Ad Server Verification – Geographic and Device Reporting

geography

Geo Reporting

Probably the most well established verification technology is Geographical Reporting (also called “Geo-Performance”). Third party ad servers can detect the IP address of the cookied user. The IP address can then be run through a mapping database (such as Digital Element) which maps IP addresses to their location, the same method used for geo-targeting.

Third party ad servers will keep an up to date list of IP mappings and so are able to provide reports that show where the ads were delivered to at the country and in some instances city, DMA and zip/postal code levels. Just as with geo targeting, region accuracy declines sharply the closer that the data tries to get to pinpoint user exact location.

Geo performance reports show the exact numbers of impressions and clicks delivered to these locations. Those campaigns intended for display purely to an audience based in the UK for instance and are shown in Geo reporting to be distribute worldwide create means for the Advertiser to approach the Publisher or network to demand the campaign be adjusted to match the right geographic audience.

Geo performance can also be used in conjunction with conversion data, to identify which regions or countries are responsible for the majority of conversion events across the campaign. Those regions found to be more lucrative could then be geo targeted with a specific creative message.

Since the Publisher can control the IP delivery inside the Publisher ad server to correct the problem of incorrect geographical delivery, third party ad server reporting is directly actionable. For the trafficker it is usually just a case of enabling the collection of IP data at the Advertiser level within the account in the third party ad server interface before the campaign goes live or during delivery. To view reporting, the trafficker needs to only look into the reporting interface in the third party ad server.

Device Verification

Browsers make publicly available their version number (referred to as a “User Agent”) which can be captured by a third party ad server via a JavaScript call. The version number reveals some indication about the device type. For instance the safari browser is only supported on IOS (Apple) devices and products, therefore the presence of Safari for any version verifies that the user is using an IOS device.

Owing to the vast number of devices in use and the flexibility to install different browser versions to different devices, this verification method is more of an indicator of device type rather than make and model of the device in question. The third party ad server needs to have a general mapping database to understand which version maps to which device in order to display the results in reporting.

Device collection is becoming more standardized as part of third party ad server verification reporting, the trafficker can simply look at verification reporting inside the ad server interface to see what device types ads were delivered to. If it is found that HTML5 ads for example, are being delivered to unsupported devices or non-targeted users, the Publisher may not have installed the ad onto an HTML5 specific entity, domain or application.

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