Are Your Digital Ads Being Served on Legitimate Websites and Apps?Katie Pray
Typically, when we double something, it’s a good thing. You can’t have a bad day if you get a double scoop ice cream cone, a double cheeseburger, or you double your salary. The same holds true when it comes to digital advertising. One hesitation with business owners that maybe aren’t familiar with digital advertising or have done it in the past and didn’t have great results, is that they worry about bot traffic or their ad appearing on inappropriate websites and/or apps. With all our campaigns, we are able to make sure we are only serving ads on legitimate websites and apps with no bot or spam traffic by automatically including a filter that is layered on top of the campaign, called DoubleVerify.
DoubleVerify is the leading verification platform for digital media measurement, data, and analytics. Their mission is to be the definitive source of transparency and data-driven insights into the quality and effectiveness of digital advertising for the world’s largest brands, publishers, and digital ad platforms. DoubleVerify’s technology platform provides advertisers with consistent and unbiased data and analytics that can be used to optimize the quality and return on their digital ad investments. Since 2008, DoubleVerify has helped hundreds of Fortune 500 companies gain the most from their media spend by delivering best in class solutions across the digital advertising ecosystem, helping to build a better industry. Now this technology is being applied to campaigns that run with us.
When a business is looking to increase sales, they want to make sure they are marketing their business, but they don’t want to market to just anyone; they want to zero in on that audience they are looking to reach and market to people that are interested in their product or service. That is the beauty of digital advertising- we can target a group of people in a specific geographic area that have shown they are interested in certain behaviors, or they have researched or looked for specific products and services. But as I just mentioned, some businesses might be wary of digital advertising because they want to ensure their ad is going to be viewed on websites that actual people are going to, or websites that aren’t spam. With DoubleVerify, we are able to authenticate the quality of digital ad impressions ensuring fraud-free, brand-safe, ad environments.
Through our partnership with DoubleVerify, we are running ad campaigns consisting of a one/two punch because we only bid on inventory that matches the stipulated targeting strategies AND is on websites/apps that are authenticated by DoubleVerify. This means that all impressions we serve need to meet both criteria – the geography and targeting requested by the business, AND the DoubleVerify parameters.
This added layer of verification that we are running is included on all campaigns that are using:
- Video Pre-Roll
- Over the Top (OTT)
- Social Mirror™
- Household IP Targeting (HHIP)
- Online Audio
As for our other products such as Facebook and Instagram and Mobile Conquesting™, they already have DoubleVerify automatically layered into their campaigns. With Amazon, they automatically filter fraudulent and invalid traffic, as well as unsafe content using a combination of proprietary technology and solutions from comScore and Sizmek. This service is available by default for Amazon DSP customers. Google also has their own brand safety standards in place. Our Pay-Per-Click buys appear in the brand safe search engine results pages, instead of within the pages of a website itself. In the ever-evolving world of digital, our goal is to give advertisers and our partners confidence that their online investment is protected.
There are two ways the DoubleVerify filters protect campaigns:
- BRAND SAFETY: DoubleVerify evaluates each real-time bidding auction for Brand Safety and only allows a bid to happen if it deems the publisher Brand Safe. Brand Safe filters out content related to Adult Content, Drugs/Alcohol/Controlled Substances, Extreme Graphic/Explicit Violence/Weapons, Hate Speech/Profanity, Illegal Activities, Incentivized/Malware/Clutter, and Piracy/Copyright Infringement.
- FRAUD: DoubleVerify confirms the site is safe from Fraud & Invalid Traffic Browsers including Bots, Data Center, Hijacked Devices, Injected Ads and Emulators. DoubleVerify uses a proprietary, MRC-accredited metric that ensures media quality. To be counted as Authentic, an ad must be seen by a real person, in a brand safe environment, within the intended geography. DoubleVerify is the only company accredited to measure and de-duplicate ad quality in this manner.
Over the years, the term “Brand Safety” has become a buzzword in digital, and what it really means is “how do you protect me, so my ad doesn’t appear on websites and apps that I feel are inappropriate?” More than three quarters of brands say brand safety is a key priority when it comes to marketing their business.
With our ad campaigns, there are a couple of things we do to maximize brand safety. First, we integrate with top brand safety partners in the industry (like DoubleVerify), and they make sure that ads run only on appropriate websites and apps. They look at fraud and see if there are bots on websites and if there is good inventory. Also, by default, we have a blacklist of apps and websites that we’ve seen either not perform well or seem kind of fishy, or inappropriate, and then those are automatically locked out of our campaigns. We do this for Display, Native, Video Pre-Roll, Social Mirror™, OTT, and Online Audio. Something else to remember is that if a client is running a campaign and is utilizing Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), A.I. campaigns optimize for conversions as well as clicks, so that is automatically going to weed out any spam or bot traffic type of websites.
In the event that a business wants to go beyond that and exclude entire categories of websites and apps, that is something we can do, but it will come with a cost, literally. The CPM will increase since its costs more to excludes categories and it can also affect inventory, so that is something you want to remember if a client does want to restrict their campaign even further.
By partnering with DoubleVerify, this gives you a leg up when you’re up against another digital provider, or if you’re submitting a request for proposal for a business that is putting a digital ad campaign out for bid, because you’re going to be able to say that all the impressions that you serve are qualified through DoubleVerify. So next time you run into a situation where a business owner is questioning the validity of where ads are running and “digital ads are only being clicked on by bots” go ahead and hit them with the reality that that is not the case because our goal is to give advertisers confidence that their investment of running a digital campaign is protected. Go ahead; I double-dog dare you.