Tips and Tricks

The flexible nature of index.php files employed by Adspect combined with file-based page display mechanism allows for more sophisticated setups of streams. In this chapter we will describe several advanced scenarios that may be very useful to you.

Stream Chaining

Since index.php is a regular PHP script, it may be used as a money page or a safe page of a stream, that is, one stream may redirect visitors to another stream, letting you chain them in different ways. Typical setup of stream chaining is best described by example of a real-world application.

Suppose you have an ad campaign in a source that supplies both browser-based and mobile app-based visitors in a mix without providing any option to split them. Such networks exist–push notifications networks that have both WebPush subscribers and subscribers for in-app or PWA notifications. You would like to split these traffic types and send them to different affiliate offers: for WebPush-based visitors and for mobile app-based visitors.

You can accomplish this by chaining two streams that have different settings for mobile app-based visitors. The first stream A accepts incoming clicks and filters out app-based ones to its safe page. The second stream B is attached to the first one as its safe page and filters out bots and moderators, letting legitimate app-based visitors through to the separate offer.

Traffic flow chart

Here are the relevant settings of the entryway stream A:

  • Money page:

  • Safe page: index-b.php

  • Allow traffic from mobile apps: disabled

The relevant settings of the rear stream B:

  • Money page:

  • Safe page:

  • Allow traffic from mobile apps: enabled

The mobile apps setting of stream A is what makes it consider app-based visitors as malicious and send them all to stream B along with actual bots and moderators. Stream B will in turn re-analyze the traffic and send good app-based clicks to the in-app offer while still filtering out unwanted visitors to Google.

Finally, you would place index.php files of both streams into the same directory: leave the index.php file of stream A named as is and rename the file of stream B to index-b.php, which will act as a surrogate safe page of stream A.

Dedicated IP Blacklist Stream

Streams have a useful “Blacklist all IP addresses in “Review” mode” setting for collecting IP blacklists of moderators during the “Review” phase of stream lifecycle. This setting may be used to create a dedicated stream for the purpose of collecting a single blacklist of all moderators, bots, etc.

The process is as follows:

  1. Create a separate stream that will be used for accumulating IP addresses in its blacklist. Set and leave it in the “Review” mode and enable the “Blacklist all IP addresses in “Review” mode” setting. Effectively, this means that the stream will blacklist IP addresses of every visitor.

  2. Use the stream’s index.php file as a safe page for other streams as described in Stream Chaining above. This will direct all bad visitors to the blacklisting stream, making it collect their IP addresses. Alternatively, you may use the stream as a safe page only during the “Review” phase of other streams to exclude IP addresses of regular bots from the blacklist as it may possibly lead to false positives (please read this chapter for an explanation of why this may happen.)

  3. Watch the IP blacklist of your dedicated stream being collected and copy-paste it into other streams every once in a while (yes, this isn’t very convenient, we are working on a solution for blacklist sharing.)

Combining Cloakers

In case you have access to other cloaking and traffic protection solutions, you may use them together with Adspect to attain potentially higher levels of protection at the expense of additional processing latency. Since most of our competing solutions have a notion of money and safe pages, you should always put Adspect at the rear side of the cloaker chain and create a special setup with two separate streams:

  • One stream will be used as a money page of your front-side cloaker, taking the baton from it and inspecting supposedly good visitors that the cloaker has allowed through. The money page of this stream will be your final traffic destination whereas the safe page will be the real safe page that your intend to cloak with. This stream should be set to the “Filtering” mode.

  • Another stream will be used as a safe page of your front-side cloaker, accepting traffic from it in order to collect an IP address blacklist of visitors that the front-side cloaker deems dangerous and additionally train our VLA™ machine learning system on their results. This data lets us absorb their filtering techniques and make Adspect more comprehensive and precise. You should always enable the “Blacklist all IP addresses in “Review” mode” setting as described in the section above in order to populate the IP address blacklist automatically. Set both money and safe pages of the stream to the real safe page that you intend to cloak with. Leave the stream in “Review” mode.

Split Money Pages for Different Operating Systems

While Adspect user interface does not yet support proper TDS functionality (which will appear in subsequent platform updates), it is still possible to achieve it with simple PHP code that you can put in place of your money page. One use case is selecting different money page URLs to redirect to depending on the operating system of the visitor.

Suppose you want to redirect macOS and Windows users to different money pages. Put the following code into the money page field:

if ('{os}' === 'macOS')
  header('Location: https://mac-url-here');
  header('Location: https://win-url-here');

In this code, replace https://mac-url-here with macOS money page URL, and replace https://win-url-here with Windows money page URL. Then select Execute PHP Code action. This script will be run for every visitor that should be sent to money page, and will redirect them to either of the URLs based on their operating system.