Google has announced that advertisers now have the option to buy advertising above the fold on Web pages throughout the Google Content Network, by enacting the "below the fold" exclusion option.
"With brand-aware advertisers paying on a CPM basis, they're concerned with making sure their ads are seen by as many users as possible within [the segment] they're targeting," said Brad Bender, director of product management for display ads on the Google Content Network.
Above the fold-only ads can also be placed by direct response and CPC advertisers, but is mostly targeted at brand-conscious advertisers. Ads will be placed according to Google's data about where advertising slots appear on any given Web page, ensuring that advertisers who select the option get those positions that do not require users to scroll. Of course, Google hopes this will lead to increased competition from advertisers and, therefore, higher prices.
Above the fold ads are significant when it comes to advertising on content networks. Unlike search results, where users frequently scroll a page, many websites will not capture a user's attention long enough for a scroll -- but the ad will be front and center. So, while the ads might cost more, the elimination of wasted budgets on non-visible ads should balance it out for most advertisers.
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