Increase ad impressions with 10up’s Ad Refresh Control plugin for WordPress

Ad Refresh Control WordPress Plugin

Over the past year, in partnership with Google News Initiative (GNI), 10up has been working with hyperlocal publishers like Long Beach Post, VT Digger, Oil City News, and BK Reader to drive digital strategies for audience and revenue growth.

One strategy — refreshing ad slots after a set amount of time — successfully leveraged existing web traffic to increase ad impressions. This revenue-boosting strategy typically requires an ad-savvy web engineer for implementation.

Ad Refresh Control for WordPress

In keeping with the vision of our GNI partnership — providing widely applicable solutions that are relatively easy to implement — 10up created Ad Refresh Control, a free, open source, WordPress plugin that empowers publishers to easily control the refreshing of ads.

Ad Refresh Control works immediately upon activation, enabling active view refresh for Google Ad Manager ad units without needing to modify any code. Active view refresh helps publishers recoup lost impressions by reloading a visible ad unit after a set amount of time.

Ad Refresh Control Settings

Once the plugin is activated, a settings page within the WordPress admin provides several configuration options:

  • Viewability Threshold: The percentage of the ad slot that must be visible in the viewport to be considered eligible for a refresh. The plugin default is 70% with the lowest possible threshold at 50%, as lower percentages risk third-party tracking platforms flagging ad impressions as unviewed before refreshing.
  • Refresh Interval: The number of seconds that must pass between an ad crossing the viewability threshold and the ad refreshing. The plugin enforces a minimum of 30 seconds to avoid the site being flagged for abusing ad refreshes by advertisers.
  • Maximum Refreshes: The number of times each ad slot is allowed to be refreshed. If this is set to 4, an ad slot could have a total of 5 impressions by combining the initial ad load with the 4 subsequent refreshes. The default maximum refresh setting is 5 refreshes.
  • Excluded Advertiser IDs: Prevent ad refreshes for specific advertiser IDs using a comma separated list (e.g., 125,594,293). If an ad slot displays an ad from a listed advertiser ID, the ad slot will not refresh for the remainder of the page view. This is especially helpful when a direct advertiser purchases specific ad slots.

For most publishers, we recommend sticking with the default configuration, which is based on proven performance data.

Download Ad Refresh Control

Ad Refresh Control is available for public download in the plugin repository and on GitHub. We welcome bug reports, feature requests, questions, and pull requests.

If you want to join a company that cares about open source, crafts innovative tools for content creators, and works with major tech and media companies, household brands, publishers, nonprofits, and universities, come work with us!

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