Browse Definitions :
Definition

ad server

An ad server is software that stores data about advertising content and delivers ads to websites and applications. Ad servers are available as hosted services or as self-hosted products.

Ad servers are special-purpose web servers; like other web servers, they use HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) to serve the related files in response to user requests, which are forwarded by their computers' HTTP clients. When a user requests a web page by typing a URL (uniform resource locator) or site name into their browser’s address bar, the browser creates a connection to the site publisher's content server. When the content server returns the code for the page, at least one line includes the option to display an ad, along with the URL for retrieval of the specific ad content.

In addition to delivering advertising content, ad servers perform a variety of other tasks. Depending on the specific product or service, an ad server may also track ad views and clicks and target ads based on pre-defined criteria. Some also monitor for indications of click fraud and other types of ad fraud to ensure that the advertiser's content is actually being viewed by the appropriate audience.

In programmatic advertising, the selection and purchase of an ad impression and targeting of a specific user or group of users takes place while the requested page is loading, through a process known as real-time bidding (RTB).

Watch an introductory video about how ad servers work:

This was last updated in February 2017

Continue Reading About ad server

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

Has your company implemented programmatic advertising and, if so, how has it worked out?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • cybersecurity insurance (cybersecurity liability insurance)

    Cybersecurity insurance, also called cyber liability insurance or cyber insurance, is a contract that an entity can purchase to ...

  • phishing

    Phishing is a form of fraud in which an attacker masquerades as a reputable entity or person in email or other communication ...

  • cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • NVMe over Fabrics (NVMe-oF)

    NVMe over Fabrics, also known as NVMe-oF and non-volatile memory express over fabrics, is a protocol specification designed to ...

  • logical unit number (LUN)

    A logical unit number (LUN) is a unique identifier for designating an individual or collection of physical or virtual storage ...

  • CIFS (Common Internet File System)

    CIFS (Common Internet File System) is a protocol that gained popularity around the year 2000, as vendors worked to establish an ...

Close