In-depth survey of digital advertising technologies

Gong Chen, Jacob H. Cox, A. Selcuk Uluagac, John A. Copeland

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Some of the world's most well-known IT companies are in fact advertising companies deriving their primary revenues through digital advertising. For this reason, these IT giants are able to continually drive the evolutions of information technology in ways that serve to enhance our everyday lives. The benefits of this relationship include free web browsers with powerful search engines and mobile applications. Still, it turns out that 'free' comes at a cost that is paid through our interactions within a digital advertising ecosystem. Digital advertising is not without its challenges. Issues originate from the complex platforms utilized to support advertising over web and mobile application interfaces. This is especially true for advertising links. Additionally, as new methods for advertising develop so too does the potential for impacting its underlying ecosystem for good or ill. Accordingly, researchers are interested in understanding this ecosystem, the factors that impact it, and the strategies for improving it. The major contribution of this survey is that it is the first review of the digital advertising ecosystem as it applies to online websites and mobile applications. In doing so, we explain the digital advertising relationships within this ecosystem along with their technical, social, political, and physical implications. Furthermore, advertising principles along with a variation of other advertising approaches, both legitimate and malicious, are explored in order to compare and contrast competing digital advertising methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7390161
Pages (from-to)2124-2148
Number of pages25
JournalIEEE Communications Surveys and Tutorials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Digital advertising
  • advertising networks
  • advertising policy
  • mobile advertising
  • monetization
  • networking
  • online advertising
  • privacy
  • security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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