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Ad Refresh, a NEW Publisher Feature from EXADS

By Ana Kealy

August 30, 2023

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EXADS’ new Ad Refresh feature will help ad platform owners to attract more publisher and advertiser clients, and increase their revenues. This feature allows publishers to refresh ad content on multiple banner ad zones, including Responsive Display Ads, on their website. 

Instead of serving just one ad per user, per session, publishers can now serve several ads, giving end users the chance to view more ads as they spend more time on a page section that has an ad zone. This is beneficial for advertisers as it increases the chances of ads being seen and clicked on while increasing the long-term value of the publishers’ ad zones by generating more viewable impressions.

By using Ad Refresh, ad platform owners will be helping publishers to: 

  • Increase the availability of their inventory to advertisers.
  • Identify high and low viewability areas on their website.
  • Determine the probability of an ad being clicked on a specific zone.

'Ad viewability' is a crucial metric to track for publishers. Advertisers prefer to purchase viewable impressions, which means publishers with highly viewable display inventory have a greater demand for their inventory. With Ad Refresh, we assist you in enhancing your platform’s offer as your publishers can focus on improving their site's ad viewability rates, thereby increasing the number of quality impressions that are more likely to generate clicks. This, in turn, will create more demand for their inventory and result in increased revenues.

How does Ad Refresh work?

Ad Refresh operates on the principle of viewability, which is a best practice recommended by Google. To refresh an ad zone, it must be viewed by an end user in real-time, which promotes high viewability rates. This means that when an end user spends time reading or viewing content on a page, only the ad zone that is visible on their device screen will refresh. 

Essentially, Ad Refresh works by refreshing only the ads that are in view, thereby increasing the likelihood of those ads being seen and clicked on by users.

Let's take an example of a webpage that contains both a Sidebar Banner and a Bottom Banner. Suppose an end user is scrolling through the webpage and the Sidebar Banner is in view on their screen. In this case, the Sidebar Banner ad zone will refresh after the ad refresh time setting is passed, displaying various ads to the end user. The Bottom Banner ad zone will not refresh until the user scrolls down to that section of the webpage. As soon as the user reaches the Bottom Banner section, as with the Sidebar Banner, the Bottom Banner ad zone will begin refreshing after the ad refresh time setting is passed displaying new ads to the end user. This way, Ad Refresh ensures that only the ads that are visible on the user's screen will refresh, thereby increasing the chances of the ads being viewed and clicked on.

Ad Refresh Rates

There are four available time settings for the refresh frequency for ad zones:

  • 30 secs: The ads will refresh every 30 seconds
  • 60 secs: The ads will refresh every 60 seconds
  • 90 secs: The ads will refresh every 90 seconds
  • 120 secs: The ads will refresh every 120 seconds

Publishers can choose the duration of the refreshing interval, depending on how frequently they want their ads to refresh. Ad Refresh has a limit of 10 rotations per user session, ensuring that eCPMs are not negatively impacted by too frequent ad rotation. 

This rotation limit has been set to comply with the IAB industry standards, which recommend that publishers refresh ads at a reasonable rate to avoid serving low-quality impressions. By implementing this limit, we assist publishers in providing a better user experience while complying with industry standards. 

How to enable Ad Refresh for ad zones 

The Ad Refresh feature is available on all applicable ad zone formats (banners and RDAs). To enable Ad Refresh on their websites, publishers can simply access the settings of their desired ad zones and select the ‘Ad Refresh Rate’ menu bar, then choose their preferred time setting: 

To start with, the default Ad Refresh Rate is set to ‘No Refresh’, which means that the same ad will be displayed throughout the entire user session without rotation. Once the Ad Refresh Rate is set by the publisher, all ads displayed will be relevant to their audience's interests as they will fall under the category that was picked in the Category setting. The process is simple and can be completed in just a few clicks.

Recommendation: It is recommended to test out a refresh rate of 30 to 60 seconds when setting up ad timings. This will allow for several ads to be displayed and viewed by the end user, maximizing the chance of engagement.

Ad Refresh can be used for Banner zones, including Responsive Display Ads (RDAs). RDAs allow advertisers to effortlessly optimize their ad campaigns by using multiple assets, which display in various sizes and formats across multiple websites. By enabling RDAs on their site, the publisher’s zones become more competitive, generating higher demand and attracting higher bids, which leads to higher CPM. 

With Ad Refresh enabled, the RDAs within a zone will refresh and show different ad creative options to the end user at the chosen refresh rate. This can increase the chances of the end user interacting with the ad, as they are presented with multiple creative options.

The top benefits of Ad Refresh 

Ad platform owners can benefit from offering Ad Refresh to their publishers and advertisers in several ways: 

  • Ad Refresh can be a valuable add-on for ad platforms, as it can differentiate them from their competitors and attract more publishers and advertisers to their platform.
  • It can help increase the revenues of ad platforms as well as their publishers and advertisers. By offering Ad Refresh, ad networks can increase the number of ads shown to end-users, which can result in higher click-through rates (CTRs) and more ad impressions. This, in turn, can lead to higher revenues for the ad platforms, as they can charge advertisers more for the increased ad inventory and also offer higher payouts to their publishers.
  • It can help ad platforms to provide a better user experience to their end-users. By showing fresh ads to end-users, they are less likely to feel overwhelmed by seeing the same ads repeatedly. This can lead to a better user experience and higher engagement rates, which can also benefit the publishers and advertisers.

Benefits of using Ad Refresh for your Publishers

  • Increased Impressions and Revenues: Ad Refresh enables multiple ads to be shown to a user during a single session, leading to more impressions, clicks, and higher revenues. Additionally, because these impressions are from active users, advertisers are more likely to bid higher for these ad zones.
  • Optimization of User Time on Site: Ad Refresh allows publishers to make every second count by showing up to 10 ads per session, optimizing opportunities for generating advertiser bids.
  • Improved User Experience: Ad Refresh provides fresh ad content that matches the audience's interests, keeping them more engaged and interested. This leads to a better user experience, which can translate into regular return visitors.
  • No Ad Fatigue: Ad Refresh avoids ad fatigue by rotating campaigns and displaying a variety of ads to end users. This helps avoid repeat campaigns and ensures that end users are not getting a negative reaction from seeing the same ads over and over again.
  • Industry Compliance: EXADS Ad Refresh feature is designed to ensure full compliance with Google and IAB standards so publishers can rest assured that they remain compliant with industry standards.

Benefits of using Ad Refresh for your Advertisers

  • Advertisers can access more ad inventory: With Ad Refresh showing multiple ads per user session, advertisers have increased opportunities to bid for a specific ad zone, making their offers more likely to be seen by their target audience.
  • More chances to appear in high visibility zones: Ad Refresh provides advertisers with more chances to place the winning bid on high visibility zones, such as NVPs, Desktop and Mobile Headers, and similar zones that are in high demand and difficult to access.
  • Ads are shown to fresh audiences: Since users won't see the same campaign twice, Ad Refresh allows advertisers to reach fresh audiences, bringing more opportunities for campaign reach and the possibility of gaining interest from more users and increased clicks.
  • Quality impressions: Due to the way Ad refresh works, the ads that are rotating are getting higher viewability ratios and better quality impressions. This increases the likelihood of these ads to generate clicks. 

Ad Refresh tips and best practices 

Test different Ad Refresh rates: Publishers should be mindful of setting the right ad refresh rate for their site's audience and specific vertical. They can test out different timings but should avoid over-refreshing. The Ad Refresh feature has specific timing limits to comply with industry standards, but it's still important to find the right balance for generating clicks.

Maximize high visibility zones: To make the most of Ad Refresh, publishers should enable it on popular and high-visibility zones of their site. For example, next to engaging content like videos, image galleries, or big news stories, and in areas with high visibility like header ads, display banners, or visible CTAs. 

Enable RDAs: This feature should also be enabled on the site, as this allows for both native and banner ads to be served, increasing ad inventory available for advertisers and generating more demand on ad zones. 

Identity and test profitable zones: Ad Refresh also helps publishers identify high and low viewability areas on their site, allowing them to experiment with new zones and ad refresh rates to optimize performance. Publishers should also test out Ad Refresh in lower visibility zones across their site, as the ad zone won't refresh unless it's being viewed, meaning it won't damage viewability rates.


EXADS' new Ad Refresh feature is a valuable USP for any ad platform and can have a direct positive impact on its revenues as well as those of its users. It can also improve the user experience and lead to higher engagement rates, which can benefit everyone involved in the advertising ecosystem. Contact us today to find out more about Ad Refresh and all the powerful features that are included with our products! 

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Ana Kealy