How Signal Makes the Internet Better

Sovrn Publisher Advocate // May 14, 2019

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Advertising dollars don’t accurately reflect the value of engaging content.

If you produce good content and a good user experience, you attract loyal, interested users. Loyal, interested users encourage the production of more great content. That’s the feedback loop that drives the exchange of information on the internet. The problem is that publishers only see a sliver of the value they help create, and buyers are locked into a purchasing model that values volume over quality.

Everyone Suffers

Legacy ad refresh technology is one way that publishers have tried to take a fairer share of the nearly half-a-trillion dollars that will be spent this year alone on digital advertising. Unfortunately, these legacy products—which even today are synonymous with ad fraud, latency issues, and engineering headaches, have had the opposite effect: they’ve angered demand partners and hurt user experience.

Signal offers a better alternative. It’s built to be smart, because legacy ad refresh technology isn’t. Unlike legacy refresh technology, Signal considers engagement time, user behavior, and ad viewability when reloading ad zones. This ensures that publishers, buyers, and readers benefit from the technology.

Publishers Benefit:

Signal reloads new ads without impacting user experience, because it’s delivered through Connect—our single-tag delivery system. Connect only fires a single pixel for ALL ad zones on a page, as opposed to requiring a pixel for every ad zone. That means Signal offers all of its benefits without adding to page latency or requiring engineering resources.

Publishers also don’t need to fear reprimands from the demand side based on viewability issues caused by ad reloads.

In the past, publishers using basic reload tools have had to set limits on the number of times an ad unit can refresh, or on how long the reload functionality runs per page. These aren’t good solutions, as they don’t take user behavior and engagement into account when determining reload behavior. Signal solves that problem by analyzing user engagement

Most importantly, Signal helps publishers who create great, engaging content earn more revenue by maximizing the value of every unique reader. In fact, we’ve seen sites grow revenue by as much as 86% after implementing Signal.

Advertisers Benefit:

In the past, unintelligent legacy products that rely on auto-refresh features have delivered questionable inventory because they don’t take viewability or engagement into account when reloading ads.

Signal only creates viewable inventory. These new, viewable ads served to engaged readers are valuable opportunities for brand engagement. In fact, studies have shown that engaged users have significantly higher brand recognition and purchase consideration—up to 14% increase per second of engagement.  

Signal also helps advertisers broaden their campaigns. We offer private marketplaces that focus on highly viewable content, so that buyers can target audiences while knowing that they’re getting more value out of every dollar they spend.

Readers Benefit:

We’ve designed Signal to deliver a positive user experience. Publishers have long been put in the position of attempting to boost ad revenue by increasing the number of ad units on a page. That’s a losing game: ad clutter both increases page latency and ruins user experience. We believe that site design is key to a better user experience, and Signal reflects that belief.

Everyone Benefits.

Signal allows publishers who create valuable, engaging content to benefit from the work they’ve done. But this isn’t done at the expense of buyers—advertisers also gain access to highly viewable, highly-engaged inventory that helps them broaden their campaigns and reach the audiences they need. And finally, readers are guaranteed a better site experience that rewards quality, engaging content instead of cheap clickbait and unpleasant ad clutter.Ultimately, Signal takes the content feedback loop and makes it work for the real people who power the internet. If you’d like to see what Signal can do for you, get in touch.

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