What is Ad Quality?

Understanding Ad Quality

For publishers, ad quality refers to the practice of ensuring the overall quality of the advertisements that are displayed on their website. This means that the ads are relevant and appropriate to the publisher’s audience, and that the ads adhere to the industry-wide standards. 

Industry bodies, such as the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), set creative standards to help ensure the ecosystem operates efficiently for better experiences. Creatives that fall outside the standards, such as heavy ads, can cause site operations to slow and ruin the experience for all parties.

For ad tech platforms, ad quality refers to the delivery of each of their publisher client’s unique ad filter standards in an effective and scalable manner while staying in compliance with industry standards. They typically build their internal policies to ensure they accomplish this.

What is the Difference Between Filtering for Malicious Ads vs. Ad Quality?

Malicious advertising, or malvertising, refers to security threats that cause objective harm to a visitor through a digital ad. This can be delivered in a host of ways, including actual malicious javascript in a creative or a bitcoin phishing scam. 

Malvertising is an objective ad fraud threat from malicious ads and landing pages that is the same for every publisher. Ad quality, on the other hand, is a much more subjective threat that differs from organization to organization. For example, a publisher may not want to run a competitor's ad even though the ad itself is inoffensive and safe. An ad platform may not be willing to run gambling ads due the risky nature of that business. Many partners in the ad tech ecosystem wish to block adult content or violence.

Why Does Ad Quality Matter?

Ads are the lifeblood of any publisher, the means of monetizing their content and generating revenue for their websites. Managing the quality of those ads is an important task for all publishers. 

Publishers want to ensure that the ads on their websites are high quality and relevant to their audiences. When ads are relevant, they can create a better experience for both site visitors and advertisers as the audiences are more likely to engage with relevant ads. This makes the impressions on that website more valuable to advertisers. And that increased value can deliver increased revenue for the publisher.

Controlling ad quality on their websites can also help publishers protect their brand reputation. For example, a publisher may want to block ads for adult products or services, or ads for products or services that are considered to be harmful or misleading. Seeing these inappropriate or offensive ads can damage users’ opinions of the site. This harms a publisher’s brand and can lead to visitors abandoning the website and avoiding it in the future.

Ad Tech platforms have unique business needs when it comes to ad quality. They must not only deliver ads in compliance with client requirements, but also meet industry standards. By doing this, they mitigate legal and reputational risk while helping their publisher clients to keep the ad experiences relevant for site audiences. This can increase the value of the publisher’s inventory and deliver more effective campaigns for advertisers.

What Makes Ad Quality Difficult to Manage for Publishers?

Most publishers turn to programmatic advertising to generate additional revenue for their websites. To maximize those programmatic efforts, they may tap into multiple supply side platforms (SSPs), exchanges, header bidding partners and other advertising intermediaries or technology. 

The fact that ad quality standards are, well, not standard  complicates matters. Because ad quality criteria are unique to each organization, publishers need to implement their specific filters with each of the programmatic platforms. They must manage each platform’s unique systems, some of which do not provide the protection for quality concerns needed.

What Types of Ads Can Ad Quality Filter?

Here are some examples of how publishers can use ad blocking filters to protect against specific advertisers or categories:

  • Block adult-related ads: A publisher can use a blocking filter to block all ads from websites that are known to display adult-related content.
  • Block ads for harmful or misleading products or services: A publisher can use a blocking filter to block ads for products or services that are considered to be harmful or misleading, such as gambling products or weight loss products.
  • Block ads from specific advertisers: A publisher can use a blocking filter to block ads from specific advertisers that they don't want to display on their website, such as competitors.

    By using ad blocking filters, publishers can protect their audience from inappropriate ads and maintain a high level of ad quality.

How Does HUMAN Address Ad Quality?

HUMAN Malvertising Defense provides publishers the ability to prevent unwanted ads from serving to their sites through a host of parameters, including:

  • Brand/Domain: Filter ads from unwanted advertisers due to unwanted content or competitive reasons
  • Category: Filter ads related to unwanted verticals due to undesirable content or competitive reasons
  • Heavy Ads Reporting: Identification and alerting of ads that exceed Google Ad Standards thresholds, which would be blocked by Chrome Browser.
  • And more!

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