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Google Makes A Splash with Anchor Ads Open Beta

Steve Myslinski, April 8, 2021

Google’s latest announcement is big news for publishers.

Anchor ads, also known as sticky ads, are now available in Open Beta through Google Ad Manager 360 and are part of the code. Before this, publishers could use anchor ads but with some caveats.

Publishers had to build the sticky functionality on their own, ensure that it was built in a compliant way, and manage the whole ad process themselves, it was a headache, to say the least.

Starting now, publishers can quickly and easily implement mobile sticky ads without any risk, compliance issues, or extra approval steps.

According to Google, desktop anchor ads will be available soon, but there’s no reason to wait to launch the mobile web version. 

So, publishers, it’s time to get familiar with how sticky ads work and understand all the benefits that this ad format offers so you can get the most out of them. 


Anchor ads and sticky ads


What Are Anchor Ads or Sticky Ads?

If you’ve scrolled down a website and noticed an ad ‘stuck2’ to the top (header) or bottom (footer) of the screen, you’ve encountered an anchor ad.

Simply put, anchor ads stick to the viewport during a user’s session, regardless of how far down a page they scroll.

Since mobile screens are small, these are the only two placements available. 


What Are the Benefits of Anchor Ads? 

Ads make the publishing world go round, with the rise of ad blockers, bot traffic, and ad fraud, advertisers are rightfully concerned about the quality of paid-for impressions.

Yet sticky ads offer a win-win-win situation for publishers, advertisers, and users. 

With anchor ads now part of Google’s offering, all standard banner ads from direct and indirect Ad Manager demand sources are qualified to serve in anchor slots.

Benefits of Anchor Ads


Higher Viewability 

Sticky ads have a 100% viewability rate.

Because users see them for a longer period, they are more likely to click, increasing the revenue for the ad unit and, in turn, advertisers’ willingness to pay a premium for the placements. 


Increased Monetization

Anchor ads allow publishers to increase per-page ad density and maximize backfill demand, increasing auction pressure.

The Anchor Inventory Format includes the ability to set pricing floors, giving publishers the chance to further boost monetization through higher CPMs. 

As a side note, Google indicated that full-width ads would be available soon.

The full-width format will look better across devices, leading to improved monetization. 




Improved Targeting

With anchor ads, publishers can target Line items, set pricing rules for anchors using specific ad units, and set orders with higher CPMs and CPCs.

Cohesive Reporting

Now that sticky ads are an out-of-the-box unit in Ad Manager, Google added a new reporting dimension that allows publishers to use the Inventory Format dimension in Historical Reporting

Improved User Experience

Anchor ads are far less intrusive than some other formats, so they naturally improve the user experience.

To not interfere with navigation menus, top ads appear once the user starts to scroll.

Bottom ads appear immediately and remain even as the user scrolls back up.

A small arrow serves as an indicator if a site visitor wants to collapse the ad in both cases.

Ensuring the arrows are visible is a publisher’s responsibility, as always. 


Since we know Desktop Anchors will be available soon, make sure you set up your inventory for desktop and mobile.

Ads will be served on desktop unless only mobile inventory has been targeted. 

Wrap Up

Mobile web anchor ads deliver on all fronts.

Publishers need to balance user experience with monetization efforts, and anchor ads will help with that effort.

With 100% viewability, the demand for sticky ad placements should be high.

Publishers can use this to their advantage to set and control the pricing of units which will increase their revenue exponentially.  

Better revenue opportunities are awaiting every publisher. Reach out to to take advantage of this and implement anchor ads on your site today.


Steve Myslinski is the Senior Director of Sales for EMEA at Total Media and brings years of experience helping publishers realize their true potential for monetizing their inventory.

Starting out as an engineer in the automotive industry, before getting his MBA and joining the adtech industry, he provides a unique approach to sales with an analytical and problem solving style to addressing a publishers needs.

Find Steve on LinkedIn or reach him by email at steve(at)totalmediasolutions(dot)com.