New Factors Added to Sociomantic’s Supply Quality Index Algorithm

Programmatic buying that supports a higher-quality ad ecosystem

In 2015, Sociomantic Labs launched the Supply Quality Index (SQX) to promote ethics and quality in the programmatic advertising industry. As a leading provider of full-funnel personalized advertising solutions for enterprise advertisers, it’s our responsibility to support the highest-quality players in the market.

The proprietary SQX algorithm enables us to grade our programmatic inventory suppliers—ad exchanges and supply side platforms (SSPs)—based on real-time analyses of three overarching measures:

  • Transparency
  • Performance
  • Inventory Quality

In order to ensure sustainable, efficient and high-quality media buying, Sociomantic will be gradually rolling out a range of enhancements to SQX within the upcoming weeks and months. 

By adhering to the best practice for the following SQX factors, Sociomantic’s suppliers can increase their SQX Scores, and thereby increase the bids we submit for their inventory. By ignoring these factors, they risk lowering their SQX Scores and thereby the bids submitted for their inventory.

Transmit floor price in all bid requests

Not disclosing the floor price can endanger the advertiser’s budget efficiency, as ad exchanges may artificially increase the bid pricing using dynamic floor pricing. Failure to send this information will result in a lower SQX Score as it fundamentally violates the idea of transparency in media buying.

Exclusively send bid requests for matched users

Saved bandwith is important for the efficiency of Sociomantic’s bidding engine, as it protects bidding reliability. Sociomantic only wants to bid for matched users. Receiving bid requests for unmatched users adds to the workload for our bidder, and can result in inefficiencies and inaccurate bid rates. To promote performance, Sociomantic assigns a lower SQX Score to partners that send bid requests for unmatched users.

Send traffic to the right datacenters (based on user’s geo-location)

Sociomantic values relevant bid requests, as this saves bandwidth and leads to increased accuracy and improved performance. Exchanges that don’t send traffic to the right datacenters will have a negative impact on performance, and will receive a lower SQX Score.

Ensure stable user matching at all times

SSL certificate errors can disrupt access to an entire webpage. Similarly, timeouts and other errors (such as 503 or 404) lead to bad user experiences and inefficient bidding. Ad serving stability is a decisive indicator of performance, and Sociomantic automatically monitors all errors and empirically adjusts SQX Score based on the frequency and recency of violations.

Inventory Quality
Submit above-the-fold placement in all bid requests

Many players in the industry deliberately avoid verifying the actual placement of an ad. Showing ads above-the-fold vastly increases viewability and inventory quality, and it allows our bidding engine to evaluate the true worth of the impression. Therefore, failing to send this information will result in a lower SQX Score.

Send as few anonymized/masked publishers as possible

Many advertisers rightfully ask to blacklist certain publishers to ensure brand protection. Anonymized or masked publishers deprive Sociomantic from effectively blacklisting potentially harmful publishers, and/or whitelisting highly valuable publishers. To protect inventory quality, the percentage of anonymized or masked publishers will be factored into the SQX Score.

Prevent mismatch between referrer and publisher URL

Some publishers employ referrer domains that are entirely different from the actual placement URL for the final impression. As a result, intuitive blacklisting and whitelisting is virtually impossible. Sociomantic has monitoring systems in place to calculate the degree of mismatches between referrer domains and publisher URLs for every SSP, which will be factored into the SQX Score to help ensure inventory quality.

Bidding for a Better Industry

The purpose of SQX is to incentivize SSPs and ad exchanges to act ethically and re-think their business models, putting quality over easy profits. At the same time, publishers will gain an increased awareness about the quality of the exchanges they work with. Ultimately, we hope to improve transparency and overall quality in media buying, and enforce more quality-based inventory in the programmatic advertisement ecosystem.

Sociomantic is continuously developing SQX in an effort to guarantee access to the highest-quality inventory, to improve performance for advertisers and to promote a more transparent industry that will benefit publishers and advertisers alike.