WhatRunsWhere Review – Spy On Ads All Around The Web

WhatRunsWhere Review
This WhatRunsWhere review is based on the Display + Mobile subscription of the service.

WhatRunsWhere is a marketing spy tool that allows you to uncover:

  • where your competitors are advertising and what kind of ads they are using
  • which advertisers and ads are running on a particular domain
  • which advertisers and ads are running for specific keywords

All of this data is available for 17 different countries and 90+ ad networks.

The following countries are currently supported: United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.

There are four ways to research ads: by advertiser domain, by publisher domain, by keyword (i.e. topics) and by searching for top ads. We will now discuss each of these features in detail below.

WhatRunsWhere offers a 3-day trial for $1 which is available here.

Where Does [Domain] Advertise?

This feature allows you to find out where a specific advertiser is running his ads by searching for their domain name (e.g. www.amazon.com).

There are a few different typical use cases. You might want to know where your main competitors are advertising and what kind of ad creative they are using.

Or you might be preparing to enter a new market and you want to research where the main players are advertising and what their messaging is.

Lastly, the features is of course useful for affiliates who want to find out how a particular website is generating their traffic.

The screenshot above shows a search for the advertiser amazon.com.

In this case, I have narrowed down the search to the United States and the last 30 days.

You can see exactly where Amazon was advertising during this period, what text or banner ads they were using as well as the landing pages they were linking to.

What Ads Run on [Domain] ?

This is useful when you want to know who is advertising on a specific domain and what ads they are using.

For example, you might consider promoting your product to Techcrunch readers. You could then check which ads and products are promoted heavily on Techcrunch.

If you are an affiliate you can pick domains that are known to feature a lot of affiliate ads in order to find out what offers your competition is currently promoting.

For each search you can check the ad creative (text or banner ads), ad network that was used, how long the ad was running, the landing page and other details.

What Ads Run For [Keyword]?


The keyword feature is used for researching ads on a specific topic. The screenshot above shows ads which ran for the topic “diet” in the US in the last 30 days.

You can choose which of the most popular banner sizes you want to search for. Alternatively, you can also search for text ads.

The feature is helpful if you want to know which advertisers are active in a particular market.

It’s also a great way to get ideas for the design and messaging of your banner ads.

What Are The Top Ads In A Country?

top ads

The top ads feature is great when you want to get an idea of which ads and products are promoted most heavily in a specific country.

This is an excellent way to spot trends in affiliate marketing and in the general online marketing space.

You can search for all popular banner sizes as well as text ads in any of the 17 supported countries.

You can also narrow down your search to specific networks, for example Google AdWords or AdRoll.

Spying on Mobile Advertising Strategies


All of the features above are available for both desktop as well as mobile ads. There are a couple of additional mobile features that are worth mentioning.

The mobile feature of WhatRunsWhere shows you both ads on websites as well as ads in mobile apps. We’ve discussed all of the website related feature above already.

What’s great is that the same set of strategies works for mobile apps as well.

The screenshot above shows the advertising strategy for one of the most successful apps in the history of mobile gaming: Candy Crush. The mobile advertiser feature will display ad creative, traffic sources (website or apps where the ads were running), ad networks and more.

I have previously used the mobile feature to uncover my competitor’s affiliate strategies.

Custom Domain Tracking

Sometimes there are cases when you want to know as much as possible about a specific competitor or advertiser.

In these cases you can use WhatRunsWhere domain tracking to add the advertiser’s URL to your tracking list.

This will give you updates on the advertiser’s latest activity.

When you do a search banner ads or text ads from an advertiser who is on your domain tracking list, it will also give you the option to “show only unseen ads”.

So whenever you do a new search for the same advertiser you can choose to only view ads that you haven’t seen before.

AdBeat vs WhatRunsWhere – Which Tool Is Best?

When it comes to ad spy tools, WhatRunsWhere and AdBeat are probably the two most well-known solutions.

So marketers often compare the two services and try to figure out which one is best for them. Here are my thoughts…

I’ve found that WhatRunsWhere has a strong edge when it comes to mobile ad and mobile app data. When I compared the services this was true for the US as well as internationally. On the other hand, I must say that I slightly prefer the AdBeat interface and how the information is displayed.

So here’s my recommendation:

If you need to research both desktop and mobile advertising strategies, I would recommend using WhatRunsWhere (the mobile + desktop subscription is also cheaper than AdBeat’s package).

If you only need to research desktop strategies, you can use either WhatRunsWhere or AdBeat.

WhatRunsWhere Review – The Right Spy Tool For You?

WhatRunsWhere is a valuable research that is easily worth the monthly subscription fee if you know how to use it.

Affiliate marketers can use it to research what’s currently hot and uncover competitor strategies (for desktop, mobile web and mobile apps).

Small, medium and large businesses can use it improve their advertising strategy by monitoring competitor activity.

Similarly, marketing consultants and agencies can keep their clients up-to-date on their competition’s advertising strategy.

After reading this WhatRunsWhere review you might still be unsure whether it’s the right tool for you. In that case I recommend signing up for the 3-day trial so you can test all of the features yourself.

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