How to Improve Sustainability and Performance of Your Digital Ads

Written by:
Jacqui Zarka
Published on:
September 21, 2023

What if we told you that you could do your part in building a better, more sustainable digital workspace while saving money and boosting the performance of your digital advertising? Unlike most industries where the adjustments to climate change involve costly overhauls, Digital Marketing’s solutions are fast, easy, more efficient, and *free*. Let’s look at the data:

1.5M Impressions = 1 metric ton of CO2

Where do these emissions come from?

Every company has its production emissions (building costs, equipment output, and other overhead), but Digital Marketing also generates emissions from the computing power behind distribution. Each time a page loads, it runs server processing power to determine via ad algorithms which ad serves in which spot. The more ad spots a webpage has, the more emissions are generated.

What is the “Made-For-Advertising” Inventory?

We’ve all clicked on an alluring Facebook headline only to be inundated with more ads than content. Each time a user accidentally clicks an ad while scrolling, that page has made their money. This common user experience barely scratches the surface of most Made-for-Advertising webpages. 

The very successful sites will likely never be seen by a human being, instead are designed to be a garden for clickbot farms to comb the internet and siphon off valuable advertising budget to their operation. It’s partially where a lot of spam leads come from in Display.

Not only does Made-For-Advertising content spend your money, it pollutes our lead quality algorithms, and directly negatively impacts the planet via generating more emissions to fill each slot.

Ex: pulled from FraudBlocker

Easy, Fast, & Free Solution: Negate those placements

Fraudblocker and Scope3 each have generated placement lists free to download and exclude. By preemptively blocking these known Made-For-Advertising assets, we are not only removing money from these high-emission generating webpages, we are also boosting our lead quality by blocking spam bots. 

Everyone wins.

Marketers should prepare to see changes to their ad KPIs:

  • Increased CPC, at least initially: Spambots are cheap. They contribute to a decreased overall CPC. By negating them, you will likely see an uptick in CPCs initially. However, as you find your audience and they start converting, most algorithms will reward that good content with better CPCs, possibly getting you back to baseline within 60 days of data. 
  • Fluctuating CTRs: Made-For-Advertising pages generate money on CPC and CPM, so many spambots are designed to click ads. Ideally, by blocking these sites, they will be replaced with more relevant sites with a more relevant audience, which should generate more clicks. However, this may take time as the algorithm experiments with where else to put ads. 
  • Increase in percentage of account-deanonymized users: If you’re using a tool that identifies the company of an anonymous website visitor, you’re likely to see an increase in the percentage of visitors which can be associated with an account.
  • Increased conversion rate: Spam bots are cheap, but they don’t convert. Real people do.


Fighting climate change as an individual is a daunting challenge. And while it will still take a collaborative effort to enact legislative and systemic changes, there is still value in improving where we can. Easy wins that benefit the bottom dollar and our planet are rare, and we should celebrate every opportunity.