Google Banner Ads as On-Campus Signage?

Two or three weeks ago now, I spotted a post via UKOLN/IWMW’s Institutional Web Team Blog Aggregator from the University of Befordshire – It’s time to target our content! – which described how they had started using Google Ad manager to serve public information style banners to on-campus users.

I’d previously blogged a set of thoughts on a related matter (Contextual Content Delivery on Higher Ed Websites Using Ad Servers), but never really twigged the idea of using banner ads as signage, particularly in the context of using IP range as a proxy for location detection. (I think that campuses are often zoned so you can tell which physical part of the campus a network connection is coming in from, and so you can use this information to serve signage content on that basis.)

The use of affinity strings in personalisation cookies can also be used to further refine the sort of signage that is displayed to the user.

So I wonder – are any other HEIs using banner ads to serve signage to on-campus/local users? It’s something that I could imagine been woven into a “solution” that takes content from a poster server, such as the Posters at Lincoln service, for example, which hosts online versions of posters that get posted up around that university?

Posters at lincoln -

PS Just by the by, I notice from a tweet from @mikenolan that Edge Hill are making use of A/B testing on a website redesign…


  1. Alex Bilbie

    I built a IP->Location API that allows us to built location aware web pages at Lincoln. I worked with our network team to map all of our internal IP ranges to physical locations (buildings, floors, or wifi zones). For locations outside our ranges we use the free Maxmind IP database to approximately work out where someone is.

    Once we have an approximate latitude/longitude location we also work out where a user’s closest library is (if they are more than 10 miles from a library it defaults to our main GCW library).

    There is both a JavaScript version and a server side JSON version:

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