How forecasting works

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When you check available inventory, Ad Manager:

  • Analyzes the line item for which you’re running a forecast against competing booked line items. 
  • Looks at unsampled historical traffic from the last 24 months or more as a basis to build and predict future traffic volumes.
  • Analyzes sampled ad characteristics from the more recent past for finer-grained details.
  • Considers seasonal trends in calculations.

Using these predictions, Ad Manager runs a simulation for the line item to be forecasted. The output of the simulation shows how many impressions are available for booking and how many matched the targeting of the line item. The projected values are estimates, reference a sample of the overall data, and are not guaranteed.

Because our analysis of the recent past is important to get an accurate forecast, we recommend waiting 28 days after adding ad units, ad sizes, key-values, etc., before you look at forecasting numbers. This also applies to new product features.

Lowered line item priority

Ad Manager:

  1. Looks at the existing state of the network.
  2. Runs a simulation for the line item to be forecasted:
    • As part of the simulation, Ad Manager first places the line item at a priority lower than the other line items in the network. This artificially lowered priority means that the forecasted line item isn't able to “steal” impressions from other line items.
    • Next, Ad Manager runs with the forecasted line item at its given priority.
  3. Analyzes the simulation results to get the estimated forecasting impressions.
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