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What is an Ad Server? How ad serving works?

What is server? A server is a computer program to process requests and deliver data to another computer over the internet or a local network. There are hundreds of different types of servers which handles certain functionality. Application server provides business logic for an application program, Mail server use for incoming e-mail, sending and forwarding email for delivery, file server use for storage and management of data files, web server is use for serving contents to the world wide web, ad server use for serving and managing advertisement on publishers. 

Let’s look ad server in broader way. 

What is Ad Server(advertisement server)? It is the server use for placing advertisements on websites and mobile apps. It is web based technology and service that stores, maintains and serves advertisements. There are many ad-tech companies provides ad serving technology to websites, mobile apps, publishers, networks, and advertisers to serve ads. Along with ad serving service, Ad-tech companies provides user interface for ad trafficking, ad management, campaign management, reporting and many other functionalities. 

What are uses of ad server?
1) Use for uploading & storing advertising contents
2) To traffic ads according to differing websites and mobiles apps publishers
3) Delivering advertising content on websites, social media platforms and mobile apps
4) Reporting metrics like number of times ad serve known as impressions, number of clicks on ad, etc. which helpful for optimization
5) Some ad-tech companies of monetization platform provides AMO (Automated Mediation Platform) functionality which helps is choosing high performing ads which makes most money 

How an Ad Server works? Through below steps ad get serve on websites
1) User visits on website, browser runs the code to deliver content
2) Browser sends request to different servers, some requests sent to hosting content sever which deliver contents on website and other sends to ad servers which delivers ads on website
3) Ad server calling takes place using the ad tag (ad tag is simple HTML/JavaScript code)
4) When ad server gets calls from ad tag, it response with content to serve advertisement
5) Ad appears on website and user sees ad 
This entire process takes place in milliseconds. 

MagicBricks ad on economictimes.com website

Some prominent ad servers include Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers, Facebook’s Atlas, and Sizmek. 

Types of Ad Server 
Ad servers are divided into two types — publisher (or first party) ad servers and advertiser (or third party) ad servers. There are separate ad servers that publishers and third party (e.g. advertisers, marketers) use. 

Advertisers and marketers use a centralized ad server that enables them to draw progress reports on demand and update their creative content in one place, rather than using individual publisher ad servers in which they will have to manage content across multiple servers with different publishers. If advertiser try to manage server with different publishers, then it will difficult to manage creatives for each publisher and tracking ads. Hence, advertiser to use their centralize ad server to manage advertisement content, creatives, tracking and reporting. Advertisers use ad servers to help with campaign management. Advertisers send a line of html code to the ad server that is used to call up an ad directly each time an ad needs to be loaded on a site. Advertiser ad server known as third party ad server because their ad server is independent to manage, maintain, serve, track and analyze results of online campaigns. Publisher uses third party ad tags to deliver the ads. Some of popular ad server for advertisers are DoubleClick Campaign Manager, AppNexus and Sizmek. 

Publishers have separate ad servers to communicate advertising material across their domains only. This enables convenience for the publisher, as they will have access only to the advertising content they require for their publication rather than sort through an ad server containing all the advertising content in which Marketers/Advertisers are using. Publishers use ad servers to maximize their ad revenue by serving the highest paying ads that are available. Ad servers make it easy for publishers to add new advertisers to their ad stack and monitor how well each advertiser is doing. A popular ad server for publishers is Google’s DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP).

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Ad Operations

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