New Acceptable Ads Platform launches, will redefine RTB and help small websites · 2016-09-13 16:06 by Ben Williams
Acceptable Ads is a process, not a destination. We’ve been tinkering with it, trying to get it just right – so that, in my own words that you’re probably totally sick of hearing, we make a “compromise between users and advertisers.”
But all the surveys we’ve conducted and the user feedback we’ve compiled is not enough to move Acceptable Ads forward significantly. There are two key elements that we’ve been working on recently, and we think these will help take it to that next level: opening the policy of Acceptable Ads and improving the process of getting whitelisted through the Acceptable Ads initiative.
For the policy, we announced last year the formation of an independent committee that will take control of the Acceptable Ads initiative. This will make the whitelist more transparent and independent, thus making it scalable. And the committee is on scheduled to meet later this year.
But this blog post is about a massive improvement we’ve made on the whitelisting process. Starting today we’re launching the beta version of a fully functional ad-tech platform that will make whitelisting faster and easier. To do it, we teamed up with publisher platform-provider ComboTag to build what will be known as the Acceptable Ads Platform, an interactive platform that lets publishers and bloggers choose from a marketplace of pre-whitelisted ads that they can drag and drop onto their sites.
The AAP will cut the whitelisting process from weeks to seconds, and all publishers have to do is implement a single line of code. If you’d like to read more about it, we put out a press release this morning detailing it.
But what will it bring going forward?
As I said at the outset, this is currently just in its beta phase, but despite that we already know what benefits it will bring. Looking ahead, the chief improvements the AAP will offer are its feedback mechanism, the way that mechanism will turn real-time bidding (RTB) on its head and how the AAP will be an especial boon to small blogs and medium-sized publishers.
The AAP will offer a feedback mechanism embedded in each ad, which will let you say whether you thought that particular ad was great, good, bad or complete shit. This feedback will then figure into which ads get selected on a live auction.
This feedback mechanism, in turn, sets the stage for the second AAP benefit, making the real-time bidding process (RTB) better by making it more human RTB is the process by which ad inventory is bought and sold in real time on ad exchanges. It literally takes milliseconds for winners to be crowned on an auction, then appear on your page; which ads appear to you in particular is normally based upon a number of criteria, many of which are based upon tracking.
Not on ours.
Our platform will turn this model on its head, because instead of basing the auction winners on algorithms trying to figure out where you live, whether you like cool ranch or nacho cheese or where you just went on vacation, our system pick winners based on real feedback from real human beings, like you! No one does it this way, at least till now.
In fact, in recent years the ad-tech industry has exclaimed the merits of the “RTB Revolution,” but we feel this revolution hasn’t benefited users at all. Instead, it’s focused on publishers and advertisers. Our feedback mechanism will allow users to provide us with a per-ad feedback, in real time. Furthermore, it will allow us to examine, with the help of our user forum, each and every creative that is deemed problematic by one of our users. If users complain about it for whatever reason – it was ugly, it was intrusive, it was creepy – it gets punished on the auction. Ads that receive good reviews get rewarded by making them more likely to be chosen. Rad, eh?
And not only will the AAP help users – it will also help you, Small Blog Owners! This is the third benefit of the platform. While many of the larger networks and publishers interested in whitelisting should use our traditional method of whitelisting ads, if you are a medium-sized site – say a gaming site with a high ad-blocking rate or a tech site – you probably already go through a few layers of ad-tech companies (SSPs, DSPs, ad exchanges, data management platforms, etc.) to fill your sites with ads.
So you can continue to reach your users who do not block ads through those existing relationships, but now you can reach ad-blocking users by whitelisting ads in seconds. And the important thing to remember is that for any particular ad placement, ad-blocking users will see the Acceptable Ads-approved ad, while non-ad blockers will see whatever you served anyway – in the same spot.
Of course, none of this changes much of anything for users – but what we hope is that the new AAP will augment our previous whitelisting efforts by improving how we cater to a second, alternative web made up of ad-blocking users.
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