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“10 million ads served per day”: How charity ads help publishers give back

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Ezoic, the AI-driven tech platform for digital publishers, recently received a 2022 Tech Cares Award for its work which (in part) involved serving over 4,000,000,000 charity ads using unsold publisher inventory. Emily Brennan, Ezoic’s CSR Director explains more about the company’s Charity Ads initiative and using ads for the greater good.

As a tech platform for digital publishers, Ezoic provides tools for monetization, video, speed, and more, serving over 1.2 billion monthly visitors across its network of 40,000 websites. Through our Charity Ads feature, publishers can now strategically donate ad inventory to campaigns promoting nonprofits while benefiting their own websites. Charity Ads are served from organizations such as Amazon Conservation, Souls 4 Souls, Pencils of Promise, and others.

Besides the appeal of supporting deserving causes, leveraging Charity Ads in programmatic header bidding can increase publishers’ revenue by benefiting their SEO. In 2020, Google announced Core Web Vitals (CWV), website performance rules publishers need to follow to avoid diminishing rankings. One rule within CWV is that websites can no longer have a Cumulative Layout Shift, unexpected page shifts, when content is loaded.

This posed a challenge for Ezoic; at the time, we would collapse a pre-loaded ad space on the page if no advertiser bid as high as our system demanded, causing a Cumulative Layout Shift. When CWV launched, a solution was needed to avoid shifting page content without inherently decreasing revenue by accepting inadequate bids.

Why not fill an ad impression for a lower bid price? While it might seem beneficial to accept a lower bid so that the publisher is still earning revenue on that ad unit, this communicates to advertisers that they can pay less to serve ads. Over time, this continuously decreases a site’s CPM and total revenue.

Repurpose Ads for Good

We saw this as the perfect opportunity to harness our global reach and tech for the greater good. Now, when advertisers are not bidding as high as the Ezoic system demands, Charity Ads are served instead. This improves publishers’ CWVs by showing an ad for charity instead of collapsing the space and causing a cumulative layout shift. It optimizes ad layouts and bid floors, increasing ad revenue by growing average CPM and EPMV.

To date, Ezoic has served over 4.1 billion ads for charity. On average, 10 million Charity Ads are served per day, resulting in more than 268 million Charity Ads served per month.

Emily Brennan, Ezoic’s CSR Director

Partners in our Charity Ads program include organizations focused on quality education, climate action, and other meaningful initiatives. Ads link to a landing page of the charity’s choice, such as donation pages or general awareness resources. The ultimate goals: raise awareness and drive donations for nonprofits by repurposing ads for good, while helping publishers achieve their goals.

One use case is Direct Relief’s response to natural disasters with our Charity Ads. When a crisis occurs, Direct Relief creates ad campaigns to spotlight their team’s disaster response and how the public can support their efforts. Ezoic helps them tap into new audiences to spread awareness for their important work.

Ezoic lends incredible support and value to Direct Relief on an ongoing basis and during humanitarian crises — both in terms of resources and their expertise — and we are exceedingly grateful for their help.

Tony Morain, VP Communications, Direct Relief
Direct Relief ad

Information on the War in Ukraine

This year, Ezoic also saw a new opportunity to utilize the Charity Ads tool to make an impact. When the Ukraine conflict started, Ezoic’s founder, Dwayne Lafleur heard a voice recording of a Russian soldier who had been captured in Ukraine calling home to his family in Russia. It revealed that the soldier’s family was unaware Russia invaded Ukraine, and their son had been sent to war. It raised awareness about limited access to news, keeping Russian citizens in the dark. Lafleur realized that Ezoic could utilize the Charity Ads tool to increase awareness of the war to Russian civilians.

The Ezoic team quickly built a geo-targeting feature to target Russian visitors in Ezoic’s network and connected with Ukrainian citizens to create ad campaigns spreading information and denouncing the war. Ezoic stopped serving paid ads to users with Russian IP addresses, and instead leveraged our Charity Ads tool to serve ads linking to a reliable news source with frequently updated information on the war.

Since this campaign was initiated, Ezoic has served over 23 million ad impressions in Russia and 650 million impressions globally for Direct Relief’s Ukraine campaign to help people in the region.

Publishers on the Ezoic network have been very receptive to the program, with many also contributing a portion of their monthly ad revenue to Ezoic’s donation match program supporting Razom for Ukraine. Some have even requested to only serve charity ads during specific timeframes. Over $21,000 has been raised for causes supporting the Ukrainian people.

We will continue to align publishers’ business goals with the greater good, and to innovate our technology to make a positive impact. Charity Ads is part of Ezoic’s larger Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) department. The company’s CSR includes a focus on climate action, quality education for underserved communities, and other not-for-profit programs.

Emily Brennan
CSR Director, Ezoic

Ezoic is a leading AI technology for online publishers and websites to monetize content with display ads. Ezoic is a Google Certified Publishing Partner that hosts 35,000+ domains, enabling them to streamline implementation, optimization, and testing of ads and ad partners alongside intelligent tools and features for site speed, SEO, and more.