If you’re not familiar with Google’s display ads, they come in many forms. They can be media-rich banners or just plain text on a web page. Google displays them on the actual sites rather than in the search results. Some users find them helpful, others just think they’re a nuisance.

To mitigate criticism of these advertising practices, Google has now added an option to mute these advertisements. This will not only make sure you don’t see that advertisement on that page again but that you never see another advertisement from that campaign again.

While some see it as a threat for paid advertisement, many have called it an impressive stride in the effectiveness of search retargeting.

Display Ads Target Consumers

The targeting of display ads can be based geographically (through the IP address) or the data collected in Google Analytics. It identifies individual web-browsing habits and how they relate to search and keywords behaviour, and uses this data to infer consumer behaviour and demographic information.

This is meant to optimise on the costs of pay-per-click advertising campaigns and stimulate a higher conversion rate.

The effectiveness of some of these methods is debated, as data can be warped by such factors as a PC that is used by multiple people with different browsing habits, and users who only make use of search engines for professional reasons (making their search behaviour a product of their work rather than genuine interest).

Muting an ad could turn out to be the most honest way of measuring the effectiveness of a campaigns targeting methods.

Implications For Advertisers

* Google Analytics’s data will be more reliable in the future.
* Advertisers will get a better idea of how a user’s search habits relate to their consumption habits.
* Websites will need to target their ads more carefully to avoid unnecessary wastage of their frequency cap.
* The design and content of the advertisement will be far more vital because if the user doesn’t like what they see they will be able to ignore you forever.
* Webmasters will be able to avoid irritating users with the same advertisement that they’re consistently not interested in. Thereby reducing any harm to the company’s image.
* It could give SEO practitioners valuable information on organic search habits.

Display Ads vs. Sponsored Links

Many question the value of display ads in comparison to regular sponsored links from Google. And with the addition of this ‘muting’ option, you might as an advertiser be wondering if it’s time to switch up mediums. Below we present a brief comparison.

* Sponsored links seem more organic than display ads, because of how they’re presented on the SERP.
* Display ads are more illustrative and can immediately communicate your company’s image.
* Sponsored links are considered less invasive than display ads
* As display ads are on the webpage rather than results, people can be more likely to click on them because they might have already achieved some degree of satisfaction on their original query.