Every reader has a different tolerance for ads on a site. One reader might look at a page and feel there are way too many ads, while another reader might not be fazed by the same experience. As a publisher, you have your own comfort level for how many ads you want to see on your site.
The Coalition for Better Ads surveyed 66,000 web users to create their Better Ads Standards, setting industry guidelines that best represent an acceptable ad experience for readers, publishers, and advertisers.
At AdThrive, we work with you to find just the right balance — to make sure you are earning top dollar for your quality content while not overwhelming your readers with too many ads. Our recommendations adhere to the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads, including their ad density limits.
Ad density looks at ad-to-content ratio and is calculated by adding the height of all ads within the main content on a page and dividing by the overall height of that content. The Coalition for Better Ads has determined that mobile ad density above 30% constitutes an intrusive experience.
In other words, ads should take up no more than 30% of the vertical content space on a page.
We recommend an ad density of 28% across all devices for most AdThrive publishers. This ensures that your site is safely below the industry limit, while offering a good user experience and maximizing your revenue potential.
Some publishers prefer to run a slightly lower ad density, and some publishers decide they want the max earnings possible and choose to push their density to the limit of 30%. We’re happy to accommodate both requests, so feel free to reach out to our team if you want to learn more about your current ad density or make adjustments.
Ad Density FAQs
Does AdThrive run more ads than other ad management providers?
Nope! We make recommendations on ad layout options, but ultimately we let our individual publishers decide how many ads they are comfortable running, while adhering to industry standards.
Which part of the page is included in the ad density measurement?
Ad density is calculated using the entire content section of a page, excluding header, footer, and navigation sections. The ad units included in this measurement are content ads — including outstream, interscrollers, and native ads — the sticky footer ad, and recipe card ads.
Are any ad units excluded from the ad density calculation?
If you run a header ad at the top of your site, that would not be included in the calculation. Likewise, instream video ads, below-post ads, and sidebar ads are not included.
Will you increase my ad density if I turn on Auto-Optimize?
Enabling Auto-Optimize will not automatically increase your ad density. When you turn on the Auto-Optimize toggle on your Ad Preferences page in the dashboard, you’ll see the various ad options below adjust to our recommended settings. You can then make any additional adjustments, and save your settings.
With Auto-Optimize enabled, we’ll make future updates to optimize your site for top ad earnings and reader experience when there is an opportunity. This may include adjusting your ad layout, increasing your ad density, or opting you in for new ad experiences. However, we’ll always reach out whenever we change something, and you can always have us reverse the change.