What is an ad server?

19 May 2016

You’ve heard a lot about, but does not know what exactly ad server does. What is adserving, why publisher should use one and what are the first steps to start with – read in our Q&A. 

01 What is an ad server?

It’s a technology (as a rule SAAS) to store and deliver targeted ads to online visitors. It contains a suite of features to manage ad inventory, to run and track campaigns and ad trafficking. You can manage different types of ads in one solution. Ad server will provide a variety of information about how to find an ad that can earn the most money through clicks, views or actions.
02

So it’s some kind of an Ad network tool?

Ad network use an ad server to provide advertisers with a different type of ads on a group of sites, at the same time an ad server is used by both publishers and advertisers.
Using an ad server does not mean that you will obtain ads to buy or sell, it’s a technology.
03

Ok, what is the difference between Ad server and Ad management platform?

There is none. Ad server is also named as an ad platform, yield management platform or campaign management platform and other similar names.

04

If we talking about sell-side players, why do I need an ad server?

If you are a publisher or a network, you want to monetize your audience, so you need it to manage your ad inventory. Inventory consists of sites, their sections and ad units. The section is used for ad units grouping by topic or other characteristics. You can easily manage all ad units included in the section and target an advertisement on them. You can add ad units of different types (in-page, video, floating) in the section. Every ad unit has a unique ad tag. Some ad servers employ sophisticated algorithms to predict the availability of inventory based on the traffic from the previous period as well as campaigns that have already been booked.

05

How can I monetize my website with an ad server?

To start ad delivery on the site you should add monetization sources. You can monetize inventory in two ways: creating a campaign from the direct advertiser or connecting external monetization sources. If you are a publisher you can delegate your sales by dealing with ad networks or automate it via selling rules. The ad server should automatically choose the best performing ads for each channel and serve more of those, so you maximize your profit.
06

What’s the difference between ad server and SSP?

You get the option to run direct campaigns. You can setup multiple overlapping ad campaigns with very specific rules about how and to whom they should deliver their ads. More about SSP you can read here.

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