Tools & Tech

Troubleshooting Bad Ads

Sovrn Publisher Advocate // April 13, 2017

troubleshooting bad ads

There is a lot that can go wrong for a website. One of the most pressing issues we deal with here is “bad ads.” A catchall term for redirects, malware, and other related problems, the seemingly humble bad ad can bring websites to their knees.

We know this for two reasons. First, because we’re internet users too. We’ve all experienced the auto-play video ad that refuses to quit blaring at us. We’ve all been redirected to the “app store,” although none of us have been brave enough to see what’s for sale.

More important however is when bad ads effect the websites we work with. Once alerted to the presence of bad ads, time is of the essence. Malware can cripple a guest’s computer. Redirects can lead to viruses. Auto-play video ads are annoying and can drive traffic away from a site.

With livelihoods at stake, troubleshooting must be done as efficiently as possible. While we have systems that can pull data about bad ads, extra data sent our way is invaluable:

  • Screenshots of the ad
  • As much of the ad’s code as possible
  • The URL guests were directed to
  • Any name associated with the ad

With the right information, Ad Operations can move like well-lubricated lightning, shutting down bad ads with ease. To help prevent this crisis from occurring again, there’s also the option of un-aligning campaigns, or being placed on a Sensitive Publishers List. Both of these methods are effective but come with their own consequences to performance.

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