Fighting Ad Latency || Using Headerbid Expert and Chrome Dev Tools

Header Bidding has definitely garnered a lot of interest and while it is really important to look into these new technologies, it is also fairly important to make sure that we don’t compromise on the user experience, especially with page latency issues that eventually lead to users installing Ad Blockers. This is something that giants like Google and IAB, have recognized as an issue, especially on mobile, and are introducing measures like LEAN ads and AMP, which are topics for another day but amidst all this let’s not forget desktop devices, which still account for more than 50% of Ad spend. Let’s focus on how we can look into page ad latency issues.

If you are new to all this, it can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have much of a technical background; but don’t worry, there are tools out there that can make your life easier. Let’s dive- in:

1. Chrome Dev Tools – The best thing about any of Google’s products is the many learning resources easily accessible online. Google dev tools are available as part of the browser if you are using Google Chrome. To access the DevTools –

Enable Chrome Dev Tools

  • Go to any site you want to look into, select chrome-menu at the top-right of your browser, then select More tools > Developer tools
  • Then, Right-click on any page element and select Inspect Element to explore the elements of the page. You will find many useful panels on this tool, one of special interest to us here is the Network Panel.

The Network panel automatically records all network activity while DevTools is open. The first time you open the panel, it might appear empty but you can refresh the page and this panel will start to populate as the page makes those calls. Find detailed information here.

Check out https://developer.chrome.com/devtools for more info of what you can do with the chrome dev tools.

Note: Firebug, Httpwatch are similar tools that you can lookup online.

Further reading: Here is the link to the best article I could find that looks into header bidding partners using Chrome Dev Tools, a must read for any ad ops enthusiast.

2. Headerbid Expert Chrome Tool – If you are concerned about header bidding partner latency issues in particular, then you can either look at analytics data from latency trackers or use HeaderBid Expert Chrome extension, which helps improve operational efficiency by highlighting the issues and providing recommendations. Here’s more:

Details it can provide-

  • The latency from each header bidding partner
  • Do they load asynchronously or are they blocking my pages?
  • Partners loading together in parallel or not

How to use it?

headerbid plugin - header bidding appnexus tool

  • Click on the tool icon from the top right, it will give you the names of the HB partners active on the site.

headerbid analysis

  • Click on ‘Page Analysis’ for info regarding potential issues, relative loading cycle of ad partners and useful recommendations.

Hope you find this useful.

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