Best practices for Ad Exchange line items

Monetize your unsold inventory using Ad Manager via AdSense or Ad Exchange to maximize yield. To enable monetization through Ad Exchange, use an Ad Exchange line item.

Ad Exchange best practices

  • Avoid frequency capping Ad Exchange line items.

    Doing so means Ad Exchange can compete with other line items as often as possible to maximize your revenue.

  • Disable AdSense monetization on ad units

    AdSense and Ad Exchange can't be called at the same time. Best practice suggests disabling AdSense when using Ad Exchange.

  • Regularly update the CPM or value CPM of line items that represent unsold inventory.

    Dynamic allocation enables Ad Exchange to compete with line items that represent unsold inventory based on their (value) CPM. As a result, Ad Exchange only serves if it can beat the competing rates of these line items. Keeping your rates accurate ensures that you maximize the yield for your inventory.

    If both a CPM rate and a value CPM are set, Ad Exchange competes against the value CPM for the line item.

    Fill rate and CPM: Use value CPM when you know the fill rate of a competing network. To calculate value CPM, take the CPM rate of the network and multiply it by the fill rate. Example: If you have a CPM rate of $2.00 and a fill rate of 75%, you should set the value CPM at $1.50.

How many line items should I create?

The best way to traffic an Ad Exchange line item in Ad Manager is to create a single line item per inventory type (previously known as environment or syndication type) or consolidate existing line items into a single line item, then group them into a single order per account. 

For example, if you have both "Display" and "Mobile app" inventory types, you would navigate to Delivery and then Orders to create a new order and then:

  • Create one line item for "Display" inventory:
    • Set the line item "Type" to Ad Exchange
    • Set "Web property alias" to the display Ad Exchange property
    • Target run-of-network inventory and all sizes you want to monetize
  • Create another line item for "Mobile app" inventory:
    • Set the line item "Type" to Ad Exchange
    • Set "Web property alias" to the mobile in-app Ad Exchange property
    • Target run-of-network inventory and all sizes you want to monetize
When targeting run-of-network inventory:
  • By default, special ad units aren't targeted. You must explicitly target them if you intend to target an entire set of inventory.
  • Ad Exchange mobile in-app line items are only eligible for mobile in-app Ad Manager requests, and Ad Exchange display line items are only eligible for display Ad Manager requests.
Line items currently only allow you to select individual sizes, rather than all sizes at once. We recommend adding to the line item all sizes you are currently sending to Ad Manager. Ad Exchange attempts to monetize if there is demand for a size. Run a historical report in Ad Manager on ad request sizes to determine which sizes you monetize.

You may need multiple Ad Exchange line items per inventory type if: 

  • You use Ad Exchange video line items , because they currently contain advanced configurations.
  • You need to target more than one Ad Exchange account for accounting, access, or contractual reasons. We don't recommend this configuration; instead, we recommend merging operations into your default Ad Exchange account.
  • You need to prevent Ad Exchange native ads from competing against regular banner ads. In this case, you must have an Ad Exchange line item that contains only a “native” inventory size.

Use multi-size creative and pricing

To generate a multi-size creative in the Ad Exchange line item:

  • Select Automatically generate creative in your Ad Exchange line item. For line items without any active creatives, Ad Manager generates a single creative with all inventory sizes that were included under "Expected creatives" in the line item.
  • If there's an existing creative, clicking Automatically generate creative deactivates the existing creative and generates a new creative with all inventory sizes that were included under "Expected creatives" in the line item. 

Potential revenue gains with multi-size pricing

Set multi-size pricing in unified pricing rules. Setting different pricing for different sizes allows you to charge more for larger ad spaces.

Setting multi-size pricing means bidders who respond with different ad sizes compete with each other. More competition generally means higher potential revenue gains in the auction.

Ad Exchange line item priority

Best practices for modifying Ad Exchange line item priority:

  • Line items that represent unsold inventory: do not set to a higher priority than 12 (a number less than 12)
  • Guaranteed line items: do not set to a lower priority than 11 (a number greater than 11)

Doing so can result in unexpected behavior.

Use other controls instead of line item targeting

Ad Exchange line items allow you to add targeting. However, best practice suggest you target Ad Exchange line items as broadly as possible. Ad Manager provides better controls that allow you to manager your transactions:

  • Unified pricing rules: Set pricing for inventory and different inventory sizes. Learn more
  • Protections: Protections help you manage your brand, avoid competing advertisers' ads from appearing together, and determine which inventory (if any) you want to make available. Learn more
  • URLs: URLs identify domains and paths you represent or for which you are authorized to sell ads as well as control how you want your inventory to be shown—either "Branded" or "Semi-transparent". Learn more

Ad Manager placements in Ad Exchange reports

You can include the "DFP Placement" dimension in the Ad Exchange Historical report in Ad Manager reporting. 

You can also map your Ad Manager placement to an Ad Exchange channel so that it appears in reports. An Ad Exchange channel only includes data from after its creation or update.

Ad Exchange creatives through non-Ad Exchange line items

To benefit from dynamic allocation, best practice suggest you avoid serving Ad Exchange creatives as third-party creatives in non-Ad Exchange line items—for example, in Network line items. Instead, serve creatives through an Ad Exchange line item in Ad Manager in combination with other controls and rules.

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