Optimized competition

Optimized competition enables you to improve overall yield on inventory eligible for dynamic allocation across Ad Manager and Ad Exchange, through increased competition between direct and indirect sales in an easy, fully automated manner. Optimized competition provides more opportunities for Ad Manager remnant line items, Ad Exchange buyers, and Open Bidding buyers to compete against reservations when they are willing to pay high prices relative to the reservations.

Optimized competition is part of a suite of optimization features that includes dynamic allocation and First Look:

  • Dynamic allocation optimizes for overall publisher revenue while protecting delivery of guaranteed line items. It is enabled for all networks.
  • First Look enables you to unlock additional high-value Ad Exchange demand through granular pricing rules. We recommend enabling both optimized competition and First Look to maximize your yield.

Once enabled, optimized competition operates automatically like dynamic allocation, and similar to First Look it allows for significant revenue gains by introducing greater competition for your inventory. As with First Look, this increased competition can result in auction buyers winning impressions that would have previously gone to a reservation line item, but the low fill rate (typically under 1%) results in limited impact to reservation delivery.

 How optimized competition works

If dynamic allocation sets a very high temporary CPM to protect the delivery of an Ad Manager standard line item, this can restrict the ability of Ad Manager remnant line items, Ad Exchange buyers, and Open Bidding buyers to compete for the impression. Optimized competition provides an opportunity for such demand to compete against the Ad Manager standard line item at a lower price floor. The floor that optimized competition sets is always at least as high as the CPM of the competing Ad Manager standard line item. Optimized competition does not change the price floor for sponsorship line items, or affect their delivery.

The optimized competition price floor is algorithmically determined per query, based on factors such as the CPM of the competing reservation line item and historical Ad Exchange bids on similar queries. Optimized competition’s objective in setting the floor price is to increase your overall revenue across Ad Manager and Ad Exchange at a low fill rate.

Enabling optimized competition may impact reservation delivery and cause a slight decrease in your direct sales delivery. You can run a report to monitor the number of impressions optimized by optimized competition.

Optimized competition and First Look

Optimized competition can find opportunities to optimize and increase revenue in the presence of First Look. If dynamic allocation sets a very high temporary CPM to protect the delivery of an Ad Manager standard line item, buyers enabled for First Look can compete at whichever value is lower between the optimized competition floor and the publisher-configured First Look floor price.

Optimized competition and First Look revenue

For publishers with First Look enabled, some revenue previously attributed to First Look could be attributed to optimized competition instead. While First Look revenue would decline, in most cases optimized competition revenue should more than offset the decline, and publishers should realize an overall revenue gain in Ad Exchange.

Enable optimized competition

Enabling optimized competition doesn't require any updates to your line item configurations or additional tags on your page.

To enable (or disable) optimized competition at the network level:

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Admin and then Global settings and then Network settings.
  3. Enable or disable Optimized competition.

Report on optimized competition

 New reporting experience

The steps in this article reflect the new reporting experience. Look for instructions labeled "Previously" on some steps to learn where that action was previously located.

Learn more about the new reporting experience in Ad Manager

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Reporting and then Reports. Previously: Click Reports and then Queries.
  3. Click New report. The "Historical" report type is selected by default. Previously: Click New query.
  4. Enter a meaningful name for the report.
  5. Select the Optimization type dimension and any desired “Total” or “Ad Exchange” metrics.

    The "Optimization type" dimension breaks down data into the categories of "Optimized Competition", "First Look", and "All Other Traffic"—that is, all traffic not optimized through the dimensions mentioned.

  6. Click Run or Save.

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