Ad serving integration into Inventory Controls

Managing your direct and indirect inventory as a whole is a critical part of a successful sales strategy. Below is a description of ad serving integration into the Inventory Controls system using Ad Manager or third-party ad serving.

Where applicable, we recommend the use of generic tags. However, generic tags are not always possible. For example, if you use ATF/BTF or key/values for targeting ad units or placements today, you must still use those values to do your tag trafficking. BUT, you do not need to traffic tags for any of the values that Ad Exchange can handle on its own, such as site, size, geo, and ad server inventory.
Ad Manager ad server

One tag per size in Ad Manager is trafficked for Ad Exchange, then the tag is routed using Rules based on Ad Manager inventory ad units, placement, and other targeting criteria.

When Ad Manager invokes Ad Exchange, if Ad Manager specifies an ad unit or placement to be called in Ad Exchange, then that call is interpreted in Ad Exchange as an ad tag.

Use line items in Ad Manager

If the inventory hierarchy should change in the ad server, any rule based on a non-existing ad unit or placement will still exist. Targeting on that particular rule may no longer work. Reporting exists on all ad server ad units and placements in the Ad Exchange log, therefore if an ad unit or placement is removed from the ad server, it still appears in Ad Exchange reports.

To create Ad Exchange ads:

  1. Link your Ad Exchange products to your Google Ad Manager account.
  2. Create an Ad Exchange line item and set its targeting criteria.
  3. In the "Creatives" section, click Automatically generate creative.

Learn more about line items in Ad Manager.

In the Inventory Controls system, “Ad Manager ad units” display in the targeting selector under Rules and then New Rule/Edit Rules and then  Targeting. You would select the Ad Manager ad unit as you would any other item of inventory.
Third-party ad servers

To traffic Ad Exchange ads directly on your page or through another ad server, you can create nested tags to replicate your third-party ad server hierarchy.

Create nested tags to mirror your ad server inventory hierarchy

Wit Inventory Controls, nested tags can be used as a method to replicate third-party ad server inventory hierarchies. Nested tags are typically used with ad server macros to invoke the tag within Ad Exchange. Ad server macros are useful for passing important information to the advertiser or third-party ad servers.

Here’s how to create nested tags:

  1. Create a tag.
  2. Select the checkbox to create a nested tag.
  3. To assign a particular ID to your tag, enter the value in the Specify ID manually field.

    This ID value cannot be changed once the tag has been saved. In general, you will want to specify the IDs of tags to match the values your ad server will assign to macros that you plan to use. To let Google know where in your site a given request is coming from, you must use the google_ad_slot parameter in the tag. The value of this parameter consist of “/”-separated IDs of the nested tags the request belongs to, from least to most specific.
    Let’s say you had tag B nested under tag A, your snippet would include the line google_ad_slot = “A/B”. In general, it is more helpful to specify this parameter with ad server macros than by directly assigning values. 

    Sample code snippet of a nested tag with macros:

    <script type="text/javascript">
    google_ad_client = "ca-pub-4397449556666685";/*TEST*/
    google_ad_slot = "%s/%z";
    google_ad_width = 336;
    google_ad_height = 280;
    <script type="text/javascript"
    Please consult your ad server’s documentation to figure out how macros should be used.
  4. You must traffic at least one tag for each size of ad you want to serve.
    1. From the left sidebar, click Tag, and then click to create a generic tag.
    2. Select an ad size. The ad code automatically populates when an ad size is selected.
    3. Then, fill in the google_ad_slot line for your ad server as part of this tag.
    4. Insert the code in step 3 into your ad serving system (make sure it complies with the Google Ad Manager Partner Guidelines). Again, you will likely want to use an ad server macro to generate the google_ad_slot parameter dynamically to match the values in the Ad Exchange nested tag hierarchy configuration (in step 3 above).

Backup ads and third-party ad serving

If you have an Ad Exchange tag on the page and want to redirect to a third-party ad server for your backup ad, add the "google_alternate_ad_url" parameter to your tag. This parameter redirects the request to the URL you provide when there is no available Ad Exchange bid. Since this parameter is included in the tag, the request can be filled with ad server macros, including the ad size.

We recommend you select "Show Blank Space" for the backup ad. If you select, "Show other Ads from another URL", this parameter is optional. Ad Manager publishers benefit from dynamic allocation so the ad server will automatically detect the size that needs to be filled.

Using URLs

If you have a site with a URL structure that's unlikely to change, we recommend you use "URLs". For example, if you use the Ad Manager hierarchy, the data structure is not dependent on a string format and an ordered hierarchy, whereas targeting by URL could be more fragile.

For example, if you have a website where the URLs are organized by date > section > article name, using URLs means that you can never change the URL formatting from your database, and the ordering must always be fixed. Therefore, using the non-rigid multi-dimensional structure of Ad Manager tags gives you more flexibility.

If there are no effective ways to access the information (for instance, if you use a 3rd party ad server and use sub-syndicates that are separated by distinct, clear URLs), then URLs may work perfectly for you.

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