Ad Manager and Ad Exchange program policies

Google Ad Manager Partner Guidelines

(Formerly the Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) Seller Program Guidelines)

Your use of Google Ad Manager is governed by the terms of your Google Ad Manager contract. (Your contract may refer to the DFP and AdX Services, which together are now called Google Ad Manager.)

In these Partner Guidelines, references to "Site" include websites, mobile apps, embedded video players, games, and any other properties on which Partner uses Google Ad Manager. "Including" means "including, but not limited to".

Partners using Google Ad Manager must adhere, and ensure that any third party to whom they provide access to Google Ad Manager under their account also adheres, to the following policies:

1. Policies applicable at all times

1.1. Platforms program policies; system maximums and limits

Partners must adhere to the Platforms program policies and Google Publisher Policies when using any feature of Google Ad Manager (for clarity, this includes traditional reservations). Any restatements of the Platforms program policies or Google Publisher Policies in these Partner Guidelines are for clarification purposes only, and do not limit the application of the Platforms program policies and Google Publisher Policies to Partners.

Partners must also adhere to Google Ad Manager's system maximums and limits, as applicable.

1.2. Privacy Shield Onward Transfer Provisions

If Partner processes personal data that originated in the EEA or Switzerland and that is made available by Google in connection with Partner's use of Google Ad Manager, then:

  • Pursuant to the onward transfer principle under Privacy Shield, Partner must only use that personal data in a manner consistent with the consent provided by the data subject to whom it relates;
  • Partner must provide a level of protection for that personal data that is at least equivalent to that required under Privacy Shield; and
  • If Partner determines that it cannot comply with the above requirements, Partner must notify Google in writing, and either cease processing the personal data or take reasonable and appropriate steps to remedy such non-compliance.

"Privacy Shield" means the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield legal framework and the Swiss-U.S. Privacy Shield legal framework, and "data subject", "personal data" and "processing" have the meaning given in the GDPR (Regulation (EU) 2016/679). The parent company of the Google group, Google LLC, is certified under Privacy Shield on behalf of itself and its wholly-owned U.S. subsidiaries.

1.3. Technical Support

Prior to making any support request to Google, Partners will first use reasonable efforts to troubleshoot and fix any error, bug, malfunction, or network connectivity defect without any escalation to Google. Thereafter, a written request for technical support can be submitted via the Google Ad Manager Help Center or other means as directed by Google. Partners will provide any support services to their end users at their own expense. From time to time, Google may consult with Partners using Google Monetization (as defined below) with the objective of optimizing the performance of their ad units through Google Monetization.

1.4. Beta Features

Google Ad Manager may include beta features, which can be enabled at Partner's discretion. Beta features may have unforeseen issues and are provided "as is" to the maximum extent permitted by law. Any use of beta features will be solely at Partner's own risk and may be subject to additional requirements as specified by Google. Google is not obligated to provide support for beta features. Google may cease providing beta features at any time.

1.5. Requirements Applicable to Third Party Inventory

Partner must use either the MCM or the SPM program (as defined in Sections 1.6 and 2.2 respectively) for any inventory on a Site(i) that is not owned or operated by Partner (including website inventory for which Partner does not own the root domain and app inventory not owned by Partner); and (ii) where the Parent (as defined in Sections 1.6 and 2.2 respectively) has elected to use the Services to manage, represent and/or sell such inventory. The parties acknowledge and agree that Child Inventory that is managed or represented by a Parent (as defined in Section 1.6) under the MCM program cannot be sold by a Parent (as defined in Section 2.2) under the SPM program.

1.6. Multiple Customer Management (“MCM”) Policies

Unless otherwise stated, terms defined in this Section apply only to Section 1.5 and this Section 1.6.

In this Section 1.6, Partner is a “Parent” if Partner participates in the Ad Manager MCM Program (“MCM”) and receives access to certain accounts or inventory belonging to other Ad Manager publisher(s) (each such publisher a “Child”) upon the Child’s consent, for the purpose of managing the Child’s account or representing inventory on Sites of said Child under MCM (“Child Inventory”). To be eligible to participate in MCM, both Parent and Child must have an active Ad Manager Service account in good standing and must comply with these MCM Policies. If Partner is a Parent, Partner must comply with the provisions of the MCM Partner Program terms and conditions between Partner and Google.

Parent and Child must have a direct contractual relationship with each other, which grants Parent all necessary rights to access Child’s account or represent Child Inventory, as applicable, through the Services and, where applicable, to receive revenues in connection with such representation or management. Child must own all Sites in the Child Inventory, including the root domain of all websites and all apps included in such Child’s Child Inventory. Parent must ensure that, for all Child Inventory, each Child owns all of its Child Inventory including the root domain of all websites and all apps included in such Child’s Child Inventory. Parent and Child acknowledge and agree that Child Inventory must not have been previously disapproved by Google.

The parties acknowledge and agree that any given Child Inventory can only be managed, represented or sold by one Parent. If Partner is a Child, Partner must not also be or become a Parent of another Child. Google may limit the number of Parents a Child is permitted to appoint.

Google or its agent may verify the relationship between Child and Parent. Parent and Child acknowledge and agree that Child Inventory is subject to the same policies and rules as other inventory that use the Services (including Google Monetization), including auction rules. As between Child and Google, Child is responsible for any and all policy violations on its Child Inventory (whether such inventory is managed through Child’s account or Parent’s account), whether caused by Parent, Child, or any other party, and Google reserves the right to take any enforcement actions against Child as a result of such violations. As between Parent and Google, Parent is responsible for any and all policy violations on Child Inventory it manages or represents (whether such inventory is managed through Child’s account or Parent’s account), whether caused by Parent, Child, or any other party, and Google reserves the right to take any enforcement actions against Parent (including disabling Parent's use of MCM) as a result of such violations. If Parent's use of MCM is disabled, Parent must no longer manage or represent any Child Inventory through the Services. Unless otherwise stated in the MCM Partner Program terms and conditions between Partner and Google, Google has no obligation to provide technical support to any Parent, Child or Child Inventory.

Parent and Child must ensure that, if Child uses ads.txt on domains that offer inventory for Google Monetization, Parent must be included as an authorized seller of Child Inventory. For more information, see this Help Center page. If so requested by Google, Parent and Child must promptly add ads.txt to Child domains with Parent as authorized seller of Child Inventory.

Video Inventory. Video inventory (i.e., in-stream ad calls from both linear video content and online games) (“Video Inventory”) coming from a Child for monetization on any Google service is allowed only when Parent either: (i) owns the video player; or (ii) owns the video content; or (iii) holds exclusive sales rights to the video content. In addition, Parent and Child are each responsible for ensuring that all Video Inventory complies with these Ad Manager MCM Policies. Parent and Child are also responsible for ensuring that all Target Properties with embedded video players that contain Video Inventory comply with these Google Ad Manager Partner Guidelines.

2. Additional policies applicable to all Google Monetization (Preferred Deals, Programmatic Guaranteed, Private Auction and Open Auction)

In addition to the policies in Section 1 above, Partners participating in any Google Monetization transaction must adhere to the policies in this Section 2. "Google Monetization" means Preferred Deals, Programmatic Guaranteed, Private Auction and Open Auction.

If Partner breaches the terms and/or policies of another Google syndication product (for example, AdSense or AdMob), then Google may without notice suspend, or immediately upon notice terminate, Partner's use of the Services.

2.1. No Misrepresentation

Partners are not permitted to misrepresent to buyers information relating to their Sites' content such that buyers mistarget ads to such Sites. Please refer to the webmaster quality guidelines for guidance on best practices.

2.2. Scaled Partner Management ("SPM") Policies

Unless otherwise stated, terms defined in this Section apply only to Section 1.5 and this Section 2.2.

Child Registration. In this Section 2.2, Partner is a "Parent" if Partner sells advertising inventory through Google Monetization on a Site that is not owned and operated by Partner ("Child Inventory"). Before selling Child Inventory through Google Monetization under SPM, Parent must accurately register the Child Inventory and the party that owns the Child Inventory ("Child") through the SPM functionality, and Parent must comply with these SPM Policies. If parent does not register Child Inventory and its Child via SPM, Parent may not monetize that Child Inventory through Google Monetization.

Parent must have a direct contractual relationship with each Child, which grants Parent all necessary rights to make available and manage Child's Child Inventory through Google Monetization.

Parent must ensure that each Child owns all Sites in Child Inventory that Parent registers to it in SPM, including the root domain of all websites and all apps included in Child Inventory, unless expressly permitted by Google. The Child Inventory must not have been previously disapproved by Google. For clarity, ad networks and media sales houses may not be registered as Children, except in respect to Child Inventory which they own (which requires, without limitation, owning the root domain (in case of websites) and all apps included in Child Inventory), unless expressly permitted by Google.

Google or its agent may contact a Child for the purpose of verifying its relationship with Parent.

Child Inventory is subject to the same policies and rules as other inventory that uses Google Monetization, including auction rules. For clarity, Parent remains fully responsible for any and all policy violations on its Child Inventory, whether caused by Parent, Child, or any other party, and Google reserves the right to take any policy enforcement actions against Parent (including disabling Parent's use of SPM) as a result of such violations. If Parent's use of SPM is disabled, Parent may no longer monetize any Child Inventory through Google Monetization. Google has no obligation to provide technical support to any Child or Child Inventory.

Parents must not use Google Monetization for selling Child Inventory for which Parent directly or indirectly pays or receives a share of revenues to or from an entity that would otherwise prevent the inventory from being monetized.

Parents must ensure that, if their Children use ads.txt on domains that offer inventory for Google Monetization, Parents must be included as authorized sellers of Child Inventory. For more information, see this Help Center page. If so requested by Google, Parents must ensure Children promptly add ads.txt to Child domains with Parents as authorized sellers of Child Inventory.

Video Inventory. Video Inventory (i.e., in-stream ad calls from both linear video content and online games) coming from a Child for Google Monetization is allowed only when the Parent either: (i) owns the video player; or (ii) owns the video content; or (iii) holds exclusive sales rights to the video content. In addition, Parent is responsible for ensuring that all Video Inventory complies with these Scaled Partner Management Policies. Parent is also responsible for ensuring that all Sites with embedded video players that contain Video Inventory ("Embedded Sites") comply with these Partner Guidelines.

2.3. Ad Call Requirements

Advertising Inventory Domain Information. Partner must provide accurate domain information in its calls for Google Monetization. Ad requests with inaccurate domain information may not be processed, and may result in a blank ad. Partner may only make calls for Google Monetization from domains that Partner has registered with Google through the Google Ad Manager user interface, or as specified in Partner's Google Ad Manager contract.

Restrictions on Passing and Redirecting Inventory. Once Partner has made an ad call for Google Monetization of a given impression, Partner is not permitted to pass that impression through any other system (including Partner's own system) that dynamically or programmatically allocates ad calls based on actual or estimated real-time pricing information.

Ad Caching. Ads served to mobile applications ("In-App Ads") or sites accessed through a mobile browser must be requested dynamically and, on sites designed for viewing on mobile devices, be refreshed when the page is refreshed.

2.4. Ad Code Requirements

Ad code must be implemented pursuant to the following requirements and any other instructions from Google:

Ad Placement. Ad code must not be implemented such that ads: (i) are placed on Sites whose content or URL could confuse users into thinking these Sites are associated with Google due to the misuse of logos, trademarks, or other brand features; or (ii) are placed on, within, or alongside other Google products or services in a manner that violates the policies of that product or service.

In addition, Partners are prohibited from displaying ads through Google Monetization on pages loaded in pop-ups or pop-unders.

In-App Ads. Partners must implement In-App Ads using the latest version of the Google Mobile Ads SDK ("GMA SDK") method or an alternate Google-approved implementation.

Google no longer supports Android and iOS GMA SDKs lower than version 7.0.0. Partners may not share GMA SDK source code or uncompiled GMA SDK code with any third party.

Altering code. Ad code may not be altered, nor may the standard behavior, targeting, or delivery of ads be manipulated in any way that is not explicitly permitted by Google. For example, Partners may not adjust or alter information that is: (i) sent from a client to a Google Ad Manager tag or ad code; or (ii) sent from a Google Ad Manager tag or ad code to a client.

Technical Requirements. Partners are not permitted, whether directly or through a third party, to: (i) implement any click tracking of ads; or (ii) store or cache, in any non-transitory manner, any data relating to ads served through Google Monetization.

Sample Code. Any sample code provided by Google is an experimental, unsupported Beta Feature. It is provided for convenience only and is intended to model a possible solution.

2.5. Site Content

Sites that display ads through Google Monetization must not contain any content that is prohibited by (i) the Platforms program policies or (ii) the Google Publisher Policies.

Sites that display ads through Google Monetization that contain content in scope of the Google Publisher Restrictions will likely receive less advertising than other, nonrestricted content. Google Ads will continue not to serve on any of this restricted content; it will only receive ads from other advertising products or via the use of direct deals between publishers and advertisers.

2.6. Authorized Inventory (ads.txt)

If Partner offers inventory for Google Monetization on a domain that uses ads.txt, Partner must be included as an authorized seller of that inventory. For more information, see this Help Center page.

2.7. Interest-Based Advertising

Partner's use of a remarketing list ("User List") of any Google advertising cookies associated with a User ("User Cookie") must comply with both the Interest-based advertising provisions in the Platforms program policies, and the following policies:

Advertising Cookies Policy. Partner's use of the User Cookie via a User List is also subject to the Google Advertising Cookies Policy.

User List Transparency. Partner grants to Google the right to display to any User whose associated cookie ID is part of Partner's User Lists: (i) that the User's associated cookie ID is on at least one of Partner's User Lists; and (ii) the applicable Partner's domain or display name. Partner grants this right regardless of whether or not Partner has opted to make its inventory available by anonymous ID.

In-App Ad Remarketing. To enable remarketing of In-App Ads using mobile device identifiers designated for advertising ("advertising-specific device identifier"), Partner must disclose in its privacy policy: (i) that Partner will collect and pass to third parties advertising-specific device identifiers unless the user has opted-out of ad tracking for the device; and (ii) how a user who has opted-out of ad tracking may reset such identifier to disassociate the device from remarketing data that was collected and passed before the opt-out.

2.8. Location Data

In addition to the Location data provisions in the Platforms program policies, if Partner: (i) collects (whether through direct or indirect means); (ii) processes; or (iii) discloses to Google any information that is derived from an end user's GPS, wifi or cell tower data; then Partner must: (A) obtain express (i.e., opt-in) consent from its end users to all uses of such data; and (B) disclose in its privacy policy all such uses of such data (including, for example, any sharing of such data with third parties).

2.9. Payment Threshold

Partners must have a minimum balance of $100 in their Google Ad Manager account at the end of a given month to receive a Google Monetization payment from Google. Account balances under $100 will roll-over into the following month.

2.10. Invalid Activity

In addition to the Invalid activity provisions in the Platforms program policies, Partners must also comply with the following requirements:

Multiple Calls. For a given impression, Partners may not make repeated ad calls for Google ads in a manner that attempts to interfere with, abuse, or gain an unfair advantage in the ad auction.

Site Behavior. Partners are prohibited from displaying ads served through Google Monetization on websites and other properties that do any of the following: (i) change user preferences or initiate downloads without the user's express consent; (ii) redirect users to unwanted websites; (iii) contain pop-ups or any other elements that interfere with site navigation; or (iv) contain or trigger pop-unders.

Traffic Sources. Partners are not permitted to monetize through Google Monetization any Sites that:

  • Are loaded with software that can trigger pop-ups,
  • Redirect users to unwanted websites, or
  • Modify browser settings, or otherwise interfere with site navigation. For clarification, this prohibition precludes the use of any system that overlays or creates ad space on a given Site without the express permission of the Site owner, including toolbars.

2.11. Video and Games

Video Content and Site Content Requirements. Video inventory must be implemented pursuant to the Video publisher policy and any other instructions from Google. Partners must provide and maintain accurate metadata and description URLs for all video and game content.

Partners using the Google Interactive Media Ads (IMA) SDK to display ads through Google Monetization in video inventory are responsible for ensuring that both the video content and Embedded Sites comply with the site content requirements in these Partner Guidelines. Such Partners must disclose in their privacy policies that third parties may collect certain types of information about a user's visit to their Sites, including whether the user interacted with content on such sites.

YouTube-hosted content may only be monetized through the YouTube partner program, and not through the IMA SDK.

2.12. Sticky Ads

Partners implementing sticky ads through Google Ad Manager must adhere to the Guidelines and restrictions for implementing sticky ads.

3. Additional policies applicable to the Open Auction only

In addition to the policies in Sections 1 and 2 above, Partners participating in the Open Auction must adhere to the policies in this Section 3. (For clarity, Sites that place ads through First Look must adhere to these policies.)

3.1. Ad Placement in the Open Auction

Ads placed through the Open Auction must not be: (i) displayed in expanding buttons or animation; (ii) integrated into a non-web-based desktop application except as expressly approved by Google; (iii) placed in email programs or in emails, including email newsletters, except as expressly permitted by Google; or (iv) placed underneath or adjacent to buttons or any other object such that the placement of the ad interferes with a user's typical interaction with the website or ad.

Partners monetizing Sites through the Open Auction must ensure that at any given time, in-page Ads (i.e., ads that stay within the set dimensions of the ad slot), In-app Ads (i.e., ads served within mobile applications), and other paid promotional materials do not exceed the amount of Site content.

3.2. In-App Ads Placement in the Open Auction

In-App Ads placed through the Open Auction must not be placed: (i) underneath or adjacent to buttons or any other object such that the placement of the ad interferes with a user's typical interaction with the App or ad; (ii) in a manner that otherwise obstructs the user from viewing the content in an App; or (iii) on a "dead end" screen where the user is not able to exit the screen without clicking the ad and the user is not notified that the home button will exit the App.

3.3. Partner Restrictions in the Open Auction

Partners can choose to block advertisers, buyer networks, rich media vendors, and ads that use tagging as a means to create or use remarketing lists, or that use cookies based on interest-based categories. These restrictions can be set on an inventory segment basis or separately at the account-level. While Google does not guarantee these restrictions, Google does provide validation of sites and creatives.

3.4. Video Inventory in the Open Auction

Video Inventory in the Open Auction, including in-stream ads inventory in online games, must be implemented pursuant to instructions from Google. Partners are not permitted to: (i) traffic monetized video players using ad placements for conventional display ads such as in-banner units, or (ii) use ad banners and images as template backgrounds for video and gaming content. Ads must be placed such that users can clearly distinguish them from video and gaming content.

3.5. Google Ads in the Open Auction

When displaying Google ads on their Sites, Partner must also comply with the AdSense Program Policies, wherein "partner" is referred to as "publisher." When displaying Google ads within an App, Partner must also comply with the AdMob Program Policies.

Last updated on September 30, 2019

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