I am logged in to Stack Overflow (in English) from a Spanish-speaking country and see an advert for the Spanish language version of Stack Overflow. The advert, when translated, reads "if you're tired of English, learn and share in Spanish".

The odd thing about it is that this advert URL looks something like https://googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pcs/click?.......&adurl=http://es.stackoverflow.com:80.... implying that the Stack Exchange network is paying Google for clicks on an advert which appears on one of their own sites that they control - they will obviously get some money back by allowing Google to display ads, but equally obviously this will be less than the advert is costing.

If they want to run that sort of advert, wouldn't it be more cost-effective to detect for themselves that the client IP address is in a country where the main language is from a different site in the Stack Exchange network, and in that case, put up the advert themselves and cut out Google?

The wording of the advert (see my translation above) is such that it only makes sense for it to appear on the English Stack Overflow site, not any third-party sites, which makes this doubly odd.

Or do they have some kind of weird tracking arrangement with Google? (There were a lot of numeric IDs in the above URL, which I stripped.)


1 Answer 1


We're using Google Ad Manager as an ad server (note that this is a different product than Google Ads which you're describing in your post).

This tool allows us to run and target ads more effectively. For example, it gives us the possibility to show the recent SOpt community ads X type per day without having to build that functionality ourselves. Apart from the additional capability, I'd say that, in general at the scale of Stack Overflow, it is more effective to run all our advertisements through one system. More info on why we're using Google Ad Manager (FKA DFP).

Disclaimer: I'm an employee of Stack, working as a Product Manager in the Advertising team

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