Some say Google’s 2021 Core Web Vitals update to its organic search ranking algorithm spells trouble for programmatic ads. Why? Because the development could penalize organic ranking for pages with heavy load times caused by too many ad slots, possibly leading some to scale back programmatic inventory.
Our take? While the shift may cause publishers to reassess inventory volume, the long-term impact should be minimal.
- When it comes to page load times, programmatic ads aren’t the only (and even primary) issue. Everything from inefficient code, to image sizes, to other unoptimized content can play a factor. Publishers know this, and will focus on those fixes first before messing with their revenue streams.
- Google is in the programmatic business. They’re not going to roll out something that will drastically effect their bottom line, so it’s highly unlikely that a big programmatic fallout is on the horizon.
- While this change may cause some publishers to re-evaluate the total amount of per-page ad slots they offer (whether programmatic or direct), they certainly can’t afford to drastically cut slots overall. If anything, there may be a slight tightening of ad inventory that bumps cost as publishers test and adjust to these new page ranking factors. However, it’s unlikely to be pronounced for most (see #4 and #5).
- Google prioritizes quality content above page load times (even with these new metrics), so it remains to be seen how much of an impact this may have for reputable publishers—especially those with nominal load issues.
- In general, high-quality programmatic inventory, which is what brands should always seek to run on, shouldn’t be as effected. Inventory falling into this classification typically already runs on sites that limit total per-page ad slots, so as to avoid diminishing the user experience with slow load times or jumpy content.
For many of the reasons listed above, KSM’s High Caliber Programmatic Network has for years been connecting our clients with the most trusted content providers and high-quality inventory in the programmatic space. Get in touch to learn more about our standards and partnerships.