IX Perspectives

Our commitment to user experience

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At Index Exchange, we are committed to delivering the highest standard of service to a growing list of top tier global partners in the UK, Germany, France, Canada, Australia and beyond, and we take great pride in supporting over 90% of comScore’s top 100 publishers in the US. We’re in a day and age where the shift to mobile and developments like AMP have created an increasingly demanding end user. As such, the need to collaborate and innovate with our partners to help improve user experience by focusing on measures to reduce latency has never been more important.

To reduce latency on our exchange, one feature we now leverage is caching. Caching is a universal concept on the web — it’s why we can enjoy HD Netflix content, why streaming online news updates can load so fast and how the latest game updates download so quickly. Rather than waiting for content that is regularly streamed, it is instead cached on a local node near our devices, meaning long routes to the original content are now shorter. Caching is why the web today loads increasingly fast, and it’s how high scale, high performance computing continues to exceed end-user’s expectations.

In the context of our exchange, we call the caching we leverage ‘bid caching’ — a feature built and designed in accordance with industry guidelines (OpenRTB 2.5, section 7.2). Bid caching is used in latency-constrained environments to allow a buyer to win a bid they would otherwise have little chance to participate in. The most common examples are video (at the mid-roll and post-roll points, as consumers will not tolerate wait time for ad decisioning), responsive design (increasingly, ads load as a user navigates a page, which should never ‘block’ the content that follows), mobile environments leveraging prefetched content or swiftly traversed slide galleries. We dynamically identify and optimise the exchange in these circumstances to reduce latency wherever possible. This ensures the best user experience, while also guaranteeing that buyers are afforded the greatest possible opportunities to increase win rate and purchase impressions across the audiences they covet.

The exchange intelligently activates this feature where it is determined to be necessary or of value. Bid caching is therefore not used on every bid and is only used dynamically up to a unit of time measured in seconds. We believe this achieves the best balance between user experience (lower latency results in faster page speeds) and buyer experience (recent intent, higher win rates, honouring frequency caps). We’ve optimised caching to ensure buyers are bidding on the same inventory, for the same users, in a very tight time window in order to maximise performance for their advertisers.

The advent of the supply-side shift to the header has brought forth choices to buyers and their algorithms of all supply paths, giving buyers opportunities to A/B test each route to select their preferences. We continue to encourage all of our buyers to make these assessments and select the most optimal path for their campaign outcomes.

Our clients remain our strongest partners, and collaborators, and we remain committed to the pursuit of their objectives.

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