An advertising network is an intermediary between advertisers and platforms that want to display ads. The advertising network selects ads that meet the criteria for placement on the platform. The most well-known example of an advertising network is Google. The company allows users to place ads on most of its platforms, as well as on partner websites that collaborate with Google. The advertiser chooses the type of platforms on which they would like to advertise, and then Google selects the sites for publishing the ads. In general, there are three types of advertising networks.
- A vertical advertising network. Allows the advertiser to have full control over where the ad will be placed. For example, the user can choose the topics of sites on which they do not want to advertise. Thanks to this, the network provides high-quality traffic and is particularly valued among advertisers.
- A blind advertising network. The advertiser provides the network with their ad, but has no control over its placement. The platform decides where to publish the ads, and the user cannot influence this. Any site that is part of the advertising network can become a platform for ad placement. Therefore, the cost of advertising in such networks is lower than in others. But there are risks of displaying ads on sites with which the advertiser would not want to be associated.
- A targeted advertising network. These platforms focus not on the location of the ad, but on the audience that will view the ads. The advertising network analyzes the behavior and characteristics of site visitors that provide space for advertising. This allows for the selection of the most appropriate ads that can interest people.
With the development of the mobile internet and the increase in the number of smartphone users, separate mobile advertising networks have appeared. They act as intermediaries between advertisers and application developers. Thanks to them, advertisers can display their ads in mobile applications, and developers can monetize their product. These networks adapt the ad format to the mobile device screen and have a number of advantages:
- allow reaching a large audience, as most users access the internet through mobile devices;
- reduce banner blindness, as due to the size of the screen and specialized placement, it is difficult for users to ignore the banner;
- ads are less likely to be blocked by users — ad blockers on phones are not as common as on desktop browsers, and often applications are designed so that people have to view ads to use them.