Viewability, transparency and accountability – three elements as individually rare in Ad Tech as they are important. In an environment where click fraud, bot traffic and ad blocking threaten to waste advertisers’ money and decimate publishers’ ability to generate revenue from their work, transparency, visibility and accountability in digital advertising is of paramount importance.
According to a recent study by the IPG Media Lab, 57% of display ads are not human viewable. At the same time, bots comprise of 17% of programmatically-bought ad views. Given the glut of non-human clicks on ads, viewability should be considered an indicator of non-human click traffic. Obviously, an ad that is not viewed but clicked cannot have been a legitimate click. These are more often than not clicks by bots – fake humans on hijacked computers that exist to click fraudulently on traffic.
Swoop takes an aggressive approach to viewability – rather than the MRC-mandated viewability requirement of 50% of an ad viewable for one second, we demand 100% of an ad be viewable. This is possible because our ads don’t render until they are actually within the user’s viewport – thus bots cannot click on Swoop ads like they can on RTB-served ads that render on pageload. This, combined with Swoop’s usage of MRC-certified bot detection vendor Forensiq ensures Swoop ads are best in class when it comes to anti-bot techniques.
Transparency is another key factor of success. Again turning to the pressing issue of click fraud, one of the most-commonly-recommended best practices is to know where your ads are running. This can be very challenging when working with ad exchanges – most real-time bidding ad platforms have little to no transparency into on what domains your ads are showing. This combined with a purely programmatic relationship with the publisher base opens your campaigns up to running on domains known for ad fraud or heavy bot traffic, set up with a singular goal of faking thousands of dollars worth of clicks. ANA’s WhiteOps report also indicates that up to 50% of publisher activity can come from bot traffic, so a transparent view of an ad tech provider’s publishers is not just useful, but necessary.
Additionally, a lack of transparency can be problematic for your brand – even if it’s being viewed by a real person, you don’t want your brand’s advertising shown on sites that are irrelevant, offensive or even just choked with invasive advertisements.
As with viewability, Swoop takes an aggressive approach to ensuring that ads run on sites you know, and presents you with a transparent look at your campaigns. Because we have a direct relationship with our network of premium publishers rather than relying on a bidding platform, we can easily tell advertisers which domains are sending clicks and conversions.
Finally, accountability is something rare in the ad tech world. With your standard ad tech operating in the real-time bidding model, there are multiple parties involved with an ad impression and potential click – multiple data tracking companies, the RTB platform, the ad company that wins the bid, the advertisers (or ad distributors) behind the winning bid – so at any given time, nobody is sure what is whose fault. If something goes wrong, be it as simple as an ad click going to a bot or an ad with malware being served, fingers point in countless directions and, in the end, no corrective action can really be taken.
To bastardize a famous quote from one of the Presidents Truman, with Swoop, the buck stops here. Again, our direct relationships and complete control over the entirety of the advertising process mean that we have full oversight of the process. Ads don’t show up accidentally in places they don’t belong, and the ad that does show up is one that has been vetted by Swoop, not by a company several degrees removed from Swoop. We aggressively embrace that accountability, which is one of the major reasons we take direct relationships with both publishers and advertisers seriously as well as run best-in-class bot detection to ensure that clicks received are from real people.
Hopefully, this details how important it is for ad tech companies you work with to be serious about viewability, transparency and accountability. Also, hopefully it puts a spotlight on how Swoop is different, and how we’re serious about making sure that we buffer our clients – be they publishers, advertisers or end users – from the issues endemic with the industry.
In the end, it’s useful to look at each and every one of your advertising partners and ask:
- Am I only paying for viewable impressions?
- Do I know where my ads are actually running?
- Am I protected from non-human (bot) traffic?
If the answer to all three questions is ‘yes,’ you can be sure that you have a long-term partner who is dedicated to making your advertising work for you, not for them.
Try Swoop today, whether you’re a publisher looking for a great revenue-generating partner, or an advertiser looking to extend your successful search advertising campaigns to a tremendous stable of premium publishers.