The Bullet-time of Ad Server tracking and counting

Waiting around for ad Delivery – the bullet time user experience


It is a marketing goal to deliver an ad without disrupting the user’s internet experience. In truth every ad call has a tiny impact on user web experience..

The most miniscule of delays to ad delivery actually has a shed-load of processes behind it. With so many processes in place, once in a blue moon, the user will be stuck on a page where an ad fails to load. The purpose of the ad servers reporting capability is to quantify the investment clients make in online advertising, including demonstrating consistent ad delivery and performance which the Agency or Advertiser will reference frequently to ensure their messaging is reaching its audience, if not only to check that there is nothing clogging up the pipes. Clogging is revealed to the marketer in ad server reporting. Providing there are no problems the optimum user experience will look like this:

Pre-ad display

  1. User arrives at Publisher page
  2. Ad request is sent to Publisher ad server, while the request for the content goes to the Publisher CMS
  3. The Publisher content loads
  4. The Publisher ad server calls the third party ad server
  5. The ad request arrives at the local data center depending on the users location
  6. The counting module counts an impression
  7. The decision module selects the most suitable ad
  8. The ad server sends a JavaScript to initiate the loading of the ad
  9. The JavaScript loads on the Publisher page and loads in makes calls to all  the necessary assets
  10. The assets are pulled in from the CDN which in turn pulls in data from the ad server creative database
  11. An Image or Flash execution appears in the user’s browser window

During ad display

  1. The ad server counts an “Ad Play” – which is an Instream Video metric  or delivered impression metric
  2. Piggybacked third party impression trackers load
  3. Viewability begins counting
  4. Rich Media constantly reports “interactions” to the counting module.

On ad close

  1. Viewability ends counting and sends data to the ad server counting module.
  2. Rich Media interactions that utilize a timer are reported to the ad server counting module.

As new technologies crop up in the ad server, so this bullet time extends. Any actions not taken in the direct path of this domino affect cause tangent actions which if they do not occur directly in the ad server but in a second counting system, can create discrepancies in the data set.

To find out more about the process of ad delivery and ad serving, get a copy of: Ad Serving Technology – Understand the Marketing revelation that commercialized the Internet – available now from..

….Amazon UK:

Or Amazon USA:

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