Google Predicts You'll Soon See Fewer But Better Display Ads

Display ads are everywhere on the Web these days (chances are you’re seeing two right here on this page). It’s no secret, however, that while these ads account for a large part of income for most publishers, Internet users are slowly learning to ignore them. Google, which obviously has a vested interest in online advertising, now predicts that you will see 25% fewer display ads by 2015. These ads, however, will be more relevant, attractive and engaging enough that the chance that you will want to interact with them will increase 50%.

These predictions come from 

  1. The number of display ad impressions will decrease by 25 percent per person.
  2. Engagement rates across all display ads will increase by 50 percent.
  3. People will have a direct say in 25 percent of the ads they see.
  4. 35 percent of campaigns will primarily use metrics beyond clicks and conversions.
  5. 25 billion ads per day will tell people why they are seeing them.
  6. Over 40 percent of online Americans will name display ads as their favorite ad format.[/list]

Going Beyond Clicks and Conversions

Maybe the most important point here is that Google thinks that advertisers will look beyond the standard campaign metrics. The ability to measure clicks and conversion rates is what makes online ads so attractive to advertisers today, but Mohan thinks that 35% of campaigns will soon also look at “factors like emotional engagement and impact on offline behavior (like in-store shopping choices).”

How Google plans to measure this without tracking its users in even greater detail and running afoul with most people’s expectations of privacy remains to be seen, though.