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Ad Targeting

About the ad auction

AdSense uses an auction to select the ads that appear on your site and determine how much you earn from those ads. All ads pay different amounts of money, depending on factors such as how much an advertiser has bid for the ad. The ad that wins the auction is the one that the user sees on your site.

How the ad auction works

Just like in a traditional auction, the more advertisers that bid to appear on your ad space, the higher the competition is for your ad units, and the more you can earn. The fewer restrictions you place on the ads that can show on your site, the more ads our system will be able to return, which may increase your revenue.

AdSense determines the winning bidder based on the highest net bid submitted. The net bid reflects any adjustments AdSense may, at its discretion, have made to the bid submitted by the advertiser for the purpose of optimising the auction.

Regardless of whether any adjustments are made, the winning advertiser will never be charged more than the bid that it submits. If the respective amounts of the net bids submitted are the same, the winner among those bids will be randomly chosen.

Optimising the ad auction

AdSense may run limited experiments designed to optimise the auction. These experiments may include:

  • modifying the standard auction model or mechanics
  • simulating ad calls and auctions
  • adjusting publisher settings
  • discounting certain bids submitted by advertisers or otherwise modifying the priority of the bids submitted by advertisers

Advertisers' ad targeting settings won't be modified.

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