How Advertising Works

Many websites derive their income from advertising on their site.  Some websites handle their own advertising, but most use third party advertising services.  Typically portions of the page delivered by the website contain script that brings content from the ad server or uses an HTML frame that places a page within the page with the ads.

The advertising service desires to deliver the best performing ads to the page to maximize revenue.  To do that the service must know the viewer and advertiser.  Therefore all data the service can accumulate about the viewer will help provide the best match.

Step 1 A viewer requests a page from a website.
Step 2 The website returns the page which includes embedded links to the ads
Step 3 Just like obtaining images for a page, the browser will obtain the ads from the ad server.  The URL provided identifies the original website and perhaps a given session.  Cookies placed by the ad service identify the viewer to varying degrees of accuracy.
Step 4 The ad is returned to the viewer.
A/B Behind the scenes aggregate data from the various monitoring sources are used to select the best ad to deliver.  Delivered ads provide additional information about the user for the future.
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ShofarPortfolio™ ● Diagrams from 2012
How Advertising Works
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