Keyword brand-safety tools continue to rankle publishers

January 23, 2020 | Share this article

Bloated keyword block lists are still a big problem for publishers and advertisers, causing headaches like article pages that can’t be monetized, wasted ad impressions, slow page loading and campaigns that struggle to deliver on advertisers’ goals.

Incorrect blocking of safe premium-news content is costing publishers an estimated $3.2 billion a year in the U.S., U.K., Japan and Australia combined, according to a report released this week by the Merrick School of Business at the University of Baltimore that was commissioned by cybersecurity firm Cheq.

U.S. news publishers could be losing out on as much as $2.8 billion each year in potential programmatic advertising revenue due to incorrect keyword flagging, according to the researchers. That figure amounts to about a fourth of programmatic ad revenue for 2019. The report also estimated that last year U.K. publishers missed out on $219.46 million in potential programmatic advertising revenue as a result of incorrect blocking.

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