Google's interstitial ads

What is an interstitial ad?

Sortable now supports Google’s new interstitial ad product which provides publishers with a new revenue stream by showing users an ad between some pageviews. It is initiated when a user clicks a relevant link on one page and the user sees the ad before they can view the page for which they've clicked a link. The ad appears directly in front of the page that the user was just on (while the page behind it is blurry or blacked out); after closing the ad, the user will be directed to the page they want to navigate to.

Users can click the X in the top right corner of the ad (or outside the ad overlay) to close it and proceed to the webpage for which they've clicked a link. Interstitial ads do not involve a time component; users can click to dismiss the ad immediately. If the user chooses to click on the ad, depending on the creative itself, this should open a new tab. The ad will still be visible in the previous tab. 

Why should I use interstitial ads on my site(s)?

Google's beta partners have seen CPMs of up to $20 on their sites. While results may vary (depending on publisher or domain), we see interstitial ads as a significant revenue opportunity for Freestar’s publishers. It’s a high quality user experience that emphasizes user engagement, while providing a unique opportunity for advertisers to engage with users in a way that isn’t possible with traditional banner ads. This translates to advertisers being willing to pay a premium for these impressions.

In addition, there’s no work on your end needed to enable interstitials, we handle it all!

What is the user experience like?

From Google Ad Manager Help:

To respect the user experience, web interstitials:

  • Automatically pre-load and render before navigating away from the page without delay when the user clicks a link in the page.
  • Have a clear exit option.
  • Have a fixed frequency cap—a given publisher can show an ad to a user only once per hour per sub-domain. Also, these interstitials match Google Search standards for avoiding intrusiveness.

A full-page ad displays between pageviews for users on both mobile and desktop browsers. While the ad itself may not cover the whole screen, the page it is "covering" may appear blurred or blacked out. The user has to close the ad in order to see the page for which they clicked a link.

As mentioned above, the frequency of interstitial ads is capped at one ad per user per hour per subdomain (this is limited by Google). And if the user clicks on the ad, it opens a new tab (probably depends on the creative itself). The ad will be visible in the previous tab until the user dismisses it.

Desktop example

Mobile example

Demo interstitial ads

To demo interstitial ads on your site, append #gamInterstitialDemo to the web address for any page on your website that features GPT tags. To trigger the demo ad, reload the page and click any link on the page.

Who can use interstitial ads?

Both Freestar Ad Server and Publisher Ad Server customers can take advantage of this new product. Contact us at to activate interstitial ads on your site(s).

How do I see how interstitial ads are performing?

Create a report in Freestar Analytics and use Ad Format as a dimension to track revenue on your site(s).

What kind of control do I have over this product?

  • The frequency of interstitial ads is capped at one ad per user per hour per subdomain (limited by Google).
  • We can implement an interstitial slot for a percentage of your user sessions or we can deploy to all of your user sessions. Keep in mind that Google has the final say about whether to serve ads to users or not.
  • If necessary, you can prevent specific links on your site from triggering web interstitials. Google’s documentation explains how to add a data-google-interstitial="false" attribute to the anchor element or any ancestor of the anchor element.

Where can I find more information?

For industry insights and information about our product offerings, check out our blog!

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