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What is Frequency Capping?
Internet Marketing Dictionary | Frequency Capping


Frequency Capping is the process of limiting the number of times a person sees a specific advert on a website. It is used to try and improve ad relevancy and interest.

If a person sees a particular ad too many times and doesn't react to it by clicking on it, it is more likely that they are not interested in it. By restricting the number of times the ad is seen, the user will see fewer ads that they are not interested in. This leads to the twin benefit that the user tends to see ads that are more interesting and advertisers will get higher response rates to their advertising.

Frequency capping is being introduced to the AdSense system as part of integration with Google's DoubleClick acquisition. This is likely to improve click through rates of AdSense ads on publishers' sites.

There are a number of ways of frequency capping ad displays. For example, ads can be set up to be displayed to a user a limited number of times, or a limited number of times in a specified period such as a week. Typically this system of frequency capping requires the user to accept cookies.

As always with advertising, setting up frequency capping to maximise profitability requires user testing. There are two conflicting forces at play: building brand awareness and consumer disinterest.  Only testing can tell you where the optimum balance lies. In many instances an ad needs to be seen several times to get noticed. However, seeing the same ad too many times can lead to ad blindness - a situation where the user fails to register the ad at all.


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