Friday, August 20, 2010

Investing in the DoubleClick Ad Exchange and buyer safety

Friday, August 20, 2010 |
DoubleClick Ad Exchange Product Manager, Scott Spencer, recently spoke with John Ebbert at AdExchanger.com about some product enhancements and Google’s ongoing efforts around inventory quality and safety. Here is an excerpt of that interview:

What is Google announcing today?
Basically, we’re going to be rolling out a few more tools to help DoubleClick Ad Exchange buyers buy quality inventory, and to check their campaigns.

Taking a quick step back; when we launched the exchange about a year ago, we engineered it with best-in-market buyer and publishers controls, as well as extensive crawl-and-verify inventory screening. Together with the real time bidder, these were the biggest upgrades we made.

As part of a long line of improvements in this area over the past year, we’re taking the wraps off a couple of additional features to give buyers even more control, quality and transparency.

The first is “Site Packs” – these are manually crafted collections of like sites based on DoubleClick Ad Planner and internal classifications, vetted for quality. These allow buyers to get a set of high quality sites for their particular campaigns, covering anonymous and branded inventory.

Second, we’re making some changes to our Real-time Bidder (in beta). The biggest change here is for Ad Exchange clients who work with DSPs. Historically, Ad Exchange buyers were hidden from publishers behind their DSP. By introducing a way to segment out each individual client’s ad calls, inventory can be sent exclusively to an Ad Exchange buyer even when that buyer uses a DSP. It increases transparency for publishers and potentially give buyers more access to the highest quality inventory, like “exclusive ad slots” – high quality inventory offered to only a few, select buyers as determined by the publisher.

Thirdly, we’re soon going to be rolling out a beta of what we call “Data Transfer” – this is a report of every transaction bought or sold by a client on the Ad Exchange. Effectively, it’s a daily log file of everything that happened. Clients can then review every branded URL that they purchased to ensure everything was what they expected.

A recent report suggested that exchange inventory is unsafe for marketers. How does Google respond?

You won’t be surprised to hear this, but when it comes to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, I disagree. We have high quality DoubleClick and AdSense publishers.

Of course, it’s always possible to find a single page among millions that is objectionable in one way. But we’ve built extensive checks to ensure the quality and safety of our inventory, including strict participation policies, continuous automated scanning of all publisher sites, and automated inventory review to identify improper traffic patterns. A flag can trigger either a human review or an automatic blocking. These validation tools apply to our combined pool of AdSense and Ad Exchange publisher inventory. They operate at a page-level granularity, pre-screening individual ad units, then report to the client in great detail afterwards.

We’ve also developed ways for marketers to choose high quality inventory, like through the Ad Planner 1000 filter, and the ability to buy or exclude specific publishers, URLs or categories of content.

You can read the full interview here.

Posted by Jon Nevitt, Product Marketing Manager