The Basics: Server-Side Ad Insertion Summarised

Server-side ad Insertion is a technique for delivering and processing advertisements on a website or within a digital application. Unlike traditional ad delivery, where ad content is typically loaded and processed on the user’s device (client side) using technologies like JavaScript, server-side ads involve much of the ad processing on the server before delivering the ad content to the user’s device.

Server side ad insertion graphic

The Process

User Request

When a user explores a website or opens a mobile application, it initiates a content request. As part of this request, the device relays user details, including their device type, location, and browsing habits, to the server.

Ad Request

Inside the server, the ad server of the content provider receives the content request. Rather than an immediate decision on the ad to showcase, the server dispatches an ad request to multiple ad exchanges or demand partners.

Server room for server side ad insertion

Ad Exchange/SSP Operations

Ad exchanges or SSPs receive the ad request and organize an auction to determine the most suitable advertiser’s ad for display. Advertisers submit bids influenced by factors such as the user’s demographics, location, and the content being accessed.

Ad Decision Framework

The ad server evaluates bids from various demand partners, determining which ad to display based on the highest bid or other criteria. This decision-making process incorporates diverse algorithms and rules set by the content provider to optimize revenue or prioritize specific advertisers.

Creative Content Retrieval

After the decision is made, the ad server retrieves the creative content, including images, videos, or interactive elements, associated with the chosen ad from the ad network or demand partner.

Ad Delivery

The chosen ad creative is delivered to the user’s device and presented within the webpage or app. Server-side ad insertion may occur before the user receives the page or app content, ensuring a smoother and faster loading experience.

Advantages to Server-Side Advertising

Ad Blocking Resistance

Given that the ad content is processed on the server, it may exhibit lower susceptibility to ad blockers on the user’s device. This facilitates publishers and advertisers in delivering their content, even when users have ad-blocking software installed.

Improved Performance

Server-side ad insertion contributes to faster page load times and a smoother user experience by handling the heavy lifting of ad processing on the server rather than the user’s device.

Enhanced Privacy

Server-side ad insertion enhances privacy protection for users, as their devices are not directly engaged in fetching and rendering ad content. This aligns with evolving privacy regulations and user preferences.

Privacy concern tech

Dynamic Ad Insertion

Server-side ad insertion enables dynamic and targeted ad placements. Ads can be personalized based on user data, preferences, and other contextual information, enhancing the relevance of advertisements.


While server-side ad insertion can provide some resistance against traditional client-side ad blockers, it is not completely immune to ad blocking. The techniques employed for ad blocking can vary, and users may utilize diverse tools to block ads, whether on the client side or the server-side.

The effectiveness of server-side ad blocking hinges on factors such as the specific methods employed by ad blockers, the architecture of the server-side ad insertion system, and the countermeasures implemented by advertisers and publishers.

In the ever-evolving landscape of online advertising, an ongoing cat-and-mouse game persists between ad blockers and the advertising industry. Technologies and strategies on both fronts are in constant development, leading to variations in the effectiveness of ad blocking over time.

Server-Side Ad Reinsertion

The B2 team have developed server-side ad reinsertion for effective ad revenue recovery practices. This allows publishers to successfully adopt countermeasures against ad blockers that inhibit the generation of ad revenue. B2 Stealth will detect ad blockers and make sure an ad is displayed to website visitors. Unlike other solutions, we deliver the original ad content, making sure the ad is relevant to the user.

For more information on ad reinsertion read Ad Reinsertion; Effective Ad Revenue Recovery

If you are interested in B2’s server-side ad reinsertion, then please contact