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Google Compressing Display Ads

By piranha

3rd July 2017

In a new blog post, Google confirmed it is using a new compression algorithm (named Brotli) to make its Display Ads load faster.

As far back as 2010, Google announced that speed was a core ranking signal. Since then, speed has remained a top priority and Google now expects web pages to load within 2 seconds. This target is designed to safeguard user experience as pages load tasks quickly.

Google’s latest announcement tells us that Display Ads are being compressed to make them load faster across all devices. Although ad loading time is different from site loading time, this development is another example of Google’s need for speed!

What is a Google Display Ad?

Display Ads are one of Google’s avenues of paid advertising, allowing businesses to tout their products and services online. A Display Ad can consist of 4 types of media:

  • Text
  • Image
  • Interactive
  • Video

The core principle of display advertising is to show products and services to potential customers in an engaging way. This increases the likelihood of successful conversions (sales or contact). Research has shown that advertising in a variety of media forms is much more engaging for users.

Why compress Display Ads?

Larger objects take longer to load. That might sound overly simplistic, but that’s precisely the logic behind Google’s compression tactics.

In his post on the Google Developers Blog, software engineer Michael Burns said that using Brotli results in ‘…data savings of 15% in aggregate over standard gzip compression, and in some instances, a saving of over 40%!’

Web browsers display information contained in computer code. Brotli compression will make the Display Ad code as small as possible so that the browser can display it quicker.

Are faster load times always better?


Google says that Brotli compression offers several important benefits for consumers and will ‘advance web standards’ for everyone. Nobody wants to wait longer to see web pages, especially if advertising is the cause.

Display Ads, and subsequently whole pages, will now load quicker. The amount of data sent to users will also be reduced by ‘thousands of gigabytes every day’, improving mobile data consumption and battery life. These benefits will be most keenly felt by mobile users.

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