Set up AdSense in Google Ad Manager

Make inventory available to AdSense buyers

Google Ad Manager helps you give AdSense buyers access to your inventory. Providing greater access to your inventory helps monetize every impression in your network and generate revenue.

Once you've set up AdSense in Google Ad Manager, AdSense buyers can compete for your inventory to serve ads.

How AdSense works with Google Ad Manager

AdSense can be set up in several ways—at the network level for all ad units, for individual ad units, or via line items.

  • Network: You can activate AdSense for your network under "Network settings". All ad units in your network are available to compete with bids from AdSense buyers. You may manually deactivate individual ad units from being available to AdSense. Network activation is a good option if you want all or most of your ad units available to AdSense buyers.
  • Ad units: You can also activate AdSense for ad units if you prefer. Only the individual ad units you activate are available to AdSense. Activation for ad units is good if you only want smaller portions of your ad units available to AdSense.
  • Line items: The AdSense line item type must be activated for your Ad Manager network to use this option. If you don't see this line item type when adding a line item, talk to your Ad Manager administrator.

    If activated, you can add AdSense line items and target specific inventory available to AdSense buyers. In addition to targeting ad units, you can also apply other target to the line item that narrows the type of inventory available to AdSense.

Which AdSense set up wins

You may have one or more of the above mechanisms in place to give AdSense buyers access to your inventory.

Ad unit settings for AdSense take precedence over network settings. This means you may manually deactivate individual ad units from being available to AdSense even if you've activated AdSense for your network. 

Usually, the web property for AdSense is different than the one used by Ad Exchange and Preferred Deals. If an ad slot is "Preferred Deal eligible", that would make AdSense backfill ineligible. The publisher can set up a line item with Open Auction backfill to use the Ad Exchange web property, which could be used with Preferred Deal backfill. 

When AdSense is activated at the network or ad unit level, ad units automatically serve all relevant ad types and use the optimal ad styles. You don’t need to manually manage styles. This includes automatically selecting the best colors and fonts for the context in which the ad unit is serving an ad.


AdSense competes for ads similar to Ad Exchange, though AdSense doesn't serve on mobile apps. AdSense is eligible for dynamic allocation.

Link AdSense account to Google Ad Manager

Linking a separate AdSense account to your Ad Manager network may not be necessary. You only need to link an AdSense account to Ad Manager if you plan to traffic multiple AdSense web property codes in your network.

Learn more in Link an account to Ad Manager.

Activate AdSense for your network

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Navigate to Inventory and then Network settings.
  3. Select Maximize revenue of unsold inventory with AdSense.
  4. Click Save.

Activate AdSense for ad units

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Inventory and then Ad units.
  3. Click the name of the ad unit you want to edit or create a new ad unit.
  4. Select Maximize revenue of unsold inventory with AdSense.
  5. Click Save.

Third-party ads and AdSense

Third-party ads do not behave differently than AdSense ads. All third-party ads, including ads served to AdSense publishers through Google certified ad networks, must abide by Google's image ad and content policies.

Third-party ads can differ from AdSense ads in the following ways:

  • Third-party ads won't always include the "Ads by Google" text.
  • Some third-party ads may be served by Google but include third-party tagging or cookies provided by the advertiser or ad networks.

Deactivate third-party ad serving

If you deactivate image ads, third-party ads no longer appear on your site. Learn more in the following articles:

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