Blog / 11-08-2020

Why Google Heavy Ad Intervention Enhances Your User Experience

Jessica / Marketeer /

Currently, most of the ads are immediately triggered when visiting a website. Even though the ads are pretty darn awesome, the encounter and the experience with the ads probably could be a bit more subtle. Google Heavy Ad Intervention is about to shake things up.

Google has announced something big that has everything to do with enhancing the user experience. We’re about to size up by scaling down. In this way, both users and devices are more than happy to interact with these big boys (and girls of course). Why are Google Heavy Ad Interventions being established and what are the consequences for advertisers and users?

Google Heavy Ad Block

You’re browsing the web and searching for something specific or just casually wandering the internet. While visiting any random website, ads are often like ‘‘well hello there’’ and instantly enable autoplay. This is about to change and it has a pretty big impact on your ad campaigns. Simultaneously, it enhances your user experience if you meet a couple of criteria.

By the end of august Google Heavy Ad Intervention will officially start. This means that ads that have a negative impact on the user’s experience and the performance of the device will be blocked. These are obvious degrading consequences or less visible effects, such as: draining the battery or a large bandwidth allowance.

An ad is classified as a heavy ad based on several criteria. Primarily, an ad is considered heavy when it’s triggered even though there wasn’t any interaction (by clicking, tapping or swiping) and if the ad meets any of the following criteria:

  • The ad uses the main thread of the Central Processing Unit (CPU) for more than 15 seconds in a 30 second window.
  • The ad uses the main thread for more than 60 seconds.
  • The ad uses more than 4 megabytes (mb) of network bandwidth.

If you don’t know what main thread or CPU means, don’t worry. Those terms indicate the resources that are needed from the primary part of your device and that are necessary to load the ad.

So, what happens when the intervention is triggered by your ad? Your ad will be blocked, simple as that. Instead of your ad an ad removed message will be shown. For example, this means video ads that are larger than 4mb and contain autoplay will always be considered as heavy ads by Google and won’t be served to users. Therefore, you have to reckon with the length of your video. This also applies to dynamic banners.

First Impression Counts

Even though your ad is blocked you’ll still be paying for impressions and such. Initially, all ads are being served to users when visiting a website. After a few seconds, ads that don’t meet the criteria will be considered as heavy ads and will be blocked. Since the ads did run for a short period of time it’s classified as an impression. Bummer! So, run a check if your ads aren’t too heavy.

Dynamic Banner Optimisation

Nearly all dynamic banners contain product visuals from a feed. Often these visuals aren’t optimised which could mean that each product image is larger than 300kb. As a result your ads could easily be 1mb or larger when displaying three products. Pretty heavy, huh?

To prevent this, you need to optimise the visuals for your dynamic banners. And to make things even more simple, you can choose to let a compression service do the work. By compressing your visuals in filesize your visuals will be the exact same quality, but 60% smaller(!!).

Canyon Lightweight Ads

We did this with our dynamic Canyon banners. The original photo is 360kb and the compressed one 82kb. The photos don’t differ in quality just in filesize.

Obviously, we wanted to serve smooth & silky ads and that’s exactly what we did. The end result is high quality lightweight ads. Reducing the size in the ads also reduced the loading times, which is especially important for the mobile ads.

Handling Heavy Ads

Are you a real daredevil and ready to take a gamble? You can always try to apply some elements that avoid your ad from being blocked. Just keep in mind that users need to interact with your ads first and your ads are not too heavy.

Since rich media ads often contain more than 1 element, it’s recommended to determine if all elements meet the criteria. Always make sure that heavy interactions starts after users click, scroll, tap or swipe.

How to enhance your user experience?

Google Heavy Ad Intervention applies to all rich media ads. Ranging from HPTOs including overlays to swipe cubes. But how can you enhance the user experience of your rich media creative?

Rich media creatives often contain more than 1 element. Even though a HPTO is 1 creative it includes 3 different elements: a left skin, a right skin and the header. Google Heavy Ad Intervention will evaluate each element. This brings an upside and a downside. The upside being that you actually can have three times the allowed of resources. But the downside is that it can actually happen that one element (for example the header) is blocked by the Heavy Ad Intervention. You can use various ways to optimise these kind of creatives one of which is image filesize optimization using services like TinyPNG.

For other rich media creatives, like the swipe cube for example, it is often considered as one element. So with these kind of creatives it is definitely good to keep an eye out for any performance issue related to the Heavy Ad Intervention. If you would like to serve a swipe cube, you need to keep in mind that the frames all are considered as different elements.

Need some help?

Hopefully, it’s crystal clear that you really need to apply the criteria to prevent your ads from being blocked. Google’s Heavy Ad Intervention is just around the corner, so make sure your ads are lightweight and user friendly. If you do this you’re safe and sound.

We’re all about producing awesome ads that create vibrant user experiences. We never settle for anything less than top notch quality and optimize creatives without losing anything good. We’ve got your dazzling (lightweight) ads covered. Check out our work.

Do you have any questions regarding this subject or any other subject? Just send an email to