Backup ads

If no targeted ads are available for your page, Google will show a transparent space instead of ads. However, you can set up backup ads to display an image or HTML page if Google isn't able to show targeted ads. This way, you can make sure that your advertising space is always being used effectively.

Backup ads are only available with the Ad Exchange tag. If your ad uses Google Publisher Tag or other tags, you will not be able to set up a backup ad. Instead, we recommend you set up House line items.

While creating or editing an ad type and backup ads style, you can specify an image or HTML page as a backup ad.

Images as a backup ad

You can use any static image as your backup ad. Next to "Backup ads," click Show ads from another URL and enter the URL of the image in the text box, including http:// and ending with the image file name. The entire URL must be 256 characters or fewer.

For example:

When you're creating the image, make sure that the dimensions are the same as the ad format that will display it. If your image is bigger than the ad format, the image will be cropped at the right and bottom edges. So, if you're creating a backup image for a 240x120 ad format, make sure that your image is also 240 pixels by 120 pixels.

HTML page as a backup ad

HTML pages are useful if you'd like to implement a clickable image as your backup ad. The HTML page will contain the information required to load your image and link it to any destination.

Using an HTML page as your backup ad is most useful for creating a clickable image ad. You'll specify the path to an HTML page that contains the information necessary for loading the image, as well as the link code. Follow these steps to set up an HTML page:

1. Create the HTML file

You'll need to create an HTML page that loads your desired image, and contains the hyperlink code. There are a few tricks to successfully create this code:

  • Use absolute URLs: An absolute URL is one that includes the entire, fully-defined path. We recommend you use absolute URLs to ensure you don't run into errors when placing the code on various pages of your site.
  • Add target="_top" to your URL tags: This code tells your browser which window to use when loading the destination page of your clickable image. If you don't include this in your code, your browser will try to load the ad's destination within the ad format itself.

2. Upload the HTML file as your backup ad

Once you've created and saved your HTML page, you'll need to upload it to your server. This page can be hosted anywhere online, as long as it's accessible from the internet.

Next to "Backup ads," click Show ads from another URL and enter the fully defined path to the saved HTML page.

For example:

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