What is the Digital Publisher Audit?

An overview of the AAM Digital Publisher Audit.

The AAM Digital Publisher Audit helps separate quality publishers from all other websites that run ads and provides:

  • Increased revenue through increased assurance. AAM audited domains stand out in direct buys and marketer inclusion lists.
  • A layer of internal assurance. AAM auditors make sure you are doing everything right and offer suggestions for improvements.
  • Proof for media buyers of the safeguards you have in place. Independent third-party audits let buyers know you are committed to transparency and accountability.

AAM's holistic audit approach analyzes a publisher’s website traffic and adherence to best practices to ensure a publisher’s commitment to quality runs throughout the entire organization. Here’s what an audit of these interlocking components looks like:

Review of business processes and internal practices

AAM auditors review the publisher’s business practices, which gives insight into the company’s operations and typical website traffic patterns to help inform other parts of the audit. The review asks simple questions about different areas of your digital operations, including:

  • Website operations: How do you manage your website and which analytics company(s) do you use?
  • Ad operations: What ad tech partners—SSPs, exchanges, header bidding, fraud detection, viewability—do you use? Are they audited?
  • Social media: How do you use social media to drive traffic to your website? How do you monitor this traffic for IVT?
  • Website monetization: How do you monetize your website (e.g., display ads, sponsorships, subscriptions)? Do you sell directly, on open exchanges or programmatic direct?
  • Audience acquisition: How do you drive traffic to your website (e.g., display ads, paid search, sponsorship, sourced, social)? How much traffic do these programs generate and how do you monitor the traffic for IVT?

Analysis of third-party web metrics

AAM verifies the accuracy of third-party web metrics by checking for proper implementation, invalid traffic detection and filtration, and continuously monitoring website activity for anomalous behavior. Auditors also compare reports from ad tech partners with web analytics reports to ensure consistency across the different metrics analyzed during the audit process. This helps to identify anomalies in the publisher’s website activity and provides more confidence in the metrics that publishers use to sell.

Quality verification and continuous monitoring

AAM performs multiple analyses to validate that business practices are working properly to deliver a high-quality audience. Continuous monitoring, ongoing substantive testing and mitigating issues as necessary complements services provided by fraud detection measurement companies.


When you successfully complete the Digital Publisher Audit, your website domain is indicated in AAM's Media Intelligence Center and included in the IAB Tech Lab Compliance Registry, which buyers can use to build inclusion lists and prioritize publishers in DSPs, and opens the door for more transparency, confidence and better business outcomes for publishers and buyers.


What to expect when you sign on for a Digital Publisher Audit --->