Google suspended over mobile ad metrics

Arvind Hickman
By Arvind Hickman | 14 October 2016
Google's mobile web impressions are under scrutiny in the US.

A media ratings watchdog has suspended Google over the way it measures mobile web served impressions for publishers.

The Media Ratings Council (MRC), which provides an accreditation service for advertisers to verify ad impressions, has suspended Google DoubleClick for Publishers over “mobile web Served Impressions and DFP Active View desktop viewability related statistics” until non-compliance issues are resolved.

The problem emerged because the MRC reformed its guidelines on how digital media companies should count mobile web and app impressions.

In April, the MRC, Interactive Advertising Bureau and the Mobile Marketing Association implemented rules that companies should measure mobile metrics that are served rather than rendered. Google has been effectively suspended since July, but the announcement only emerged in a MRC press statement this week.

In a Business Insider article, Google said the suspension was temporary and would be resolved before the end of the year. The problem require Google to rebuild parts of the platform's infrastructure and this couldn't done in time.

The suspension doesn't affect Google's desktop digital video viewable impressions related statistics.

Although the suspension has no bearing on the way Google impressions are verified in Australia, it raises further questions about the credibility of digital media metrics in the wake of Facebook's admission it over-inflated video viewing figures.

Google and Facebook tell advertisers how many people view ads served on their platform using their own viewability metrics. Both partner with trusted measurement companies but the metrics are not consistent with how other channels, such as TV, mark their viewability figures.

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