Advertising Technology

This is where waterfalls should stay

In Digiday's most recent addition to its “WTF is [fill in the blank]?” series, the issue of waterfalling was tackled.

It was described as just one solution among the “dark art of yield optimization,” and was also coined as “one of the most dependable.

As dependable as it might be, it's definitely sub-optimal.

Waterfalling is the act of offering your impressions to one demand partner at a time in sequential auctions.

Waterfalling quickly becomes a vicious cycle. When you give one demand source first look at your best impressions, of course they're going to bid highest and take the best ones and pass on the rest. When the next demand partner is given access only to those unbought by the first, their average bid and fill will almost always be way lower than the first position partner. And the performance gets worse and worse for each subsequent partner in the waterfall. Waterfalling is a terrible way to measure the effectiveness of demand partners because of the take-turn method of the bidding.

Wouldn't it be great if you could get those demand players in the same room at the same time bidding on the same impressions? You know, like auctions work in real life?

There are a few methods available to achieve this outcome now, but publishers will only see actual max yield for their impressions when there is true competition for each and every impression.

Waterfalling, as dependable as it is, will never achieve that. They should stick to nature.

Read More: WTF is Waterfalling? (Digiday)

Photo Credit: Pauli Carmody (Flickr, CC)

By |March 11th, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments

5 Things You Need To Know About ‘Advance Bidding’

It's simple auction economics — the more people bidding on and competing for an item, the higher the price the item will sell for. Why wouldn't publishers want this for their ad inventory?

They do, obviously. But they're not getting it under the current programmatic setup.

The current programmatic auction dynamic is a “members only club,” with many would-be buyers waiting outside to bid on what's left after the initial auction. The approach of ‘Advance Bidding' aims to fix that.

In an effort to shed light on this relatively new concept, here are five things you need to know about Advance Bidding.

First, just what is Advance Bidding?

Advance Bidding is a type of inventory bid management that allows publishers to offer first look and bid opportunity to multiple programmatic partners that is then carried through to the publishers adserver. The set up is powered by a demand partner's javascript tag that is placed on a publisher's page (usually in the header) which requests bids from the partner before the adserver is called. This is sometimes referred to as header tag integrations or tagless integrations. The demand partner passes their bid value (through a key value pair) into the ad tag(s) that call the adserver. A campaign with line items in the publisher's adserver are pre-set to target to those parameters. If the demand partner's campaign wins above all other opportunity, the partner is called to serve the ad at the price they bid to pay.

What is the key benefit?

At its root, the key benefit is Advance Bidding's core concept — it enables publishers to increase bidding competition on a per-impression basis, which can drive up the price and increase overall advertising revenue. By taking cross marketplace bids and placing them in the first auction/marketplace, all marketplaces can compete to win the impression.

What's the main drawback?

At this early stage of Advance Bidding integrations, it's not plug and play. Since we're talking about integrating multiple demand partners, the implementation has to be tailored to each specific partner. This type of custom coding isn't easy, and there are no standards yet defined. Publishers who are early technology adopters shouldn't shy away as effective functionality is achievable through proper setup. More importantly, there are concerns to address around data leakage (the browser exposes a lot about the user and the page to these buyers even if they don't buy) and page latency. Setting up time out limits across partners so pages aren't held up from rendering is super important to avoid hurting the user experience.

What do I need to set this up?

Advance Bidding integrations usually require help from your development team to get the code added to pages as well as support from adops to set up the corresponding campaign line items in your adserver and let's not forget a BD resource to set up the account and integration with the platforms that offer it.

So, who are some of the vendors offering it?

The concept of Advance Bidding is available through integrations from a number of demand/marketplace platforms. To list a few: A9 (Amazon), MediaMath, Sonobi, Rubicon, Index Exchange, OpenX, and Criteo all offer it.

Here at Technorati, we see value in this approach and have built management tools to address some of the key drawbacks to this bidding method.

By |March 5th, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments

Blocked ads certainly aren’t viewable, are they?

Fraud, viewability and trust are big issues for the online ad industry right now. There's a lot of overlap. Fraudulent impressions aren't viewable (because they're “seen” by bots), and this erodes trust in the relationship between buying and selling.

There's another part of the trust mission — the users. You know, the ones advertisers want to see their ads. There seems to be eroding trust on the user-side, as is apparent from the continued growth of ad-blocking software.

This is why so many are working toward improving viewability and trust, while also trying to squash fraud.

Also on the trust topic, publishers are apparently quite wary of Facebook's direct-publishing play. Obviously.

  • Publishers arm for war with ad blockers (Digiday) – Publishers aren't being passive in the fight, however. Advertising is how they pay to have their content produced, and some pubs are saying if you're not going to take part in their advertising game then you can't take part in their content either.
  • In The Quest For 100% Viewability, Everyone Takes A Different Path (AdExchanger) – Here's a breakdown of the pitfalls faced in terms of the journey toward 100% ad viewability. One thing to ad: the third-party viewability tech providers that aren't standardized can hurt. If the buy- and sell-sides are using different vendors, it can lead to discrepancies and then nobody wins in the this-vs.-that which follows.

By |February 20th, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments

Technorati emerges as leader in inventory quality after venture with Forensiq

Technorati, an advertising technology company focused on accelerating publishers programmatic revenues, has partnered with Forensiq, a leading advertising technology company that fights ad fraud, to provide a safe environment for buyers and sellers to transact programmatically with minimal risk of fraud. This successful partnership has helped Technorati achieve industry recognition from the IAB and Pixalate as a leader in quality assurance and seller trust.

In the programmatic landscape where nearly 40 percent of impressions are served to bots, ad fraud is costing advertiser billions in misspent campaign dollars. Technorati has long focused on combating the rise of fraudulent traffic and creating a network that truly benefits both advertisers and publishers.

As a result of these efforts, Technorati earned a spot among the top 25 on Pixalate's Global Seller Trust Index. The index rates companies based on various qualitative analyses to bring trust, transparency, and success to the programmatic marketplace.

“Maintaining network quality is paramount because Technorati holds a crucial role for programmatic publishers,” Technorati CEO Shani Higgins said. “Being transparent and creating trust in the system takes a major step in ensuring those on both sides of the equation know they can transact with confidence. We take our role in the effort to improve the value of digital advertising very seriously.”

Technorati partnered with Forensiq over the summer to further the mission of ensuring that only quality impressions were being served. Through this partnership, Technorati built on its commitment to quality by blocking additional suspicious publishers and millions of impressions in order to ensure that only the highest quality of the inventory was under its management.

“While we did forgo some revenue in the short term by removing all sources of non-human traffic from the network, in the long run our ability to monetize the quality inventory on our network has greatly improved,” Technorati Sr. Director of Network Operations Chris Hallenbeck said. “Forensiq's tools helped us improve the value and performance of our inventory, thereby increasing advertiser demand and quality publisher retention.”

Working with Forensiq and improving the quality of inventory has been one of the contributing factors to growing overall metrics for Technorati. Comparing average CPMs across the Technorati network year over year, Technorati saw an increase of 37% across average Q4 2014 CPMs vs. the prior year.

Showing the commitment to invest in the quality of the inventory helps buyers be more comfortable with the inventory they are placing their ads on when buying through that platform.
“Assuring high quality, fraud-free inventory is a virtuous cycle,” said Dean Harris, CMO for Forensiq. “To borrow a concept from Economics, better quality inventory will perform better and those better performing sites will get more digital investment at a higher CPM because they are trusted and work more effectively.”

Technorati's focus on quality has also resulted in becoming one of the introductory organizations to achieve the IAB Quality Assurance Guidelines, which has a goal of providing transparency to advertisers as well as defining a framework for industry-wide sell-side disclosures to ensure buyers are enabled to make informed decisions.

About Technorati
Technorati is a company of advertising technology specialists working toward rewarding the creators of great content. To accomplish this, Technorati builds tools and services that accelerates publishers' programmatic revenues as well as makes partnering in programmatic easier and more effective for publishers. Technorati is headquartered in San Francisco.

About Forensiq
Forensiq is a fast growing company that has developed and implemented a series of effective solutions to help fight online ad fraud from impressions to clicks to conversions. The firm combines the latest technology plus a dedicated staff of fraud fighters who are obsessed with helping clients stay steps ahead of the bad actors and achieve a better ROI. Forensiq is headquartered in New York City with offices in London and San Francisco. The company won 3 LeadsCouncil LEADER Awards in 2015 plus the Leads Council LEADER Award for Best-In-Class for Fraud Detection in 2014. To learn more, visit

By |February 17th, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments

Peering through the window at an evolving programmatic landscape

An industry that's evolving comes with it many other evolutions as well — how we think and talk about things, how solve new problems, how we solve old problems, and how sometimes it's preferred to just stick to what you do best. Here's a roundup of headlines from this week that covers changing terminology and strategies and a company changing its strategy and focus. There's also a bit on what we can learn from windows (the real ones, not the OS).

  • The New Premium: How Programmatic Changes The Way Advertisers Value Inventory (AdExchanger) – As any industry grows and evolves, so does its terminology. In terms of the online advertising industry, one of those evolving terms is “premium inventory.” Previously tied to channel and content type, the term is more often being used in reference to the audience sitting in front of those impressions.
  • How Rampant is Online Ad Fraud? (Wall Street Journal) – comScore released data this week that indicates a majority (but not all) of the online fraud is tied to the bottom 20 percent of ad campaigns. This would seem to support the theory of fraud being at least somewhat avoidable if you work with the right partners.
  • SAY Media Unloads Its Websites to Focus on Tech (AdWeek) – Being a publisher isn't easy. Being a tech company isn't easy. Being both is proving to be pretty impossible. Focus on what you want to do, and work with trusted partners for the rest.

By |February 6th, 2015|Advertising Technology|0 Comments