Blacklist and Whitelist

Вайтлисты и блэклисты Blacklist and Whitelist

Unprofitable placements that don't convert negatively affect ROI. To optimize the costs spent on advertising, you need to form black and whitelists. There are a lot of information about it, but we still continue to receive questions and comments from you. Let's make it clear!

Talking from the very beginning:

What is this? 

In general, these are lists with advertising platforms, that is the locations of your advertising. It can be sites or applications that display your banners.

Usually black/ whitelists are formed not only on sites, networks, applications, but also for a certain audience in targeting or public relations, communities, if you work with social networks. Running the campaign and having time to merge a certain budget;), you will definitely notice that on some sites, the offer is well converted, and on the others is not. It turns out that a whitelist is a "good list" to which you add profitable placements.

Blacklist is a list of sources from which you do not want to receive traffic for advertising campaigns that promote your offer, including not profitable sites. For example, you noticed that there are clickes, but there are no conversions. One of the reasons is click fraud/ bot traffic. But sometimes you just do not get into the "theme" or the target audience. So do not forget that the same site, on which one vertical does not work, can perfectly convert on other verticals.

Why do I need this? 

We all strive to increase ROI and save the budget:) Traffic sources, which bring little or no conversions at all, simply merge your budget, which negatively affects ROI. Therefore, to optimise the costs which we spend on advertising, you need properly form black and whitelists.

How to form it? 

Whitelist is for those who exactly know their target audience, which sites they visit, which OSes and browsers they use, etc. Then you can immediately bypass the rest of the traffic. 

The whitelist can be successfully used to reduce the cost of a click. It is advantageous for us to configure narrower targeting, however, at the same time the cost of a click is growing. Firstly, we set up the necessary parameters for targeting to check which sites will start to go quality traffic. After that, we determine the ID of the most profitable sites and add their white. Now we reset the targeting settings to reduce the cost per click, because sites with high-quality traffic for the necessary targeting we already have and we still  continue working with them. 

Even if you have already compiled a whitelist, you still need to optimise it, removing the parameters that are not going the best way.

Blacklist is the first data which is obtained from the statistics after the launch of the advertising company. Gradually create a list and disable the "bad" sites. In order to form a quality blacklist, you need to merge a certain amount of traffic and for each of them this quantity is individual, it will not be possible to determine the best option for everyone. Therefore, this process is quite long. 

The time interval will depend on various parameters, especially from GEO, because the indicators vary considerably from country to country. 

The indicators we rely on are:

  • Сonversion;
  • CTR;
  • CPM;
  • ECPA.

If you know the number of clicks before the conversion, the optimal number of conversions for a certain period, then throw in the black list those areas, where the clicks are larger than there should be or a bad conversation there.

The frequent question is: what amount of conversion does show that the site is profitable?

In such situation the indicators depend on what you are working with: a product, installations, etc. and also GEO. Indicators can vary significantly. 

For example, for Asia, a few conversions per week – it's not enough because these countries have huge volumes, but for any European country – this is a good indicator. In addition to conversion, you need to consider the approvement. 

If there are conversions, but the leads are not up, then adding a white list is definitely not worth it, because in determining profitability, revenue is important to us. 

However, even if there are many conversions, they can be expensive and therefore unprofitable. So pay attention to the CPM. During the analysis, it is important to pay attention to the costs for each conversion (eCPA), if this amount exceeds the payment for the campaign in several times, it makes sense to add this site to black list. 

If you think that the site is not targeted or there are many bots on it, but at the same time you are not sure about it, then do not immediately throw it into the black-list and turn it off. It is necessary to minimise the coefficient of pay on them and monitor the changes. What will we have from it? Firstly, it will greatly reduce the amount of traffic thereby saving the budget. Secondly, perhaps in the future the site will be profitable.

What kind of list can I use at the start of the campaign?  

To make a high-quality whitelist is unlikely to work at the beginning, because the sites should be carefully analysed and get at least some values of the conversion. 

Starting a campaign in a large ad network with a large number of Placements that can be either profitable or completely irrelevant, it makes sense to form your blacklist from non-targeted sites, which will initially be cut by the flow of a poor-quality traffic. Even the primary statistics will help you decide what to bring to black list first. 


Testing in a short period of time and at small volumes, you get insufficient information. Do not be lazy to test and optimise. Investing money and time, you get more statistics, which in turn gives more opportunities for analysis and the formation of a successful approach.

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