Troubleshoot unfilled impressions in Ad Manager

This article describes how to avoid unfilled ad impressions by populating your ad network with widely targeted House or Ad Exchange line items. It also suggests methods for identifying and addressing unfilled impressions across various ad units and formats. 

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Find unfilled impressions

An unfilled impression, or blank ad, is an ad request that didn't return an ad because none were eligible to serve. In Google Ad Manager reporting, combine the "Ad unit" and "Requested ad sizes" dimensions with the "Unfilled impressions" metric to see where impressions are unfilled across your network. Learn more about how to report on unfilled impressions

For more granular reporting, you can traffic backup line items.

Unfilled inventory for video ads in optimized pods

When you try to determine unfilled inventory for video ads in optimized pods, you should use the Total unmatched ad requests metric available in a sell-through report. Rather than impressions, this metric is calculated from the unfilled duration in the pod, and allows you to better understand video fill rate.

Discover the reason your line item isn't delivering

Use the Ad Manager delivery tools to see what is eligible to deliver and understand why your line item might not be eligible. You can also open your line item and refer to the "Troubleshoot" tab to see recent non-delivery causes.

Traffic backup line items to capture unfilled impressions

Book a run-of-network house line item (or other catch-all remnant line item type like Ad Exchange) for every possible ad unit size. When new ad units are created, these line items will be targeted to run on them.

Users who have deactivated JavaScript won't see custom creatives, so ensure that the house line item uses a standard image creative.

Create a 1x1 pixel blank house ad

For inventory that you want to leave unfilled — for example, in cases of unsold inventory where you'd rather not run a house ad — create a 1x1 pixel blank house ad. The house ad can be delivered so that in reports you can track unfilled impressions separately from intentional blanks.

  1. Create an advertiser for your house ad, if you don't have one already.
  2. Create an order for your 1x1 pixel line items.
  3. Create a new line item for each ad slot size on your website where you want to serve blanks.
    1. Set the size to the size of the ad slot, such as 728x90, not 1x1.
    2. Set the type to "House."
    3. Set the targeting to "Run of network," or to the areas of your website that make the most sense.
  4. Add a 1x1 pixel image creative to the line item, and override the line item's size. You can use any 1x1 pixel image, either hosted in Ad Manager or remotely. The click-through URL is required but isn't used, so you can enter any value.

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