Windows 10 Updates Might Push You Over the Edge

In the latest Windows 10 update, AdBistro learned that Microsoft will push users to their Edge browser when opening links within the Windows mail app, regardless of your current favorite browser settings.

“Microsoft will try a new way to push Windows 10 users into running Edge, forcing links opened from the Windows Mail app and its messages to display in the browser.

Normally, links embedded in messages retrieved by the Windows Mail app open in the default browser, which may be an Edge rival if the user has set one.

In the latest preview of Windows 10’s fall feature upgrade, currently known as 1809 in Microsoft’s yymm label format, Microsoft has mandated that Edge assume responsibilities for opening links within messages.

[ Further reading: Windows 10 spring 2018 update: Key enterprise features ]

“We will begin testing a change where links clicked on within the Windows Mail app will open in Microsoft Edge, which provides the best, most secure and consistent experience on Windows 10 and across your devices,” announced Dona Sarkar and Brandon LeBlanc, the Microsoft employees who most often speak for the Insider preview team, in a post to a company blog last week.”

Read the full story from ComputerWorld.

Digiday Publishing Summit – Vail – March 2018

The time for quick fixes is over. Publishers need to move beyond complaining about the duopoly to take control of their futures by focusing on their own strategies, whether that’s subscriptions, making programmatic work, commerce models or video offerings.

Join AdBistro and hundreds of publishing executives at the Digiday Publishing Summit for three days of new connections and honest insight on the future of media.

6 Reasons to attend:

The 8-Minute Meetings – affectionately referred to as “speed dating” by
our regular attendees – pair buy- and sell-side attendees so that they can
meet, discuss their needs and decide if they want to do business
together. Before the summit, you will have the chance to pick which
executives you want to meet with.

You will never struggle to connect with others at a Digiday summit.
Summits are always between 100 and 300 participants to ensure
communication is one-on-one, not one hundred-on-one. The
proportion of buy-side to sell-side attendees at summits is 60:40, so
the odds as a sell-side attendee are in your favor.

How much do you spend on traveling to meet prospective clients all
over the country, or even all over the world? Now think about how
much you spend when they cancel the meeting. Fewer trips and
expenses mean you don’t risk your marketing budget.

Digiday buy-side attendees make the purchasing decisions around
marketing tools and sofware that make their jobs easier. This
collective power is worth millions – in some cases, billions

Summits almost always begin on a Wednesday and end on a Friday,
giving you the beginning of the week to prepare and the weekend to
rest. Summits do not run on weekends, except on very rare occasions.

Our GM, Celine Hassan, will be attending the show and will be happy to meet you for a drink (or two!) to discuss your audience development strategy!
Contact us –


AdBistro Helps Advertisers & Publishers

AdBistro for Advertisers

AdBistro drives users to your desired landing pages for full page ad monetization. Our direct publishers are certified by third party security companies, including Integral Ad Science (IAS) and comScore. We focus on value exchange models to drive users to your site, which allows customized ad units served based on your needs. We have a full service account management team, as well as an extensive suite of tools to manage and optimize your campaigns for maximum effectiveness.

What we offer:

  •  Full page ad monetization for your web page. 
  •  Certified Traffic
  •  Customizable Implementations
  •  Scalability
  •  Full Service Account Management

AdBistro for Publishers

Publishers work hard to create compelling content. We want the world to see it.

AdBistro helps you to monetize your traffic by connecting your users with hundreds of campaigns across various verticals. Since every publisher is different, the AdBistro platform allows for fully customized ad placements and competitive payouts. Our advertisers want users to engage with their ads in many ways, including value exchange models, mobile, in-game, search and in-text ads.

What we offer:

  • Customizable Implementation
  • Competitive Payouts
  • Dedicated Account Management Team
  • Easy To Implement 


AdBistro strives to provide high quality traffic. Our AdVerify™ system uses more than 60 filters, but we also use third party verification companies to ensure the authenticity of your traffic. We understand quality also means that we are meeting our advertisers’ specific KPIs.

Targeted Traffic

AdBistro delivers high quality traffic through very specific and strategic targeting. We target users based on their device, geographic location, web browser and source level.

User Frequency Capping

While it’s typically good if a user is seeing your ad a lot, there is a point when it loses its effectiveness. Depending on what our client is selling, we cap the amount of times a single user will see an ad. This helps to maximize your budget’s effect.


Adding an XML ad feed to your website can help you monetize your traffic and improve your search results on your page. It tells big search engines, like Google and Yahoo, which information from your page is important.

Realtime Fraud Detection Engine

Many of our strategies are chosen for their fraud fighting capabilities. AdBistro is constantly working to fight ad fraud and bad traffic, both early in the ad buying process and real-time during the campaigns. Read more about AdBistro’s fraud prevention efforts here.


AdBistro prides itself on delivering quality, performance-based products and services to some of the biggest names in the industry, and we are dedicated to continuing to help make your business successful.

Contact us for more information about what we do, or how we can work with you or your company!

Advertisers Fight Back Against Ad Fraud

According to The Bot Baseline, economic losses due to bot fraud in 2017 will be 10% lower than they were in 2016. In 2016’s study, the ANA reported that advertisers lost an estimated $7.2 billion due to ad fraud. Ad Fraud is a much larger issue than people realize. Although the loss will be less this year, advertisers will still lose ~$6.5 billion in 2017 to ad fraud.

This decline in losses due to fraud is promising for advertisers and publishers alike, because it accompanies news that advertising spending will likely increase by 10% or more this year.

What Is Bot Laundering?

Bot laundering is when fake traffic replicates human activity. Scammers can use these bots by selling them to publishers as “real traffic” or by using them to improve the traffic numbers on their own sites to charge more for ad space.

How Does Ad Fraud Work?

AdWeek recently published this article explaining four common ways ad fraudsters make money. 

Fake Traffic Brokers

This happens which a publisher wants to increase traffic to its site. They will then go to a traffic broker, who promises to send high volumes of valuable traffic to the publisher’s site. Fraudsters will create traffic broker services that don’t deliver real traffic, but instead use bots. The publisher’s traffic will see an influx of users. The fraudulent traffic brokers are essentially protected and removed from the situation because neither the publisher nor the ad exchange will be unable to track them down. 

Publishers who have purchased traffic from fake traffic brokers will likely be unaware that they are buying fake traffic. The bots are often created on real users’ computers using malware.

Ghost Sites

This involves creating content farms which churn out tons of thin, low-value content, and then using bots to create fake “qualified audiences”. 

Ghost sites are websites which have tons of thin, low-value content published with the sole intent of ranking highly in search results. A content farm is a website that cranks out a very large number of articles a day full of low quality content written by freelancers or bots. The only intention is to rank highly on search engines. Google has cracked down on these sites, making them less prevalent, though.

URL Masking

CEO of Double Verify, Wayne Gattinella, explains that much of advertising technology’s infrastructure wasn’t designed with fraud prevention in mind. URL masking, an example of this, is when publishers sell their ad space to advertisers without disclosing where the ads will be published. The lack of transparency gives the publishers the abilities to inflate their site’s true value. They can make represent their site as more targeted, relevant and credible than it actually is, and charge advertisers more. 

This can also involve a tactic known as “impression laundering,” which is when a site that steals copyrighted content hides the true location of the ads. This leads to ads being served alongside pirated content, which advertisers otherwise would avoid.

Pixel Stuffing & Ad Stacking

Some less-reputable web publications will put ads on their sites in a way that essentially hides them from users. These sites mainly use two tactics, pixel stuffing and ad stacking. Pixel stuffing is when websites cram ads into a 1-pixel by 1-pixel unit. The site loads the ad, but the user will never see it. Ad stacking, then, is when ads are placed on top of each other so the user only sees one ad. The advertiser still pays for the ads, despite the user remaining unaware of the hidden ads. Both methods lead to advertisers losing out on real views, and paying for fake traffic.

AdBistro Takes Action Against Non-Human Traffic

Adbistro examines ad fraud

AdBistro fighting ad fraud is nothing new, as we’ve been improving our fraud protection and prevention for years. We’ve been working with DoubleVerify, an industry leader in detecting and preventing non-human traffic, since 2014. For our clients trying to get their message to potential buyers, paying for fake traffic could ruin their campaign. It is in AdBistro and our clients’ best interest to ensure the clicks or impressions are genuine people and not bots.

AdBistro’s BistroAPI is constantly evolving to make the ad buying process better for our clients, both advertisers and publishers.

Read more about how AdBistro avoids fake traffic on the AdBistro Blog

Voice Interfaces & Post-Phone Marketing

It is clear that mobile is the future of tech. What isn’t so clear, though, is what form that technology will take. Aaron Shapiro, CEO of Huge, Inc., predicts that there will be less reliance on screens and more on speech. We recently discussed the rise of mobile messaging as a solution. Shapiro thinks digital communication is headed another direction.

Aaron Shapiro’s hypothesis is this:

“Once everyone gets their hands on an iPhone X, it won’t just mark the device’s 10th year of incremental evolution; it will also represent “peak iPhone”—the point at which it will never be more influential, ubiquitous, or dominant. Not long after the X makes its way onto the mass market, the iPhone will begin to make way for its little sister: the Apple Watch, a product that has been much maligned but little understood.”

Shapiro says the change will fundamentally rewire the way we think about marketing, experience design and the world around us over the next several years. He says the new Apple Watch’s LTE cellular connectivity make it the first truly credible post-phone internet device. We rely on our phones for playing music, texting, making phone calls, getting directions, or checking a fact on Wikipedia. The Apple Watch does it all, and without a phone screen.

Voice Interfaces Have Improved Drastically

Earlier this year, Google announced that its word error rate had fallen by more than 30 percent since 2012. IBM, a leader in AI & voice-recognition, said its word error rate recently dropped to 5.5 percent from 6.9 percent. This improvement will likely improve voice assistants, like Siri and Alexa, across the board.

For humans, the word error rate is about 5.1%. The tech companies, like Microsoft, IBM and Google are inching closer to that figure, but are still a ways off. The progress they are making though has ramped up of late.

Shawn DuBravac, chief economist for the Consumer Technology Associate, said, “We’ve seen more progress in this technology in the last 30 months than we saw in the last 30 years.”

Smart Home Devices’ Full-Capabilities Yet To Be Seen

Huge Inc. polled users of Amazon’s Echo and Echo Dot, and Google Home. The three most common uses of the devices were playing music, checking the weather and finding out the news.

A key difference between voice controlled devices and devices with screens is the “presence” of options. On a screen, GUIs (Graphical User Interfaces) present users with their options and the users picks based on their needs. Companies using voice, like Amazon and Google, have yet to effectively show, or tell, users their options. This is a limiting factor for widespread adoption of the devices and the technology contained in them. 

Voice Won’t Replace GUIs Anytime Soon

Des Traynor, Chief Strategy Officer at Intercom, weighed in on the issue on the Intercom Blog. He notes that it is rare that a technology will simply replace its predecessors. 

“Voice won’t kill touchscreens. Touchscreens didn’t kill the mouse. The mouse didn’t kill the command line. Analysts yearn for a simple narrative where the birth of every new technology instantly heralds the death of the previous one, but interfaces are inherently multimodal. The more the merrier.

Every new technology starts in a new, under-served niche and slowly expands until it finds all the areas it’s best suited for. And voice has a great niche to start in…”

As Is True For Most Things: Context Is Key

Another valuable thought that Traynor explains, is the idea of “place-onas“. Canadian computer scientist, Bill Buxton explains that your location determines which technology you should use. Traynor provides these scenarios:

  • In a library, wearing headphones: Hands free, eyes free, voice restricted, ears free
  • Cooking: Hands dirty, eyes free, ears free, voice free
  • Nightclub: Hands free, eyes free, ears busy (loud environment), voice busy (can’t be heard)
  • Driving: Hands busy, eyes busy, ears free, voice free

These placeonas account for how users can realistically input and receive information. If users are going to do more than check the weather using voice interfaces, the devices must account for context. A key entry-point into users’ habits is the moment when other interfaces aren’t an option. 

Limiters of Voice as User-Interface

Right now, most messaging solutions make users receive messages in the form they were sent. One user may be driving, while the other may be at a noisy restaurant, but they must agree on a single mode of conversation. In most cases, users must receive voice messages as voice messages and text messages as text messages. Communication must be translatable to and from voice to encourage more common use. 

Advertisers Consider How To Use Voice

Voice isn’t the only platform advertisers should consider, but it’s something for brands to think about. More people using voice interfaces will completely change how content is used. As websites begin to see traffic from voice users, they will have to shift away from traditional practices. Companies that recently transformed their content strategy for mobile, may be well served by repeating the process for voice interfaces.

People often address new technology with skepticism, though later use the technology anyway. Advertisers are working to reach mobile users more effectively, but this may be a short-lived trend. Those who don’t make some effort to reach customers using voice interfaces risk being left behind.

While voice may seem like a long-shot for becoming a staple, just read these early reactions to the computer mouse. They may seem ridiculous now, but likely seemed rational at the time. What the mouse did to completely overhaul user interfaces was huge and its possible voice could provide the next big change.

Voice Is An Alternative To Visual Noise, Ironically

Advertisers that have difficulty reaching their customers via display ads could see benefit in voice advertising. Voice as an interface, by nature, maintains focus. Websites are cluttered with ads, multiple headlines, and tons of content. Voice, on the other hand, can really only address one topic at a time.

People already use it for quick searches of the web, and simple questions. As of mid-2016, 20% of Android searches were voice-based, and Apple’s Siri received 2 billion requests per week. Those numbers will continue to rise as voice assistants become more user-friendly. More use will improve confidence in the platform, however users are still unfamiliar with many of the technology’s capabilities.

Ad-Blocking Costs Publishers Big Time

The media landscape, which is driven mostly by ad revenue, is being shaken up by the expanding presence of ad-blockers. Websites which rely on ad visibility for their income see little to no value in users that can’t see the ads. Many websites are blocking content unless users disable their ad-blocker. 

Websites Still Testing The Ad-Blocking Waters

Nick Flood, product and commercial operations director at Dennis Publishing said, “people need to take this more seriously.” The impact publishers see by banning ad-blocker users is still unclear. Early next year, Dennis along with other big names, including Auto Trader, will test hard bans on users with ad-blockers for one day. This will provide some insight into how many users immediate leave the site versus how many are willing to view the content with ads.

General news sites will typically suffer from hard bans. This is because users can find the information other places. It is niche sites that will benefit from banning users, because their content is unique. Flood explains that people are willing to view ads on your site, if they see its content as valuable.

Some Sites Successful With Only Monetized Users

While many large websites, reporting on general news and trends, may be suffering due to hard bans, some small websites are seeing improvements. The Windows Club, a website devoted to Microsoft and Windows operating system users, explains that as its users whitelist the site, their ad impressions and revenue actually increased steadily. 

Industry Leaders Chime In on Ad-Blockers

Johnny Ryan, PageFair’s head of ecosystem said in a report:

“There are not all that many publishers who have such exclusive content that they feel confident in establishing a paywall. By the same rationale, there cannot be that many publishers who have the confidence in establishing an ad block wall either. There are some publishers who claim, maybe rightly, 40% to 50% conversion … [but there are] publishers who are turning away 50%, 60%, 70% of their traffic when they ask people to switch off their ad blocker.”

According to this article in The Stack, while sites aren’t all seeing drops in traffic, other key statistics are seeing negative changes:

“All this is relatively circumstantial fare by way of arguing that deterring adblocking users deters traffic in general, but there are some unusual coincidences in the graphs.

If one was willing to read the trends with a more paranoid eye, it might seem that instituting these deterrents is financially suicidal, since the remnant audience, though fully monetised and ad-enabled, is so much smaller than the one prior to it.”

Many of the websites that implemented bans saw spikes in their bounce rate, declines in their average time on site, and dwindling traffic numbers.

Should Your Website Ban Ad-Blocker Users?

It is important to do some testing and research before adopting a hard ban on ad-blocker users. Losing half of your traffic could result in more harm than good, even if you are only seeing monetized users. 

Jo Holdaway, chief data officer at ESI Media, said adoption of ad-blockers may have stabilized, but don’t be complacent. Ignore it at your peril.

AdBistro Celebrates Halloween!

AdBistro decided to have a little extra fun today for Halloween! We had a costume contest and pumpkin carving in the office. 

The costume contest was highlighted by Batman, Gamora, a Squirrel, Les Grossman from Tropic Thunder, a Bee, and Wednesday Addams. 

At AdBistro, we think its a good idea to have a little fun around the office, and Halloween provided the perfect occasion.

When we’re not having a Halloween party or having a party in the office, we’re working on improving our digital advertising solutions for our clients. We’d love to help you get your content seen by more people or monetize your web traffic. Now don’t eat too much candy, and have a Happy Halloween! 

Could Messaging Replace E-Mail & Social Media?

Fast Company recently covered a talk at its Innovation Festival by Vivian Rosenthal, CEO of Snaps. Snaps hopes to “make businesses conversational” with its products, which include chatbots, iMessage apps, and custom mobile keyboards. Rosenthal talked about China’s messaging app WeChat, which has tons of functions including sending money, hailing cars, shopping and talking. 

What are some mobile messaging apps?


WhatsApp is the world’s most popular messaging app. It boasts over 1 billion daily users and it sees 55 billion messages sent every day. It is a simple and easy to use platform, but has many useful features (Group chat, voice/video calls, and document sharing). 


GroupMe, which is owned by Skype, is dedicated to group messages. 


WeChat is a Chinese mobile messaging app, first released in 2011. It has since become one of the most widely used messaging apps with 963 million monthly active users.

Facebook Messenger

Messenger is another widely used option, with 1.2 billion monthly users.

How does mobile messaging work?

Unlike social media, e-mail, and other means of connecting with customers, messaging is perhaps the most interactive. Users aren’t limited by where they can click, how they can interact, etc. because the engagement is conversational. People talk to their friends, family and coworkers with messaging apps, but there is a massive disconnect between customers and brands on messaging platforms. 

Will mobile messaging replace other channels?

Social media has become saturated. While major brands like Facebook, Apple and Google will have little trouble catching attention on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., other companies find themselves falling behind. Messaging allows brands to reach their consumers more directly than with social media post or web ad. As artificial intelligence continues to improve, chatbots will be a widely used way that companies can interact with and learn more about their customers.

Why is mobile messaging better?

Mobile messaging is an untapped source of interactions with customers. By its very nature, it feels more natural and fosters interaction with brands. Compared with social media organic and paid posts, messaging ads with customers have a much higher rate of engagement. According to EZ Texting, only 29% of Tweets and 12% of Facebook posts are ever read, but 98% of SMS text messages are opened and read within three minutes of delivery.

Another benefit is the targeting capabilities of mobile. Similar to how programmatic ads are targeted to web users, mobile ads can be pushed to a specific group of people based on the advertisers needs.

Brands Spending More on Snapchat & Instagram Ads

According to, “Snapchat and Instagram have seen ad spend rise by 73% and 55% as new offline features brought added value to advertisers, according to a report by data science company, 4C Insights (4C).” Snapchat’s average quarterly revenue per user is currently $0.90. Facebook’s, for example, is $4.23. The shift of advertising budgets from Facebook to Snapchat may help to narrow this gap.

Monthly Active Users by Platform:

  • Facebook: 2 billion

  • Instagram: 800 million

  • Snapchat: 300 million

  • Twitter: 328 million

While Snapchat and Instagram may not be the best platforms for all businesses, they have seen continuous growth over the past few years. Businesses hoping to reach an older demographic are better off focusing on platforms like Facebook or display ads, as these are more likely to reach their audience. 

The Basics of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising is really any marketing or advertising media that is digitally displayed. This most commonly refers to internet, mobile and hand-held media devices, but could also be out-of-home media like billboards or other digital banners. Here is a quick rundown of some basic digital ad types and key terms.

Digital Advertising Inventory

Advertising inventory is the number of ads, or amount of ad space, a publisher has available to sell to an advertiser. In the context of display ads, this inventory would be the individual ad units on the website. Inventory standards are set by groups like IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). IAB specifications for programmatic selling and buying of inventories deliver greater efficiency and reliability.

Digital Advertising Platforms

  • Search Advertising: Also called paid search, search ads are advertising on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. There are over 3.5 billion searches per day on Google, ignoring this market is missing out on a big opportunity.
  • Display Advertising: These ads are the banners on websites that include images or videos. Internet users using ad-blockers make it more difficult to see high engagement rates on these types of ads. As a result, native advertising and other forms of digital advertising are becoming more popular.
  • Mobile Advertising: Mobile advertising is a method of advertising that shows up on a mobile device, like a smartphone. These could be text message advertisements, embedded in apps, or display ads on mobile websites. While many of the same tactics are used when targeting mobile users as desktop users, research suggests that engagement in mobile users is slightly higher.
  • Social Advertising: Hootsuite calls social advertising, “any kind of paid content on a social media network. The options run from a one-off promoted Tweet or Facebook post to a full-scale campaign with major budgets attached.”
  • Demand-side Platforms: A demand-side platform is “a piece of software used to purchase advertising in an automated fashion.” according to Digiday. Advertisers and agencies most often use DSPs in the ad buying process.

What is native advertising?

adbistro-native-ads-click-through-rate-ctrNative advertising is a form of paid media, where the paid content resembles the surrounding website/content. By blending with the rest of a webpage, (or even non-digital forms like magazines) the content is more user-friendly. As a result, native ads have a much higher engagement rate than traditional display ads.

What is programmatic advertising?

Programmatic ads are ads that have a completely automated buying process. Buying these ads is more efficient because a computer can monitor and bid on ads rather than having a person actually following and bidding on them. The automated buying process allows advertisers to reach specific audiences with pinpoint accuracy.

Prior to programmatic, the ad buying process was approached as direct sales. The advertisers and publishers would go back-and-forth with hundreds of spreadsheets, proposals, emails, etc. While this process is still used somewhat, it is less common thanks to programmatic.

Real-Time Bidding (RTB) vs. Automated Guaranteed

Both real-time bidding (RTB) and automated guaranteed are methods of programmatic ad buying. Real-time bidding buys impressions one at a time, based on who an advertiser is targeting. Advertisers bid by impression and if they win, their ad is immediately displayed.  This is the advantage to RTB, its ability to publish in an instant.  Automated guaranteed, or direct buying, allows marketers to buy ad impressions in bulk for a specific context or website, for example. The advantage to direct buying is that both the inventory and the price are guaranteed. However, once the deal is complete the advertiser loses control of when their ads are published on the site.

Why use digital advertising?

Quite simply, you should spend money on digital advertising because your competitors are doing it. If you neglect your business’ digital presence, your competitors will be at an advantage by reaching your target customers more often. Another reason is digital advertising’s superior tracking and measuring capabilities. Measuring a campaign’s ROI can be as simple as logging into Facebook and checking the engagement numbers on a particular post. As consumer data begins to paint a more complete picture of customers and their context, the insights into the buying process are deeper than ever. With this clear image of your most profitable customers, you can personalize which ads are served to which customers (depending on their place in the buying process).

How effective is digital advertising?

Digital advertising’s effectiveness obviously varies, but it makes optimizing your marketing and advertising efforts easier. Because the platform is so measurable, the most effective campaigns can be expanded and other campaigns can be stopped to maximize ROIs. By using the best available types of digital ads, as recommended by IAB, you will see twice the interaction rates. 

Digital Advertising Pros and Cons

While this isn’t an exhaustive list, these are some of the most important factors you should consider.


  • With endless advertising options, solutions are more flexible to factors like budgets and technical capabilities.
  • Customer interaction possibilities are endless. Every screen is a possible place to advertise your brand.
  • Digital campaigns are extremely scalable. Your message can be spread worldwide in an instant.
  • Your campaign’s effectiveness can be measured and reported immediately. Less effective campaigns or ads can be reworked and improved instantly.
  • Digital advertising can improve your brand’s reputation and trust. This makes other advertising and marketing efforts more effective.


  • While reach may be high, as the digital ad space becomes more saturated, engagement may fall. You can combat this change by focusing on targeting the correct customers. Another way to improve engagement is to verify and check your traffic and inventory. AdBistro works with Integral Ads, comScore and AdVerify to make sure its traffic is high quality and provides results for its clients.
  • Blindly placing your ads online can open your brand up to negative associations. If your ad is published on a website that conflicts with your brand’s message it can harm your business. It is important to audit your advertisements to make sure they are being seen by the right people. AdBistro verifies its inventory by performing routine audits of where it publishes ads.
  • Without tracking, ROIs can be lost. If you aren’t following your campaigns and adjusting them to emphasize the most effective ads, you will lose valuable results. AdBistro’s intuitive reporting interface makes it easy to monitor and adjust campaigns as necessary.