Google introduces AdSense “auto ads” using machine learning to make placement and monetization decisions

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Google introduces AdSense "auto ads" using machine learning to make placement and monetization decisions

Google is today introducing a new ad unit for AdSense, building on the company’s major push to build more artificial intelligence into its business and potentially attract more publishers who may be considering expanding their advertising efforts but don’t have the time to manage them.

Google debuts “Auto Ads” — not car ads, but a new ad format that uses machine learning to “read” a page to recognize and serve what types of ads could be placed there, including the Placement locations and how many are running. Publishers enable auto ads with a single line of code on the page.

The service was quietly announced and launched in a limited beta in September 2017, and now it’s available to everyone. Google tells us that “Publishers who participated in the beta saw an average 10 percent increase in revenue, with revenue increases ranging from 5 percent to 15 percent.”

Those who follow or use AdSense know that the service already has a reasonable level of automation. The product is used by millions of web publishers to specify where to place ads (banners and other entities). These ads are then selected by Google by crawling the page to see which ad might be the most relevant. It already accounts for a significant portion of parent company Alphabet’s advertising revenue, which accounted for $27 billion of its $32 billion in revenue last quarter.

What’s new about Auto Ads is that Google handles placement selection and does all the work for publishers of figuring out how many ads to place on specific pages, where to place them, and what type of ads they’re going to run.

The use of machine learning is interesting here, as it’s used not only to figure out where an ad is serving, but also to gather analytics on how that ad is performing, to teach the system how to better place ads in the future.

One black hole (and potential danger) is the fact that Google’s automatic ads seem to decide how many ads to place on a page – something you would have had more control over without them. This thread continues webmaster world describes how some early beta testers were not pleased with how many ads ended up cluttering their pages and the impact this had on the user experience on the site.

We’re asking Google for an answer on this point and whether it allows users to limit the number of units that automatic ads can place on a page. As far as we know, this will likely be one of the aspects that will be evaluated at launch.

It also examines the question of how good Google’s verdict will be in all cases.

The AdSense service has come under the spotlight for throwing a lot of malicious content into the mix, including ads with “fake news” and other misleading content. The company has made efforts to counteract this. It is “Bad ads reportThe study, published in January 2017, said the company removed 1.7 billion questionable ads and banned 200 publishers from AdSense.

For now, the goal seems to be to roll this out and see how many sign up to use the service, which you activate by logging into your AdSense account. Checking the global settings under “My Ads”; Copy the code there and paste it between the header tags for each page you want the ads to appear on (they appear in 10-20 minutes according to Google).

In a blog post by AdSense Engineering Manager Tom Long and Product Manager Violetta Kalathaki, the two point out that the Auto Ad Mix includes anchor and vignette ads, as well as text and display, in-feed and matched content ads. Ads will include. (It’s not clear if newer formats like this exist bigger banner will also be included.) They also write that publishers can specify which of these to run.

For those who used page-level ads (specifying different types of ads depending on the topic of a page rather than an entire site), all code is automatically migrated to run with auto ads. And for those who use Google’s AMP service for mobile pages, you need to use code for it AMP Auto Ads.

Updated with more comments from Google.

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Categories: Adsense


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