Ad Quality: Why it Matters to Mediavine and Our Publishers

male travel blogger taking photos on a DSLR camera on a tripod with cliffs and ocean behind him

At Mediavine, we’ve said countless times that ads… well, they can sort of suck.

This sounds backwards coming from a full-service advertising management company, but helping content creators create sustainable businesses requires a broad, holistic, and comprehensive long-game strategy that promotes quality at every turn.

Mediavine publishers trust us to place high quality advertisements that are relevant to both the content and users, don’t slow down their sites, and aren’t detrimental to user experience.

As a company founded for publishers, by publishers, we understand this responsibility and have made ad quality a top priority from day one through our relationships with our advertisers, custom built technology and feedback from publishers and users.

How serious are we about ad quality?

In May 2018, Mediavine joined an elite group of like-minded companies worldwide in becoming a member of the Coalition for Better Ads. This aligns Mediavine with the likes of Facebook, Google and Microsoft in helping to leverage consumer insights and business expertise to establish and improve industry standards.

Coalition for Better Ads

Not only does Mediavine strictly adhere to the standards set by the Coalition for Better Ads, we are helping to shape the standards ourselves.

In the early days of digital advertising, quality wasn’t as complicated. Nearly all ads were directly sold. If you didn’t like the content, you simply squashed an ad campaign before it went live.

In the current environment, this is not such an easy task.

Mediavine ads are 100% programmatic and come from a wide variety of ad exchanges. These exchanges use complicated algorithms to draw from a huge pool of ads that best fits the content on the page and/or browsing history of the user, all within nanoseconds. (For more explanation of how Mediavine ads tick, watch for our Facebook Live featuring Senior Vice President of Sales and Revenue, Phil Bohn.)

Unfortunately, this technology is not perfect and can lead to ads that are irrelevant, slow, or intrusive, resulting in a poor user experience that might prevent a return visit.

How do we combat this?

Our ad quality strategy begins with a firm foundation centered around relationships with every ad partner. Standards are set to ensure only family-friendly, brand-safe ad content. In other words, if a child peeks over your shoulder while viewing content from a Mediavine publisher, you can rest assured they are seeing appropriate ad content.

In addition to this, we also place floors, or minimum prices we are willing to accept for your inventory. By having these floors in place, we can filter out advertisers with low quality ads by immediately pricing them out of our real-time auction before it ever begins.

Beyond this filtering and flooring, we put additional control in publishers’ hands. Inside every Mediavine dashboard is the choice to opt out of certain categories of ads, giving the content creator wide latitude over customizing what ad content is permitted or denied on their site.

For example, a vegan recipe blog is able to block meat-related ads, an organic gardening site can filter out chemical-based lawn products, and so on — all in just a few clicks.

No other ad management company gives you this level of control, convenience and publisher support when it comes to what ad content your users are seeing!

Screenshot of Mediavine Dashboard Ad Opt Outs

And, because good is never good enough and filters are never perfect, we have a third, even more reactive layer of security when it comes to ad quality.

Bad advertisers are experts at doing what they do — exploiting loopholes and getting their ads in front of users by any means necessary. Sometimes that means miscategorizing their ads, or swapping out the creative content of ads after they’ve been audited by our ad partner.

In the pool of millions of digital ads across our various partners, tracking one specific bad ad was once a “needle in a haystack” proposition. Not anymore.

Mediavine has Mediavine Ad Reporter, giving any user the ability to report a bad ad. Under every ad unit on both display and mobile, you will see a “Report This Ad” button.

An example ad highlighting the location of the report button.

By clicking this button, you directly contact the Mediavine support team, who will comb through the HTML of that specific ad and determine which partner served it, which advertiser paid for it, and other identifying information so it can be removed, never to return again.

When it comes to site health, and building a successful business for the long run, ad quality is as central to that strategy as anything. As with everything we do, Mediavine is committed to staying at the forefront of the push for higher standards and greater transparency.

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