How to measure the latency of third-party ads?
Written by Roy
May 17, 2021 • 3 min read
As a publisher, you want to be sure ads load fast enough, without slowing down the page. In today's programmatic world, every party in the ad tech stack adds their own libraries, pixels and ad validation scripts to a creative.
How are you going to measure the all of this added latency?
What is latency?
First of all, let's define latency as the time it takes for a data packet to be send across a network. In real life, this translates to the visible delay between the loading of a page and the moment something is painted on the screen.
Measuring load speeds
To measure the load speed of a creative, you can add the ad tag or HTML5 ad to a test page and look in Chrome Dev Tools at the DOMContentLoaded event. Upper thresholds are arbitrary, but aim for a load speed of < 500ms. The faster the better.
Also check the Console tab to see if document.write() is invoked. Some ad tech vendors are still using old techniques from the 90s.
Minification, CDN and image compression
Ad Validation Tool for HTML5 Ads
You can use this HTML5 ad validation tool to scan a creative and see if your ad complies with your specifications. It measures a couple of things that Ad Ops check manually when validating ads before they go live.
Automated Creative QA via an API
If scanning each creative takes too much time, why not automate the whole QA process? Ask the development team within your company to integrate the APIs of creativeQA.io in your platform. Each time you receive a new creative, you'll see within seconds if it passed all QA tests, right from your own portal.
Imagine the amount of time you would save on a yearly basis.
IAB Advertising Guidelines
The Interactive Advertising Bureau has guidelines regarding the performance of HTML5 ads created with Google Web Designer or any other rich media builder. You can find them in this PDF.
Creative quality assurance is an important process to validate ads before they go live. As a publisher, you want to be sure ads are loading fast, secure and without flaws. Automated ad validation tools can help Ad Ops to save valuable time and make the QA process less boring.