Introduction to real-time bidding (RTB)

Learn the basics of RTB

Real-time bidding (RTB) is the process in which digital advertising inventory is bought and sold. This process occurs in less than a second.

On Authorized Buyers, you can use RTB to evaluate and bid on each available impression. This is available for any Authorized Buyer with an ad server or bid engine. No additional contract is required, but Terms of Use are referenced in your Authorized Buyers contract.

If you are interested in setting up real-time bidding, or would like more information, please contact us.

Terms to know

Publisher: An owner of a web page. 

Cookie: A small piece of data that might keep track of visits to a website, remember items in a digital shopping cart, or help personalize a web-page experience.

Personalized ads: Digital ads that let advertisers reach users based on their interests and demographics.

Advertising partners: Advertisers who work with Google and publishers to buy advertising space on a web page. In the European Economic Area (EEA), the publisher must obtain consent to process cookies, and provide information about which advertising partners data is shared with.

How RTB works

With real-time bidding, your network can receive and review pre-filtered inventory to establish and execute bids.

developer documentation Review detailed developer documentation in the Authorized Buyers Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Protocol.

Once your account is set up, here's what happens:

1. Specify inventory to receive with pretargeting

Filtered bid requests are sent based on the pretargeting configuration. These requests specify targeting criteria, such as day parting, language, geographical region, and so forth. You can specify the maximum number of requests (queries per second) that your system can receive.

2. You receive pre-filtered ad call parameters

The following parameters are passed to your system:

  • HTTP header with referrer URL (for branded sites)
  • Targeting information, such as geo and vertical
  • Truncated user IP address (IPV4 and IPV6)
  • Encrypted user cookie ID
  • Ad unit restrictions, such as restricted advertisers, creative types or product verticals

3. Your system analyzes the ad call, layers additional targeting data, and submits your bid

If submitted, the following is included in the bid:

  • CPM bid
  • Creative redirect or Google-hosted creative ID

Data rules

Google respects the data entrusted by Ad Manager publishers. As a buyer using RTB, you are bound by the RTB section of the buyer policies.

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