How To Stop Bad Ads From Showing On Your Website
Tired of seeing bad ads appearing on your website? All publishers hate seeing spammy ads or malicious downloads appearing on their web properties. This subjects visitors to material that the publisher almost always would rather them never see. Unfortunately, bad actors are always finding ways to game the system.
Below, I’ll explain exactly why these types of ads show on publisher sites. I’ll discuss why even the most popular sites in the world still deal with these problems, and what you can do to safeguard against their impact on your visitors.
Where do bad ads come from?
“Bad ads” are a result of bad actors who are able to leverage programmatic resources and ad platforms to distribute their spammy or malicious advertisements across publisher properties worldwide. There are few sites on the web that don’t deal with this issue to one extent or another. It is a non-exclusive problem that all ad platforms and providers deal with.
You’re probably wondering, what’s the incentive behind these ads? Well, it’s a simple arbitrage game for most of the bad actors. They can hack or take advantage of platform settings to distribute their ads across the web for a short period of time for a low-cost. This enables them to make a profit off of the installation of their malware or conversions from their spam.
It ends up being a pretty crummy game of numbers for these scammers. Unfortunately, the nature of how self-serve ad platforms, programmatic advertising — and ultimately digital advertising — operates makes it nearly impossible to close-off the ecosystem completely to these types of strategies.
How do I stop these spammy ads on my website?
“It [spammy ads] has been going on since ads first appeared online and is essentially an arms race between bad actors and the networks. It’s important to understand this as a publisher because even if your able to eliminate these ads at the moment, they WILL pop-up again; regardless of what networks, exchanges, or partners you leverage. We work with thousands of partners and exchanges, not a single one can claim that they don’t have this problem.” – Dwayne Lafleur, CEO, Ezoic
“This isn’t a problem with a great solution. Responsiveness is what’s important for all the parties involved” – Amy Shih, Online Partnerships, Google
What can be done to avoid bad ads?
There is no methodology or partner that can prevent these types of ads from showing across the board; however, working with quality header bidders and ad exchanges is a good place to start. Having little diversity in where your ads come from is dangerous for multiple reasons. What’s more, we continually discuss why competition and testing are ultimately in the best interest of the publisher.
Have this problem now? What you should do…
Notifying the provider of these issues can sometimes speed up their ability to remove the bad actors from their ecosystem. Giving them concrete examples of where the ads displayed and potentially what network they came from can help them settle the current situation on your site sooner.
Have additional ways that you’ve been able to solve these problems on your site yourself? Share them below and keep the conversation going for publishers that may be experiencing this problem.
Tyler is an award-winning digital marketer, SEO veteran, successful start-up founder, and well-known publishing industry speaker. Tyler also serves as the host of Pubtelligence, a publishers-only event hosted at Google offices around the globe. Tyler describes his core competency as learning. He has composed content for some of the world’s top publications and has over a decade of experience building businesses in the digital space. Tyler is currently the Head of Marketing at Ezoic and serves as an SEO and marketing expert for start-up competitions across the U.S.