“Frequency Capping” On Google’s Content Network Explained

“Frequency Capping” On Google’s Content Network Explained

What Is “Frequency Capping” On Google’s Content Network?

Frequency Capping is a campaign setting for AdWords campaigns on Google’s Content Network that allows you as an advertiser to limit how many times an individual web surfer sees a specific ad.  It operates using first-party and third-party cookies under the DoubleClick domain to determine how often a user has seen an ad.  The thinking behind frequency capping as an AdWords management technique is that a user seeing your ad multiple times can get burned out on seeing the ad, and can be less likely to respond due to that overexposure.  Capping how often your ad is shown reduces waste.

When Is Frequency Capping Most Useful?

Google allows for several bidding options in campaign settings, including biding based on cost per click (CPC), cost per conversion/acquisition (CPA), and cost per thousand impressions (CPM).  As a delivery option frequency capping is most important when A) you’re paying for impressions (CPM bidding) and B) you’re not concerned with branding as an advertising aim.


If your ad campaign’s purpose has an element of branding to it, lots of exposure is a plus, and repeated viewings of a single ad is actually desirable and a goal.

If you’re using CPC or CPA bidding, impressions have no direct cost like they do with CPM bidding.  On the content network where frequency capping is available, impressions don’t have an obvious indirect cost, like they do on in search campaigns.  Too many impressions in search campaigns that don’t lead to clicks can click through rate, and thus can drop quality score and raise your costs.

What Are Frequency Capping Options?

Frequency Capping can at the ad or ad group level using per day, per week, or per month time intervals. To enable this feature, edit campaign settings and you’ll find it in advanced settings under the heading “ad delivery”.

By Rob Sieracki

Director of Paid Search

Source: http://adwords.google.com/support/aw/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=117579