Mobile Redirects: Top 3 Ways To Determine the Culprit

Mobile Ad Optimization
Last updated: July 6, 2022 | by Kean Graham
Mobile Redirects: Top 3 Ways To Determine the Culprit

This post was most recently updated on July 6th, 2022

Redirect ads are costly and remain to be one of the biggest issues publishers face. They can hurt viewability, user experience, engagement, CPMs, and ultimately overall yield. Hunting down the source is like looking for a needle in a haystack. To make matters worse, even the ad networks or demand partners won’t be able to address it unless you provide them with all the information.

Let’s take the first step to eradicate these redirect ads. Here are the top 3 ways to aid you in identifying where mobile redirect come from:

1) Charles

Tip: Checking the last requests right before the new URL opened/redirected is key to finding the culprit.

Download the Charles Proxy application on your computer: http://www.charlesproxy.com/download/

Enable Web Interface on Click on Proxy > Web Interface Settings

enable web interface

Start recording a web session.

screenshot of recording web session

Browse random pages on your site.

You should see the ad calls appearing in quick succession when you refresh.

check ad calls

As soon as you encounter a redirect ad, pause Charles.

pause recording screenshot

Click File > Save Session.

Scroll down to the bottom of the sequence and begin to scroll up until you find the source and click on it.

find source at the bottom of the screen

The “Response” or “Contents” tab will show you the info you need to forward to the ad rep along with the saved session.

2) Isolation test

Tip: Enable ad networks gradually, one every couple hours, this will give you just enough time to conduct testing on several pages of the site. This strategy is time-consuming and would require some revenue compromise, but you should give it a shot to enjoy the long-term benefit.

When you are running multiple demand partners, say you have five, pause all of them.

orders in Google ad manager

Start with your strongest performing ad network. This way you don’t hurt performance that much.

delivery tab

Run it for at least a couple of hours. Browse random pages on your site at random intervals. Watch out for redirect ads.

Enable the next top-performing ad network and test the same. Repeat the same process for every single ad network.

Remember to start from the strongest and enable the weakest ad network last.

If you enabled an ad network and got redirect ads, you probably know who the culprit is.

Using Charles should aid your conclusion.

3) Google Publisher Toolbar

Tip: It works seamlessly with DFP. It provides complete information on which line item serves the ad.

Download the Chrome extension.

google publisher toolbar

Enable the DFP account which runs on the site.

enable DFP

Turn on ad overlays.

Browse random pages of the site and watch out for problematic ads.

Click on the ad (this won’t open the ad, don’t worry!)

A new window should open with a link to “Open Publisher Console.” Click on it.

Click on “Delivery Diagnostics” for the relevant ad unit.

Delivery Diagnostics

It should open the DFP page showing the details on where the ad came from.

There you have it! Three ways to help you identify those nasty mobile redirects. For further assistance be sure to contact our support staff over here.

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