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Jun 29

Preferred lists & block lists in programmatic advertising

Marketers and advertisers can use the data generated by their campaigns to optimize throughout that campaign’s life cycle. More specifically, the sites a campaign displays on can be used to better optimize where the ad is being placed and who’s seeing it.

This can be done by creating preferred lists and block lists.

Preferred lists

A preferred list is a document of preferred lists of sites built by the operator, and oftentimes, specific to the advertiser. Most times, operators will create a list of the places that have seen a high conversion and click-through-rate, or CTR, to work further towards achieving the campaign’s objective.

An operator can tell which sites have achieved these goals and may be worth adding to a preferred list by looking at their detailed reports. From the complete report, compare significantly relevant pieces of data (click-through-rate, conversions, etc.) That will lead advertisers to the top performing sites.

From there, those sites can be added to a preferred list. Once all sites are added to a preferred list, the campaign or ad group with the uploaded list will only bid on placements available on those respective sites. Tip: Add a bid multiplier between 1.25–1.5 to increase your chances of winning the inventory on your preferred list.

This method gives advertisers the transparency they’re looking for. In addition, preferred lists help to increase brand safety as they now know precisely where their advertisements are being shown.

Block lists

Block lists, as you can imagine, are the opposite of whitelists.

A block list is a list of websites that you do not want to show your ads on. For example, if an advertiser pulls a report and sees that they have been displaying on and, but those sites actually aren’t relevant to their product or service, they can add those sites to a block list.

Once the list is uploaded to the campaign and added to the ad groups, it’s guaranteed that their ads will no longer show on those sites. Creating a block list will also help operators achieve their brand safety objectives and fight off ad fraud.

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