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Placement Auditing

What is Placement Auditing?

Individual ad placements on the Google Display Network (GDN) and YouTube can vary significantly in quality, especially when layering on the audience for the websites and YouTube channels/videos that show ads.

Morphio’s Placement Auditing feature helps marketers optimize Google Ads display and video campaigns by excluding ineffective ad placements by providing an easy-to-download placement exclusion list that can then be uploaded to Google Ads.

How does it work?

Each week on Monday morning, Morphio audits all placements on the Google Display Network and YouTube from the previous seven days and using a scoring system, determines which placements should be added as exclusions going forward.

Morphio scores each placement on a variety of criteria including conversions, view-through conversions, impressions, clicks, click-through rate, and media spend. Any placement that has resulted in a conversion or a view-through conversion in the past seven days will not be excluded. Please note that the same criteria for scoring is used for all campaigns, regardless of the media spend or reach of that campaign.

Once all placements are scored, Morphio will then add the lowest-performing placements (up to the threshold percentage set within the platform) to the placement exclusions list within Morphio. Please refer to ‘Managing your exclusions’ below for more information on how exclusion lists can be managed.

Managing your exclusions

While the tables within Placement Auditing do a great job at highlighting ineffective ad placements, that is only one piece of the puzzle – the other is knowing what to do with this information. Morphio offers an easy way for users to take action and apply these placement exclusions to their Google Ads display and video campaigns by allowing users to easily export placements exclusions lists (as a CSV) and importing them into Google Ads. You can simply click on the “Export Exclusions List” at the top of the interface, then choose to export the list. Within Google Ads, you can then easily import the list and apply to the campaigns for which you wish to exclude the identified placements.


Q: What is a “placement”?
A: A “placement” is where your Google Ads display or video ad has appeared on the Google Display Network (GDN) or YouTube. These placements can either be a website, a YouTube channel, a YouTube video, or an app.

Q: What is the “threshold” percentage?
A: The threshold setting allows user to set the maximum percentage of placements that Morphio will add to the exclusions list each week. If you select a threshold of 30% and have 40,000 unique ad placements across the seven days, this means that a maximum of 30% of all placements (12,000 placements) can be added as placement exclusions each week.

Q: I noticed that Morphio sometimes excludes placements with a high click-through rate (CTR), isn’t having a high CTR a good thing?
A: While click-through rate (CTR) is a good metric to monitor (sign of good targeting and/or good ad creative), it is also one that can signal issues when it is too high. For display and video placements, a high CTR with no conversions often signals a placement with a high rate of accidental (or forced) clicks. Because of this, Morphio will often exclude placements with abnormally high CTRs that have no conversions (or view-through conversions).

Q: If I exclude a large quantity of placements, won’t Google just show my ads on another set of ineffective sites and YouTube videos?
A: Our approach is to continuously trim placements that are bottom-performers based on the threshold you have set. When placements are excluded, and assuming a stable media spend and CPC, it is likely that Google will continue to show your ads on net-new placements – these will be of varying quality with some being good performers and others likely to be considered ineffective. Morphio will continue to trim the bottom-performers and the performance of your campaigns should gradually improve over time.

Q: Does Morphio have a master exclusions list that would allow me to exclude all ineffective ad placements?
A: At this time Morphio does not have a master exclusions list for a couple of reasons. First, we want to ensure that all customer data is isolated to its own Morphio instance. Second, an ineffective ad placement for one client account may be a good placement for another.

Q: How does Placement Auditing manage statistical relevance for metrics?
A: Morphio does not require that a specific statistical relevance threshold (or media spend) be met for the Placement Auditing feature. We apply the same logic to all placements regardless of the number of impressions or media spend. For campaigns (and placements) of smaller size, this can sometimes lead to false negatives (identifying a placement as low quality, when it may become good quality). The good news here is that the Google Display Network is massive meaning that there is no shortage of good placements.

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