The old saying, “Waste not, want not” wasn’t written about digital ads, but it’s still relevant to how marketers promote their products online. No matter the size of your ad budget, and no matter the nature of your goals, reducing ad waste to create more cost-effective campaigns is crucial to long-term business success.

Many marketers rely on AI and machine learning algorithms to identify wasted impressions and make improvements. With more than 40% of the overall digital ad spend wasted, businesses are eager to make a change.

But there’s a problem: AI doesn’t always offer the perfect solution, tailored to your needs. As a marketer, only you know what’s best for your brand.

That’s why testing, optimizing, and applying campaign outcomes toward future decisions is a must.

Why Reducing Ad Waste Matters

With cost-effective advertising top of mind, Taboola is constantly evolving our technology to enhance performance for our advertisers. One of the ways we’ve addressed waste and delivered results is by creating Maximize Conversions, a fully automated bidding strategy and optimization tool that puts advertisers in control of their campaigns.

With an adoption rate of 60%, and an average reduction to CPAs (Cost per Action) of 15%, we’re seeing great results. Because it’s powered by SmartBid, our core machine learning algorithm, this tool automatically optimizes bids to generate as many conversions as possible within a predefined budget or CPA target. So if you’re optimizing toward customer journey actions measured in Taboola Ads—like leads, purchases, app installs, or page views—this is the feature for you.

Learn More About Reducing Ad Waste

Add SpendGuard Algo to the Mix

To boost transparency for our brand partners, we make our algorithm’s decisions visible to all users, both by showing how and where we’re capping ad spend and by blocking certain publishers to help protect your budget. We call this tool SpendGuard, and it’s a key feature of our algorithm designed to reduce wasted spend, save you time, and ensure trust and confidence in the Taboola brand.

Think of this as a window into what AI is doing. You can watch the decisions that are being made, so you know exactly how your budget’s being spent. By capping or blocking publishers showing signs of wasted spend, and consolidating the efforts of features of previous, ‘behind the scenes’ tools SpendGuard protects your ad budget across Taboola’s network to stretch your ad dollars from the start.

Get to Know Custom Rules

Our commitment to reducing ad waste doesn’t end there. We know that advertisers like to maintain control, especially on the open web, and that includes securing placements on the right publisher sites and tweaking ad delivery for peak performance. That’s where Custom Rules comes into play, a perfect partner to Maximize Conversions

Custom Rules is an optimization tool that lets you set your own automated rules on campaigns and protect your spend according to your own logic. Advertisers can automate optimizations by triggering rules created in accordance with your custom conditions, and you can activate these rules for both sites and ad creative.


How it Works

To understand Custom Rules a little better, let’s use an example of a classic stop/loss rule. An advertiser can create a custom rule that—based on their own custom conditions—will trigger a block on a publisher if their campaign has spent over a certain amount without delivering any conversions. That’s a clear indication that we should encourage the algorithm to explore other publications for improved results.

In other words, Custom Rules empowers advertisers to fine-tune your automated campaigns and day-to-day optimizations to meet specific business goals, leading to more successful ad outcomes and saving you valuable time. The recent addition of even more features makes it easy to tailor your campaigns to meet your needs; for example, advertisers now have more visibility into site and ad reports, access to a “bulk undo” option for deleted rules, the ability to duplicate rules, and an extended look back option of 60 to 90 days.

With less manual work, you can get superior results. And in a world where it’s important to strike the right balance between artificial intelligence and human oversight, what could be better than that?


Custom Rules Success Stories

Even with all the data at your fingertips, it can sometimes be hard to imagine how tools like these stand to benefit your brand. Let’s hear from some marketers who’ve tried Custom Rules for themselves, and get a glimpse into their results.

With Taboola’s new custom rules feature, we’ve found the perfect balance in blocking sites after a specific threshold of clicks and zero conversions. The results speak for themselves — our campaigns are now more targeted, efficient and cost-effective. One standout success was a recent Max Conversions campaign where we implemented rules to block sites with zero conversions. In just four days, our ROAS (Return on Ad Spend) saw a remarkable uptick, automatically turning positive.” —Veronica Almonte, Senior Performance Marketing Manager, System1

This feature is amazing and works exactly as I expect. It saves me a lot of manual work and time.” —Valentin Kuznetsov, Senior UA Manager, Volka Games

With a company-wide focus on automation, Custom Rules have become integral to our optimization strategy on Taboola, delivering tangible time-saving benefits. By automating ad optimization, we’re able to maximize efficiency and unlock performance gains, especially during periods when manual intervention isn’t feasible.” —Calum McAuley, Senior Performance Marketing Manager, MVF

Want to try Custom Rules for yourself? Check out our top tips to help you reduce ad waste by harnessing the power of Taboola Ads technology.

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