Ad serving is a name given to a set of technologies and procedures that are responsible for placing ads on websites and optimizing their performance. Publishers and it specialists need ad servers and ad serving software to automate and streamline their advertising efforts and maximize impact.

Ad serving technology

From a publisher’s and a marketer’s perspective, what this technology does, in a nutshell, is communicate between a website that a user requests in his or her browser and the ad server that processes available information and feeds the most adequate ads to this website. The whole process, despite its complexity, takes milliseconds so that it creates as little discomfort as possible for surfers. In fact, every time a website calls for an ad, it sets in motion a series of discreet actions that culminate in displaying an advertising banner or text to a site. Before it succeeds in doing this, ad serving technology performs a number of calculations that involve sifting through its databases, targeting the message on the basis of such things as geographical location or other profiling data, matching ads in time and adjusting its actions to the rules of a particular internet marketing campaign. The end result is the delivery of the most relevant ad to a site.

However, the latest ad serving systems do not stop there. After the message is displayed, they engage in collecting and processing valuable information about its delivery and performance so that the procedure improves itself over time and offers objective insights for publishers and marketers alike. This makes it easier to monitor progress of internet marketing campaigns and react to market changes in a way that promotes your business.

Why?

The main reason for investing in ad machine learning technology is that it simplifies and automates a large part of online advertising management, being a necessity of sorts if you want to monetize on the web. Its functionality is impressive as it allows to upload ads, target them with precision to user groups and content, track and maximize their performance and report their key indicators, like clicks, in detail. More advanced systems can also be useful in sequencing ads, capping their frequency, targeting on the basis of a user’s previous online history (behavioral targeting) or excluding competition from site you want to dominate. As the area expands due to rising demand, more innovations are likely to follow, making it a must technology to keep your eyes on.

How?

The basic distinction is between local ad servers (owned by one publisher and used to run ads on their property) or remote servers (delivering ads across different domains from a central pool). Another important choice to make is selecting the provider of the ad serving technology. Luckily, it is a competitive market, with a number of big players to choose and pick from. The premier league of ad serving platforms includes EmediateAd, DoubleClick, DART, OpenX and Zedo.