Google AdExchange surrendered its place at the top of the Pixalate Seller Trust Index for programmatic advertising, making way for OpenX to lead the group.

Last year we reported that California-based OpenX and Rubicon Project were posing a threat to Google’s crown in what is considered a key barometer of seller quality for real-time ad buyers. 

Google managed an overall score of 95 at the tail-end of last year, which has now been surpassed by OpenX’s 96. Rubicon Project has increased its own score from 91 to 95, putting it on a par with Google, while a series of shifts have taken place in the top ten.

Falling out of the picture from November are Microsoft’s very own AdExchange, Say Media, Q1Media and Casale Media (now Index Exchange), with PulsePoint, Sovrn, LinkedIn Network Display and slotting in.  

Based on the assessment of over 100 billion ad impressions per month, the table compiles 0-100 scores for quality of inventory, viewability, the ability to engage as well as protection against fraud, and malware.

Open field

For OpenX, being able to fend off competition from Google, whose 100-strong ‘anti-fraud’ unit recently made headlines, is helping the company make strides in an industry which is increasingly favouring quality over reach.   

Andrew Buckman, MD EMEA at the group, told PerformanceIN earlier this year that a number of investments the company had made in combatting ad fraud were starting to bear fruit. Just prior to this, OpenX had launched a Traffic Quality Platform which could weed out ‘bad actors’ milliseconds before they accessed inventory from its exchange.   

“The lack of trust in the marketplace can have significant revenue implications as poor quality traffic dilutes the worth of superior publisher inventory,” commented John Murphy, vice president of marketplace quality at OpenX.

“In a transparent and safe Ad Exchange, buyers can bid with confidence, resulting in higher bids. At OpenX, we’re committed to providing both publishers and advertisers with a safe and transparent marketplace to buy and sell inventory.”

Despite slumps from Microsoft and Google, LinkedIN put in yet another good performance to hold its fifth placing. Driven by viewability, the network placed sixth in March after a first top-ten slot in January. 

Here’s how other members of the RTB ad elite faired in April.