What issues one faces while setting up or during an ad campaign?

The issues faced are:

  • Understanding of third party tags i.e. one should have clarity on the code and where the macros has to be used, otherwise that will lead to reporting issue
  • w.r.t publishers, placement of the ad tag should be properly managed i.e. where the ad has to be appear, alignment may lead to improper appearance of the ad
  • Understanding of the campaign or plan is must, this is the most common issue one faces while setting up a campaign, if you are clear with the plan or the goal you can alwaz make line items as per your accurate understanding and not unnecessary setups
  • Slight knowledge of JavaScript and HTML solves a lot of problem related to tags and it’s handling
  • Improper tracking is the most major issue, so using of tools like Fiddler and HTTP fox can reduce i.e. these tools assures the pixel are firing properly
  • Creative specs is an another concern that comes at the time of trafficking a campaign. A creative has to be exactly of the specs like the size, dimension, FPS, etc. FLash files can be double checked using a tool called UAE
  • Implementation of ClickTag on the flash file is an another issue that is seen very generally, UAE can help to check that too
  • Discrepancy between different ad server report, to keep in control always double check the difference and see what’s the general trend
  • Camapign spend always vary, at times campaign spends goes down. Monitoring of the campaign closely is very important, any issue of delivery may require addition of some more inventories or bid value

What is the advantage of Web debugging tool in online advertising?

The most important use of debugging tool in online advertising is to check the pixel firing i.e. Tracker implementation confirmation!

Technically it helps in monitoring and analysing all incoming and outgoing HTTP traffic between the browser, ad server and the web servers.

  • It can help to check on the issues on an ad unit
  • It helps in catching the action tracker that is not working
  • It helps in saving duplicacy of numbers i.e. discrpenacy happening due to trackers firing twice
  • It also helps in checking ad implementation on site
  • Load time of an ad can also be checked via debugging tools
  • You can also catch the source of an ad
  • Emulator can be used to check your ads on different screen sizes, commonly used is the chrome in built developer tool
  • Query string can be checked which also confirms the ad size, client, flash version, etc.
  • Cookie ID can also be fetched
  • It can also help to download the content like Jpeg,gif, flash

Why do comscore and GA data differs?

It’s a fact that today every ad agency refers comscore numbers to see the actual traffic, user base on a site which is when compared to site’s Google analytics numbers it does have difference, sometimes the difference can be above 50% too.

Now when the publisher pitches with their GA numbers what should be done?

Suggestion: Still refer comscore numbers, four reason to follow this suggestions are below:

  • Comscore eliminates or ignores the machine generated traffic whereas GA counts all the visits irrespective of bot or real user which will automatically lead to a huge difference
  • Comscore only measure people instead of cookies where GA measures the cookied users too
  • Comscore also eliminates visits that is recorded when people views from multiple browsers, multiple screens (mobile, desktop, etc.)
  • GA uses the real data from your real visitors, it records and collects the anonymous data and provides you easy-to-read formats of that traffic information whereas comscore guesses the numbers based on a pool of poll users that are tracked via plugins, beacons or tracking cookies but the guesses are based on the algorithm which is derived after a long research and the final numbers are maximum time same as the actual of the site data


How can you suspect a user as a ROBOT user?

A user can be categorized as a robot user only by its ACTIVITY. By the help on analytical techniques we can catch the robot users, some examples like:

  • Multiple sequential activities – a certain number of ads, clicks or pages over a specified time period from one user.
  • Outlier activity – users with the highest levels of activity among all site visitors or with page/ad impressions roughly equal to the total pages on the site.
  • Interaction attributes – consistent intervals between clicks or page/ad impressions from a user.
  • Other suspicious activity – users accessing the robot instruction file, not identifying themselves as robots. Each suspected robot/spider arising from this analysis requires follow-up to verify the assumption that its activity is non-human.

How to check the reason behind when an image is serving instead of Rich Media creative for DART tags??

Just check if the image serving is a backup or default image by rolling over it and looking in the browser’s status bar. (You can usually find this in the lower left corner of the browser window.)

* http://ad.doubleclick.net/activity… indicates that a backup image is serving.
* http://ad.doubleclick.net/click… indicates that a default or other image is serving.

What are companion ads?

Companion ads are the ones which are shown around the video ad. It can be rich media, image, text or skin too. These ads come in number of sizes. It is called companion because it runs as a companion to the video ad,

e.g. video ad of Levis apparel is running, the ad running alongside or surrounding the video ad will be a companion ad showing the sale or any new apparel of Levis brand.

What are the two ad impression measurement approaches?

Two methods are currently used to deliver ad content to the user are SERVER-INITIATED and CLIENT-INITIATED.

Server initiated ad counting uses the site’s web content server for making requests, formatting and re-directing content while client (users’ browser) initiated ad counting relies on the user’s browser to perform these activities.
Client side measurement involves a recognition on the client side of the successful delivery of an Ad impressions, and this information is communicated to a counting server for reporting while Server side measurement involves the recognition on the ad server side that an Ad Impression has been delivered, but with no assurance that the ad was actually rendered on the user’s browser.

Client side approach is responsible for accurate reporting of ad impressions as it is counted only when the user is served with the Ad

What do you mean by In-Unit clicks?

In unit clicks are those clicks which do require user initiation or action on advertisements but does not result in a transfer from the publisher site which generally happens in normal click or click-through which takes an advertiser site from a publisher site.

What does (Aborted) mean in HttpWatch?

Aborted is one of three status codes that are used in HttpWatch to display information about HTTP requests that did not receive a status code from the server: To be more precise, the browser started to process the request for a URL like downloading of an image (or 1×1), but then decides to cancel the operation, then the status code in Http watch is shown Aborted!!

What is $RND$ or any random number macro which is used in third party tag?

Normally Third party tags will contain placeholder [RANDOM NUMBER] which needs to be replaced by a random number or cache buster .The Ad server automatically converts the macro to a 8 digit random number when a Ad is served.

The main use of this random number is to differentiate the user, basically to count the unique users, if that random number is already and matched it is not counted.

What is CAPP?

CAPP is client alternative pricing plan, it allows companies or clients to choose that how they would like to pay for advertising, like if the campaign is CPM based it means the client will be paying as per impression, if the campaign is CPC, the client will be paying as per the number of clicks, similarly for CPA, CPL etc.

What is CDN?

CDN is content delivery network i.e. a global network of cloud servers that actually house the raw creative graphics to fetch the actual ad. It is where the creative are stored.

What is Date and Time Stamp?

The third party tags will contain a placeholder such as [TimeStamp] that you need to replace with a timestamp. Simply replace their placeholder with%%TIMESTAMP%% and the ad server will convert it to a timestamp in YYYYMMDDHHMMSS format when serving the Ad.

What is GateFile.html and for what purpose it is used?

In order to enable Safecount Link/Layer invites to work from within an of an ad tag or a publisher’s advertising placement, a file, “GateFile.html,” has to be placed in the root directory of each domain of the site where Safecount tags will be issuing survey invitations for research purposes.

This is a one-time request. Once the GateFile is there, all Safecount tags will be able to use Link/Layer invites through the inclusion of simple JavaScript tags on the desired HTML pages or ad served banners.

In short, this gatefile is to be placed in the root of every publisher, which is a quite tedious job, but it’s just one time work!
Example: The publisher is dictionary.com, we need to place a gatefile.html on its root directory,
The idea location will be like :



Re spawning is a process by which the tracker which is deleted can be repopulated. If one storage location is cleared, the tracker can repopulate it with the same value from the other storage location. This can be achieved by storing the same identifier at different storage locations (HTML5, Flash storage, Etags etc.)

Reverse re spawning is also quite possible i.e. repopulating of local storage from cookies.

What is the basic difference between first party cookie and third party cookie?

A cookie set under the domain of the website embedding a tracker is site-owned cookie i.e. first party cookie e.g. Facebook‘s cookie is a first party cookie when the user visits facebook.com but it becomes third party cookie when someone use “Like” button of Facebook on a different website.

Similarly the third party cookies are the one when any other website tracker is placed on another website code.

What is the need of parameter “jump” in the code or Tag?

A command, passed to the ad servers that is used for counting clicks. This command is substituted dynamically with the click-through URL of the creative.

What is the purpose of “ord” parameter in the code or Tag?

The ord value is used for cache-busting; to ensure that a fresh call is made to the ad server every time a page loads. Without the ord value properly implemented, you may experience impression counting discrepancies.

There needs to be a piece of code in the top of tag that generates a random number to populate the ord value on every tag.
Reference: var ord = Math.random();

What is “ncu” in Eye Blaster (Media Mind) tag?

It is a parameter defined by Media Mind which is normally used by the Ad server to track clicks and also can be used for custom logging URL’s that is we can pass the required Custom URL’s using this parameter.

For your reference :

<script src=”https://bs.serving-sys.com/BurstingPipe/adServer.bs?cn=rsb&amp;c=XX&amp;pli=XXXXXXX&amp;PluID=X&amp;w=XXX&amp;h=XXX&amp;

Why Click macro shouldn’t be embedded before src (source) line but after href line?

If you put the click macro before the “script src” the tags will count with every impression as the tag appears when the script fires so when you have inserted the click macro it will fire together which will result in counting of clicks, and when you put the macro after “href”, the clicks are counted only when the landing page opens which will open only when someone clicks on the creative.

Why is “ abr=!ie “ used in DART tags under Jscript part of the whole tag code ?

abr = !ie helps in giving the command to the Ad server for not serving the Jscript tag when the browser used by the user is Internet explorer . The !ie denotes “NO INTERNET EXPLORER” , now why is it used is because all the browsers are supposed to read iframe tags first if it supports and if not Jscript is served so at times on IE both becomes possible to be served due to some obsolete versions of Internet Explorer which reads both iframe and jscript and which will lead to serve two tags for one dart tag , one iframe and the other jscript which is wrong anyway so just to avoid this kind of scenario abr = !ie is used.

Do the banner size changes as per the screen resolution of the mobile phone? If yes then How?

Yes the banner size automatically changes with the help of view port settings. The banner size automatically scales to fit the screen using the view-port settings built into the apps, generally app web view objects use view port settings for density independent pixels by which say a 320×50 banner will scale depending upon the resolution of the phone screen. The scaling problem can be removed by only changing the settings in the app where you are showing the ad so test it properly on the same app to see is it scaling properly or not.

How to serve rich media ads ob Blackberry 10?

Every one is concerned about showing banner on iOS or android but what about the users using blackberry? The main RM providers like celtra, goldfish also don’t support for BB which is strange but yes it is so. One way by which this problem can be sound is serving the ad directly from server and not by using any SDK. UnicornMedia is the one who is capable for doing it easily.
Reference link: www.unicornmedia.com

Some Best Mobile Networks for In-App Ads?

  • Advertising.com (more successful is serving mobile brand campaigns with quite high ecpms)
  • Millenial
  • Lifestreet
  • Buzz City
  • Vserv
  • xAd
  • One97
  • CPX
  • Mocean Mobile

How to make the ad load only in “In view” area?

  • Disable BTF though reducing inventroy but this will always help in serving the ad on in view area
  • Enable ATF
  • Pre-load the ads so that it doesn’t delay in serving on the page
  • Avoid serving ads on sites having high bounce rate, mainly photo gallery sites
  • Prefer JavaScript tag than Iframe tags when the objective is to serve view able impressions as solving view ability with Iframe is too tough and is still in experiment to solve the issue about it, basically challenge with iframes is that iframes that come from a different domain delivering ads, is that the view able impression code within the iframe is not able to access the publisher page due to the “Same Origin Policy.


36 thoughts on “FAQs”

  1. Hi,

    Is the definition given for Random number is correct?
    I read some where Random no’s are used for Cache busting.

    Cache busting
    The process by which sites or servers serve content or HTML in such a manner as to minimize or prevent browsers or proxies from serving content from their cache. This forces the user or proxy to fetch a fresh copy for each request. Among other reasons, cache busting is used to provide a more accurate count of the number of requests from users.

    So this makes a separate impression count each time when an ad is viewed.

    1. Hi Murali,

      Both the definition means the same, i just gave a different aspect and a easy concluded answer. When is say the use is to differentiate the users, it’s indirectly about cache busting as you can count exact unique only if you do that cache busting. Thanks for your answer plus feedback too. You are perfectly correct. Cheers!

  2. What are the pros and cons of Ad sense against other Ad networks? Why companies/agencies choose other Ad networks over Google’s Ad sense?

    1. Hi Rajaram,

      Both has their own pros and cons and it completely depends upon person to person for their opinion about ad networks or ad sense. I have seen people highly positive about ad sense and don’t try for any other ad network. Still why companies or agencies choose other ad networks? It’s because of number of reasons like : Getting approval is a difficult task plus once approved you need to follow a lot of rules and regulations and if you break any you are completely banned! Their support service sucks and with ad networks things are very easy and smooth. Ad networks have improved targeting, advanced features while ad sense has no bigger change. One major reason is also that there are hell number of advertisers signed up with google so which and what kind of ads are thrown you get no clue plus with that adsense link don’t open in new tab ultimately losing users from website.

      There are different way to look on both the segment and decide which suits better.


      1. Thank you so much Avinash.

        And thanks again for starting this site. As a newcomer in this industry I find it very helpful to understand the concepts of online adverising.

        Warm Regards

    1. Hey Murali,

      DART is “Dynamic Advertising Reporting & Targeting”. DART basically automates the administration effort in the ad buying cycle for advertisers (DoubleClick for Advertisers, or DFA) and the management of ad inventory for publishers (DoubleClick for Publishers, or DFP). It is intended to increase the purchasing efficiency of advertisers and to minimize unsold inventory for publishers. (Reference Wiki)


  3. HI,

    Could you please explain what is the exact difference between client based tracking and server based tracking?? … In easy English please.

    1. Hi Murali,

      Dynamic CPM is not like the normal CPM that we put, as it is dynamic and keeps changing as per the price an advertiser wants to pay for an impression which is tied directly to the value of the impression to that advertiser. The price generally changes depending on the website, placements, day and time. The logic works good for advertiser as it is true that not every impression is of equal value to the advertiser.
      Reference URL: http://www.knowonlineadvertising.com/glossary/dcpm/


  4. Hi Avinash,

    I’ve been following your site from quite some time now. I just wanted to know if you have some comprehensive information about the difference between Floodlight Tags and the Re-marketing Tags?


  5. Do you links / docs / infos on cross domain tracking and targeting .. especially how different ad server providers track users (hashing) ?


  6. Hey Avinash,

    What could be the reason, if a campaign is not delivering properly even though everything have been set up properly ?
    Also if an ad(especially a video -CPCV) is not not delivering properly due to the internet issue of some particular area . What we can do at that time to increase the performance .?

    1. Hi Ambili,

      The first step is to check the implementation which you already mentioned that it’s all ok. The next step is to check the targeting that you have applied, as when you are dealing with performance campaign it should always be precise and as per your targeted users. Coming to your question for CPCV the major issue comes with the bandwidth, please block the low bandwidth users or use the video of size less than 2MB or so. Also are you tracking all the metrics like 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%? coz that will give you an idea that where the issue is, please analyze the graph of views and action accordingly.

      Also just to add: You can always add questions to the forum we have – http://www.knowonlineadvertising.com/advertising-forum/

      Let us know if you still have any query.


  7. Hi Guys….

    Could you pls brief abt campaign optimization role in Ad trafficking and how it is carried out, what is the use of optimization.


  8. I see you share interesting content here, you can earn some extra
    money, your website has huge potential, for the monetizing method, just type in google – K2 advices how to monetize a website

  9. Hi,

    I have a doubt regarding click macros. If we do not insert click macros for a third party tag. That is there will be no clicks recorded, is this correct.

    Or will this affect on both publisher ad server & third party ad server?

    1. Hi Nitish,

      Click Macros are important to be added as when not added won’t let the ad server count the clicks. If you are using any third party it will still let the third party count the numbers due to the tracker firing but may create a lot of discrepancy your in house ad server and third party ad server.

      Let us know in case of any more confusion


    1. Hi Surya,

      Not sure how we missed your query. But just to keep the response available online here, below is the response:

      Legacy tags are the one which was earlier used by advertisers and are normal iframe JS tags which do not have any additional feature like INS tags have, improved ad verification, rich data, clear domain information, brand safety, etc. Today, both kind of tags can be downloaded from DCM but the preference should always be to use INS tags. These tags are not easy to break by publishers and hence adds on more security.


    1. Hey Latha,

      Below are some possible reasons for low CTR:

      When the ads are shown BTF (below the fold)
      Right Targeting – Right Publisher (If tech product is being advertised on women-oriented site it doesn’t make, be sure on the sites you are advertising)
      Creative Issue – Check the banner is redirecting perfectly on the landing page
      Creative communication is not attractive, change the communication in such cases

      We will update this question in a detailed manner soon.


  10. Could you please help with where I can find ‘campaign strategies and best practices’ on your site(or any external link). anything related would be much appreciated

    Thanks in advance

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