What are Interstitials in Web Advertising?

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What is an Interstitial Ad?

Google’s new interstitial ad product provides publishers with a new revenue stream by showing users an ad between some pageviews. It is initiated when a user clicks a relevant link on one page and the user sees the ad before they can view the page for which they’ve clicked a link. The ad appears directly in front of the page that the user was just on (while the page behind it is blurry or blacked out); after closing the ad, the user will be directed to the page they want to navigate to.

Users can click the X in the top right corner of the ad (or outside the ad overlay) to close it and proceed to the webpage for which they’ve clicked a link. Interstitial ads[1] do not involve a time component; users can click to dismiss the ad immediately. If the user chooses to click on the ad, depending on the creative[2] itself, this should open a new tab. The ad will still be visible in the previous tab. 

Why Should I Use Interstitial Ads on my Site(s)?

Google’s beta partners have seen CPMs of up to $20 on their sites. While results may vary (depending on publisher[3] or domain), interstitial ads as a significant revenue opportunity for publishers. It’s a high quality user experience that emphasizes user engagement, while providing a unique opportunity for advertisers to engage with users in a way that isn’t possible with traditional banner ads. This translates to advertisers being willing to pay a premium for these impressions.

In addition, depending on your ad monetization solution, there may no or limited work on your end needed to enable interstitials!

What is the User Experience like?

From Google Ad Manager Help:

To respect the user experience, web interstitials:

  • Automatically pre-load and render before navigating away from the page without delay when the user clicks a link in the page.
  • Have a clear exit option.
  • Have a fixed frequency cap—a given publisher can show an ad to a user only once per hour per sub-domain. Also, these interstitials match Google Search standards for avoiding intrusiveness.

A full-page ad displays between pageviews for users on both mobile and desktop browsers. While the ad itself may not cover the whole screen, the page it is “covering” may appear blurred or blacked out. The user has to close the ad in order[4] to see the page for which they clicked a link.

As mentioned above, the frequency[5] of interstitial ads is capped at one ad per user per hour per subdomain (this is limited by Google). And if the user clicks on the ad, it opens a new tab (probably depends on the creative itself). The ad will be visible in the previous tab until the user dismisses it.

Desktop example

Mobile example

Who Can Use Interstitial Ads?

Check in with your ad monetization solution so you can take advantage of this new product.

1. Interstitial ads. Interstitial ads are full-page ads that tend to serve during transition points within a web page or mobile app. The ads are loaded in an iframe that displays over the content of the current app or page.
2. creative. A creative often refers to the image, gif or file used to display the ad. Often creatives need to be uploaded whereby a code snippet for that creative will be generated.
3. publisher. Web publishing is the process of publishing original content on the Internet. The process includes building and uploading websites, updating the associated webpages, and posting content to these webpages online. Web publishing is also known as online publishing.
4. order. Order represents an agreement between a buyer and publisher regarding an advertising campaign. The order specificities details regarding the campaign and can include multiple line items.
5. frequency. Frequency capping limits the frequency of a line item serving to a user during a specific period.

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