What is an “Ad Serving” service?

Ad Serving is an online service provided by a third-party digital marketing company that matches advertisers to publishers. The goal of this service is to serve ads from publishers, who wants and pay money to advertise, on websites that are looking to generate revenue from ads placements. 

The goal of this service is to match the right ad with the right targeted customer. For example, while you’re browsing a certain website you might be triggered with an ad for a product that you have showed interest to in the past. All that is done via complex computer algorithms that can link the two, the ad and the customer, together based on interests, previous search queries, location, and many more factors. Also, those ads can be served based on the content of the website. For example, if you are browsing Zappos (https://www.zappos.com/) or DSW (https://www.dsw.com) you will most likely see ads for shoes or shoes related products. 

One of the biggest Ad Serving companies in the world is Google via their AdSense product, https://www.google.com/adsense, where they allow website owners to sign up for free and place ads, served by Google, on their websites. The process is fairly simple and can be done within couple of hours for someone who has a basic website coding and developing experience. Details can on how to integrate this service with your website can be found here: https://www.google.com/adsense/start/how-it-works/#/.

Ad Serving is provides an opportunity for advertisers to showcase their products to the right customer at the right time. It prevents misleading leads, false positive clicks, and waste of money due to presenting those ads to the wrong targeted customers. 

In the past, digital ads were very generic and the chance that it might spark interest to a potential customer is very low. Back to the previous example, what are the chances that someone browsing Zappos will be interested in seeing and clicking on an ad for Lysol wipes? Probably very low. That was the case before the rise of the Ad Serving firms. The Internet was full of ads that didn’t make sense to the user, or potential customer, and therefore the ROI on these ads were very low. 

Despite all the benefits of Ad Serving, there is still a concern when it comes to the data privacy aspect, which we’ve touched on during one of our discussions couple weeks ago. Many of these companies will track down the users’ online activities and collect information about them in order to be able to serve them the right ads. Many users feel that they are being stalked while they’re browsing the Internet, and that is true to some extend. If you hate being stalked by those ads like me, you might want check this article by the New York Time, it explains in details how those ads work and how you can stop them. Link here: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/15/technology/personaltech/stop-targeted-stalker-ads.html

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