In May at the AdWords Performance Summit, Google announced that image scaling is going to be applied to the Google Display Network.

Right now there are some 50 plus image ad sizes, while that number helps keep a few graphic designers employed, it’s a major headache for advertisers.  Now Google is changing that so you only need 3 GDN image sizes to cover an overwhelming majority of the network (95%).

What do you need to make image scaling work for you?

Nothing.

Google’s already doing it, It’s rolled out to all advertisers as of April (well before the AdWords Performance Summit!).

The 3 sizes you should be uploading are:

  • 300 x 250
  • 728 x 90
  • 160 x 600

and a bonus 320 x 50 for mobile ads –  if you haven’t turned mobile off on the GDN.

With those 3 (alright,4) sizes you should be able to have a fairly similar reach without the hassle of uploading heaps of different ad sizes.

According to Google, the ads are resized if needed, depending on the placement available on the display partner site.

For example – you have two original ads, a 336×280 and a 300×250.  There’s a slot available that is exactly 336×280.  Google won’t resize the 300×250, it’ll use the appropriately sized ad.

But if you didn’t have the right size ad… Google is going to resize.  They’ll only rescale when the exact match doesn’t exist.

As of this moment you won’t have any stats on what sizes your ads have been resized to.  AdWords is ever evolving, so this may change, but for the mean time, you’ve got to make some big assumptions.  Essentially if there’s a size with high click/impression rate in the original size, you can assume that ad has been resized and it’s performing well.



For most, Google’s Image Scaling is going to be a big time saver.  But if you’re a keen student of the display network you may not be so pleased.  Right now you can’t opt out this and even if you know from past performance there’s a particular size that doesn’t perform well, there’s no way you can exclude it.

But since it’s AdWords, keep an eye out for change!