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Since 2008 we’ve been working to make sure all of our services use strong HTTPS encryption by default. That means people using products like Search, Gmail, YouTube, and Drive will automatically have an encrypted connection to Google. In addition to providing a secure connection on our own products, we’ve been big proponents of the idea of “HTTPS Everywhere,” encouraging webmasters to prevent and fix security breaches on their sites, and using HTTPS as a signal in our search ranking algorithm.

This year, we’re working to bring this “HTTPS Everywhere” mission to our ads products as well, to support all of our advertiser and publisher partners. Here are some of the specific initiatives we’re working on:
  • We’ve moved all YouTube ads to HTTPS as of the end of 2014.
  • Search on Google.com is already encrypted for a vast majority of users and we are working towards encrypting search ads across our systems. 
  • By June 30, 2015, the vast majority of mobile, video, and desktop display ads served to the Google Display Network, AdMob, and DoubleClick publishers will be encrypted.
  • Also by June 30, 2015, advertisers using any of our buying platforms, including AdWords and DoubleClick, will be able to serve HTTPS-encrypted display ads to all HTTPS-enabled inventory. 

Of course we’re not alone in this goal. By encrypting ads, the advertising industry can help make the internet a little safer for all users. Recently, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) published a call to action to adopt HTTPS ads, and many industry players are also working to meet HTTPS requirements. We’re big supporters of these industry-wide efforts to make HTTPS everywhere a reality.

Our HTTPS Everywhere ads initiatives will join some of our other efforts to provide a great ads experience online for our users, like “Why this Ad?”, “Mute This Ad” and TrueView skippable ads. With these security changes to our ads systems, we’re one step closer to ensuring users everywhere are safe and secure every time they choose to watch a video, map out a trip in a new city, or open their favorite app.

Neal Mohan, VP Product Management, Display and Video Ads
Jerry Dischler, VP Product Management, AdWords


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Today at Programmatic I/O in San Francisco, we are announcing our latest investment to help brands make the most of digital: the TrueView ad format will be available for programmatic buying within DoubleClick Bid Manager.

This launch brings together two important trends we’re seeing: the importance of user choice in advertising and the ability to reach the right person at the right time with programmatic buying.

We introduced TrueView, an innovative cost-per-view (CPV) ad format, five years ago as a way to put user choice at the heart of brand advertising. With TrueView, viewers choose to engage, and brands only pay when they do. Today, the format is a brand mainstay, representing 85% of all in-stream ads on YouTube. And based on a recent study, we’ve seen that two-thirds of TrueView campaigns deliver significant lift in brand interest.

In parallel, programmatic buying has evolved from just a real-time bidding tool for direct response campaigns to an important technology and data-driven solution for brand building. Across our own platforms, we’ve seen the volume of programmatic transactions double year-over-year. With the consumer journey now fractured into many "micro-moments" across screens, programmatic can help brands understand and reach their audiences across devices and formats.

In the coming months, marketers and agencies will be able to buy the TrueView choice-based video ad format on a cost-per-view (CPV) basis through DoubleClick Bid Manager. This is the first time TrueView has been available outside of AdWords, allowing DoubleClick clients to take advantage of features like cross-campaign frequency capping, unified audience insights, measurement and billing across campaigns.

Some of our partners are already seeing success:


"At Netflix, we have always embraced consumer choice. In the advertising world, TrueView is the epitome of that choice. The fact that we can now scale it further via DoubleClick Bid Manager represents a powerful new channel for marketing our content across the world." 
Mike Zeman, Director of Digital Marketing, Netflix




“TrueView has empowered us to give our consumers greater choice while delivering a better engaging viewer experience. As an early adopter of the TrueView beta in DoubleClick Bid Manager in the UK we have seen great success in achieving our CPV goals.” 
Nestlé UK



“We’re really excited to bring TrueView on DoubleClick Bid Manager into our video campaign arsenal. This deepens our ability to achieve client success metrics on highly relevant and viewable video inventory combined with universal controls around targeting, frequency management and reporting.” 
Ian Johnson, EVP and MD, Global Product at Cadreon




“TrueView in DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM) allows us to strengthen our branding offering while benefiting from significant efficiency gains. Once we can leverage DBM’s capabilities such as 3rd party audience targeting and universal frequency capping, we will have a very powerful value proposition for advertisers.” 
Ali Nehme, Managing Director Digital, Vivaki Middle East and North Africa


This adds to our ongoing investments to help brands get the most out of the programmatic landscape like Google Partner Select, Active View, Verification and brand safety protections. We're committed to providing the most complete programmatic platform to our brand partners to help them connect with their audiences in all the moments that matter. Stay tuned for even more in the months to come.

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Neal Mohan, Vice President of Display and Video Advertising Products


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Cross posted from our DoubleClick for Publishers blog.

It's an exciting time for broadcasters. With the proliferation of streaming video, OTT devices, connected TVs and mobile devices, the line between offline and digital video is quickly blurring. Navigating this change, though, is tricky--broadcasters are now facing the challenge of how to manage an ads business that spans multiple devices and multiple ways of consuming content. We’ve been working on a few initiatives to help broadcasters with this challenge, I had the pleasure of introducing a few of these at the NAB Show this morning.

Better TV forecasting in DoubleClick for Publishers
One of the biggest challenges broadcasters face in this new landscape is accurately being able to forecast their inventory for their shows. What was once a fairly straightforward process--estimating how many ads they could show during a given program though one delivery method on one screen--now looks like a logic puzzle on steroids. 

Broadcasters now need to take into account the unpredictable nature of viewing habits on multiple screens, seasonality, spikes and fluctuations in traffic (e.g. for NCAA finals), different devices, ad loads, not to mention all of the new data that is available with digital.  How do you even begin to tell an advertiser that you can deliver on their campaign goals if the math is just this complicated? And especially as broadcasters plan for the upfronts?

To help them meet this challenge, we're introducing new ways for broadcasters to forecast in DoubleClick for Publishers by enabling them to forecast available internet TV inventory with greater precision and insights and the impact from patterns in commercial breaks. And coming soon, broadcasters will be able to use seasonality in forecasting for upfront cycles and model based on their offline data. Our goal with these changes is to make it easier for our broadcast partners to manage this process and put together great inventory packages for their upfront offerings.

mDialog inventory comes to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange
Last year, we acquired a company called mDialog with expertise in dynamically delivering ads to internet-delivered TV content (like streaming video, OTT devices and connected TVs). We’ve been working to bring their technology together with ours. Thanks to this work, we’ve now connected mDialog inventory to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. This means that TV providers will be able to monetize TV inventory across OTT devices (like Chromecast, Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TB), across all screens, programmatically. 

Partners like Fox News are already seeing success with this new feature:

'With more and more of our viewers consuming content across screens, digital video is, of course, a huge focus. Google bringing the mDialog technology to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange has allowed us to connect our Internet-delivered television content, whether live programming or full-episode shows with the controls we need to programmatic demand. This is a great step forward both towards being able to better monetize this cross-screen content and providing a great ads experience for viewers. We're excited to see where this goes."
- Zach Friedman,
VP of Digital Ad Sales at FOX News Channel & FOX Business Network

Investing for the future

We're experimenting with additional models, like linear TV, as well. As just one example, we're running trials of addressable ads into linear TV set-top boxes via our Google Fiber service in Kansas City. Powered by DoubleClick technology, we are helping local businesses connect with customers in that market by delivering more relevant messages to viewers.

Continuing to explore the evolution of TV
In our ongoing DoubleClick series on the Evolution of TV, we've been discussing the risks and opportunities around 7 dynamics transforming the advertising landscape. In Part 3 in our Evolution of TV series (find the rest of the series here) we dispel the hype about programmatic TV, address the challenges, and concentrate on its promise for brand advertisers, programmers, and broadcasters.

Download the new whitepaper from Think with Google for the in-depth story.

Ultimately delivering addressable ads whether across TV ads served via the internet or through the set-top box is about delighting users with the best viewing experience. It's a technology that everyone in the industry can get behind. Advertisers have always wanted the customization, programmers and distributors have always wanted it to maximize the value of every impression and viewers appreciate more relevant ads. Addressable TV is a win-win-win proposition.

Posted by Rany Ng, Director of Product Management, Video

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This post is part of DoubleClick's Evolution of TV series. In this series we identify the risks and opportunities around 7 dynamics transforming the advertising landscape as TV programming shifts to delivery over the Internet.

Television advertising is big business. How big? TV ad spending in the U.S. is projected to reach almost $84 billion per year by 2018. Traditionally, many of these billions are spent during upfronts—that time of year when traditional TV networks and, increasingly, digital media companies gather to present their fall lineups and pitch marketers for ad dollars. Whatever TV inventory hasn't been sold, or is held back, is then sold in what is called the scatter market.

While this traditional TV buying and selling model has worked well for decades, it's not without its inefficiencies. "Programmatic TV" is a likely solution that could apply digital advertising's efficiency models to improve TV advertising.

What is "programmatic TV"?
In this new whitepaper we explore what exactly "programmatic TV" is and its promise for those involved.

We define "programmatic TV" as a technology-automated and data-driven method of buying and delivering ads against TV content. This includes digital TV ads served across the web, mobile devices, and connected TVs, as well as linear TV ads served across set-top boxes.

As with any new technology, though, the programmatic TV offerings on the market today fall short of the full potential of the technology. As a result, programmatic TV skeptics have reason to ask “why change what’s not broken?” We’re here to say that, while the TV buying and selling process isn’t exactly broken, there's a role for programmatic TV to make it better.

In Part 3 in our Evolution of TV series (find the rest of the series here) we dispel the hype about programmatic TV, address the challenges, and concentrate on its promise for brand advertisers, programmers, and broadcasters.

Download the new whitepaper from Think with Google for the in-depth story.


-
Rany Ng,
Director of Product Management, Video

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Cross-posted from the Google Online Security Blog

It’s pretty tough to read the New York Times under these circumstances:

And it’s pretty unpleasant to shop for a Nexus 6 on a search results page that looks like this:

The browsers in the screenshots above have been infected with ‘ad injectors’. Ad injectors are programs that insert new ads, or replace existing ones, into the pages you visit while browsing the web. We’ve received more than 100,000 complaints from Chrome users about ad injection since the beginning of 2015—more than network errors, performance problems, or any other issue.

Injectors are yet another symptom of “unwanted software”—programs that are deceptive, difficult to remove, secretly bundled with other downloads, and have other bad qualities. We’ve made several recent announcements about our work to fight unwanted software via Safe Browsing, and now we’re sharing some updates on our efforts to protect you from injectors as well.

Unwanted ad injectors: disliked by users, advertisers, and publishers

Unwanted ad injectors aren’t part of a healthy ads ecosystem. They’re part of an environment where bad practices hurt users, advertisers, and publishers alike.

People don’t like ad injectors for several reasons: not only are they intrusive, but people are often tricked into installing ad injectors in the first place, via deceptive advertising, or software “bundles.” Ad injection can also be a security risk, as the recent “Superfish” incident showed.

But, ad injectors are problematic for advertisers and publishers as well. Advertisers often don’t know their ads are being injected, which means they don’t have any idea where their ads are running. Publishers, meanwhile, aren’t being compensated for these ads, and more importantly, they unknowingly may be putting their visitors in harm’s way, via spam or malware in the injected ads.

How Google fights unwanted ad injectors

We have a variety of policies that either limit or entirely prohibit, ad injectors.

In Chrome, any extension hosted in the Chrome Web Store must comply with the Developer Program Policies. These require that extensions have a narrow and easy-to-understand purpose. We don’t ban injectors altogether—if they want to, people can still choose to install injectors that clearly disclose what they do—but injectors that sneak ads into a user’s browser would certainly violate our policies. We show people familiar red warnings when they are about to download software that is deceptive, or doesn’t use the right APIs to interact with browsers.
On the ads side, AdWords advertisers with software downloads hosted on their site, or linked to from their site, must comply with our Unwanted Software Policy. Additionally, both Google Platforms program policies and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) Seller Program Guidelines, don’t allow programs that overlay ad space on a given site without permission of the site owner.

To increase awareness about ad injectors and the scale of this issue, we’ll be releasing new research on May 1 that examines the ad injector ecosystem in depth. The study, conducted with researchers at University of California Berkeley, drew conclusions from more than 100 million pageviews of Google sites across Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer on various operating systems, globally. It’s not a pretty picture. Here’s a sample of the findings:
  • Ad injectors were detected on all operating systems (Mac and Windows), and web browsers (Chrome, Firefox, IE) that were included in our test.
  • More than 5% of people visiting Google sites have at least one ad injector installed. Within that group, half have at least two injectors installed, nearly one-third have at least four installed.
  • Thirty-four percent of Chrome extensions injecting ads were classified as outright malware.
  • Researchers found 192 deceptive Chrome extensions that affected 14 million users; these have since been disabled. Google now uses the techniques we used to catch these extensions to scan all new and updated extensions.
We’re constantly working to improve our product policies to protect people online. We encourage others to do the same. We’re committed to continuing to improve this experience for Google and the web as a whole.

Posted by Nav Jagpal, Software Engineer, Safe Browsing