Ad server or ad tracking system or ad- serving technology refers to the technological web-based system that is responsible for the hosting, optimizing as well as for the distribution of the advertising contents all over the websites, mobile apps as well as to different social media platforms. Also being referred to as the “campaign management platform”, these are consumed majorly in online marketing, programmatic ad buying, and digital advertising. It can also be defined as the huge container of raw creative graphics where at every time any user visits can fetch the creative ad that is then served in the advertising slot lately.

Being designed for storing and serving the purpose, this platform accumulates an adequate amount of data. The advancement in technology is also making the functionality of the ad server a sophisticated one.

**In simple language, the ad server is a technology that allows the management, serving, as well as tracking of an ad depending on the relevancy, targeted audience, goals set for the sales to be generated, and finally the budgeting.

Types of ads server

To a maximum, there are two different types of ad servers namely; publisher side which is commonly known as the sell-side and the advertiser side which is commonly known as the buy-side. Where the publisher’s side serves and manages the ads appearing on the digital property that one owns, the advertiser’s side tracks manages and tracks those ads and is only used by the marketers.

How does ad serving work?

The term ad serving refers to the technological cycle which needs software for the placement of ads on different websites. It is an essential element for the ad server that makes use of some of the complex algorithms and really effective tools that assist in the making of the right decisions. The selection of ad is done via a process that is bound by the rules set by the advertisers, publishers, and the ad server too. Some of the rules include the targeting criteria, ad format, ad priority, the potential of earning, etc.

Although being a little bit complex, the process takes place in various steps as below;

  • First– Obviously the process would initiate with the user visiting the particular website, thereby generating an IP connection between the computer user and the server. Now, this is when the loading on the website starts. At the same time, the ad tags on the website also load and ring the publisher side web server.
  • Second- The user sends the publisher ad server this ad request, upon which the data is analyzed relating the language of the user, personal details such as marital status, age, gender, etc. and a lot more.
  • Third- The request from the user is then forwarded to the ad exchanges, where a large number of buyers bid as per their interest within the ad space in search of the relevant user.
  • Forth- In the next step, the ad server will continue with the frequency capping process to check out the potential of the ad.
  • Fifth- Now the publisher’s ad server processes a large number of buyer’s requests where the best-paying advertisement is selected in less than a second time. This is when the browser redirects to the advertiser’s site server and fetches the ad from the content delivery network.
  • Lastly- The final step is counted as the impression as the advertisement is retrieved and is downloaded successfully.

** The entire process now does not even take more than a second to end.

How do you define the ad server? How does it work with you? Any trick that you wish to share? Feel free to do so in the comment section below!