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8 Answers

Problem with Automatic Refresh

Asked by: dacarr 576 views User Questions

I’m trying to set up my ad zones to automatically refresh every 30 seconds. I’ve looked at my server setup and the feature is enabled. I generated the code for the zone and integrated it to the site.

Here’s where it gets odd: After a few automatic refreshes I get only default campaigns displaying – no others. The Duplicate Actions and Duplicate Clicks are both set down to 1 second, so I don’t think the default campaigns should be showing.

Am I missing something? Or is this normal behavior for the automatic refresh?

==================== An Addendum to the Above Stated Problem ====================

I am also now getting competing advertisers showing on the same page. None of the competing advertisers’ campaigns are listed as default, and the advertisers are set up with their competitors listed correctly. This has only started to happen since adding the automatic refresh code. Thankfully we’ve been testing it on a development site.

8 Answers

  1. renegade_mike on Dec 10, 2008

    There’s no reason to set the duplicate click or action filters to 1 second. What those filter out are counting double-submitted clicks or actions. For example, a visitor might double-click rather than single-click on a banner.

    What do you have the competitor conflict timeout set to? If it’s set too low, that could be why you are seeing competitors showing together.

    Do these advertisers have the Internal Campaigns competitor option checked? That will make it so that once they show up in the automatically refreshed zone that they can’t re-appear in it again. The refresh timeout is added to the conflict timeout to make sure that happens. If all of the campaigns in your zone use some type of competitor setting, you should have a default set up to fall back on.

    Other causes of a default showing up could be that the campaigns have frequency caps or even distribution enabled, both of which would throttle delivery.

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  2. dacarr on Dec 10, 2008

    • The competitor conflict timeout is set to 10 seconds.

    • The campaigns do have Internal Campaigns conflict set.

    • We DO NOT have frequency capping set, but all of our campaigns have even distribution set.

    ALSO … you say “The refresh timeout is added to the conflict timeout to make sure that happens.” Does this mean that if a refresh is set to 30 seconds, and the conflict timeout is 10 seconds, the actual timeout is 40 seconds. So, if we want to refresh the ads in the zones every 30 seconds should we set the refresh to 20 seconds?

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  3. renegade_mike on Dec 10, 2008

    Ok, so here is the problem with automatic refresh and the internal competitors option.

    The internal campaigns option says that no more than one of an advertisers campaigns can show up on a page at the same time, right? Well, when the automatic refresh happens, it’s still the same page. To avoid conflicts, the ad server must keep track of all campaigns on the page between refreshes. It does this by extending the competitor conflict timeout to be longer than the refresh time, so no matter what you set those to you can’t avoid this conflict prevention. Thus, once a campaign shows up, it won’t show up again on a subsequent refresh.

    The only way the timeout can be expired is if the visitor leaves the page and doesn’t come back for 30+ seconds or they visit 3+ pages before coming back.

    I’m wondering why all of your campaigns have the internal competitors option checked though? Have all of your advertisers really requested that? It just seems unusual to me. If only one or two of your advertisers really wanted that option set, you would not be showing any defaults. Instead the campaigns from advertisers without the option set could run a unlimited number of times.

    You should also take into consideration how long visitors are going to sit on the page. Are they likely to see the defaults? You can figure that out by multiplying the number of advertisers in the zone by 30 seconds, which would be the amount of time they’d have to sit there before getting to the default campaign.

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  4. dacarr on Dec 10, 2008


    We have that option set, because we have 3 or 4 ad zones per page and almost all of our advertisers buy a run-of-site campaign; so as an effort to prevent more than 1 of the same ad showing up on the same page at the same time, we’ve set this option for all advertisers.

    So … if I understand you correctly, the best way to make the automatic refresh work is to shut off the internal competitor conflicts? If we do, won’t this allow one advertiser’s campaigns to deliver into more than one zone on one page? Or is there an adjustment that can be made for that as well?

    The average time spent on a page is currently 1.5 – 2 minutes. If they are there longer, it’s because the browser window was left open.

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  5. renegade_mike on Dec 10, 2008

    That makes sense then to have the internal campaigns competitor option set.

    I would leave it set and try to pick a refresh time that will minimize the possibility of getting a default. You say the average time is 1.5-2 minutes, so setting the refresh time to 30 seconds would be good if you have 3-4 advertisers running in that zone. I would select one of their campaigns as the default, or perhaps run an in-house or third-party campaign in a lower chain or as the default in that zone, to kick in for longer sessions like when the window gets left open.

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  6. dacarr on Dec 10, 2008

    Cool. I will give it a try.

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  7. dacarr on Dec 11, 2008

    One more question.

    In theory, this should increase our ad delivery statistics. By adding a default house ad that shows in the event someone is on a page longer than a few minutes, will that negatively affect delivery stats even though the auto refresh should be increasing them?

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  8. renegade_mike on Dec 11, 2008

    Just make sure the house ad is set as the default with a not active status in the zone. It will then only show up when nothing else can. That way it won’t impact your impression delivery at all.

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