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Why A New Content Taxonomy?

By Alanna Gombert

For a taxonomy to be useful to companies in the market, it must be standardized and industry-neutral so that any party can build on top of it if they want to get more granular or reference the IDs in order to map it to a different taxonomy. The latest version of the IAB Tech Lab’s Content Taxonomy, now released for a public review period until March 1, 2017, possesses both of these qualities and more.

This taxonomy broadens the breadth of available online content, presents a clear and consistent framework to advertisers, and supports future updates as content offerings change or develop over time. For example, new additions to the taxonomy include content categorizations for events and attractions, wellness and medical health, the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and smart consumer electronics.

These updates will benefit companies in the programmatic space whether they want to effectively target and/or block certain content categories, produce better data quality, or be able to more accurately and consistently describe their content. This ultimately drives higher levels of transparency and accountability in the industry.

Other major updates include the following:

  • Development of a machine-readable taxonomy with incorporated ID mappings – a content taxonomy JSON file is uploaded on the IAB Tech Lab GitHub Repository
  • 400+ new site content classifications across 29 Tier 1 categories in addition to updated categories
  • Creation of independent vectors for describing the topical attributes of the page itself and adding extra dimensions of data about a given site’s content
  • Support for global applicability – nomenclature expanded to reflect a global perspective, making it more inclusive of all areas of the

The updated Content Taxonomy is available here. Feedback will be reviewed by the Taxonomy and Mapping Working Group. Please send your comments to

Content Taxonomy V2.0 Draft for Public Review


Alanna Gombert
SVP, Technology & Ad Operations, IAB, and General Manager, IAB Tech Lab