Another step toward promoting a safer browsing experience for web users—Google Chrome is now identifying sites that are using unsecured HTTP by adding “not-secure” label in the address bar.

Historically, sites associated with banking and those that handle critical personal data have leveraged HTTPS to protect information entered from being intercepted by third parties. However, with user behavior being valuable in itself, publishers of all shapes and sizes are going to want to lock down.

So, what is HTTPS?

HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) is an internet communication protocol that protects the integrity and confidentiality of data between the user’s computer and the site.

Data sent using HTTPS provides three key layers of protection:

ENCRYPTION
Encrypting the exchanged data to keep it secure from eavesdroppers. That means that while the user is browsing a website, nobody can “listen” to their conversations, track their activities across multiple pages, or steal their information.

DATA INTEGRITY
Data cannot be modified or corrupted during transfer, intentionally or otherwise, without being detected.

AUTHENTICATION
Proves that your users communicate with the intended website. It protects against man-in-the-middle attacks and builds user trust, which translates into other business benefits.

Without HTTPS there are ways for third parties or malicious web crawlers to swipe user information—subscribing to an email newsletter, entering a birthdate, or even content consumed online. There are several ways to identify users based on browsing behaviors.

Every unprotected HTTP request can potentially reveal information about the behaviors and identities of your users. Although a single visit to one of your unprotected websites may seem benign, some intruders look at the aggregate browsing activities of your users to make inferences about their behaviors and intentions, and to de-anonymize their identities.
Why HTTPS Matters

There are several resources available online for publishers to read up on how-tos and also best practices when registering a secured certificate. Whether readers come to your site for the latest headlines or to check out the latest trending challenge, using a secure HTTPS is an easy way to ensure they can continue browsing safely.

Intermarkets is excited to announce that Luke Rosche-Ritchie has joined the team as Junior Account Executive.

Luke will be responsible for duties previously held by Kary Jones, who was recently appointed to Manager of Publisher Development as part of the Strategic Media division to expand publisher relationships and growth. As Junior Account Executive, Luke will focus on serving the needs of Intermarkets’ advertisers and helping them reach their marketing goals. His role will be supported by Intermarkets’ existing sales infrastructure, including dedicated account managers, sales marketers and ad ops specialists.

“Intermarkets’ goal is to provide products and services that people want to buy, in ways they want to buy them,” said Michael Loy, Chief Operating Officer at Intermarkets. “Even with programmatic and automation driving a significant amount of today’s media buying and selling, it’s still essential to have experienced and qualified individuals like Luke work with advertisers looking to buy through traditional direct deals.”

Having previously worked at premier tech company Undertone, Luke brings a strong background in planning, strategy and account management for sellers.

Welcome to the Intermarkets team, Luke!

At this year’s Programmatic I/O, organized by AdExchanger, innovators and thought leaders from across our industry shared their perspectives and insights on trends, challenges, and ideas that will continue to change the marketplace.

Two days, 6 agendas, and more than 100 speakers shared ideas, challenges, and outlooks with over 1,200 attendees in 50+ carefully crafted sessions. AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O delivered a full payload of all things digital — transparency, programmatic waste, data usage, and more. On Twitter, #progio lit up with all the best bits from the numerous sessions. Our own Erik Requidan had an opportunity to speak about Demand Path Optimization (DPO), a topic he’s influenced since inception.

DPO explores efficiencies that bring supply closer to brands that control buying inhouse. The idea is to reduce the layers in the buying process, increasing transparency and emphasizing the importance of safety and quality media.

Top 3 programmatic buyers priorities. 1. Improved targeting, 2. Effectiveness of media, 3. Transparency #progio

Other sessions called out important points like the top priorities among programmatic buyers. Better targeting, effectiveness of media, and transparency ranked highest, and we’ve seen proof of that in transactions and deal structuring in the space. By the year 2020, spending through programmatic is estimated to exceed $65 billion. Events such as Programmatic I/O and others like it are critical for our industry to stay in sync with trends to move toward a better, more efficient process to deliver value and success from marketers all the way back to publishers.

$65 billion in programmatic ad spend by 2020 #progio

StandUnited.org, a petition platform service of Intermarkets, Inc., is excited to announce that Stephanie Davari will be joining the team as a Senior Sales Executive. 

Stephanie brings more than ten years of concentrated sales experience, from companies such as Morris Media Network and Resonate, to the rapidly expanding StandUnited.org petition platform.

In this role, Stephanie will leverage her skills to build upon existing relationships with campaigns and advocacy groups, as well as identify and engage new partnerships to continue to drive growth in a positive direction.

“With her experience and the platform’s momentum coming off of 2017, Stephanie will undoubtedly help continue the current growth trend through 2018 and beyond. She is the perfect addition to support the StandUnited audience and push the platform to the next level.”
–Michael Snow, Chief Business Development Officer at Intermarkets.

StandUnited.org is the first open petition platform for audiences who share conservative values. The site’s mission is to empower people everywhere to take a stand on the issues they care about.

Welcome to the team, Stephanie!

Learn more about the StandUnited.org petition platform.

You’ve created a website full of great content and built a loyal and engaged audience, now you want to monetize it. You’re a great publisher, but perhaps not a digital advertising expert. At Intermarkets, we are monetization experts which has helped us identify the top issues that are hurting publishers’ revenues.

Many content creators do not even realize that these challenges are hurting their revenues. We’ve broken down what these obstacles are and how we’ve worked closely with our portfolio brands to combat them and drive higher revenues.

Ad Block

Viewability

Provider Blacklisting

Ad Partner Blacklisting

 

 

In the current state of digital media, service providers and content channels are vigilant, strictly policing the movement of news and content. Publishers are getting caught in filters that flag their content, and they end up losing out on traffic because search or social media providers determine something on their page is out of bounds.

The rise in clickbait seemed to be an easy cash flow for some publishers, until the providers (quickly) caught on and created systems to stop them in their tracks. Algorithms and filters checked everything, sometimes punishing sites that weren’t necessarily doing anything wrong, but the content was taken out of context and landed them on the naughty list.

One publisher in The Intermarkets Portfolio lost more than 60% of its social traffic in a month due to one poorly sourced article. The recovery of this traffic has been a slow process. From experience, we know the best way out of this hole is not to fall in it, and we can help avoid it.

Intermarkets works closely with all of our exclusive portfolio publishers to educate them on changing industry standards around the use of content. When consulting with publishers we emphasize strategies that incorporate multiple traffic sources — social promotion, content recommendation and search optimization/organic — as well as making sure the quality of their content is strong and consistent.

 

Read about other challenges publishers are facing in 2018:

Ad Block

Viewability

Ad Partner Blacklisting

Out-of-context filter flags can cause highly reputable and innocent publishers to end up blacklisted by advertising partners such as ad exchanges and demand-side platforms (DSPs). If a publisher is blacklisted by an ad partner, revenue is lost not just from one advertiser, but from the vast number of marketers and agencies who work with those partners on programmatic media buys.

Many publishers do not even know when they have ended up on an ad partner’s blacklist. Knowing what to do to solve the issue once discovered is even more of a challenge.

Intermarkets prides ourselves on our integrations and long-standing partnerships with the best-in-class advertising technology companies like OpenX, The Trade Desk, AppNexus and many more.

Intermarkets’ Ad Ops team monitors partner performance on a placement basis to detect any day-to-day variances. When the team noticed a partner disappear from our reporting on DrudgeReport.com, we quickly connected with our partner to understand what caused the website to mistakenly be blacklisted and resolve the issue. Our high-touch service and strong relationships ensure our publishers are able to consistently connect with high-quality advertisers who use our programmatic partners’ tools.

 

Read about other challenges publishers are facing in 2018:

Ad Block

Viewability

Provider Blacklisting

Since the IAB released definitive standards on viewability in 2015, buyers are keen to looking closely at sites’ scores before considering their inventory. Publishers that were once used to healthy revenues from long pages dripping in banner ads began to see CPMs drop.

When the page loads and ads are called, anything below the fold line was being counted, even though human eyeballs never saw them. The advertisers paying for those phantom impressions grew frustrated, and eventually tools were deployed to measure viewability on websites. Those scores could be integrated into the buying process and impact the value of publishers’ inventory.

Intermarkets’ portfolio publishers were no different and have adjusted course to maintain user experience, while still providing quality access to their premium audiences. We worked with our political opinion and commentary site, thepoliticalinsider.com, to enhance their ad experience. We determined that reducing the number of units from 7 to 5 and deploying in-content native ads would increase revenues. The publisher saw a 70% lift in viewability, resulting in a 50% increase in desktop RPMs and 100% increase on mobile platforms.

 

Read about other challenges publishers are facing in 2018:

Ad Block

Provider Blacklisting

Ad Partner Blacklisting

Across the Intermarkets Portfolio we’ve seen a plateau in ad block page views over the last two years. Although adoption of blocking ads has leveled off, our publishers are still looking for ways to recover the revenue lost in the ad block boom. While we’ve deployed a number of different solutions across various sites to drive additional revenue streams, a long-term solution is much more complicated than simply putting new code on the page.

Attacking the ad blockers is a true arms race. As soon as one workaround is deployed, a new blocking method is released, and the cycle continues.

For this reason, we suggest a more comprehensive solution — addressing the problem, fixing poor user experience, educating users on the problems ad blocking creates and attempting to recover lost impressions.

In one instance, after collaborating on with our Strategic Media and Ad Ops specialists, one of the Intermarkets’ portfolio publishers saw a noticeable decrease in ad block usage after running an internal campaign targeting the ad blockers and asking them to support the site by removing the software.

Many well-intentioned visitors are not aware of the necessary role ad revenue plays in providing the content they love. Users activate ad blocking software to eliminate invasive, annoying ads on a handful of sites, without realizing that the software hurts the websites they support.

 

Read about other challenges publishers are facing in 2018:

Viewability

Provider Blacklisting

Ad Partner Blacklisting

Attending conferences is a great way to learn what is currently going on in the digital media industry as well as what’s coming up. It’s also a good way to interact, network and meet your fellow industry experts. The tough part is deciding which ones to attend.

In an effort to focus the search, we’ve put together a list (in no particular order) of the top 14 digital media and publishing conferences to attend in 2018.

We hope to see you at one of these events.

IAB Annual Leadership Meeting

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is one of the advertising industry’s leading organizations to develop industry standards, conduct research and provide legal support. The 2018 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, held early in the year, helps to uncover marketing, data and organizational strategies to assist brands, publishers and vendors. Expect more than 1,000 digital decision-makers to attend and get business done.

Digiday Publishing Conference

Digiday is hosting three Publishing Summits in 2018 in Japan, Europe and the U.S. The summits are typically well attended by digital publishing leaders, including those from The Washington Post, Time, Hearst, DailyMail, Forbes and more. There are numerous ways to listen, learn, network and socialize with your publisher peers over the three-day conference.

AdMonsters

As their title states, they are “monsters” when it comes to figuring out the ever-changing digital world. They host a series of events throughout the year and in different venues across the country focused on ad operations and revenue management, including a large Publisher Forum in California and its NYC OPS Conference in the summer. AdMonsters is great for connecting with peers, while understanding and tackling common issues. Topics are typically focused around areas like maximizing revenue and solving technical problems. You’re left with tangible learnings and action items to take back to your firm.

Programmatic I/O

AdExchanger hosts two Programmatic I/O conferences in 2018 — San Francisco in April and New York in October. Both events focus on the evolving nature of programmatic media and marketing. Expect more than 1,000 attendees and 80 expert speakers over 50 informative sessions.  In fact, our own Erik Requidan, VP of Sales will be hosting an Ops Talk workshop in San Francisco in April.

Digital Summit

This event, hosted in nearly 20 cities across the U.S., is a broader-based digital marketing conference covering a variety of topics. One of the great benefits of these conferences is that you have the ability to connect and network with more local digital media experts.

Email Insider Summit

Email continues to be one of the leading ways publishers and marketers continue to interact with their readers. The three-day summit includes a great mix of speakers, sessions and vendors. It is more focused toward brands; however, strong publishers would also benefit from the kind of quality insights and information that is being offered.

Social Media Marketing World

While this social media conference is geared slightly more toward businesses, there are more than enough overlapping sessions for publishers. If you want to keep up with everything social, this a great conference to attend.

Moz Con

This event is hosted by Rand Fishkin, the founder and former CEO of Moz.com (known sometimes as the Wizard of Moz), and is full of sessions focused around SEO and understanding the dynamics of search and growing website traffic.

SMX

According to their website, the Search Marketing Expo is for those who are obsessed with SEO and SEM. It features over 60 sessions across SEO, SEM and retail. In 2018, they’ll be hosting five shows in both the U.S. and Europe. Their multi-track approach allows you to pick and choose the sessions that are most relevant to you and what your focus is.

Publishing Insider Summit

This three-day summit includes a wide ranging list of topics relevant to publishers. The agenda includes presentations, roundtables and group panels as well as ample time to network with publishing peers and vendors. Previous publishers have included such names as Conde Nast, Vox Media, News Corp and Christian Science Monitor.

OMMA Conferences

MediaPost hosts this event in both Los Angeles and New York in 2018. The event is focused around the future of interactive media, marketing and advertising. Its agenda ranges in topics, but has a multitude of interesting sessions for digital publishers. These are well-attended and offer many opportunities to network.

Digital Publishing Innovation Summit

This summit includes two days of interactive and informative presentations from leading publishers, including USA Today, Facebook, Reddit, Economist and more.  Innovation Enterprise, which hosts the two-day event, puts on a few publishing innovation summits in San Francisco and London, in addition to a variety of other events.

_________

We had a great time kicking off 2018 attending these events already, and look forward to returning in 2019:

Consumer Electronics Show

More commonly known as CES, this Las Vegas “event” is packed with a who’s who in tech, digital media, marketing, advertising and more. With over 4,000 exhibitors and 180,000 industry professionals covering more than 2.6 million square feet, you better be organized for the chaos. The show continues to grow – over the last few years it has attracted more and more digital media, publishing, advertising and marketing experts. CES C-Space is a dedicated conference for innovators, marketers and creatives discussing the next disruptive trend. The sites and networking are unparalleled.

AdExchanger Industry Preview

This two-day conference held in January is a great way to kick-start the year. It’s an opportunity to hear from industry leaders, data gurus and industry pundits of what is expected to happen in the year ahead. The agenda typically includes a wide range of industry trends and insight; it’s a great networking opportunity as well.