Understand Private Auction troubleshooting

Private Auction troubleshooting displays details about why Private Auction deals may not be performing as expected.

A Private Auction deal can fail to perform as expected because an ad request was filled by a competing source or because there are technical or other issues with either how you or the buyer set up the Private Auction or Private Auction deal.

Competing sources that could fill an ad request instead of a Private Auction deal include: 

  • Programmatic Guaranteed campaigns (Sponsorship and Standard)
  • Preferred Deal campaigns
  • Other Private Auction deals
  • The Open Auction

Private Auction troubleshooting lists sources that filled an ad request instead of the Private Auction deal you're trying to troubleshoot. Private Auction troubleshooting also lists potential technical or other issues that you or the buyer may be able to correct.

Introduction

Deal IDs

Deal IDs are attached to a number of items that can serve ads. Deal IDs belong to:

  • Sponsorship and Standard line items that were transacted programmatically
  • Preferred Deal line items
  • Private Auction deals

Deal IDs are not attached to Open Auction transactions or to Sponsorship and Standard line items that were transacted traditionally. Sponsorship and Standard line items that were transacted traditionally are not included in Private Auction troubleshooting.

Ad requests

Visitors to your digital properties (websites or apps) trigger ad requests. Ad Manager recognizes the inventory from which an ad request originated and identifies eligible line items or deals. Line items or deals are eligible if they satisfy the targeting in the ad request.

In many cases, the ad request is satisfied by a guaranteed campaign, be it negotiated traditionally or programmatically. If a guaranteed campaign is unable to fulfill the ad request, Ad Manager looks for non-guaranteed sources to satisfy the request. These include:

  • Preferred Deal line items
  • Private Auction deals

If neither of these can fulfill the ad request, Ad Manager sends the request to the Open Auction.

Good to know about the Open Auction and Private Auction deals
 
By default, Open Auction optimization is enabled for Private Auction deals. This option allows bids from the Open Auction to compete concurrently with bids from the Private Auction. This means that a Private Auction deal can fail to fill an ad request because it lost to a higher bid in the Open Auction.

Bid responses

If eligible line items or deals have a deal ID attached to them, then Ad Manager converts the ad request into a bid request containing the eligible deal IDs and sends the request to buyers. 

Buyers reply to the bid request with a bid response by:

  • Bidding with one of the deal IDs contained in the bid request
  • Considering bids from the Open Auction if there are no eligible deal IDs, no bid exceeds the floor price set in eligible line items or deals, or there are no bids,
  • Not bidding at all.

Importantly:

  • Buyers can be associated with multiple deal IDs in the same bid request
  • Buyers can respond with multiple deal IDs for the same bid request

Scorecards

The scorecards at the top of Private Auction troubleshooting provide a summary of metrics. Private Auction troubleshooting is always based on one deal, and therefore one  buyer. Here's what you can expect the metrics to indicate.

Ad requests (total)

Total number number of ad request for this Private Auction deal.

If this number is lower than expected, check:

Ad requests (total) is calculated as follows:

Ad requests (total) = Bids for this deal + Buyer did not bid + Buyer bid via other sources

Previous Private Auction troubleshooting experience (Deal Check)

"Ad requests (total)" was known as Available impressions in Deal Check.

Buyer did not bid

The number of ad requests where the buyer did not send a bid response.

If the buyer did not bid at all , not even in the Open Auction, then that value is counted under "Buyer did not bid".

What to do

Contact the buyer for this deal. Confirm that buyer:  

  • Set up targeting in their demand-side platform for the regions and creative sizes specified in the deal.
  • Set up targeting for your site and has sufficient budget available.
  • Didn't set additional settings like frequency capping and pacing that limit campaign delivery.
  • Overrode pre-targeting for Private Auctions in Authorized Buyers.

If the buyer isn't sure or can't confirm any of these details, or if it's asking for sample bid requests, buyers should contact its buy-side support team.

Buyer did not bid is calculated as follows:

Buyer did not bid = Ad request (total) - Bids for this deal - Buyer bid via other sources

Previous Private Auction troubleshooting experience (Deal Check)

"Buyer did not bid" was known by the same name: Buyer did not bid under "Filtered impressions" at the top of Deal Check. This value in Deal Check was calculated with an analogous formula:

Buyer did not bid = Available impressions - Bids - Bids not for this deal

Buyer bid via other sources

The number of ad requests where the buyer sent a bid response with other deal IDs or the Open Auction. The bid responses summed here did not necessarily win the auction.

If the buyer bid under a deal ID other than the one you're troubleshooting, or in the Open Auction, then that value is counted under "Buyer bid via other sources".

What to do

Run a report on the inventory targeted for the Private Auction deal and add the deal ID dimension to see all the deals that get impressions for this targeting. Alternately, manually look for other running Private Auction deals with this buyer that may have overlapping targeting. Talk to the buyer to confirm that it's bidding under the correct deal ID.

Previous Private Auction troubleshooting experience (Deal Check)

"Buyer bid via other sources" was known as Bids not for this deal under "Filtered impressions" at the top of Deal Check.

Bids for this deal

The number of ad requests where the buyer sent a bid response with this deal ID. The bid responses summed here is the total bids with this deal ID where the buyer won and where the buyer lost (because the bid was filtered or the ad request was filled by competing demand).

If the buyer bid with this deal ID, whether it won or not, then that value is counted under "Bids for this deal".

Bids for this deal is calculated as follows:

Bids for this deal = Winning bids + Filtered + filled by competing demand

Previous Private Auction troubleshooting experience (Deal Check)

"Bids for this deal" was known as Bids at the bottom of Deal Check.

Winning bids

The number of ad requests where the buyer sent a bid response and won the auction with this deal ID. 

If the buyer bid with this deal ID and won, then that value is counted under "Winning bids".

Previous Private Auction troubleshooting experience (Deal Check)

"Winning bids" was known as Matched requests at the bottom of Deal Check.

Filtered/filled by competing demand

The number of ad requests where the buyer sent a bid response and did not win the auction with this deal ID. 

If the buyer bid with this deal ID and was filtered or lost, then that value is counted under "Filtered/filled by competing demand".

This buyer bid response may have lost because: 

  1. The bid response was above the minimum floor price but another bid won
  2. The bid response failed to win for a technical or other issue 

In the first case, another bid won. The the other, winning bid could have been submitted by a different buyer, but it's good to remember that the other bid that won could have been from the same buyer.

This deal ID failed to win because the ad request ended up being filled by some other competing demand—these being one of the following:

Previous Private Auction troubleshooting experience (Deal Check)

"Filtered/filled by competing demand" was the sum of all issues and reasons under Filtered bids and Filled by competing demand of Deal Check.

Filtered/filled by competing demand

The "Filtered/filled by competing demand" region of Private Auction troubleshooting lists details about why the buyer lost despite submitting a bid response. The two major categories are:

  • Filtered: The bid response failed to win for a technical or other issue 
  • Filled by competing demand: There was a bid response that competed in the auction, but the bid lost in auction or failed for some other reason
Create custom Private Auction deal reports
Detailed reports for Private Auction deals can be generated by including dimensions that correspond to the metrics listed in troubleshooting. Custom reports for Private Auction deals allow you to analyze their performance over time. Learn more

HELP ME TROUBLESHOOT PRIVATE AUCTIONS

Filtered bids

The bid response failed to win for a technical or other issue.

Blocked by Protections

Blocks settings that restrict the types of ads that can serve on your websites or apps. They're set under "Ad content" rules via Protections. Setting up "Ad content" rules can help you protect your brand by restricting how, where, or which ads can serve on your websites or apps. By default, these rules apply to each bid response. Bid responses that don't fall within the parameters of the "Ad content" rules set up in your network are automatically filtered.

What to do

Review any blocks you have set up on your inventory. If you did not enabled the "Override blocks" option for the Private Auction deal, these rules may filter bid responses. You may either alter "Ad content" rules or enable "Override blocks".
 

List of Protections

General category: Review any blocks you have set up on your inventory, including general category blocks. Learn more about general categories available for blocking ads.

Sensitive category: Review any blocks you have set up on your inventory, including sensitive category blocks. Learn more about sensitive categories available for blocking ads.

Advertiser URL: Review any blocks you have set up on your inventory, including advertiser URL blocks. Learn more about advertiser URL blocks.

Cookies and data usage: Review any blocks you have set up on your inventory, including cookies and data usage (non-Google Demand) blocks. Learn more about cookies and data usage (non-Google Demand) blocks.

Language rule: Review the inventory controls section to learn more about ad targeting by language or to see the languages supported by Ad Exchange.

Restricted category (opt-in): Bids attached to ads belonging to certain restricted categories, using certain ad technologies, or in certain languages are blocked by default. To allow them to run on your site, you must explicitly enable them using opt-ins under Protections. Learn more

Ad tech (opt-in): Ad Exchange buyers are allowed to use many Ad technology vendors that use tools such as ad servers, research technologies, and remarketing. All vendors must be explicitly approved to run on Ad Exchange. You can control which ad technologies and video types are allowed on your inventory. Certified ad technologies are opted out by default.

If you would like to serve ads from these vendors, then you have the ability to allow them. Learn more

Creative restrictions

The verified advertiser in creative restrictions of the Private Auction deal doesn't match the advertiser associated with the buyer's creative. The buyer may have included the incorrect advertiser or Google was unable to classify or misclassified the advertiser associated with the buyer's creative. Learn more

What to do

Recommended practice is to omit any advertiser (leave this field empty) in Private Auction settings to ensure the winning bid response serves a creative.

If you decided to continue using "Creative restrictions", you can:

  • Contact the buyer to ensure they are bidding with accepted advertisers.
  • Click into one of the creatives to view details and use the "Advertiser override" option in the navigation panel. Replace the invalid advertiser with the advertiser configured, enabling the creative to serve properly. Google can use the data from advertiser overrides to improve advertiser classifications in the future. The override option is only available for deals that involve a single advertiser.

If you apply an advertiser override, the original, mismatched advertiser is not reflected in reporting. Instead, all impressions are associated with the new, overriding advertiser. However, you can determine if an advertiser has been overridden by clicking into a creative in "Creative review".

Creative review rejections

Review the creative review section to learn more about publisher creative rejections.

Pending creative review

Review the creative review section to learn more about the creative review process.

Creative was outbid

Creative was outbid by another bid response.

What to do

Review the top ten sources that won against this Private Auction deal by clicking "View". You may see winning sources with lower pricing. Winning sources with lower pricing may be the result of:

  • Sponsorship and Standard line items that were transacted programmatically since these are prioritized over Private Auction deals
  • Optimization that favors sources with higher predicted view rates as these present a better opportunity for billable impression

Buyer bidding or setup issues

Google reviews the buyer's bid response to determine if both the creative and the bid are compliant with Google policies and standards. The most common reasons for a bid response filtered by Google are:

  • Creative was not approved
  • Creative URL not yet been reviewed
  • Creative filtered because ad dimension is not allowed for the deal
  • Ineligible to serve on Android or iOS
  • Video creative throttled

What to do

Contact the buyer to identify and correct potential issues as listed above. See also the Authorized Buyers resource Troubleshoot bid response filtering.

Bids that did not compete in the auction because of buyer issues are displayed in a buyer tool called RTB Breakout. The buyer can use this tool to see bids that did not compete in the auction, by reason or issue, to troubleshoot the source of their filtered bids. Learn more

Other

Ad Manager was unable to determine the issue. Often, these issues may occur in third-party systems where Ad Manager has no insight into potential set up or configuration issues.

What to do

Contact the buyer for further action. The buyer may need to manually troubleshoot.

Filled by competing demand

There was a bid response that competed in the auction, but the bid lost in auction or failed for some other reason.

Bid lost in auction

The buyer bid at or above the floor price you set in the Private Auction deal, but another bidder won at a higher price.

What to do

Contact the buyer and ask them to bid higher. 

Bid lost in dynamic allocation

Bid lost in dynamic allocation to competition.

What to do

Review dynamic allocation settings. You may consider modifying settings, but dynamic allocation is intended to improve your overall revenue.

Bid lost to guaranteed line item

The ad request was awarded to the guaranteed line item that earned more money than the Private Auction deal would have.

What to do

No action needed — you earned more money through the guaranteed line item.

Bid lost to remnant line item

The ad request was awarded to the remnant line item that earned more money than the Private Auction deal would have.

What to do

No action needed — you earned more money through the remnant line item.

Bid too low

The buyer bid below the floor price you set in the Private Auction deal.

What to do

Contact the buyer and ask them to bid higher. Alternatively, lower the floor price set in the Private Auction deal.

Lost to exclusive ad

Ad rejected because a reservation line item has exclusive rights on the request and will win regardless of the bid from the Private Auction deal.

What to do

No action needed — this is working as intended.

Other (filled by competing demand)

Ad Manager was unable to determine the issue. Often, these issues may occur in third-party systems where Ad Manager has no insight into potential set up or configuration issues.

What to do

Contact the buyer for further action. The buyer may need to manually troubleshoot.

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