Delivery basics

Ways of transacting in Ad Manager

Learn about methods to finalize guaranteed and non-guaranteed deals

Ad Manager allows you to negotiate and finalize campaigns in a variety of ways. This article helps you understand these ways and the terminology used to describe them.

  • The Programmatic and Traditional columns show ways parties (buyers and sellers) can transact or negotiate
  • The Guaranteed campaigns and Non-guaranteed campaigns rows display types of commitment between parties

Kinds of transactions




Guaranteed campaigns

Reserved inventory



"Programmatic Guaranteed" refers to either of these line item types. Learn more about Programmatic Guaranteed line items.



Non-guaranteed campaigns

Non-reserved inventory

Preferred Deals

Indirect sold

  • Open Auctions (Ad Exchange)
  • Open Bidding
  • Private Auctions
  • First Look
  • AdSense

Price priority




Google is not a party to the contracts between publishers and third-party SSPs for the sale of digital inventory and does not restrict such parties from negotiating specific terms or pricing rules.

House and Click-tracking line items

House and Click-tracking line items do not represent transactions with buyers.

  • House line items are typically used to promote products and services of your choice, often your own, and are non-revenue generating. Learn more about House line items.
  • Click-tracking line items are a mechanism that shows you how many times a visitor to your website or app clicks a specific link. They don't serve ads and don't generate revenue. Learn more about Click-tracking line items.

Meaning of terms

A number of terms are used to describe various transactions or deal types. Below offers some clarification. 

Term or phrase Usage

Indirect sold

Transactions are characterized by the following:

  • Auction based, a one-to-many relationship between you and multiple buyers
  • No terms, promises, or obligations to deliver according to an agreement outside a single auction event
  • There may be mechanisms to provide some buyers with preferred access to inventory over other buyers

No direct negotiation occur for these transaction.

Direct sold

Transactions result from negotiations between you and a single buyer, a one-to-one relationship between you and a buyer.

A specific price is part of negotiated terms, as well as specific inventory—though the inventory may be reserved or non-reserved for the buyer, depending on the transaction. 

Programmatic versus Traditional

Traditional transactions 

Terms negotiated and finalized outside of Ad Manager, say via email, spreadsheets, or PDFs. Details are manually input into orders and line items, and creatives are manually uploaded or managed in Ad Manager. Billing, payments, and reconciliation are all manually handled by you.  

All traditional campaigns are direct-sold.

Programmatic transactions

Programmatic transactions are automated. They're finalized systematically (in an auction), and the creative is served without manual intervention and management by you—the seller hosts the creative, and Ad Manager simply makes a call for the creative when the transaction is complete.

Programmatic Direct

Historically, programmatic transactions were always indirect-sold—auction based, a one-to-many relationship between you and multiple buyers, with no specific terms outside the auction event.

However, Programmatic Direct allows you negotiate direct-sold campaigns while taking advantages of programmatic technology.

Terms are automatically negotiated and finalized systematically inside of Ad Manager. Creatives are hosted and managed by buyer. Billing, payments, and reconciliation are all automatically handled by Google.

Programmatic Guaranteed

Refers to either Standard or Sponsorship proposal line items under the Programmatic Direct feature.

Programmatic Direct also allows you to negotiate Preferred Deals, a non-guaranteed (non-reserved inventory) line item type.

Guaranteed versus Non-guaranteed

Describes the kind of commitment you and the buyer have. Non-guaranteed campaigns are not contractually obligated to deliver. Guaranteed campaigns are contractually obligated to deliver based on terms negotiated with a buyer.

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