Quick Ad Exchange "Inventory Controls" walkthrough

Welcome to the new Ad Exchange! We will be presenting you with some basic information about these controls. You do not have to remember everything immediately--you can always find information about using the inventory controls in our Help Pages.

What’s new?

We have created a new, smarter inventory management system designed to help give you more control over your inventory. You can select segments of inventory and then control pricing, blocking, and other configurations (such as backup ads and ad types) that apply to your selections. “Rules” are the new way to configure your inventory.

Why did we build this system?

The new controls will make the administration of your Ad Exchange account much more powerful and simple. Our goal was to provide a flexible solution which enables you to create settings for any combination of requests and bids, and still presents an effective and time-saving way to maintain those settings. 

What are some of the benefits?

  • Flexibility in the selection of properties to configure pricing and blocking.
  • Assign pricing rules for large or small segments of inventory, per buyer or advertiser.
  • Use existing ad server hierarchies and other new dimensions to define pricing segments and configurations within Ad Exchange.
  • Specify minimum CPMs by branding type--branded, anonymous or semitransparent.
  • Set ad types and backup ads for specific inventory.
  • Configure category and ad technology blocks for any inventory segment.
  • Choose to opt-in to restricted categories and ad technologies.
  • Run reporting on tag and channel activity as well as find out which rules apply floor prices to winning bids.

We will walk you through definitions of changes, new features, and how-tos.

What's changed?

For the new Inventory Controls, we have made some improvements to the Ad Exchange. Here are the changes:

  • Have any Ad Exchange concepts been updated?
    • Ad units have been converted to “Tags.”
    • Active custom channels with an associated ad unit have been converted to “Channels.”
    • URL channels are now “URLs.” 
    • Pricing and blocking are now defined via “Rules.”
    • Minimum CPM may be specified under “Floor price.”
  • I don’t see the My Ads tab, where do I find my inventory?
    • Rules tab (used to set pricing, blocking and additional settings)
    • Inventory tab (used to manage tags, URLs and third party ad server Key/values)
  • How do I manage my inventory?
    • Publishers can now use Tags and Rules to manage their inventory.
    • “Tags” use the former ad unit’s name and code.
    • “Rules” contain the pricing and blocking setting for each "Tag" (former ad unit.)
  • Where are my custom channels and URL channels?
    • Active custom channels are now independent and referred to as “channels.” Publishers can now use Channels to create segments of inventory and control how these are made available (or not) to buyers or advertisers.
    • URL channels are now referred to as URLs. URLs are used as part of inventory targeting and reporting in Inventory Controls. If you wish to report by or target using a specific URL, create a URL.
  • Can I still use branded and anonymous Minimum CPMs?
    • Yes, and now you have an additional option of semi-transparency, which means buyers can see your domain in the bid request, but not the subdomain or path. For example, http://sub.mydomain.com/123 is truncated to http://mydomain.com. 
  • Will I be able to see reporting metrics on Rules and Inventory?
    • Yes. We have added new reporting dimensions including Tags, Ad Manager ad units, Ad Manager placements, Winning bid rules and others.

What happens during implementation and setup?

If your account was transitioned over from the previous ad unit based system to the new Ad Exchange Inventory Management system, the system automatically creates one tag and three rules for each of your previous ad units to ensure there is no impact on ad serving. Then, we merge common configurations into a single rule with multiple tags.

This creates a non-overlapping set of rules that can be changed at a later time to suit your needs. You are able to add new rules that interact with any of the adopted rules. So, essentially, these are the basic adoption changes:

  • Three rules (pricing rule, blocking rule and settings rule) and one tag per each previous ad unit will be created. All ad unit settings for that inventory will be carried over, which means there will be no change to your ad server configurations. 
  • For each type of rule, we will automatically merge rules of the same type with the same configuration. 
    For example, if you have one blocking rule that targets ADX_AD_TAG_1 and blocks the category “Humor & Jokes”, and another blocking rule that targets ADX_AD_TAG_2 and also blocks the category “Humor & Jokes”, then on migration, we will automatically replace both rules with a new rule that targets (ADX_AD_TAG_1 OR ADX_AD_TAG_2) and blocks the category “Humor & Jokes”.
  • Each rule handles the inventory previously served through the ad unit (now tag) and applies existing ad unit pricing configurations. The net effect of this is that there are no changes to your existing serving configuration.
  • Tags (previously ad units) are no longer required for targeting. But, if the tag or ad unit reference exists in the ad server or web page, it can be used for targeting.
  • One channel for every active custom channel associated with ad units will be created. Whether the custom channel had targeting enabled or not determines the channel name.
Inventory management
The “Inventory” tab provides you access to tags, URLs, Key/values, and third-party ad server inventory. Here is where you decide how to best manage your inventory. 

Under the Inventory section of Ad Exchange, you can make informed and intelligent decisions about your account settings. To be more in sync with the way that you manage your inventory, we provide a broad view of your inventory where you can take appropriate action, as needed.

You may have noticed that some of the familiar Ad Exchange terms have been updated. We chose to update to terms such that they better reflect the way you conduct business, therefore, as we mentioned earlier:

  • Ad units have been converted to Tags.
  • URL channels are now URLs.
All of your previous ad units are now set up as tags. Each of these tags now has its own associated rule. You can continue to use and create standard Ad Exchange tags, although we now offer other easier alternatives! Learn more about Tags.
Rules and how they work
Rules is a core standard designed to help you select inventory to target and set pricing and blocking guidelines for your selections, as well as assign prioritization to those rules. The following sections describe what can be done within each section of a rule:
  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Inventory and then Ad Exchange rules.
  3. Select the category for your rule.
    • Blocking
    • Open auction pricing
    • Channels
    • Ad styles & backup ads
    • Opt-in
  4. Click the appropriate syndication type sub-tab (for example, Display).
  5. Click +New rule.
  6. In the “New Rule” page, a rule is composed of three essential areas where you can:
    • A = Name your rule. The more specific the rule name, the easier it will be to understand your reporting.
    • B = Set your targeting. Identify targeting information--decide what inventory is being offered in your rule. Choose your ad server tags or URLs, define geo locations, select ad sizes, and choose Ad Manager segments. The configuration of your inventory selections occurs in the pricing and blocking section.
    • C = Configure your inventory. Determine who can buy your inventory and at which price, set pricing for buyers and advertisers, set your blocks, choose ad styles and backup ads, and decide whether to opt-in to restricted categories and ad technologies.
  7. Save your new rule.

Changes to rules should take effect within 24 hours.

To organize pricing rules giving the most important ones the highest priority, assign prioritization. Rules apply in numerical order. 

Manage your channels

Channels are inventory labels aimed at buyer targeting--used to market your inventory and help buyers easily find your inventory with signals you create. They enable you to bundle specific inventory, geographic locations, URLs, and sizes for a more strategic approach to marketing your inventory and reporting on your inventory.

Active custom channels with an associated ad unit have been converted to Channels.

How do you create new channels?

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Inventory and then Ad Exchange rules and then Channels.
  3. Click the appropriate syndication type sub-tab (for example, Display).
  4. Now, click +New channel.
  5. Select a channel name.
  6. Set your inventory targeting.
  7. Save your channel.
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