A Publishers Guide To Programmatic Inventory & Quality Control

There is a common slip of the tongue in the digital media world. Many of us have heard or uttered it in meetings, at conferences, and even in casual conversation: A person talking about programmatic will accidentally say “problematic” instead.

That slip-up is often good for a laugh, but it’s obvious why it’s so common. The programmatic market is essential for publisher revenue and advertiser reach. But programmatic has always come with its own problems, many of which appear to be built-in and endemic to that marketplace. For publishers, one of those top-line problems is that of demonstrating the true value of programmatic ad inventory to buyers, while maintaining the integrity and quality of their digital environments.

This is a particularly urgent issue in 2020: Users hold publishers to a higher standard than ever, and are highly attuned to inappropriate or low-quality ads on the page. And ground-shaking events unimaginable at the beginning of the year — a global pandemic and economic downturn — have led buyers to pause campaigns and re-strategize, leaving premium publisher inventory susceptible to bad actors who use deceptive ad creative to lure users to misinformation, scams, and malware.


Programmatic’s ‘Silent Killer’

This current wave of bad ads, which damage user experience and the publisher’s reputation, would be troublesome enough if the programmatic market had been easy to navigate previously. Unfortunately, programmatic has preexisting conditions. To make programmatic pay properly, publishers have had to rely on a tangle of demand partners — in the programmatic waterfall, in the header, server-side, in-app, and elsewhere. Rooting out the source of bad ads has always been a headache.

Malvertisers’ and scammers’ newer, more wily tactics — where the bad ad’s content is central to their nefarious strategies — ramp up publishers’ sense of urgency to a fever pitch. It’s too much for a publisher to handle alone if they also want to continue attracting quality advertisers and growing their revenue.

Traditionally, when digital media professionals think of ad quality, they focus on ad security. But recent waves of malicious and deceptive ads reveal ad security and the quality of ad content are intertwined — which shows us ad security is more accurately a subset of ad quality. Ad quality in today’s reality needs to start with ensuring the right ads for the right environments, with no exceptions.


No Exceptions When It Comes To Ad Quality

“No exceptions” matters for reasons beyond the immediate safety of the user and their device — even when the user doesn’t click on a bad ad. It matters because low-quality ads in otherwise high-quality environments have an immediate effect on the publisher’s reputation among advertisers and users alike.

Low-quality ads on the page discourage users from trusting and engaging deeply (and monetizing) content, diminish the value of the publisher’s inventory overall, and discourage quality advertisers from partnering more closely with the publisher. Just when the industry was coming around to the idea that programmatic didn’t have to be a “race to the bottom” in publisher revenue and advertiser ROI, deceptive and otherwise inappropriate ad content once again kick-start that downward spiral.

For the integrity of the publisher’s brand, and for the value of the publisher’s inventory, ad content must be considered a core part of ad quality. More importantly, page content and ad content must be aligned and approached as two parts of a whole — an approach that reflects how users and advertisers approach page and ad quality.

In such a complex and unpredictable moment, the state of programmatic inventory quality is indeed problematic. But it’s possible to navigate to the benefit of publishers, advertisers, and users. Because of this complexity, and the impossibility of a one-size-fits-all solution, publishers will need sound partnerships and industry-leading technology to reap those benefits to their fullest. 


Monetizing The Ad Quality Virtuous Cycle 

According to a recent Kantar Publisher Impact study, there is a direct correlation between the way a publisher’s own brand is perceived and the ultimate effectiveness of the ads it hosts. Users’ favorability of and trust in ads increases along with the publisher’s brand score.

In this way, high-quality page content and ad content create a virtuous cycle, where users feel they’re being served well, advertisers see brand lift and meet their campaign goals, the publisher sees higher CPMs and can revisit their rate card, the publisher can create more engaging content — which brings us back to the user. 

Naturally, the inverse also applies. When users see ads that look cheap or misplaced, they suspect they’re not being served well by either the publisher or its advertisers, engagement drops, ad campaign performance suffers, and publishers need to work harder to keep their CPMs high enough to produce quality content.


All The Places Demand Comes From 

Publishers rely on programmatic channels for a number of reasons, but one of the most important reasons is simple: Buyers like it. Brands and agencies like the convenience and efficiency of finding their audiences wherever they’re engaged, and at the rates they want.

In 2020, 84.5% of the total US digital display ad spend goes through programmatic, according to eMarketer. That’s projected to increase to 88.2% in 2022. 

Of course, programmatic also comes with an element of the unknown, and some amount of that spend comes from buyers that are unfamiliar to the publisher and challenging to vet. Indeed, buyers turn to programmatic in part because they hope they can buy there at lower prices — and they keep coming back because they find those hopes often come true. In order to optimize revenue, publishers are compelled to partner with what amounts to a mess of demand sources utilizing myriad programmatic channels.


What the Header Tells Us 

To wit: According to a survey of publishers conducted by GeoEdge, in conjunction with AdMonsters, publishers are getting their demand from any combination of Google’s Open Bidding, Amazon’s The Ad Marketplace, a managed header integration from a different SSP or exchange, managed header wrappers, and the Prebid.js wrapper — and that’s not even counting the whole programmatic waterfall. The median number of header bidding partners publishers have onboarded is 8-10, and their median number of server-side Google Open Bidding partners is 7-9. 30% of publishers have 10 or more header partners, and 18% of those have more than 12. Similarly, 18% have 10 or more Open Bidding partners.

Examining header wrappers in particular tells an even more complicated story. According to the same survey, 45% of publishers use more than one header wrapper — driven by the imperative to access more buyers, access unique demand, facilitate A/B testing on header partners, and blend the benefits of client-side and server-to-server wrappers in the header. Many publishers report they’re putting the same preferred demand source (an SSP or exchange) both in the header wrapper and server-side, in order to open up supply paths for them as clearly as possible.

In short, with the number and variety of demand sources publishers are partnered with today, it’s extremely difficult to troubleshoot or root out the sources of inappropriate, deceptive, and low-quality ads.


Publishers Won’t Stand For Less (Demand) 

This is, unfortunately, standard practice for leading publishers, with no indication that it will change anytime soon. Indeed, a full 84% of publishers say more than 25% of their programmatic revenue comes through the header alone (and for 18% of publishers, header accounts for more than 75% of programmatic revenue).

This tangle of programmatic demand channels allows a publisher to stay competitive in a high-pressure media landscape, and to keep funding the creation of high-quality content and engaging digital environments. At least one publisher surveyed observed that because the digital media industry changes so rapidly, over-reliance on any demand partner ties publisher revenue to that partner’s ability to adapt. Better, then, for the publisher to customize its demand setup based on its business priorities and its own ability to adapt. 

Programmatic revenue optimization calls for constant testing and re-assessing. A common goal is to whittle down demand sources to the most profitable and the most reliable, and 67% of publishers did say they plan to remove demand partners in the next six months. But sometimes optimization shows it’s a wiser move to add more demand partners — which 64% of publishers said they would do in the next six months.


Warning: Side Effects Include Bad Ads 

It’s not as though these demand integrations deliver only revenue, though. There are also dangerous side effects. Common hurdles include latency and upkeep that overwhelms the dev team — and nearly half of publishers (48%) count low-quality ads or malvertising as one of their most serious header challenges. Exactly half said those quality issues were as likely to come from server-side as from the header — so there’s no area where publishers can snooze on ad quality assurance.

A robust QA strategy is a necessity in this messy programmatic landscape. Deceptive and inappropriate ads can come through any available point of entry. Cutting off demand partners and risking overall yield is a daunting prospect. Users want an overall page/ad experience they can trust, and they’ll abandon publishers that host ads that feel untrustworthy. 

It’s challenging under normal circumstances to build long-standing relationships with trusted advertisers, who can help build high-quality page/ad experiences that increase the lifetime value of audiences. But we’re not living in normal circumstances, and the COVID pandemic is another plot twist.


Ad Quality During Uncertain Times 

The COVID pandemic brought with it a massive ad spend downturn, and it’s a hard one to recoup. For many brands, the pandemic signified either diminished demand for their products or services, the imperative to ditch existing ad campaigns and start again from scratch, or both.

During the 2020 springtime COVID spike, 80% of brands reduced ad spend for the year, and publisher CPMs quickly dropped 50% YOY between January and the end of April. And let’s remember COVID hit US shores at the end of January, which itself is usually a slow advertising month following the holiday rush. The well-being of a business depends on incremental growth, and in 2020, according to eMarketer, programmatic spend will grow 6.2% — versus 26.6% in 2019. This is not the kind of revenue slack publishers can simply pick up by having a boom month. Every ad dollar matters, whichever demand source and whatever buyer it comes from.

Publishers have long called malware-bearing ads the variety of bad ads that are most hazardous to their business, and redirects are the most common form those ads take. But in the COVID ad spend dip, misleading ad content quickly became a top-line concern. Scammers and fraudsters rushed into the ad spend vacuum, with ads for low-quality or non-existent products (e.g. flimsy face masks, fake COVID cures).

Many of those ads used classic clickbait maneuvers in the creative — fake celebrity endorsements and salacious copy. Premium publisher CPMs would normally be at least some deterrent for scammy buyers, but the springtime CPM drop opened a door for deceptive ads. Publishers say they’ve seen a 39% increase in low-quality ads in correlation with COVID, according to the AdMonsters/GeoEdge survey. And, as the survey also says, publishers, want more support from their demand partners than they’re actually getting in the fight to keep deceptive and low-quality ads from hitting the page.

Reputational Risk Means Revenue Risk 

There’s a lot more at stake here for publishers than the look and feel of a premium site. Reputational risk is real, because it leads directly to engagement risk, traffic risk, and revenue risk. When it comes to COVID “fake ads” (i.e. ads with deceptive content, or that link to scams like unapproved treatments or cryptocurrency schemes), publishers are most concerned with issues related to UX or reputational management.

In a study conducted by GeoEdge in conjunction with Digiday, 90% of publishers said their top concerns here related to reputational damage, misinformed users, and reduced readership. Those concerns are already coming true: 42% said they’d experienced user complaints as a result of hosting deceptive ads, 30% experienced negative publicity, 20% experienced lost users or subscribers, and 18% lost advertiser partners and/or revenue overall. Furthermore, 49% said those lost users or subscribers caused severe or very severe consequences, and 48% said the consequences of lost revenue or negative publicity were similarly negative.

As leading publishers increasingly supplement revenue with paywalls and subscription models, they need to justify those measures by ensuring high-quality, on-brand content and ad experiences. There’s an air of exclusivity behind the paywall where there’s no place for clickbait-style ads, fraudulent celebrity “endorsements,” deceptive ad content, or malware. 

And there’s a real revenue upside for maintaining a premium, consistent, trust-inspiring experience. Credible content and good UX attract quality brands willing to pay top dollar to be part of those environments. Good UX doesn’t just help a publisher maintain — it helps revenue grow.


The Threat: Deceptive Advertising

This is an uphill battle in 2020, though. Publishers have a lot of brush to clear. In the Digiday survey, 69% of publishers say they’ve encountered a “moderate or large” number of deceptive ads each week. Publishers need to keep fighting, even when resources are tight, for the sake of the bottom line: 47% of advertisers say they’ve avoided buying on, or have ended relationships with, publishers that were found running deceptive ads. Vigilance is key, because advertisers have an obligation to understand where their ads are displaying, and advertisers don’t want to be associated with untrustworthy, low-quality digital experiences. 

In other words, brand safety — a top concern for advertisers and agencies for years running — isn’t only about whether a brand feels its message is aligned with appropriate publisher content. It’s also about whether its message is aligned with the other ads on the page.


Automation To The Rescue 

When publishers feel overburdened by spotting inappropriate ads, fielding user complaints about bad ads, rooting out the responsible demand source, detecting bad ads ahead of time, and removing them after they’ve rendered — then it’s clearly time for a more advanced technological assist. Automating the process of detecting and blocking bad ads will liberate ops, dev and other teams to do substantive work for the publisher business’s benefit. If in-house automation is too big an ask, it’s time to look to third-party ad quality partners for proper support.

Publishers stand to gain much and lose much — in reputation, traffic and revenue — from keeping their page and ad content aligned and clean. A report from IAB, in conjunction with Magid Research, found that ads placed specifically in a news context make 45% of users more inclined to visit the advertiser’s site and make 43% of users more inclined to purchase from that advertiser.

This, especially considering how wary advertisers are of having their ads placed next to “bad news” (of which there’s been plenty this year), speaks volumes about the value of advertising aligned with trustworthy content, no matter the content’s sentiment. Reliable content is valuable even in a pandemic and an economic downturn. But when a misleading ad ends up on the page and the user is enticed to click on it, the publisher loses that value.


Cloaking Takes ‘Ghosting’ To The Extreme 

Although today’s “fake ads” scammers use low-tech, psychological strategies to convince users to willingly click, their methods of bypassing ad scanning technology are far more advanced. As such, keeping those fake ads off the page requires advanced, cutting-edge technology. 

Perpetrators of deceptive ads often use cloaking methods to evade creative scanners. In brief, cloaking works like this: The real URL for the ad’s landing page is hidden within the creative code, and a bit of code that looks like the URL of a legitimate company is more clearly evident. Manual QA and basic ad scanning tech usually fail to detect this trick.

In fact, scammers will often go so far as to build fake landing pages, which are scanned and pass inspection at points along the ad supply chain. This works because cloaking can detect an environment where there is a human end-user, and where there is none; a creative scanner is a non-human environment. But when the ad loads on the publisher’s page, the counterfeit creative and landing page are swapped out in real-time, and the user sees a misleading ad that links to a suspect landing page.


Remind Me How Cloaking Works Again?

Cloaking is intended by design to circumvent ad creative scanning, and yet many publishers have little or no defense beyond basic scanning. And solutions that look at only a sample of the ads coming through the programmatic pipes are certainly insufficient: Sensationalistic or clickbait-style ad creative has unusually high CTRs, so scammers can do their damage by buying less inventory than other malvertising methods.

A more advanced solution is absolutely necessary to detect and block bad ads, from any possible demand source, in such a complicated programmatic environment.

The typical user won’t cut the publisher any slack on account of the complexity of programmatic demand sources. The typical user isn’t even aware of the programmatic market’s mechanics. So, to the user, a publisher hosting deceptive ads looks like a willing participant in a scam. The publisher has much to lose by relying on entry-level QA to clean up an advanced-level programmatic setup.


Malvertisers Are Here – And Here To Stay

These quality issues aren’t going away anytime soon. As we’ve shown, publishers may consider a more streamlined programmatic set up a goal, but not a goal they can plan on meeting anytime soon. Digital media consumption is up considerably, in conjunction with remote working and learning arrangements, more leisure time spent at home, and a hectic news cycle.

All of that time users are spending online translates to more opportunities for the ad ecosystem’s bad actors to find their marks.

The digital audience is an especially captive audience in 2020. We don’t yet have an end date for this scenario, and it’s safe to assume some aspects of it will remain long after the pandemic is over. One important example is the shift toward remote work — which many industries had been inching toward for years, and which would be difficult to walk back now that businesses and employees know it can be done. 


The Not So Normal ‘New Normal’

These factors are blurring the lines between our digital work lives and our digital home or leisure lives. Consumers are even buying more online — another habit that’s likely to stick simply because of its convenience and efficiency. Eliminating the work commute and errand runs means eliminating the moments when users had previously logged off and re-situated, returning to the screen in a different mindset or physical setting. We’re likely to see new trends in engagement with digital media, patterns of more seamless consumption that will have an impact on users’ attention to and interaction with page and ad content. The industry will need to watch these trends, as they’re likely to affect the way publishers think about UX.

While it will take time for some of these predictions to bear out, the shifts in behavior we’ve seen since the beginning of the year are quantifiable. Comscore notes that media consumption levels in August 2020 were 31% higher than the first week of February. That’s across 10 content verticals, including news, entertainment, social, health, and education. Visits to news sites alone (not counting weather sites) were up 28% in August, versus early February. Similarly, a DoubleVerify report found media consumption more than doubled, spiking from an average of three hours and 17 minutes with media per day before the pandemic, to six hours and 59 minutes since the pandemic reached the US. And this really does affect users’ engagement with ads: 67% are more likely to look at an ad if it’s on a site they trust. 


Deceptive Ads Are Here For The Long Haul 

Let’s remember publishers’ concerns around deceptive ads aren’t limited to aspects of the COVID pandemic. They also relate to the run-up to the US election, with malicious entities attempting to spread misinformation in digital media, including through deceptive ads and the landing pages they lead to. Unfortunately, publishers should develop ad quality strategies with the expectation that bad actors will use advertising to spread misinformation campaigns long after November. The infrastructure to deliver such ads is in place, we know there are audiences receptive to misinformation, and bad actors can quickly analyze what types of messages work on which audiences. We’ve already seen bad actors sowing political misinformation in the US, the UK, Belarus, Kenya, South Africa and other countries. Deceptive political ads should be considered an evergreen issue and a global issue, one that needs reliable and permanent solutions.

Ad quality issues, including deceptive advertising, are more common on the open exchange than in more exclusive marketplaces. But the open exchange still plays important roles for publishers, in yield optimization and in the discovery of potential new advertising partners. Publishers want the relative safety of more direct partnerships with trusted advertisers. They also need reliable QA automation to confront the unknowns of the open market and detect inappropriate ad creative without overburdening their human teams.


How Publishers Can Take Action 

According to the AdMonsters survey, 17% of publishers have adopted closer partnership with advertisers as a preferred method of blocking and removing deceptive or otherwise inappropriate ads — and 16% intend to lean on that method more in the future. Some publishers with sufficient resources and need have partnered with advertisers and agencies on private marketplaces specific to factors such as content vertical.

For example, one media buyer cited in the Digiday survey mentioned their LGBTQ PMP, where brands that want to buy on LGBTQ content can confidently bid, which has increased revenue for publishers with inventory in that PMP (Prive Marketplace). More granular content categorization on the publisher’s end in turn allows for more granular ad categorization — aligning ad and page content and reducing brand safety issues for the publisher and the advertiser.

PMPs are a good place for a premium publisher’s higher-value inventory, but lower-value inventory stands a chance of being pushed to the open exchange. (For some smaller publishers, this could mean the bulk of their programmatic inventory.) While a deceptive ad may find its way onto the page through a PMP on account of human oversight, such ads will make it to the page from the open exchange because a malicious actor has put in the intentional effort to make it happen.


Improving Creative Inspection  

The AdMonsters survey shows 36% of publishers use the manual creative inspection as a top method of blocking and removing deceptive ads, and 39% say they intend to use manual methods more often. What’s more, 18% rely on manually removing bad ads after they hit the page as a top strategy. This is inefficient and unsustainable for a publisher that relies on programmatic revenue. Deceptive “fake ads,” with all of their temptations for engaged users, are effectively the new auto-redirect.

This problem will continue well into the future. Publishers need to think about the lifetime value of users, which means they must think about continuous protection for their audiences. Publishers understand it’s better for monetization that they cultivate a loyal return audience, as opposed to drawing users to the site for one-time visits where UX and reputations are less serious concerns. Ad quality efforts must be in line with publishers’ desire to cultivate loyal, trusting audiences over time.

Automating QA has obvious benefits for allowing a publisher’s teams to work more efficiently and effectively — but automation needs to be reliable, consistent, and granular enough to let the largest possible number of quality ads through. Before adopting new ad quality automation tools, though, a publisher needs to think about their strategy: their audience’s needs and habits, their content’s strengths and value, and what they want to discover in the open market (as opposed to simply what they want to avoid).


Hard Hits: Let’s Talk Blunt Force Blocking 

For example, while 35% of GeoEdge partners requested blocking health-related ads during the pandemic, publishers should be advised that some of those ads could be for over-the-counter pharmaceuticals that are not only essentially innocuous but potentially helpful to the audience. While a trustworthy ad quality partner advises publishers on how to categorize content and ads to avoid blocking good ads, a good ad quality partner also gives the final say on such matters to the publisher.

Blunt-force ad blocking is indeed a common problem: 83% of publishers say they inadvertently catch good ads in the “deceptive ads” net. Considering publishers need every dollar they can earn, that is too common of a problem.


Shedding Light On The QA Blindspot  

Category block lists are an important part of assuring ad quality, but they’re only one part of several. It’s wise for publishers to attract the widest range of legitimate, quality advertisers possible. The broader conditions or tighter constrictions a publisher puts in place for what counts as “safe,” the more the publisher risks leaving revenue on the table. To avoid screening out quality advertisers, publishers should work with a longer and more specific list of categories, to drill down to blocking types of ad content that are truly and consistently troublesome. They also need to be able to block inappropriate ad content on the keyword or phrase level.

If ad content and page content are to be aligned, so should publishers and their partners. Publishers, demand partners and ad quality vendors should work together to customize and build out specific content verticals. Remember — as in the case of specialized PMPs we explained — specificity helps allay advertisers’ brand safety worries as well, and creates added value for advertisers. This leads to value — more revenue and deeper relationships with quality advertisers — for the publisher.


Locking In Brand Safety 

While advertisers buy on the open programmatic market in the hopes of reaching their audiences at a bargain, advertisers also have expectations of programmatic that are similar to their expectations of direct buys. Brand safety is one of those expectations, and categorization is a precaution to help meet that expectation.

Let’s remember that when an advertiser talks about a brand-safe environment, they’re talking about the entire publisher page, with page content and the other ads on the page. Now, for a publisher, with the sheer volume of deceptive ads in the ecosystem, taking only minor ad quality precautions will likely lead to some deceptive ads on the page.

This quickly becomes a brand safety issue for advertisers, who will then try to avoid paying for inventory on that site in the present and the future. That brand safety issue becomes a revenue issue for the publisher, which perpetuates a vicious cycle. Other advertisers become wary of buying that inventory, publishers become more dependent on every dollar they can earn, more deceptive ads make it to the page as the publisher tries to maximize yield, and the site has even more red flags for advertisers than where we began.

The only way for a publisher to avoid this kind of revenue spin-out is to take a proactive approach to ad quality assurance, and to monitor incoming ads for indicators of inappropriate and deceptive content.


Protecting Your Brand 

The programmatic market is, for many publishers, an essential part of revenue strategy. But because managing demand partners is so complex, decisions regarding a demand source can have a ripple effect across a whole programmatic setup, and threats to the integrity of ad inventory are so common and difficult to flag in advance, it can feel to a publisher like a marketplace full of necessary evils.

Publishers should not be resigned to the mistaken idea that the problematic parts of programmatic are simply a force of nature. These problems were created by humans and technology, and they can be solved by the same.

The better publishers and their partners are at mitigating programmatic’s issues, the more acclimated advertisers become to hitting campaign goals (including brand safety), and the more acclimated users become to a positive UX where page and ad content is aligned and trustworthy. 


5 Actionable Steps To Avoid Brand Harm 

Publishers need to be not just on the ball, but ahead of the ball, in order to deliver on expectations and remain competitive. Here are some actions publishers can take today in order to make their programmatic setups safer and more profitable:


  • Automate your QA process, but enhance it with the human touch. Manually keeping tabs on all of your demand sources is too much for a publisher’s teams to manage, without seriously impacting workflow and the ability to move the business forward. Automating the process of monitoring incoming ads and flagging or blocking bad creative saves your teams time and mental energy. But the ability to customize automated tools to the specific needs of your business helps avoid false positives.
  • Create specific, granular content parameters with your ad quality partner. “Over-blocking” leaves revenue on the table. Publishers should think beyond content verticals and break down narrower categories that tell a clearer and more accurate story about your content. To advertisers, a broad content category may seem like a brand safety minefield, but granular content categorization can mean the difference of separating landmines from safe ground. Work with ad quality partners who can break down content categories so your inventory gets the demand it deserves.
  • Identify high-quality advertisers that have found your site via programmatic channels, and develop relationships with them. Publishers and advertisers know well that one of the great benefits of programmatic is discovery — discovery of previously unknown places where target audiences are engaged (for advertisers), and of previously unknown buyers (for publishers). But it bears repeating, and it should be a continuous process. Don’t settle for keeping good advertisers at arm’s length in the open exchange if you can pull them closer and contribute to the virtuous cycle we discussed earlier.
  • Consider building out new PMPs to provide oversight of ad quality, while allowing buyers to transact as they’d like. PMPs obviously incentivize buyers to buy inventory fearlessly, knowing in advance which publishers they’ll be buying from. Building out PMPs around specific content categories allows them to be fearless about buying adjacency to the content they believe to be safe and desirable. Content category-specific PMPs give publishers and advertisers another lever to align page content and ad content — for everyone’s benefit, including users.
  • Choose an ad quality partner that can provide real-time protection of your inventory and detect technologically advanced threats. Basic creative scanning does not detect cloaking attacks, and it often does not monitor all incoming ad creative. Deceptive ads have proven to be tempting to users, and it’s too risky to publisher reputation, traffic and revenue to let them render on the page at all. Publishers need real-time detection of inappropriate ads, and they need an ad quality partner who can monitor ad creative exhaustively for hidden surprises. These are characteristics that are not commonly found among ad quality vendors, but the GeoEdge team has worked for years to understand the ad ecosystem well enough to deliver handily.

Navigating The New World Together 

The state of programmatic feels fraught at times with ad quality issues, but programmatic channels are more valuable than they’ve ever been to publishers and advertisers alike. And thanks to the advanced technology and constant innovation of leading ad quality vendors like GeoEdge, programmatic has never been more safely navigable.

The key is to navigate it together — with tech and demand partners you can trust. That trust helps keep ad and page content aligned without excessive manual efforts — and it carries through to the user’s relationship with the site. 

Today’s users value digital experiences that they believe the publisher values. High-quality content and safe, on-brand ads are two pieces of a whole. Together, they send a clear message that you care about the environment you’ve built, and that you value the attention your audience devotes to it. Advertisers pick up on that message, and respond with opportunities for the publisher to earn more revenue from this mutually beneficial relationship. Start the virtuous cycle today by working with your partners to create a firm, sustainable ad quality strategy you can easily manage across all the programmatic channels your publisher business rely on.


Alisha is a Technology Writer and Marketing Manager at GeoEdge. Her writing focuses on current events in the AdTech ecosystem and cyberattacks served through the digital advertising supply chain. You can find Alisha on LinkedIn to discuss brand building and happenings in AdTech.

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