Ad Density - How Content Ads Appear on Each Page


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The Coalition for Better Ads surveyed 66,000 web users to create their Better Ads Standards, setting industry guidelines that best represent an acceptable ad experience for readers, creators, and advertisers. 

With their research, they have concluded that ads should not take up more than 30% of the main content area of a page. This main content area excludes headers, footers, site navigation, and related articles.

At Raptive, we insert ads within your content using our Ad Density Logic in accordance with the Coalition for Better Ads Standards and your Ad Density preferences. Our Ad Density default is 25% for desktop and 28% for mobile. 

What is Ad Density?

Ad Density is our method of placing ads within your main content area, which looks at the pixel height of your content area and calculates how many content ads could be inserted. 

This method places content ads on each post or page and ensures they never take up more space than the Ad Density limits we have set. 

Think of Ad Density like painting a wall, where the wall is your main content area, and the paint is your ads. 


If we wanted to paint only 30% of this wall, we could paint it in a variety of ways:


Additionally, the painted areas would look more compact if the wall had areas that could not be painted, such as portraits hanging on the wall.


But, in every example, only 30% of the wall is covered in paint. 

On your site, the wall is the page's main content area, and the paint is the ads inserted into that space.


How does Ad Density place content ads on my site?

Ad Density looks at the Main Content area of your page and calculates how many ads could fit to reach the density percentage that is set. Ads surrounding the main content are not included. 

This is why the number of ads can vary from page to page on your site. One page may contain a shorter post, leading Ad Density to calculate that five content ads can be inserted to reach your set density level. At the same time, a longer post may calculate that 15 content ads could be inserted. 

There are a few scenarios where you may see fewer ads than what Ad Density calculates. Ad Density is a limit to how many ads can run, not the absolute. 

For example, if ads are set to only appear before the headers on a post, Ad Density may calculate that 20 content ads can appear to reach the set 30% Ad Density. But, if only three headers appear on the post, then only three content ads can run. 


Ad Density can also be limited by the maximum number of content ads allowed on your site. We recommend having no limit set so that the number of content ads matches your Ad Density calculations. But, if you have a maximum number of content ads set, such as nine content ads max, no more than nine will appear, even if Ad Density calculates something much higher for a longer page.

What is the best setting for optimal earnings?

We recommend Ad Density settings of 25% for desktop and 28% for mobile. This allows you to maximize earnings while balancing UX and remaining within the Coalition for Better Ads request for less than 30%. We also recommend removing any restrictions to your ads, like limiting them to only before headers or having a maximum number of ads allowed to appear. This allows all pages to run ads that closely reflect the density percentage we have set.

How do I know what my Ad Density and settings are?

Ad Density and your ad layout are adjusted on our end. Contact us today if you’d like to know your settings or make any adjustments. 

Common Questions

Why does one post with 500 words have more ads than another post with the same word count?

Ad Density reads the pixel height of the main content area, not the number of words. This means one post with 500 words and several large images will have a larger main content area than a post with 500 words and no images. 


What if I want to ensure no more than five content ads appear on any page?

Contact us to set a limit to the number of content ads allowed to run on each page. Please note this restriction means you will most likely run a much lower Ad Density than what we have set. If your Ad Density calculates that 10 content ads can run, no more than five will appear, meaning the actual ad-to-content ratio is much lower.

Why do I see two ads at the same time on my screen?

Two viewable content ads on one screen are completely fine and not a violation of the Coalition for Better Ads. 

“Ad density is measured against the main content portion of the page, not the viewport.”

- Coalition for Better Ads

Content ads are spaced evenly throughout the main content area. But, if there are certain areas of the post where ads are restricted from appearing, the ads may appear closer together in the spaces they are allowed. Just like the painting a wall around hanging portraits analogy above. 

You will frequently see two different ad types viewable together, like a sticky footer ad and a content ad. This, again, is completely fine and does not violate any better ad standards.

However, if you want to ensure two content ads never appear in the same viewport, contact us to adjust. Please note this will significantly reduce the number of content ads that can appear and lead to lower earnings. 

Why is there an ad after every image?

If a post contains many images, ads may occur after each one, even if we restrict one ad per screen height. The number of ads that appear will still adhere to the density levels set and where the ads are allowed to insert. 


Contact us today if you would like to adjust your Ad Density levels or ad placement.

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