For publishers, ad quality is not a vague goal but an imperative. Complying with clear guidelines and principles in advertising is essential for long-term success while failing to take them seriously can result in damage to both publisher credibility and performance.

Serving up high-quality ads is like precision engineering. Far from simple, it requires constant watchfulness, advanced technical solutions, and a human touch during moderation. But what is meant by “ad quality”, anyway? Let’s break it down.

The finely tuned process behind high-quality ads delivery can be boiled down to a few essential principles:

  • Good design. High-quality and appropriate imagery, engaging text, correct aspect ratio, etc.
  • Technical quality. Responsive, fast loading speed, technically correct landing pages
  • Relevance. Contextually matched to the page content, valuable to users

Ad quality, as explained by Google, refers to “an estimate of the experience that users have”. In order to get the most mileage out of their platform, publishers need to hit two critical sweet spots:

  • High-quality ad content. This includes the ad images and headlines, landing layout, and how information is delivered to a site visitor.
  • Excellent user experience. The content you serve, including through your ad space, should be clean, easy to engage with, and should match user expectations.

To monetize their inventory effectively, many publishers turn to adtech platforms, ad networks or SSPs. If you choose to go this route, knowing the signs of trustworthy platforms is the first step to safeguard your credibility.

Know the common threats


Malvertising, or malicious ad content, refers to the practice of using an ad which appears legitimate to capture a click and redirect the user to a malicious URL or code. From there, viruses, ransomware, and other malicious scripts are delivered to the end user’s terminal. Once the malicious ad is clicked on, the user’s computer is exposed. The scripts can then install backdoors leading to phishing, keystroke loggers, ransomware, and other malicious software.

Misleading advertising

Misleading advertising can refer to a number of practices. These include advertising that makes false claims about key components of a product (i.e. “Cheapest cotton shirts”, “100% vegan chocolate”, etc.). They can also include advertising that appears to promote a certain brand but, in fact, leads the user to another unrelated website. This is often done through cloaking, a technique that masks the real address that the user will be directed to.

The damage is not to the end user, but rather to the reputation of the publisher.

Inappropriate content

Violent images, nudity, unauthorized celebrity imagery, and other offensive content are not harmful to the end user’s computer but remain a threat to publishers. As in the case of misleading advertising, such inappropriate content can be extremely damaging to the publisher’s brand image. Once a good-faith user is directed to an ad with offensive content, the blame will fall on the first-click host.

How MGID protects users from bad ads

The battle against bad ad quality is won with constant vigilance. Ad quality verification and internal moderation processes within ad platforms help publishers filter out the bad apples. But this process is time-consuming and doesn’t always produce the results publishers are looking for. With the right solutions or the partners in place, publishers can avoid strain on resources and costly oversights.

To support its partners, MGID has taken proven steps to ensure it has the upper hand in the fight against poor ad quality.

External verification

We partner with GeoEdge, a leading provider of security solutions for ad quality, to surveil every ad creative hosted on our platform.

This proprietary software solution, in combination with thorough manual checks, prevents malicious and fake ads from ever seeing the light of day.

Moderation process

High standards. We have strict standards to ensure that users see only high-quality creatives and honest advertising.

Clear guidelines. We are upfront and transparent with our advertisers from the start. MGID guides advertisers through the specific regulations and requirements of the target market. We update our advertising guidelines in real-time whenever changes occur in local legislation.

Thorough manual checks. Our moderation team doesn’t stop at ad creatives and copies. They check pre-landers, landing pages, and everything else users see after clicking on an ad.

They provide human feedback on the subjective quality and content of ads, which is then used to make recommendations. Then, publishers can also exclude any particular content they deem inappropriate for their websites via tags.

Localization. We hire local teams of moderators since only people with language, country, and topic expertise can understand the cultural and political background of any ad.

Safety ranking

MGID is taking its everyday great user experience even higher in 2022 by introducing campaign safety rankings. Put simply, these rankings indicate which items and campaigns are acceptable across publisher networks. If a campaign is rated favorably, it means its content is safe to run from the regulatory, content, and technical points of view. The higher the safety rating, the higher the scalability of the ad campaign across the network.

This is not a one-size-fits-all system. Publishers have nearly unlimited ability to customize the quality settings of ads on their website through safety rankings and tags. Once the quality bar is determined, MGID safety rankings and tags help filter out low-quality campaigns.

And we go above and beyond automated settings and filters. Our dedicated compliance officers are constantly on the lookout for non-compliant ads and ready to remove any that fail the quality test. All of these measures ensure that publishers can maintain a clean and profitable monetization platform, rewarding quality and giving users the best experience and content fit.

How brand suitability can be achieved

For a great user experience, it is essential that the ads they see are relevant to them. Ads that serve up context-matching content are good for users, good for the publishers, and good for advertisers.

How do we pull it off? First, the adtech side must be dependable and deliver consistent, trustworthy contextual matching. With MGID’s Contextual Intelligence solution, both advertisers and publishers can be sure that quality ads are placed in contextually appropriate environments and won’t be displayed alongside unsavory or unsafe content.

Bottom line

Everything a user sees on a web page or platform is aggregated into the user experience. Ad quality is an essential component of this equation. As the internet evolves, so do internet users, with increased expectations of page quality and content relevance.

MGID’s goal is to serve high-quality, highly relevant ads that reduce churn and ultimately even retain viewers. After all, there is one hard and fast content rule that applies to any type of platform: engaging content is what brings users back for more.