The Impact of Ads on Performance and Improving Perceived Performance

Julia Lee (Yahoo!, Inc.), Stevan Vlaovic, PhD (Yahoo! Inc.)
Web Performance Mission City
Average rating: ***..
(3.90, 10 ratings)

Web performance and ad performance go hand in hand and often, ads impact web performance far more than we realize. Engineers spend months/years of effort on optimizing for capacity and performance, but ads are out usually of developer control and visibility. This presentation talks about the display ad ecosystem, how display ads are integrated into web applications, and their impact on different aspects of operations, latency, user experience, and the bottom line. It details how to measure the contribution of ads to the overall page latency for specific ad positions and/or specific markets. Methodologies on ad troubleshooting, instrumentation, and monitoring are discussed. The talk also discusses attempts in translating ad performance impact to the bottom line. Finally, techniques on how to holistically improve user experience and most importantly, perceived performance, due to ads, are shared.

Photo of Julia Lee

Julia Lee

Yahoo!, Inc.

Julia Lee is Senior Director of Engineering at Yahoo! She has been at Yahoo! for 7 years, beginning as a software engineer and moving into management. She currently manages the engineering teams for Mail, Calendar, and Notepad. She has received the Engineering Excellence Award in 2008 for Yahoo! Mail and the Yahoo You Rock Award in 2007. Prior to Yahoo!, she founded a couple of VoIP and software consulting startups.

Lee holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering specializing in Computer Architecture and a Master’s in Computer Science specializing in Databases, both from Stanford University.

Photo of Stevan Vlaovic, PhD

Stevan Vlaovic, PhD

Yahoo! Inc.

Stevan Vlaovic is a Performance Architect for Display Advertising at Yahoo! He has been at Yahoo! for over 3 years and is responsible for Display Ad Performance across all of Display, including setting up performance testing processes, performing bottleneck analyses, implementing performance optimizations, monitoring, etc. Prior to Yahoo! he founded a cloud company, FastScale, and worked on microprocessor performance at Montalvo and Sun.

Stevan has a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from University of Michigan specializing in Microarchitecture performance.

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Picture of Julia Lee
Julia Lee
06/27/2011 4:57am PDT

Thank you all for watching my talk! Many of you requested that we make our ad library available through open source. We are in the process of open sourcing this now. Please check back with me directly if you would like more information on this and I will post updates here as I receive them! Thanks again!

Picture of Aaron Peters
Aaron Peters
06/20/2011 2:25pm PDT

Well done Julia! Loved this talk. Also really liked how Julia handled the questions on stage afterwards and handed out business cards.

Picture of Steve Souders
Steve Souders
05/19/2011 8:28am PDT

The very first team I consulted with about performance blamed ads. That was 7 years ago. Has the problem changed much in that time? Yes – it’s gotten worse. I’m looking forward to Julia’s insights on how to track and mitigate the performance issues brought on by ads.

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