Understanding viewability and Active View reporting metrics

We updated our reporting methodology for the "Measurable cost" and "Avg. viewable CPM" metrics on September 13, 2021. In Google Ads, you should now see the up to date reporting for these metrics. Any reporting before September 13, 2021 won't be updated in Google Ads.

Active View is a technology on YouTube and certain Display Network websites and apps that allows Google Ads to determine if your ad is viewable by potential customers. Active View metrics can be used for Video and Display campaigns to help you better understand how often your ad appears in a position on a webpage, device, or app that people can see.

What’s a viewable ad?

Active View metrics have been created in compliance with industry standards for measuring the viewability of online ads, as developed by the Media Rating Council (MRC). According to MRC guidelines, the standard for measuring the viewability of ads are as follows:

  • A display ad is counted as viewable when at least 50% of its area is visible on the screen for at least 1 second.
    • For large display ads of 242,500 pixels or more, the ad is counted as viewable when at least 30% of it’s area is visible for at least 1 second.
  • A video ad is counted as viewable when at least 50% of its area is visible on the screen while the video is playing for at least 2 seconds.

Measuring viewability with Active View

Most ads that appear on YouTube or the Google Display Network can be measured by Active View technology. When your ad appears in a location that is measurable by Active View, it's viewability statistics are recorded in your Google Ads account. Keep in mind that Active View can tell you when ads are viewable, but it can’t guarantee that a user is looking at the screen at that time.

To see Active View metrics for your campaign, you’ll need to add the appropriate Active View columns to your statistics tables.

  1. In Google Ads, select the Columns icon A picture of the Google Ads columns icon above the table that you want to edit.
  2. Select Modify columns.
  3. Expand the Viewability section, then select the Active View metrics to add them to the table.

Learn more about using columns to find specific performance data

If you’re just getting started with using Active View metrics, here are some key metrics to understand:

  • Viewable rate - This metric shows how often your ads were both measurable by Active View and viewable by users.
  • Measurable rate - This metric shows how often your ads were able to be measured by Active View.

Read more detailed descriptions of these metrics below.

Understanding Active View metrics

These metrics are available for Video and Display campaigns:

  • Measurable impr. - An impression is counted whenever your ad is served. Measurable impressions represent the number of times your ad appeared in locations on websites or apps that could be measured by Active View technology. Not all impressions are measurable by Active View, as some factors may prevent the data from being captured. This metric can help you understand how often your ad appeared in locations measured by Active View.
  • Viewable impr. - This metric shows the number of times your ad’s impressions were considered viewable. An ad is counted as viewable if at least 50% of its area is visible for at least 1 second for display ads, or at least 2 seconds for video ads. It can help you understand how often your ad appeared where people could see it.
  • Viewable rate - This is the viewability rate of your ad. It’s the percentage of time when your ad appeared on sites or apps with Active View enabled and was viewable. This percentage estimates how many of your measurable impressions were actually viewable to potential customers.
  • Measurable rate - Measurable impressions over total impressions represents the percentage of your total impressions that were measured by Active View. Total impressions include both measurable and non-measurable impressions. This metric can help you understand how often your ad appeared in places that were able to be measured by Active View technology.
  • Viewable impr. distrib. - This distribution metric shows the percentage of your total ad impressions that were viewable. Total impressions include both measurable and non-measurable impressions. 

    Note: This is not the viewability rate of your ad. The viewability of some impressions can't be determined, which are known as non-measurable impressions. Active View viewable impr. / measurable impr. shows the viewability rate of your ad.
  • Non-measurable impr. - A non-measurable impression means that your ad was displayed on sites, apps, or devices unable to capture Active View viewability information. This does not mean that your ad was or was not seen. It just means that your ad appeared on websites, apps, or devices that Active View was not able to measure.
  • Non-viewable impr. - A non-viewable impression means that your ad did not have at least 50% of its area displayed for at least 1 second for display ads, or at least 2 seconds for video ads. This metric can help you understand how many times your ad appeared in a position that people couldn’t see.
  • Non-viewable impr. distrib. - This distribution metric represents the percent of your total ad impressions that were considered non-viewable. Total impressions include both measurable and non-measurable impressions. This metric can help you understand how often your ad appeared in a position that people couldn’t see.
  • Non-measurable impr. distrib. - This distribution metric is the percent of your total impressions for which viewability could not be measured. This does not mean that your ad was or was not seen, it just means that your ad appeared on sites, apps, or devices that Active View was not able to measure.
  • Viewable CTR - Your viewable click-through rate (CTR) represents how often people click your ad after it becomes viewable. This rate is equal to the number of clicks your ad receives divided by the number of times your ad becomes viewable on a website or app.
  • Avg. viewable CPM - Your average cost-per-thousand impressions, or avg. CPM, reports the average amount that you’ve been charged for 1,000 viewable impressions. This metric can give you more insight into the cost of your impressions because it doesn't include non-viewable impressions.
  • Measurable cost - Your measurable cost is the total cost of all the impressions you received that were measurable by Active View technology. This can help you understand how much of your spend was on impressions that were measurable.
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