Why Is Ad Refreshing Vital for Digital Publishers?

Digital publishers face formidable obstacles like advanced ad-blocking and the impending demise of third-party cookies, compelling them to adapt and adopt alternative strategies to uphold or enhance their advertising earnings. 

Amidst this backdrop, one of the strategies has emerged as a captivating solution: ad refreshing. But what exactly is ad refreshing? How does it work? And can it truly deliver the desired results in an increasingly complex digital advertising environment? 

You’ll find the answers in this article. Let’s read!

What is ad refreshing?

Ad refreshing, also known as ad rotation or ad reloading, involves dynamically refreshing or replacing ads within a web page or mobile app to optimize their visibility, relevance, and overall performance. Ad refreshing can be based on predefined time intervals, user actions, events happening on the webpage, or other factors. 

There are different types of ad refreshing, each with its own triggers and implementation methods.

How does ad refreshing work?

how ad refreshing works
  1. Displaying initial ads: When a web page or mobile app loads, the initial set of ads is shown to the user. These ads are typically served based on targeting parameters such as user demographics, browsing behavior, and contextual relevance.
  1. Setting a refresh interval: A predefined time interval is established during which the ads will be refreshed. As per Google policy, unless the user is active on the website, at least 30 seconds must pass before the ad is refreshed. 
  1. Refreshing ads: Once the refresh interval is reached, the existing ads are replaced with new ads. This process can involve fetching ads from the ad server or ad exchange based on real-time bidding or programmatic advertising algorithms.
  1. Ad targeting and relevance: During the ad refreshing process, publishers can leverage user data, browsing behavior, or contextual information to serve more relevant ads. This ensures that the refreshed ads align with the user’s interests, increasing the chances of engagement and conversions.
  1. Monitoring and optimization: Publishers closely monitor the performance of the refreshed ads, analyzing metrics such as click-through rates, viewability, and conversions. This data helps optimize the ad refreshing strategy by adjusting the refresh interval, targeting parameters, or ad formats to maximize revenue and user experience.

Benefits of using an ad refreshing strategy

Ad refreshing has many benefits for digital publishers but should be used cautiously. Why? Because if ad refresh is misused, it can not only drive the users or readers away due to excessive and flashing advertisements but can even lead to account bans from Google Ad Manager or other demand providers. Thus, it is crucial to obey the existing regulations of each demand provider to ensure smooth cooperation on both ends. 

Assuming that the refresh is set up correctly, here are the benefits of using refresh that the publisher might expect:

1. Extending Ad Inventory and Increasing Revenue Potential

Ad refreshing enables digital publishers to extend their available ad inventory, allowing them to display more ads to their audience. By refreshing ads at regular intervals, publishers can present a variety of advertisements to users, increasing the chances of engagement and click-through rates. The expanded ad inventory opens up additional revenue opportunities by accommodating more advertisers and driving up demand, ultimately maximizing overall ad revenue.

2. Enhancing User Experience and Engagement

While maintaining an optimal user experience is crucial for digital publishers, balancing user experience and revenue generation is equally important. Ad refreshing can contribute to this delicate balance by ensuring users are presented with fresh and relevant ads without overwhelming them. By refreshing ads intelligently and considering factors like session duration or user behavior, publishers can prevent ad fatigue and maintain a seamless browsing experience, leading to increased user engagement and prolonged session durations.

3. Improving Ad Relevance and Targeting

In the rapidly evolving world of programmatic advertising, relevance and targeting are key to driving ad performance. Ad refreshing allows publishers to leverage real-time data and user behavior insights to serve more personalized and targeted ads. By dynamically refreshing ads based on user preferences, browsing patterns, or demographic data, publishers can present more relevant ads to their audience. This results in higher click-through rates, conversions, and better monetization outcomes.

4. Optimizing Viewability and Ad Fill Rates

Ad refreshing can significantly impact ad viewability and fill rates, two critical metrics for digital publishers. By refreshing ads within a page or app that an active user sees, publishers can combat ad blindness, banner fatigue, and other challenges that can reduce ad viewability. Additionally, ad refreshing can help fill empty ad slots, ensuring optimal ad inventory utilization and maximizing the chances of generating revenue from every impression. It is important to refresh the ads in the user’s viewport, not to decrease the overall inventory quality, thus hurting monetization in the long run. 

Importance of using the right refresh provider

While choosing the right refresh provider, it is crucial to understand the refresh tool’s capabilities. It’s crucial to ask yourself some questions: 

  • Is it allowing for control over what is being refreshed? 
  • Does it work based on a time interval, or does it consider the user’s actions? 
  • Does it give the power to configure how much of the ad should be in view before the refresh happens?

While creating Yieldbird’s Refresher, we focused on a sustainable, long-term monetization strategy. The 3 main pillars of our refresh strategy are control, monitoring user behavior, and viewability. With Yieldbird’s Refresher, publishers can control what is being refreshed by using targeting rules that enable them to exclude certain campaigns or advertisers from refreshing, thus ensuring that direct deals are protected. Furthermore, publishers can enable user engagement tracking only to refresh when the user is active on the page, thus increasing engagement and potentially click-through rates. Finally, Refresher only acts if the ad is viewable, ensuring that the publisher’s inventory quality is protected and even increases with using Refresher. 


Ad refreshing is a vital part of ad monetization strategy for digital publishers. By extending ad inventory, enhancing user experience, improving ad relevance, and optimizing viewability and ad fill rates, publishers can unlock significant revenue potential while maintaining a positive user experience. 

Embrace ad refreshing as a part of your monetization strategy to stay competitive. Drive sustainable revenue growth, and continue delivering valuable content to your audiences. Contact us to start a free 30-day trial of Refresher and see how optimized ad refreshing can drive your programmatic ads with better results and higher revenues. 


Zuzanna Zarębińska Junior Strategy Analyst Yieldbird

Zuzanna Zarębińska
Product Analyst

    Bartłomiej Oprządek

    Bartłomiej Oprządek

    Regional Growth Director

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