18 Apr 2024

Maximising Ad Relevance: Harnessing the Power of Article Freshness

Fresh or Stale?

In the monstrous machine that is the world of online content, some articles stand the test of time while others fade into obscurity shortly after publication. This phenomenon, something we like to call “article freshness,” plays a pivotal role in determining the relevance and longevity of online content. At Aeterna, we understand the significance of article freshness and have developed the technology needed to capitalise on its potential.

What we understand as ‘Article Freshness’ encompasses the dichotomy between evergreen content vs. time-sensitive information. While certain articles, such as local weather updates or news about passing strikes (or last night’s football game results), experience a surge in readership upon publication, their relevance dwindles rapidly over time.

On the other hand, timeless pieces continue to attract readers long after their initial release. Recipes, editorials, interviews, reviews and travel guides and the like are all good candidates for more long-lasting freshness.

For advertisers, leveraging article freshness presents a unique opportunity to deliver contextually relevant ads to engaged audiences. At Aeterna, our advanced technology allows us to process articles at warp speed, ensuring that ads are strategically placed while the content is still "fresh." With 40% of readers consuming articles within the first day of publication, timely ad placement is paramount to maximising engagement and conversion rates.

What we’ve got.

Our proprietary system reads articles every 7 minutes. By monitoring the top 1000 publishers every hour, on average, we can identify newly published articles within a mere 30 minutes of their release. This real-time data acquisition enables us to analyse articles when they are most relevant and tailor ad placements accordingly.

Another key advantage of our technology is the ability to discern article expiration dates. Using Natural Language Processing, we can predict the lifespan of each article, differentiating between fleeting trends and enduring topics. By aligning ad placements with the lifecycle of articles, we can ensure pertinent and impactful ad placements.

Have a look for yourself. Check out this graph, visualising article rate drop-off. Most article requests look like this, lots of clicks to start and then a sharp decline. You need to get in there, quick, or lose potential clients.


This article takes on the highs and lows of a football match. It's more than a factsheet, exploring the emotional reactions of the crowd as well as the disappointments and victories experienced throughout a match that ended in a last-minute tie. This could explain its relative longevity compared to other football articles.

Starting on the morning of the 17th of April, we peak right after publication. The readership then drops and fluctuates in the next 24 hours, never reaching that peak again. The next morning of the 18th, readership peaks one last time around midmorning, then drops off and doesn’t recover. This is an average pattern for requests on most of the articles we see.

Any new takes on the match and further matches will be covered over the course of the next few days in new articles on new URLs, and we’ll pick those up, too.

No cookies, no problem

Harnessing the power of article freshness is essential for advertisers seeking to connect with their target audiences in a dynamic, potentially overwhelming online landscape. And we can accomplish all this without third party cookies. At Aeterna, we deliver contextually relevant ads that resonate with readers in real-time, while also being part of the solution towards a more ethical, cookies-free online market environment. By embracing the fleeting nature of online content, we unlock new opportunities for engagement and conversion, ensuring that your message reaches your audience when they’re ready to pick up what you’re putting down.