrilled they have no landed on you page.

look at the example I attached - where is the ad border?? A clear violation of Google own T&Cs.

Again to find these ads

1. Run a placement report.
2. Look for super high CTRs.
3. Go to actual site.
4. Look for content that is list oriented and uses slideshow format.
5. You will find magazine ads.
6. Block and report.

This behavior has really made using the KW content network very hard. Since the main dynamic is CPC the algo optimizes to essentially what is junk clicks. I have brought this all to Google attention. Many of their reps do not know magazine ads exist. I did talk to a supervisor who agreed they were "clickbaiting" However, I think large portion of the display networks revenue may depend on these ads now so not sure anything will be done.

You should see what it looks like on mobile the arrow is eve more prominent and I believe prone to miss-clicks.

Re: Magazine Ads - Text ads converted to display ads with arrows

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

Hi Jumpcurve,

 

Yes, magazine ads are a function/choice for Adsense publishers.  I highly doubt it's against any T&S.

 

https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/4455719?hl=en

 

Would it be nice to be able to opt-out for these?  Sure it would but it would be nice to opt-out of a number of things, that's just not reality for us right now. Let's be honest here though, you do have options.  You can not use text ads on the display network - that will eliminate this all together. Also, as you mentioned, when you're reviewing your placement reports, you can exclude placements or domains. To me this is no different than mining search query reports for negative keywords....it's part of the job.  There are also various category exclusions (that may or may not help eliminating these placements).  

 

As far as the way they display texts ads...it seems pretty clear to me here that this is not a hidden thing:  https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/14093?hl=en

 

"These ads can appear on Google search results pages and across the Google Network. Text ads might look different on the Display Network, or on mobile."

 

Also, there are still the symbols at the top that show that indeed folks are looking at an advertisement. 

 

I'm sure your feedback is noted.  I'm not sure what else you're looking for here. While there may not be an 'easy button' to turn off these particular ad formats, you do have options. Just like any other ad placement you decide is not performing well, you exclude it.

 

-Tommy

Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’

Re: Magazine Ads - Text ads converted to display ads with arrows

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Tommy:

 

We will have to agree to disagree. I have to say your points very much aligh with what some Google reps have said so you are not alone.

 

1. The links you post from adsense talk about magazine ads, but where is information and disclosure for adwords advertisers and brands can you post that link - from adwords help?

 

2. Just opt out of text ads - We don't want to opt out of text ads - we want to opt out of magazine ads. Let's be honest there is a big difference. We want our text ads run, not modified with ARROWS!

 

3. Just exclude placements - Exclusions is no doubt an option, but I don't think you have had proper exposure to the scale of this. The exclusion lists are enormous. This has become a technique putting magazine ads near slideshow content. It is not about blocking some sites it is an entire ecosystem that is delivering clicks by in my opinion confusing consumers . I am ok with doing exclusions on ads placements that don't perform. What I don't think I should have to exclude are ads that are substantially modified visually and rendered near content that might confuse a consumer. Not to mention a good portion of the ads make no mention of a company or brand on the initial display. Didn't Google used to reject ads that did this? and that had no borders? Now they create them?????

 

When you look at these you will also see that ads often are closer to the slideshow content then the actual button to move the content. 

 

4. Consumers aren't being fooled there are symbols on ad - look at the example I provided. Are you saying the little icons for adchoices in the white space to the far right are ample consumer labeling that the arrow is part of the ad? I 'll have to say I don't agree. If the background is going to be white there needs to be a border otherwise that arrow hangs out there and looks like part of the site. Please go an look at the mobile version of these and you will see that the rendering almost guarantees a lot of people might think the arrow is part of page.

 

5. What do I want - I can say I don't want ads like this out there as I think it is misleading to consumers.  When the best interest of the consumer is not first priority I think it hurts our industry and the brands we represent.

 

Please look at this example - you think this is a good thing to be going on? If you can say this is ok then we are just too far apart. 

 

aad.png

 

 

 

 

Re: Magazine Ads - Text ads converted to display ads with arrows

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
I'm not really concerned whether or not we agree - I'm just stating what I know as available right now.

As I mentioned before, I'm sure your feedback is noted and maybe we'll get an option at some point to easily opt-out of such placements.

Until then - we'll just have to grind away.

-Tommy
Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’