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Load ad scripts statically

Overview

This audits checks whether or not ad scripts are being injected into the page. Other resources on the page may delay the fetching and loading of injected scripts, which will in turn delay the loading of ads. In some situations these scripts may not be fetched at all, preventing ads from being loaded all together.

Recommendations

Load scripts via async script tags to improve speed. The browser preload scanner can fetch script tags earlier, even if render blocking resources are blocking the script execution.

Incorrect
<script>
  var el = document.createElement('script');
  el.src = 'https://securepubads.g.doubleclick.net/tag/js/gpt.js';
  var node = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0];
  node.parentNode.insertBefore(el, node);
</script>
Correct
<script async src="https://securepubads.g.doubleclick.net/tag/js/gpt.js"></script>

Identify the source of injected ad scripts

Sometimes it may not be obvious how an ad script is being injected into a page, or even that it's being injected at all. For example, when examining the source of a page after it's loaded, a script tag that has been injected may appear indistinguishable from a tag that was loaded statically.

In these cases, use the Network tab in Chrome DevTools to determine the source of injected ad scripts.

  1. Open DevTools by pressing Control+Shift+J or Command+Option+J (Mac).
  2. Navigate to the Network tab.
  3. If not already visible, click Filter The Filter icon to open the filter bar and type the name of the script flagged by this audit into the text box.
  4. If not already visible, right-click on any table header and select Initiator to include the Initiator column in the network request waterfall table.
  5. Reload the page to capture network traffic.

A screenshot of the Network tab in Chrome DevTools

As seen in the above screenshot, the initiator column will contain information about the source of the script in question. You can click on the source link to jump directly to the code responsible for issuing the ad script request, or hover over the source link to see all of the calls leading up to the request.

More information

This audit operates against a allowlist of ad scripts which are known to be safe to load statically. The current list is:

Library Script(s)
AdSense pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js
Amazon Publisher Services amazon-adsystem.com/aax2/apstag.js
Criteo Direct Bidder static.criteo.net/js/*/publishertag.js
Google Publisher Tag

googletagservices.com/tag/js/gpt.js

securepubads.g.doubleclick.net/tag/js/gpt.js

Index Exchange js-sec.indexww.com/ht/p/*.js

Intervening against document.write()
Script-injected "async scripts" considered harmful