Google receives new MRC accreditations, touts 3rd-party measurement progress
In addition to accreditations, the company announced a new reach measurement partner and said it is expanding brand safety verification testing with DoubleVerify and IAS.
Google announced on Wednesday new accreditations from the Media Ratings Council (MRC) across its ad products and updates to third-party measurement capabilities for Google and YouTube. The company says it is committed to industry standards to help marketers compare performance across ad sellers.
MRC accreditations span across products. The company said it has gained accreditation for clicks, served impressions, viewable impressions and invalid traffic detection and filtration for Google Ads, Google Marketing Platform and Google Ad Manager. In addition, YouTube video ad impressions and viewability metrics for desktop, mobile web and mobile in-app are now accredited across Google Ads and Google Marketing Platform (specifically Display & Video 360 and Campaign Manager).
Third-party measurement updates. Building on third-party measurement announcements Google made in July, the company said it continues to make progress on third-party viewability, brand safety and reach reporting.
- The MRC is currently auditing third-party reporting for the YouTube data feed for video viewability.
- The MRC accreditation process for integrations with DoubleVerify and Integral Ad Science (IAS) is underway.
- The beta for brand safety verification on YouTube by DoubleVerify and IAS is expanding. Google says tests in June yielded 99 percent success rates on brand safety in YouTube auction and reserve, including Google Preferred.
- The audit process for MRC accreditation of brand safety and unique reach reporting on YouTube in Google Ads has begun.
- Google is adding Meetrics as a reach measurement partner, in addition to existing partnerships with Nielsen, comScore and Kantar.
- YouTube’s integration with Nielsen’s mobile Digital Ad Ratings (mDAR) for in-app reach expanded to Australia and Italy this month. It’s already available in Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the UK and the US.
Why you should care. Under pressure from advertisers for greater transparency and independent verification from ad sellers, the so-called walled gardens have been opening up to industry-wide standards. Google first agreed to open up to MRC auditing for YouTube viewability in March 2017. Facebook received its first MRC accreditations in April, and Twitter is currently undergoing MRC review.
Despite the embrace of industry measurement standards, there are still transparency concerns among some. Google has faced backlash with its moves to block third-party pixels on YouTube and remove access to the DoubleClick ID for measurement with the advent of GDPR. The company disputes the claim that it is trying to limit independent verification and has said it is committed to partnering with advertisers and third parties to improve ad reporting.
In an interview Tuesday, Babak Pahlavan, senior director of product management for Analytics solutions and measurement at Google, said, “Our strategy as a whole is to get all of our metrics across all of our environments — anything that has industry guidance — to be accredited.”
Pahlavan noted that the company plans to get its integrations with third parties accredited, including third-party brand safety measurement that’s now in process.
“For almost a decade now, we have had the fundamental understanding that trust is key,” said Pahlavan. “It’s why we are bringing third parties in to audit and get feedback so it’s not Google’s word against that of marketers. This will be a fundamental piece of the strategy for years to come.”
Viewability, reach and brand lift for Display & Video 360. Google also announced three new measurement features for Display & Video 360. Read the full coverage on our sister site Marketing Land.