16

The Advertising team is continuously making improvements to the ads experience on our sites for both our users as our clients. One of the changes we’re excited about sharing is the implementation of Lazy Loading of our Midpage Leaderboard ads (the 728x90px banners between answers).

In the last months, we’ve been testing ways that could help us improve the banner ad performance for clients while maintaining the user experience for our Community. When working through the different options, we wanted to make sure that there is a maximum of 3 ads (1 job ad and 2 banner ads) in-view in virtually all cases. How many ads you actually see depends on several factors including whether or not we have sold ads for the particular page.

We’ve found that implementing Lazy Loading on our midpage leaderboard ads improves the viewability by 20-25%, but it did decrease our total number of available impressions. To offset the loss of impressions that this causes and to make sure that we can fulfill the demand of our clients, we’ve decided to include a 2nd Midpage Leaderboard between answers 3 and 4 whenever these are available.

We’re currently graduating this and are releasing it network-wide this week. As mentioned above, this change will maintain the maximum number of ads in-view at 3, which should avoid significant impacts on your experience. However, if you see any ads that you feel are problematic, feel free to report them using our Report This Ad feature.

Feel free to comment below if you have any questions/comments.

  • 2
  • Why was this announcement, nor the previous announcement about reporting an ad you posted, being featured. Especially the previous post really deserves that to make people aware of the new functionality. – Luuklag May 18 at 18:44
  • I'd like to spot this in the wild, which sites are most likely to display this behaviour? I.E. what sites are currently running a sizeable number of leaderboard ads? – Luuklag May 18 at 18:49
  • @Luuklag: I don't know if it's the reason, but JD-Stack does not have a diamond (though they are a staff member) so I'm guessing they can't add the [featured] tag themselves. (That said, it might just be a minor roadblock and they might have other reasons for not adding the [featured] tag.) – V2Blast May 18 at 23:03
  • @V2Blast they can since they are staff. That caught me before. – Luuklag May 19 at 4:45
  • @Luuklag - the biggest chance of spotting it "in the wild" is on Stack Overflow.I've created a test URL that should push the ad onto the page for you. You can find it here. Please note that if you are a high rep user you could have the reduced ads setting switched on. This would stop the leaderboards from loading in general. – JD-Stack May 19 at 9:05
  • 1
    The community bulletin only has space for 2 featured posts at a time, @Luuklag, and the two currently there were just featured last week and have a much higher impact than this, so we were hoping they'd get more visibility. – JNat May 19 at 9:35
12

Ad jargon always throws me... And this is no exception. I think I know what you're saying, but... Please correct if I'm wrong:

  1. You're loading the 2nd banner ad after the page loads now, which should let the content load faster.

  2. This (#1) means there's a better chance that folks will close the page or scroll past the 2nd banner without seeing the ad. Meaning, a smaller overall quantity of ad views.

  3. To offset #2, you've added a third banner ad (for questions with at least 4 answers). This one, like the top banner, is loaded immediately.

As a result, load time for questions with <= 1 answer should be unchanged. Load time for questions with 2-3 answers should be improved. Load time for questions with 4+ answers will be the same or slightly worse, but the page will include a 3rd ad once fully-loaded.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    The way I read it is that both the add banner between answer 1 and 2, and the banner between answer 3 and 4 are lazy loading. – Luuklag May 18 at 18:46
  • @shog9 - In general, your summary is correct, although it's hard to make strong statements about exactly what the effect is on the loading of the content in all scenarios. It's fair to say that it will be roughly similar to how it was before, furthermore, Luuklag is correct, both ads are loaded lazy. So the 2nd midpage leaderboard will only load when you scroll to answer 3 & 4. Furthermore, as we make all views responsive and mobile-friendly, we'll want lazy loading for a better experience and less bandwidth usage there too. – JD-Stack May 19 at 15:55
  • Thanks for the clarification, @JD-Stack - so only the top banner remains preloaded then? This should be a nicer experience for a lot of folks, as long as you can keep the content positions fixed. 👍 – Shog9 May 19 at 16:10
  • @Shog9 - Correct, minor caveat: the sidebar advertising unit also remains preloaded :) – JD-Stack May 19 at 16:37
  • 2
    Well,🤞 for the future then @JD-Stack - I had to turn off ads here a while ago, as I tend to open dozens of tabs while researching a topic and it was too heavy for Chrome to remain responsive on my (fairly beefy) machine. – Shog9 May 19 at 16:39
10

I was looking at some sites I am not a member of to see how this looks. One major drawback I experienced was that in some cases there was space reserved above the question for a leaderboard style ad, noticeable by some whitespace above the question. Once the page was fully loaded the page changed its mind and decided not to show me an ad, quickly collapsing the whitespace again, making the page jumpy.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thanks for pointing this out. Would you mind sharing the site where you've seen this happen and did you experience this only on the leaderboard above the question or also on the ones in between the answers? In general: there was no change made to how this leaderboard behaves (only the ones in-between answers are affected). – JD-Stack May 19 at 9:11
  • Thx for the reply @JD-Stack, it happened for example just now on: askubuntu.com/questions/93859/…. It is not consistent on every page load. Looks more like there is an add, but then decides I've seen enough of it already or something like that? – Luuklag May 19 at 10:50
  • @JD-Stack any update on this? This has been reported again here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/354170/… – Luuklag Sep 14 at 6:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .