4 Easy Ways to Reduce Discrepancies

sovrnmarketing // November 22, 2016

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Discrepancies are a fact of life in digital advertising, and for most publishers hover around 10%. But if your discrepancies are 20% or more, you’ll want to figure out why.

Here are four quick tips for keeping your discrepancies are as low as possible.

1. Make sure your site has been whitelisted.

The biggest reason we see our publishers experiencing discrepancies is because their site hasn’t been whitelisted. So before you investigate why discrepancies are occurring, make sure you’re on the whitelist of every ad partner you work with.

But what’s a whitelist? A whitelist is a list of sites that an ad partner has approved and is willing to work with. Generally speaking, any sites not on an ad partner’s whitelist will be unable to serve ads.

2. Compare the right data.

Before making any big changes, ensure that you actually have a discrepancy problem. Pull reports from all of your ad partners and compare revenue, ad requests and impressions. That way you’ll be able to calculate exactly how significant your discrepancies are.

3. You may need to use synchronous tags.

If you are serving ads using a content management system (CMS) plugin that inserts ad code into an iframe container, you may run into issues with asynchronous tags.

As a refresher, asynchronous or, ‘asynch’, tags load independently of the page while synchronous, or ‘synch’, tags load concurrently. Like many ad partners, Sovrn’s default tags are asynchronous. This is because asynchronous tags allow for faster ad loading as they deliver ad creative via their own iframe container, independent of all other page elements.

Think of an iframe container as a window frame in which ad creative appears. When asynchronous tags are placed within an iframe, you are essentially delivering an ad through a window inside of another window.

This process can not only cause issues with the ad creative delivery itself, but also produce significant reporting discrepancies. For these reasons, if you want to deliver ads within an iframe container, we recommend that you choose synchronous tags when generating ad code.

4. Use third-party ad verification systems.

Many third-party ad verification systems such as Google Analytics, DoubleVerify or AdSafe can help you to determine at least general congruence with your ad partners’ reporting. They do this by independently logging page load events via their own tracking pixels, providing you with additional verification metrics in their respective dashboards and reporting systems.

That being said, keep in mind that no system, including an independent verification system, is 100% discrepancy proof. Be aware that adding additional tracking code to your web page may increase discrepancies due to latency from the additional code. Sites that are already very content/code heavy are especially prone to this.

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