Private Auctions

Increase competition on valued inventory by offering it to selected buyers for bidding

Private Auctions allow you to offer inventory to selected buyers who can bid on that inventory. You can set a minimum CPM price based on the minimum value of the inventory specified. Private Auctions increase competition while limiting premium inventory in your network to trusted buyers.

Watch related Publisher University training

Ineligible bids submitted to the Open Auction

There are cases when a Private Auction bid is ineligible because the buyer submitted a creative with the bid that doesn't match inventory size targeting or because the buyer was filtered out by creative restriction settings in the Private Auction. In these cases, the buyer's bid is submitted with the same creative to the Open Auction, abiding by the Open Auction pricing and blocking rules set in your network. Submitting the bid to the Open Auction increases the potential to maximize your overall revenue.

Similarly, if all the net bids are below the minimum CPM price specified in a Private Auction, the inventory also becomes available in the Open Auction.

Create Private Auctions

To create a new Private Auction:

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Sales and then Private auction.
  3. Click New private auction.
  4. Enter a descriptive name that clearly identifies the inventory and follows conventions of your organization.
  5. Select an environment. Environment (also known as an "Ad Exchange property" or "web property") identifies the format of inventory or "channel" in which ads serve.
    Select environment before defining ad unit targeting. Changing environment after targeting ad units removes the ad unit targeting.
  6. In the "Terms" field, you may specify additional terms to which you and the buyer must adhere.

    Consider using this field to communicate ad serving restrictions, such as competitive ad filters, content restrictions or blocks which apply to the campaign.

  7. Under "Allowed buyers and pricing", Allow Open Auction buyer optimization is enabled by default, which can maximize revenue through increased competition. Learn more

    Under this section, you can create different sets of buyers. Each set is attached to :

    • A minimum CPM price.
    • An "Override blocks" setting.
    • Creative restriction. Recommended practice is to omit any advertiser (leave this field empty) to ensure the winning bid response serves a creative. Indicating an advertiser that is incorrect means that ads could fail to serve. Learn more

    To add sets of buyers, click + Add another buyer.

  8. Under "Targeting", define the inventory being offered in the Private Auction. Learn more
  9. "Additional settings" are optional and allow you to associate a Private Auction to a publisher profile, configure branding, set an end date, and enter estimated impressions per day. Learn more
  10. Click Save.

Once you save, the Private Auction becomes available as a proposal for the buyers to accept. See Accepted proposals.

Accepted proposals

For every combination of selected buyers or clients, a proposal is generated. Buyers or their clients must accept each proposal to start transacting. 

  • In order for clients to view Private Auction proposals, buyers must explicit grant permission to them. 
  • Clients cannot view proposals addressed to only the buyer. They can only see proposals addressed addressed directly to them (and their buyer). 
  • Buyers can view all Private Auction proposals addressed to the buyer or any of their clients.

Accepted proposals are listed under "Allowed buyers and pricing"  and then "Private Auction Buyers" section of a Private Auction. You can edit details for each proposal by clicking Edit.

Each accepted proposal gives you a summary of how the Private Auction is transacting. This summary includes:

  • Floor price
  • 7-day match rate
  • 7-day revenue lift  (Beta) 
  • 7-day ad requests

From each proposal, you can also choose to Stop deal or Resume deal

If you want to make the entire Private Auction unavailable, you can select it from the list of Private Auctions and click Archive. Archiving ends all transactions and stops ad serving.

Each proposal also also provides access to Deal Check in order to troubleshoot under performing Private Auctions.

Add inventory targeting

Define the inventory being offered in the Private Auction. Inventory targeting options include:

  • Ad units
  • Placements
  • URLs
  • Geography
  • Inventory sizes
  • Key/values
  • Operating systems
  • Device categories
  • Inventory bundles
  • Tags (deprecated)

Targeting by inventory size

If the inventory included in the deal is multi-size and the buyer bids with a size that was not negotiated in the deal, the bid will be filtered. You can see bid responses or impressions that were filtered from your available impressions and learn more about what you or the buyer can do using Deal Check. Learn more

Selecting targeting criteria

Some good things to keep in mind when selecting Private Auction targeting:

All inventory is included by default except for Preferred Deals and Private Auctions. This means all targeting is included when no targeting is specified in any category. Once targeting is specified in a category, however, only that value is targeted for that category, excluding everything else in the category. For instance, including "300x250" in the "Sizes" category only targets 300x250 and excludes all other sizes.

Preferred Deals and Private Auction size requirement

For Preferred Deals and Private Auctions, you need to include at least one size in the "Size" category. This allows buyers to understand size requirements for their creatives. If you want to target all sizes, include them all in this category.

Selecting multiple criteria within the same category results in OR logic. For example, click include on the "United States" and "Canada" criteria in the "Geography" category to receive callouts for impressions that are either from the United States or Canada.

Selecting multiple criteria across different categories results in AND logic. For example, click include on the "300x250" criterion in the "Inventory sizes" category, and include on the "United States" and "Canada" criteria in the "Geography" category to receive callouts for impressions that are for 300x250 inventory and from either from the United States or Canada.

When using key-values, the keys are effectively treated as categories. Different keys use AND logic, whereas multiple values for a single key use OR logic. For example, specifying pos=1;cat=sport,news means: (pos = 1) AND ((cat=sport) OR (cat=news))

Only exact matches are supported for keys. You cannot use special characters such as an asterisk (*) or tilde (~) for broader key-value targeting.

Additional settings

Additional settings are optional and allow to configure things like branding, end date, and estimated impressions per day.

  • Associate the Private Auction with a publisher profile. Publisher profiles allow you to brand inventory differently across your network
  • Designate this auction to display your inventory as branded or semi-transparent.

    Choose Branded to expose the full URL to buyers. Choose Semi-transparent to show buyers a truncated version of the URL, displaying only the top-level domain.

    Mobile app inventory always transacts as branded. Semi-transparent is only available for desktop and mobile web.

  • Enter the estimated end date. 
  • Enter the estimated impressions per day to help with troubleshooting under preforming Private Auctions.
  • Add emails under + Add deal email or + Add account email.
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