To better optimize inventories an intermediary adtech platform came into existence. SSP (Supply Side Platform) is an advanced technology platform that serves as a mediator between publishers & advertisers. Nowadays it is the key player of Real-Time Bidding (RTB).
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This is how a publisher uses SSP:
- A publisher makes the inventories available on an SSP.
- Each time the publisher’s webpage loads, an ad request is sent to multiple ad exchanges, demand-side platforms, either directly from an SSP or to an SSP via the publisher’s ad server.
- In the case of RTB media, various DSPs would place bids on the impression being offered by the publisher.
- The winning bid is then delivered to the website via the SSP & displayed to the visitor.
Publishers should join SSPs which are an irreplaceable part of selling because of the following benefits:
- Automated selling of inventory – SSPs help streamline the process of selling & buying inventory by completely removing manual work from the process. Because machines handle every transaction, publishers of all sizes can use SSPs to monetize their website & apps.
- Reporting: SSPs give publishers insight details on who is bidding, how much their inventory is being bought for, & how much individual advertisers are buying.
- Aggregation of multiple networks – SSPs allow more buyers to take part in the real-time bidding process, & possibly help achieve a better yield.
- Yield optimization with price floors – SSPs not only allows publishers to offer their inventories to more buyers but also give them better control of pricing. “Price floors” ensure that their inventory is not sold under a certain price.
- Brand safety – SSPs offer better brand safety for publishers by blocking unwanted ads from showing on their website.
Why SSP Approvals are Difficult?
It’s not an easy thing to add SSPs to your site. Few SSPs like Google ADX gives criterion as difficult as the website having at least 5 million page views per month. Major SSPs are also very strict about the content. They even ban the publisher if the advertisers try to promote prohibited content. There will also be traffic quality guidelines to be maintained. By opening an account, the ad manager will guide the publisher on getting the SSP approval. They all have their own conditions, minimum spend, entry fee and moderation. The bigger SSP is the longer boarding queue it has. It sometimes takes to 3 months for them to approve or even disapprove one request.
Factors SSPs Take into Account while Approving a Website
1. Content Originality
As search engines give websites with original content a higher rank while indexing them. Original & Unique contents go a long way as far as SEO is concerned. But increasingly with the widespread use of internet, it is really difficult to find original content. So content originality is judged by scores given to the content by tools, which search the content against the entire internet database. The better the SEO rankings of a website the more potential there is to drive traffic & better is the viewability & performance of ads on those sites.
2. Content Quality
Quality content ensures a good amount of user engagement, fewer bounce rates, increased average on time, thus increasing a website’s credibility & increasing the chances of ad views & clicks, thus increasing the website’s chances to get higher bids on ads & more demand from advertisers in general. So SSPs ensure that their publishers have relevant content, that is highly optimized for SEO & not including frowned upon & illegal topics like pornography, sale of illicit drugs etc.
3. Website Spam Score
It basically measures the chances of the website being spam i.e containing illegal, irrelevant or unsolicited content, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc. The score is provided based on certain flags like, malicious or manipulative links to the website, domain name being too long or containing a lot of numerals, a high number of external links compared to the content size, presence of
4. Alexa & Similarweb Rankings
Amazon’s Alexa & Similarweb give rankings to websites based on the number of monthly unique visitors together with the number of page views across desktop & mobile traffic. Alexa also takes an average of the number of unique page views over a three month period. While Similarweb gives a global rank along with category & country specific ranks. These rankings form an integral part of website approval checklist for SSPs as it helps paint a clearer picture on the traffic that a website receives thus serves as an indication of ad performance on those sites.
5. Content to Ads Ratio
It is basically the ratio of the space taken up by content on a website to that of space taken up by ads on the website. Websites that have a high content to Ad ratio, i.e more space occupied by relevant content & less adspace, have a higher chance of getting SSP approval. This is essential because too many ads are not good for user engagement & often lead to high bounce rates & very low user dwell times. On the other hand, relevant & engaging content ensures more website traffic & viewership of the ads on the website.
6. Viewability Metrics
It is a means to measure whether a user was able to see a particular ad on a website. There are different algorithms to determine the viewability of different types of ads. For example, A display ad is counted as viewable when a certain portion (about 30-50% of the ad, depending on the ad size) is visible on the screen in front of the user for at least 1 second. Similarly, a video ad is counted as visible when at least 50% of its area is visible on the screen while the video is playing for at least 2 seconds. So viewable metrics of a website is important for SSP approval as a good viewability rate often translates to good click-through rates & better ROIs.
7. Average Time on Site
Also known as user dwell time, it is the measure of the average time a user spends on a website. It gives an indication on how much the content is relevant to the audience & a higher average on-time naturally leads to more possibilities of users viewing & clicking on ads, thus forming an important part of the SSP approval checklist while onboarding a new publisher.
8. Visitor Quality
SSPs specifically that of Google is very particular about the publisher as well as the visitor in the site. Like the quality of the content, it also monitors the traffic quality through its analytics tools.
9. Bot Traffic
Bot traffic is generated by software called traffic bots which can mimic a real human being’s mouse movements, clicking & scrolling patterns, keyboard presses etc. & thus apparently appear as real human traffic on a website. These software can be used by publishers to improve their website traffic metrics so as to command a higher price from advertisers, also publishers use these bots to click on ads on their websites automatically & thus generate revenue from these fake ad clicks. This is why bot traffic is an important parameter in the SSP approval checklist, as they tend to discard publishers with probable bot traffic.
Supply-side platforms provide a programmatic way to deal with the expanding area of AdTech platforms & variables in the programmatic ecosystem. Nowadays the use of SSP as a means to track sales is gaining importance among the publishers. The approval process is difficult & time-consuming hence it should be the most important factor to be considered before one’s website approval.
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