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Preparing for privacy laws by bringing order to the wild-west exchange

By Steve Adams Content Strategist January 16th, 2020

Privacy laws are here and many more are on the way. With GDPR coming last year and CCPA rolling out in 2020, advertisers are already getting a sense of what is required to adapt to these new laws. Currently, the prevailing wisdom is that the third-party cookie will no longer be viable and advertisers need to embrace contextual targeting to overcome the impending loss. 

What is contextual targeting? I’m new

Contextual targeting is the practice of targeting audiences based on keywords and topics from the editorial content of a page. The idea is to place ads that are relevant to the content on the page it’s being placed on. Advertisers are currently working on ways to get more insight into the behavior of audiences associated with specific keywords and topics. In fact, the recently appointed chairman of the IAB Tech Lab, Niel Ritcher, has been outspoken in his belief that contextual targeting has yet to find its full potential. 

Now, how does taming the exchange come into play? 

Websites don’t always tag the ad inventory on their site in a granular way. In fact, some publishers tag entire sites with one tag. They do this because it is cheap and easy to scale, however it causes problems for contextual targeting. Taming the wild-west exchange entails a more granular approach to tagging ad inventory that exchanges need to demand from their websites. 

The more granular the tagging of ad inventory on a website, the better contextual targeting can be. Advertisers can target specific pages on a website based on their desired audience provided the tagging is granular enough to allow it. That’s why it’s important that publishers don’t shortcut the ad inventory tagging process. Advertisers can’t target audiences sufficiently if they only have access to the broad information of the entire site. 

Retargeting and behavioral targeting made more relevant advertising possible and now that the cookie will be going away, advanced contextual targeting can help fill in the relevance gap. It is imperative that exchanges demand granular tagging from their publishers for this to be possible.  

Check out our introduction to the wild-west exchange and also how it affects viewability

If you’d like to read all our content about the wild-west exchange, read the full ebook:

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