Some Interesting Facts About Online Advertising

Here are some really interesting facts about the online advertising, Enjoy!.

  1. Video ads account for 3% of time spent viewing video online
  2. Video ads accounted for 31% of all videos viewed online
  3. The average US online video ad is 24 seconds long
  4. Display ads account for 0.9% of upstream traffic to department store sites
  5. Brand marketers will account for 27% of online display ad spending by 2018, down from 31% in 2011
  6. Brand marketers account for 33% of all online display ad spending, down from 48% in 2006
  7. 8% of US moviegoers watched film previews online via game consoles in 2012, up from 4% in 2010
  8. 15% of US moviegoers watched film previews online via smartphone in 2012, up from 6% in 2010
  9. 8% of US moviegoers watched film previews online via tablets in 2012, up from 5% in 2011
  10. 76% of consumers in the US and UK say they receive more marketing messages containing customized offers or invitations than they did 5 years ago
  11. 28% of consumers in the US and UK want to receive personalized marketing messages which include recommendations for specific products
  12. The internet accounts for 26% of US consumer interaction with media, and 22% of advertising spending
  13. Mobile devices account for 12% of US leisure time, and 3% of advertising spending


How ad serve targeting GEO location

In today’s digital ad market, geotargeting depends on mapping a user’s IP address to a physical location, a task every ad server outsources to my knowledge.  This is because the process of assigning a geographic location to an IP is messy and complex to say the least.  Just because the ad server outsources the functionality however doesn’t give Ops an excuse to ignore this important and highly utilized feature.

How is an IP Address Associated with a Geographic Location?

By and large, IP addresses are arbitrary – meaning they could be anywhere, and there isn’t much rhyme or reason to their values from a geographic perspective.  It isn’t as though if the IP address starts with a 1 it is always located in the United States, for example.  Instead, companies like Digital Envoy use a multi-layered approach to assign geographic qualities to a user, some highly technical, and some which are just common sense, and some that are a combination of the two.

On the common sense side, a fair amount of geolocation companies can leverage Regional Internet Registries, or RIRs, to assign high level qualities, like country or continent.  The RIRs each own dedicated ranges of IP values and exist to allocate IP addresses within their regions, and cooperate among each other to ensure that the same IP isn’t being used in more than one place. So placing the IP address within a specific RIR’s range allows the service to identify location at a very high level.  Some geolocation services are rumored to work with large registration based sites as well, and have zip code information that a user might manually enter during a sign up process.

Pings, Traceroutes, Reverse DNS, and Other Technical Methods of Geolocation

From there though, the heavy lifting is usually done through a combination of three technical processes known as pings, traceroutes, and reverse DNS lookups.  Let’s run through a high level explanation of all three processes, and then explain how they work in concert to geographically locate a single IP address.

A ping is just a small piece of information sent from one computer to another, with a request to call the originating computer back.  Pings can also record the round trip time of the journey, and are used for a variety of administrative network processes.  Think of it like a submarine’s sonar technology, applied to the internet.

Tracerouting is basically a way to record the network routing process of the ping service, or the detail behind how the ping got from one machine to its destination.  Tracerouting records how a ping is routed, who it is routed through, and the time it takes at each step.  When information travels across the internet, be it a ping or just regular surfing, it moves through a series of very high speed fiber optic networks owned by various public and private entities.  Now, when the information gets physically close to a user, it passes down to an Internet Service Provider (ISP), which sells internet access to consumers.  The ISP eventually moves the packet of information to a nearby network router to the user, which connects directly to the user.  By using the traceroute utility, the geolocation service can know every system the information was passed through in order to get to its final destination.  The important piece of information the service gets from a traceroute is the IP address of that final network router, geographically nearest to the user.  You can ping or see the traceroute command in action on your own machine at Network Tools.

With the network router’s IP address in hand, the geolocation service can finally use a technique known as a reverse DNS lookup to identify who owns that network router, which it can use to lock in on the physical location of the user.  Reverse DNS is simply a service to identify the hostname of an IP address, that is, who owns an IP address.  For many home computers, the host ends up being the ISP.  For businesses, the host ends up being the company’s domain. DNSStuff provides a reverse DNS lookup service – just enter an IP address into their ‘IP Information’ tool to try it out.

Geolocation in Action

Now that you understand the basic approach, here’s how it all works together at a high level –

When a geolocation service wants to triangulate an IP, it starts by pinging that IP address from a central server it owns, and then looking at the traceroute.  From the traceroute, the service can identify the nearest network router to the user by IP, labeled point A on the diagram below.  Then, using a reverse DNS lookup, the service can find out which ISP owns that router, and then query the location from public data, the ISP itself if the service has a business relationship in place, or failing that, triangulate the location with the process below.

In all likelihood, the geolocation service already knows the location of this network router, either by working with an ISP directly, or through previous triangulation efforts.  With that location in hand, the geolocation service hands off the triangulation process to servers closest to that network router, of which it also knows the exact geographic location.  Now, the service sends a ping from at least three of its own separate servers (1, 2, 3), and records the time it takes to reach the user.  Only time can be recorded from a ping, not distance, but using time as a radius, the geolocation service can draw a circle around each server, and know that the target location must exist at some point on the arc.

Geolocation by Ping Triangulation Explained

With three separate locations, the target location should exist at the one point where all the arcs meet, which also gives the service the exact vector to the target from each server.  And, since information runs through fiber optic cable at a known, constant speed (about 2/3 the speed of light), the service can now translate that time into a distance, and with the vector and a known server location, calculate the exact location of the target, within a certain margin of error, depending on the exact method used, and how many points of triangulation are employed. Currently, the most advanced geolocation triangulation methods employ as many as 36 points to eliminate problem data and increase accuracy, and can accurately map an IP address within 700m – but we’ll talk more about that in the final piece in this series.

Network Maps & WHOIS Lookups

Using either piece of information, the ISP or the business domain, the geolocation service can further refine the geographic values of a given IP.  Geolocation services may also work directly with ISPs to get the general physical location, when available of a given IP, since the ISP will know the exact address of the customer using that connection at any given time.  It’s important to note that no PII is exchanged in that process, a zip code is just mapped to the IP address, and not all ISPs participate, or may simply provide the location of the final network router instead of the end-user’s zip.

Some of the more sophisticated geolocation services may be able to deduce the physical location of an ISPs network routers, also known as the ISP’s network map, by pinging those routers from various servers with known geographic locations, measuring the time it takes to get a response, and using that information to triangulate the router.

Businesses may also have a specific address, available through a WHOIS lookup, which allows country, state, city, and zip to be assigned.  The WHOIS directory is a public registry of who owns what domain, along with their name, and importantly, address.  Through this information, geolocation services can get a better idea of the physical location of each machine.

Where Does Geolocation Data Come From?

In most cases, a 3rd party table from a company that specializes in geolocation data.  Practically speaking, most of the advertising industry relies on a small company called Digital Envoy, founded in 1999 by a few smart entrepreneurs, and was acquired by a larger media company called Dominion Enterprises in 2007.  Digital Envoy pioneered the process of linking an IP address to a geographic location, and specializes in keeping the information current, and accurate.

Effectively, Digital Envoy maintains a massive table of literally billions of IP addresses and their inferred geographic qualities, and then sells access to that table at various levels of granularity to ad servers and lots of other companies who have an interest in identifying the location of a user, an ad server for example, who then cache the information in their local database, and can run queries against it.

Other companies that perform this service include QuovaMaxMindGeoBytesCyscapeIP2Location, andAkamai’s EdgeScape product, though there are also free services out there such as HostIPIPInfoDB, andSoftware 77.

[This article was originally published on Run of Network in Dec of 2011]

How To Optimize Your Website’s Performance

By Mike Quinn, president, Yellow Bridge Interactive (YBI)

Web pages and websites are getting bigger and becoming more complex every day. But when a website does not load quickly, it affects visitors’ behavior, which leads to decreases in sales conversions and revenue.

A website can slow down for a number of reasons, including low server memory, competing resources or data influx. If a web server is slow, it will hinder the website’s performance. Likewise, a site receiving a great deal of traffic can also slow down load times or disrupt a visitor’s experience entirely. Navigation, site design, images and apps can also affect how quickly and effectively a website is displayed.

Bottom line: Your website’s speed can be the difference between generating revenue and not generating revenue.

You should not stop monitoring a website’s performance. Monitoring your site should be part of your daily web design workflow. Check home page load time, checkout process load time, and conversion rates at regular intervals.

Web Performance Makes a Difference in Sales

Don’t think a couple of seconds can make a difference? Think again. According to Jupiter Research (which has since been acquired by Forrester), the average online shopper in 2006 expected a web page to load in four seconds. Today, those same shoppers expect web pages to load in two. Poor web performance is one of the biggest reasons people are dissatisfied when shopping online. People who experience performance issues will abandon a site or switch to a competitor. Because page load time is important to web browsers, even Google GOOG +0.1% has begun factoring site speed into their algorithm when ranking websites.

Responsive Web Design Also Affects Web Performance 

Website visitors expect the same type of experience on their mobile device as they do on their computers.

So now, not only do you have to think about how a website performs in various computer web browsers, you also have to think about optimizing a website for the many types of mobile devices. This is where responsive web design comes into play. Responsive web design (RWD) involves creating a site that  adjusts depending on what type of device is doing the viewing. The text can be scaled down, to offer only the main text and images.

It’s important to note, though, that just because a site has responsive web design and looks good on a certain device, it does not necessarily mean that it will load faster. And just because it loads faster on a mobile device, does not mean a visitor or customer will stay on it longer.

Three Ways to Optimize Your Website

There are a few things you can do to make sure your site is performing at optimum speed. First, you can run a web page analyzer to help you see what is actually being loaded and what is taking the most time — and clean up any problematic HTML, CSS and Javascript code. Next , here are three best practices to consider:

  1. Get a dedicated server. One way to improve performance is to move to a faster server or get a dedicated server. Although it may cost more, being on a slow server can cost you even more in sales long term.
  2. Use a CDN. If your site has large amounts of content to display, consider using a content delivery network (CDN) — a company that employs a large system of servers placed in various locations to deliver web pages to visitors. Most CDNs are used to host static resources such as images, videos, audio clips, CSS files and JavaScript. The closer a CDN server is to a site visitor, the faster the content will be delivered to the visitor’s computer or mobile device. CDNs help improve global availability and reduce bandwidth. However, the main issue a CDN addresses is latency, or the amount of time it takes to deliver website pages to the visitor.
  3. Compress images and text. Another way to improve website performance and speed up page load times is to compress images and text. A server does not have to send out as much data this way. Some hosting providers automatically compress websites, and there are a number of tools you can use to test whether or not it is compressed. Most sites are image heavy, so if you want to optimize an image without losing visual quality, you can use a tool like Yahoo YHOO +0.17%’s For web graphics, use GIFs or PNGs rather than JPGs.

Just like a physical store needs organizing, websites need cleaning. When it comes to page-load optimization, every kilobyte counts. Web performance is a critical part of a customer’s experience. Don’t put optimizing a website’s loading time on the back burner, as it can be detrimental to loyal readers or repeat business.

For over a decade, Mike Quinn has been active in website design and development. After completing formal training in multimedia technologies in 2002, he became a founding member of a Pittsburgh based design company, Yellow Bridge Interactive (YBI). YBI’s focus is creating SEO-friendly websites that utilize the latest design and programming techniques.

The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

Ways to Increase Your Site’s Traffic

If you have a product you’re really proud of, it should speak for itself. But when it comes down to it, you still need to get customers on your website in the first place — especially if you’re running an e-commerce operation.

We asked a panel of 13 successful entrepreneurs to share their best advice for generating high-quality, organic search traffic to their business websites. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Focus on the Long Tail

lawrence watkinsIf you are a new site, it can be difficult to go after popular keywords right away. I find it better to write many quality articles on very specific keywords than to go after the ones with more search traffic. A great benefit of staying focused with long-tail key terms is that they usually convert better, as well. To help with this, I recommend a tool called HitTail, which drives targeted search visitors to your website by focusing on the most promising organic keywords in your existing traffic.

Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers


2. Stick Around

Alexandra LevitThe longer you are in business and producing quality online content, the more likely you are to pop up in search results for all related keywords. Starting a blog or churning out a bunch of articles is all fine and good, but keeping those activities going for years as opposed to months (or weeks) makes a huge difference.

Alexandra Levit, Inspiration at Work


3. Optimize Your Articles

Nathalie LussierThere are three main ingredients to a successfully optimized web page or article: your meta title, description and keywords. This is such a simple thing to fill out when you’re publishing a piece of content on your site, so take the time to do it each time, and you’ll start to rank for your keywords much faster.

Nathalie Lussier, The Website Checkup Tool


4. Don’t Forget About (Ethical) Link Building

Christopher KellyKeyword-embedded links are the foundation of off-page search engine optimization. The best part is that links can be free. Just ask vendors, partners, press, clients, your alma mater and any other credible source that you interact with to embed hyperlinked keywords back to your site for the terms that you are targeting. If the referring source has a high page rank, you should see a pop in your rankings in less than two months of them being published.

Christopher Kelly, Convene


5. Use Google’s Keyword Tool

patrick curtisUse Google’s Keyword Tool to find long-tail keywords that are not as competitive, then structure some content around those. If you are in a competitive niche, this is a way you can start building up some small recurring traffic and engage your users.

Patrick Curtis,



6. Provide Amazing Value to Your Readers

Liam MartinWhen it comes to increasing organic search, content marketing through blogging or guest posts is the fastest way to build great traffic. However, content marketing is a quality game and not a quantity game. If you have horrible content, people won’t bother reading it or sharing it, which is basically the entire point of building a company blog. Therefore, when I write content, I constantly ask myself if I would take ten minutes out of my day to read it and if I’d share it with others. If you wouldn’t do either of those things, then you really need to look at your content strategy again.

Liam Martin,


7. Don’t Try to Outsmart Google

Sarah SchuppGaming Google’s system might work temporarily, but it is not a good strategy for the long haul. To increase organic search traffic, produce top-notch content that’s relevant to what your users might be searching. Check the Google Keyword Tool to make sure you’re using the correct terminology that the general public is using when they’re searching.

Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent


8. Think of SEO as an Opportunity to Create Value

Danny WongSEO isn’t a game. At least it’s not a game that you’ll win in the long run if you think of it as a game. Create content that readers find valuable and Google will deem search-worthy. Visitors are more likely to share content that they enjoyed reading and will stay on your site longer, while bloggers and the media might use your site as a reference, which means more organic links.

Danny Wong, Blank Label


9. Decrease Bounce Rate

adam liebIf there is one thing search engines hate, it is a high bounce rate. Check your keywords for this, and optimize those pages to reduce your bounce rate. Search engines will love you for it.

Adam Lieb, Duxter



10. Produce Quality Content

John HallSearch engines are rewarding people and companies who are getting high-quality, consistent content coming from them. Things such as author rank are going to have a big effect on organic search results. Put a plan in place to not only create content to publish online, but also to be able to maximize the value of the content so that it is properly distributed across social channels and has a chance to go viral.

John Hall, Influence & Co.


11. Create a Company Blog to Increase SEO Traffic

Jay WuSEO is king in organic search traffic. The more popular search terms within your niche that you include on your website, the more searches will organically lead to your site. But including too much text on the main pages of your site can do more harm than good, which makes it difficult for consumers to find the information they want. Instead of overwriting the copy on your homepage, about page and product pages, start a separate blog for additional SEO work. Use the blog to write about your niche, whether it’s construction, beauty or entertainment. Try to do keyword research to find out which phrases are trending in your industry and include them in the blog posts. As long as your blog has a highly visible link back to the main page of the website, the blog will increase your visibility.

Jay Wu, A Forever Recovery

12. Leverage Industry Experts

Chuck CohnEveryone likes opining as an expert. You’ll be surprised how easily you can convince industry leaders to contribute guest posts to your own blog. They will likely have their own readerships, and those people will become familiar with your brand. The experts are also likely to produce great written content that will be of great interest to your existing users.

Chuck Cohn, Varsity Tutors


13. Create a Community

Mitch GordonIncreasing Google traffic is all about answering questions your community finds important. You need to become the authority in your niche. Have your community ask you questions, and you’ll be well on your way to providing high-quality, valuable and useful content. That’s what Google cares about. When you provide answers to your community’s questions, Google will rank your site well for many keyword terms you wouldn’t have been able to think of on your own. You create loyalty in your community and rank well in Google at the same time. That’s a win-win.

Mitch Gordon, Go Overseas

Image: Robert Scoble