A new quality index for programmatic ad sellers has affirmed Google’s AdExchange as not only one of the most popular ad solutions for publishers and brands, but also one of the leaders in ad quality. 

Factoring in the standard of inventory, reach, general ad performance and a range of other aspects, a new ‘Global Seller Trust Index’ from analytics firm Pixalate lists AdExchange as the top real-time bidding (RTB) solution with a score of 95.

California-based OpenX finished second on 92, beating AdExchange for protection against ad fraud (90 vs 99) but falling short in the network stakes (91 vs 99) – a metric based on the quality of publishers on offer. Rubicon Project scooped third on a general score of 91, with Centro Brand Exchange (88), Q1 Media (86) and Gourmet Ads (86) finishing closely behind.

There were plenty of surprises later down the list, though, as the index proved that popularity doesn’t always translate to quality. 

Big guns lose out

Lower down the table, Criteo placed only 15th out of 20. Earnings of €194.4 million in Q3 of this year, up 70.9% from Q3 2013, would hint at a company going from strength to strength amid the programmatic ad boom. In terms of service quality, Criteo appears to be lagging behind – its final score of 80 replicated by five others in the table.  

Global tech force Microsoft also showed room for improvement with an 82-point rating for its Advertising Exchange. The group scored well on inventory (95), engagement (86) and viewability (87) – based on Media Rating Council (MRC) standards for quality of views – but was let down by its standard of sellers, managing a network score of 77 to finish 9th.

Jalal Nasir, founder and CEO of Pixalate, claimed that being able to score RTB sellers based on quality of service will better inform advertisers and publishers on the most trustworthy solutions.

“Trust is fundamental to the success of this market, and that calls for evaluation of sellers based on quality measures that go beyond traditional reach metrics,” he added.    

The full table can be found below.