In this article we will review some Pros and Cons of the use of 3rd party ad serving technology for online publishers.
An Ad Tag is based on 3rd party technology. The logic is simply that the ads that are set on a web page are deriving from an external server. Basically, a web page is allowing 3rd party Ad Server data to be set on its web site. With that, he is allowing his traffic to be subjected to this 3rd party’s data. The ad tag points the browser to the Publisher’s Ad Server, a system designed exclusively for delivering and tracking advertising. In most cases, the Ad Server is actually a network of cloud servers owned and maintained by a separate company (i.e. 3rd party platform). In this case, the content server tells the browser to fetch the ad from the Ad Server (i.e. – Google’s Double click, Yahoo’s Right Media, etc.), that then makes the very complex decision on which ad to serve.
ü Advertiser’s diversity – Since the ads are deriving from the Ad Exchange (a 3rd party platform that holds many advertisers in its capacity), it allows the presence of many advertisers for a single publisher. This gives that publisher an added advantage, since he can constantly present different ads on the site, and with that ability – to generate more conversion by diversifying the type of ads set on the page.
ü Managing and optimization by a 3rd party – Management of the ad is usually set by an agency or an Ad Network that provides the 3rd party tags to the publisher. These Ad Networks holds account managers that are in charge of managing and controlling the targeting for Ad types. Optimizing the campaigns based on specific sites assures that the correct publisher receive the right Ads to show on its site.
ü Segmentation and retargeting – The 3rd party tag has many capabilities. In part, they can attract and show ads to already segmented users, and to retarget these users. As such, they will most definitely encore a higher conversion rate. Retargeting the same user segments gives the advantage to pin-point specific users that are more likely to convert.
ü Minor technical issues – By using a 3rd Party Ad Tag, there is no need of any technical knowledge. All that the publisher need to do is to set the Ad Tag in the HTML on the page and to assure that an Ad is seen.
ü No control over 3rd party data – Since all data is set at 3rd party ad exchange, there is no real data transfer, and as such using that tag may apply data fetching/cookie insertion etc. The publisher must constantly assure that he is receiving the correct targeted request for Ad/advertisers.
ü No transparency and knowledge of the advertisers – The list of advertisers in an Ad Exchange is not always visible to the publishers. The use of the 3rd party ad tags can initiate ads by unknown/unwanted advertisers. Usually, publishers try to get most data possible about the supplied advertisers, but in many cases the data is unknown when received from a 3rd party.
ü Risk of showing unwanted ads to the publisher’s users – Apply to the same issue above, by having the risk of unwanted advertisers; we can most definitely apply for the risk of unwanted ads. The risk of showing porn, violence etc. ads on a premium site is one of the major cons of using the 3rd party ad Tags.
However, using a comprehensive ad verification solution will eliminates the risk of working with 3rd party ad tags, so only the publisher’s pros objectives are met.