First Look

First Look can maximize your yield by allowing preferred access to inventory for select buyers in Ad Exchange. First Look captures incremental revenue opportunities from high-CPM buyers. It allows you to:

  • Expose more inventory to high-value demand by allowing specific Ad Exchange programmatic buyers access to premium inventory. These buyers have the opportunity to buy any inventory ahead of your reservation inventory, as long as they meet your selected floor price.
  • Increase yield through competition by eliminating the need to set up implementations with multiple buyers to give them individual opportunities to "cherry-pick" your inventory. Buyers compete in real time in Ad Exchange, leveling the playing field and improving yield for your most valuable inventory.

First Look has the ability to beat any demand in Ad Manager, ahead of your reservation inventory. A bid eligible for First Look and above the First Look floor competes for an impression. If a remnant line item is selected by Dynamic Allocation, then the bid has to clear the First Look Floor as well as the value CPM (or "Rate" if value CPM is not available) of that remnant line item in order to compete for an impression.

First Look is only available for bids in the Open Auction. It is not supported for Preferred Deals, Private Auctions, or Video Solutions inventory using optimized pods.

Setting up First Look does not require Ad Manager line item changes or additional tags on your page. This means no added latency, passbacks, or unfilled impressions. You can manage transaction volume through the selection of certain buyers and floor prices, and set 100% sponsorships to always serve ahead of First Look buyers.* Any inventory that does not comply with Ad Exchange policies must be excluded using First Look pricing rules in Ad Exchange.

Before you activate

You can only use First Look with your primary linked Ad Exchange account. If you don't have a linked account, contact your account manager or learn how to link accounts to Ad Manager.

You must be an administrator for your Ad Manager network to link accounts and to activate First Look. If you are not an administrator, the settings below are unavailable. Learn more about user role permissions.

Activate First Look

To activate, you must set the primary linked Ad Exchange account as the "default for Dynamic Allocation" for each inventory type you use in Ad Manager. For example, if you only have Display inventory type, then you only need to set the Ad Exchange account for one of them. If you have multiple inventory types associated with your network (for example, Mobile app, Video, and Display), then you must set this for each type individually.

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Admin and then Global settings and then All network settings.
  3. Under "Linked accounts", click to edit the primary linked Ad Exchange account you'd like to use for First Look. This Ad Exchange account is the one with the same publisher ID that appears under the "Primary Ad Exchange account" section. If you do not have a primary linked account, contact your account manager.
  4. Select Default for dynamic allocation and then Update. The Ad Exchange account that you're linking is the default used for dynamic allocation.
  5. Click Save.

  1. In Ad Manager, click Inventory and then Ad Exchange inventory and then Ad Manager: Networks.
  2. Select Allow data from Seller's Ad Manager account to be used in the Ad Exchange and then Save.
  3. If you've already enabled this option, you won't see the check box.

After completing this step, it may take up to 24 hours before First Look pricing becomes available on the "Rules" tab in your specified Ad Exchange account.

Create First Look pricing rules

First Look pricing is configured in Ad Exchange using rules. It is recommended that you create two rules: one to exclude specific inventory that isn't eligible, and one that includes all other inventory and grants specific buyers access.

Use separate sets of rules for display and mobile web inventory

If you have separate Open Auction rules for desktop and mobile web inventory, you may wish to do the same for First Look. Data shows that buyers bid differently for these inventory types, and a more granular First Look pricing rule strategy may help you increase yield.

To create your rules:

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Rules and then First look pricing.
  3. Select your product, such as Display, Video, or Mobile In-app.
  4. Create a rule called "First Look - Block" that includes all the inventory you cannot monetize through First Look because of Google Ad Manager Program Guidelines or special ad units. Block all branding types (branded, semi-transparent, and anonymous) and set to the highest priority (1).

    Ad Manager inventory is eligible for First Look, by default, even if Ad Exchange is not targeting that inventory (this includes special ad units).

    If you need to ensure First Look does not serve on specific inventory, including special ad unit inventory, be sure to add it to your First Look blocking rule.

    Skip this step if you have no inventory to block.
  5. Create a rule called “First Look - Allow” that does not target anything and set to priority 2 or lower.
    1. Add the buyers to whom you wish to grant First Look access. Either add all buyers, or those you know are able to provide high CPMs. Contact your account manager for more information. Do not select the option to “Set pricing and blocking for everyone else.”
    2. Set a minimum CPM for the rule.

      The value should be high enough to keep the fill rate low. Unlike dynamic allocation, First Look does not take the pacing of reservation line items into consideration.

Blocks set up in your master blocking rule, such as categories and URL blocks, apply to First Look. However, advertiser blocks set in your Open Auction pricing rules do not. If you would like to block advertisers for First Look, you must do so in your First Look rules. As an alternative to this, you may set a pricing floor specific to any given advertiser.

Watch related Publisher University training

Report on First Look in the Ad Manager Query Tool

To report on First Look impressions in the Ad Manager Query Tool, select the Ad Exchange historical report type, choose the Transaction types filter, and set it to "First Look".

First Look impressions are grouped with Ad Exchange metrics (for example, "Ad Exchange impressions" and "Ad Exchange revenue"), but are mostly represented by default values for dimensions related to creatives and line items, as First Look does not need an Ad Exchange line item to deliver impressions. Because of this, you may notice a dash ("-") instead of a name in these reports. The dashes are also exposed in the Ad Manager API.

Other default values include "0x0" for creative size, and "Unknown" for creative type.

Data Transfer uses the default value "" (null string) in First Look reports. Relevant impressions appear with the value "First Look" in the "Product" field.

Your overall fill rate in Ad Exchange may appear lower after enabling First Look. This is because of the lower fill rate associated with First Look, as well as the additional requests it contributes (that is, Ad Exchange is called even when it normally wouldn't have priority as part of dynamic allocation). This should have little impact on fill rate for your Open Auction rules. To view fill rate for Open Auctions or First Look only, you can filter the "First Look" transaction type from your queries.

To get a more accurate report on fill rate, you may wish to exclude non-standard ad sizes for which First Look does not serve, such as 1x1 pixels. As an alternative, you can also block these ad sizes from the First Look rule set up above.

* This option is available in the "Admin" tab once First Look has been activated.

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