Overview - Inventory quality and auditing

Xandr both controls inventory quality across the platform with baseline Inventory Content Standards, and gives buyers the tools to choose the type of inventory they want through our auditing system.

In addition to our baseline inventory content standards, some inventory (platform-reviewed) has been audited and tagged with content categories, sensitive attributes, and intended audiences by a Xandr team. Selling members of the platform are also given the option to provide this data themselves.

Platform-reviewed: Xandr's platform operations team has reviewed the highest-traffic domains on our platform; currently about 70% of volume. Metadata is provided on a domain level.

Sellers: Auditing may also be done by the network, aggregator, or exchange that represents the publisher. This metadata is provided on a tag level.

Xandr's policy only allows browser plug-ins that provide informed consent to the user before installation and that do not modify or overlay publisher ads. We require that sellers segregate and identify their toolbar inventory within the Xandr system so that we can monitor compliance. Bidders can opt out of receiving requests from toolbar inventory entirely by excluding the toolbar inventory attribute in their bidder profile.

Buying based on sensitive attributes and intended audience

When targeting inventory, you have the option to target only Xandr-reviewed inventory or to "trust" the self-auditing of other Xandr members. When choosing to target only Xandr-reviewed inventory there is a trade off between having less reach, but ensuring that you are running on inventory that meets our requirements. This information is passed in the inventory_audits array within the bid request. For more information, see the Inventory - FAQ.

Xandr inventory quality and auditing standards

View the full details of inventory standards and auditing in Xandr Policies.

Inventory auditing

Note

For inventory audit data on each impression, see the inventory_audits array in the Bid Request.

Xandr invests significant resources toward the safety and quality on both sides of transactions taking place on our platform.

Buyers on our platform may submit their creatives for human auditing by the Xandr audit team. The manual audit process includes checking technical and content criteria as well as offer type categorization to enable the seller protection features on the platform. Buyers may self-audit their creatives, but because many sellers allow only Xandr audited creatives, self-auditing may reduce access to inventory outside of one’s network.

Additionally, all creatives (including publisher default ad tags) on Xandr's platform are continuously monitored for overt malvertising threats and suspicious behavior regardless of audit status. Our Sherlock technology also adds additional metadata to the creatives.

You can find more information about creative auditing in Creative Standards.

Similarly, Xandr monitors, both manually and automatically, inventory sources available on Xandr's platform, and blocklists URLs that do not meet Xandr platform standards. The Xandr Audit Team regularly audits new inventory and reaudits existing inventory to apply categorization and metadata at the domain level. This data can be leveraged on the demand side to further target campaigns or to restrict delivery.

Process and procedure

For advertiser’s safety, Xandr provides two modes of inventory auditing. First, we maintain a strict set of baseline criteria for excluding unacceptable inventory from being sold over our platform. Any inventory that we detect as falling within these criteria will be added to our platform blocklist. We reject all requests made to our servers originating from an inventory on our blocklist, including auction requests, pixel calls and user syncing activities. Second, inventory available on Xandr's platform may be tagged with content categories, brand sensitive attributes, and intended audiences, either by the Xandr audit team, or by selling members of our platform.

  • Platform-Reviewed:  Xandr reviews a sub-set of domains available on our platform. Metadata is provided on a domain level, and is based on the referrer we receive from the browser, ad server, or aggregator.

  • Sellers: Auditing may also be done by the network, aggregator, or exchange that represents the publisher.

    Note

    Disclaimer

    While we believe that our audited domains are of a high quality, the nature of the internet is such that we cannot provide any guarantee regarding the nature or content of any inventory sold on the platform. For questions about this, or to report miscategorized inventory, or inventory that should be banned under our blocklist criteria, contact us via the Customer Support form (select Inventory Quality as the request type). Customer login is required.

Standards

Xandr has categories of sites that will not serve impressions, but unauditable domains are available for managed campaigns, trusted partners, and campaigns without inventory-quality filtering. This section explains about the prohibited and restricted inventory:

Prohibited and restricted inventory

Tip

About Flagged Impressions

In the past, filtered impressions on inventory flagged as violating platform standards would serve blanks. Now, these impressions follow seller preferences for impressions with no demand. As with all impressions that follow this workflow, sellers will be charged the applicable fee.

Note

See Part of Service Policies for policies that apply globally on Xandr's platform.

Xandr works hard to create a safe and trusted ad marketplace. We use various methods to continuously monitor traffic that passes through our Impression Bus, whether it comes from Xandr tags, white-labeled tags, or third-party ad tags. This includes, but is not limited to, direct publisher relationships and media buys placed with other ad servers, networks, platforms and supply sources.

In applying content policies, Xandr's policy does not differentiate between inventory that is monetized by the owning member or that is resold via the platform.

Except for creatives banned by Xandr policies, networks may run any creatives on their own inventory regardless of audit status (see Creative Standards and Auditing). To allow this, under the Ad Quality manager for each publisher, leave this unchecked: Ban unaudited creatives for direct advertisers

Restricted content

In keeping with our inventory standards, there are categories of sites that Xandr will not serve impressions. These categories are outlined clearly in our Service Policies, under Part of Service Policies.

Unauditable inventory

Domains listed as unauditable will be available for managed campaigns, campaigns from those who set you as a trusted partner, as well as campaign that have not enabled inventory-quality filtering.

  • Desktop apps and toolbars: Sites whose purpose is the download of browser toolbars.
  • Automatic redirection to other sites: Domains which automatically redirect to a different URL.
  • Website does not appear to function:  Sites that appear to be broken or have no content.
  • Website has no ads on page:  Sites that contain no visible ad units.

To contest the audit status of a site, contact us via the Customer Support form (select Inventory Quality as the request type). In the request, detail your relationship with the publisher and a brief description of why you believe the site has not been audited correctly.

Inventory categorization standards

Sensitive attributes

These are qualities of a site or page that advertisers may wish to exclude from an order. They are loosely based on similarly named IASH categories. Xandr is not an IASH certified member and does not guarantee that inventory meets IASH contract requirements. We encourage all members, including IASH certified members to use these categories and descriptions when self classifying their own inventory.

  • Political: Editorial content that is predominantly aimed at furthering the cause of any political party, organized campaign, or informal pressure group.
  • Social media: A website platform primarily intended for independent publication by site users of personal thoughts and links, and interaction among its members.
  • Photo & video sharing: Independent publication by site users of photographs and videos utilizing a tool provided by the site.
  • Forums (moderated): Online forums, comments areas, discussion groups, and newsgroups where people exchange ideas about a common interest, where user’s comments are subject to editorial control or moderation by a Site Publisher, or require the user to log in or supply personally identifying information like an email address. Moderation may occur either before or after the user's contribution is posted.
  • Forums (unmoderated): Sites or parts of sites primarily comprising forums, comment areas, discussion groups, and newsgroups not subject to any editorial control or moderation by or on behalf of the Site Publisher, and not requiring any log in or identifying information from the user.
  • Incentivized clicks: Sites or parts of sites containing content, such as links, to be clicked on by live users who subsequently receive some reward or incentive.
  • Non-English languages: Sites where a significant portion of the text appears in a language other than English, and the site appears targeted to a non-English-speaking audience.
  • Streaming media: Sites or parts of sites containing streaming music, or embedded videos or flash games.
  • Toolbars, plug-ins or extensions: Ad-supported browser plug-in inventory installed with user consent. More information on compliant toolbars can be found under Part of Service Policies.
  • Contextual nudity: Non-sexual, non-vulgar nudity that appears as an incidental aspect of the site without being the focus of it.

Intended audience

This category is used to indicate the age range of the target audience for the content on the site. A site falls into General audiences unless it contains content that is specifically targeted toward children, young adults, or the 18+ category. (18+, also called “mature”, does not include so-called “adult” content, i.e. pornography.)

  • Children: A site or part of a site whose content is specifically targeted toward children. For special rules that apply to child-directed sites, see the COPPA FAQs in our Part of Service Policies.
  • Young Adults: A site or part of a site whose content is specifically targeted toward young adults.
  • General Audiences: A site or part of a site which has no particular intended audience and whose content is appropriate for all ages.
  • Mature (18+): A site or part of a site whose content is not appropriate for children or young adults under 18.