Brand safety is a growing issue in the programmatic advertising ecosystem. Advertisers are picky with the websites they will show their ads on, while ad server for publishers needs to stay on top: the single error can cause drastic loss in ad revenue. How to choose a safe ad server for publishers, which provides minimum to zero discrepancies and which is flexible enough to ensure additional security?
In this article, we'll reveal 3 non-obvious factors for publishers to look at while choosing the ad server:
- IP Whitelisting
- TAG Certification
#1 Uptime in Publisher Ad Server
What is ad server uptime? Uptime is the measure of time that an adserver functions without any interruptions. The ideal percentage is 100%, meaning that there were no downtimes or errors during the ad server functioning. Ad server downtimes refer to the time when the ad server was not available, eg. maintenance downtime. However, in reality, 100% uptime sounds a bit utopic.
Uptime is important as it evaluates the level of success provided by ad serving platforms in real-time. This metric shows the uninterrupted performance of an ad server and quantifies its value for the publisher. You can include uptime or downtime ratios in your service level agreement (SLA) or another real-time service contract.
If the ad server fails to perform, the advertiser's ads won't be shown on your website which will, in turn, result in a drop of online ad revenue for both the publisher and advertiser. Obviously, the more websites or domains you plan to add to your publisher ad server, the higher the uptime percentage you should expect.
How to calculate the ad server uptime?
The Uptime is calculated by dividing the number of hours that the ad serving system (ad server) is functioning during a certain period of time by the number of hours per year and multiply it by 100.
Number of hours functioning without interruption /number of hours per year * 100 = Uptime Percentage
Let's calculate the annual uptime of Epom Ad Server:
- There are 365 days in the year, while the hours are 365. Multiply it by 24 and you get 8760 hours.
If the Ad Server had 1-hour of downtime per year, then that would mean that there are 8759 hours of
uptime. Hence, the calculation would be pretty simple:
(8759 / 8760) x 100 = 99.997%
The total annual uptime of Epom Ad Server would be 99.997%
Epom Ad Server had zero downtimes for the last 2 years in a row, but we guarantee 99.99% uptime to our publishers.
#2 IP Whitelisting in Ad Server Account
IP whitelisting in the ad server account enables publishers to create lists of trustworthy IP addresses which can be used by your users to access the ad server account. IP whitelist is an additional security feature designed to control and limit the access to trusted users only. IP whitelisting can be set via the Epom Ad Server Support team or directly in the publisher account.
Whitelisting is an optional security measure for online publishers, that will help you gain the total control over your ad account. Once enabled, IP Whitelist will deny access to any addresses not included in the list by default.
Here's how to set up IP Whitelisting in your Epom Ad Server Account:
How whitelisting can help your business?
You can easily prevent your former employees from accessing Epom Ad Server and keep away unauthorized users having your adserver credentials (login and password). It's a free ad server option for both online publishers and advertisers.
#3 TAG Certification
According to White Ops study, advertisers lost $6.5 billion in 2017 to bot-generated, invalid traffic. TAG, an association of ad-industry trade groups, launched its certification programs for publishers to conquer the still prevalent issue of malware in the digital advertising supply chain.
TAG certification is a rigorous process, which often requires a financial investment from publishers, and takes time, commitment, and action to complete. To reinforce their standing as good actors, suppliers are increasingly registering to become TAG certified and prove their compliance with the new advertising standards.
Basically, TAG has a mission to cover four major digital advertising issues:
- Eliminate Fraudulent Traffic program was designed to ensure ad impressions are seen by real people and payments are going to legitimate companies.
- Combat Malware aims at shutting down malware distributors and participating in a first-of-its-kind sharing hub to warn companies of malware attacks, with law enforcement to support investigations and prosecution of criminal activity.
- Fight Internet Piracy certification helps ad agencies and advertisers maintain brand-safe advertising. It eliminates the reputational risk from ad placement on publisher websites with pirated or restricted content and counterfeit products.
- Promote Transparency & gain a better understanding of the digital supply chain and the challenges that threaten its continued success.
As a publisher, you need to make sure the company you're partnering with, is heading towards third-party assurance to their full transparency.
How to check if the company has a TAG-registry status?
- Go to the official TAG website
- Type the name of the company in the search box.
- See its status in the results.
In the constant goal of supporting the highest advertising standards and global movement against fraud & malware, Epom Ad Server joins forces with the best advertising players. Transparency has always been the backbone of Epom Ad Server, and we are ready to meet the industry challenges with concrete actions. We are ready to combine our best adserver safety mechanisms with TAG-registry status.
Publishers need to consider the available ad serving security options before running ad campaigns to ensure maximum protection from the ad serving providers. Ad Server for publishers has to provide the best possible ad serving features while ensuring the utmost protection.