What is an Ad Exchange?


Have a think about all the advertisements that you see every time you go online.

There are loads! We see hundreds of ads every day and they are often tailored to things we have searched for or products we have look at in the past.

How do those ads get there though? This is what we are going to look at in this blog. We’re going to show you what an ad exchange is, how they work and also what the top ad exchanges are.

ad network ad exchange

Why is online advertising important?

Most people carrying out their research online nowadays when it comes to deciding which product to purchase.

For advertisers, this means that having ads in prominent positions online is vital. In fact, it is becoming even more important for the mobile market as an ad that appears on a mobile device can increase brand awareness by 46%.

You can have a great website that sells products directly or has affiliate links but if you aren’t using ads then how will consumers find it? Organic SEO is a long-term strategy and while it is effective, ads can bring you in revenue in the short term.

What is an ad exchange?

In days gone by, getting ads online meant contacting the website owner directly much in the same way that you would get an ad into a newspaper.

However, as the market has moved on and grown significantly this just isn’t practical. This is where ad exchanges come in. There are two parties involved in this process. The sellers are what we call publishers who have digital space to give and buyers are the people and companies who want their ads displayed.

An ad exchange provides a platform for the two to come together and the bidding process is done programmatically in real-time.

Ad network vs ad exchange

You might have also heard of an ad network. How does this differ from an ad exchange?

Well, an ad network gets their inventory with a huge number of websites that publish ads and sells it to buyers or advertisers. Ad exchanges use a real-time bidding process and even though there are overlaps between the two, ad exchanges don’t have the same scope for negotiations like ad networks.

You can find out more information about the ad networks here.

List of ad exchanges

If you are hoping to get your ads on websites so consumers can see your products and services then you need to know what the top ad exchanges are.

You might have heard of some of these ad exchanges before but we have put them into a handy list so you can see what one suits your needs best:

• Smaato
• OpenX
• SmartyAds
• Rubicon Project
• AppNexus

Using ad exchanges for digital marketing

Getting the word out about your services or affiliate products is important these days.

By using an ad exchange you can almost automate the buying and selling process. Whether you are a publisher or an advertiser you can use ad exchanges to your advantage.

More people are going online now to do their research and purchase items and with an ad exchange, you can get ads published on popular websites and turn those impressions into conversions.

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