Best practices for trafficking Ad Exchange in DFP

Monetize your unsold inventory using DFP using AdSense or Ad Exchange to maximize yield. To enable monetization through Ad Exchange, use an Ad Exchange line item.

Ad Exchange best practices

  • Avoid frequency capping Ad Exchange line items.

    Doing so means Ad Exchange can compete with other line items as often as possible to maximize your revenue.

  • Disable AdSense monetization on ad units

    AdSense and Ad Exchange can't be called at the same time. Best practice suggests disabling AdSense when using Ad Exchange.

  • Regularly update the CPM or value CPM of line items that represent unsold inventory.

    Dynamic allocation enables Ad Exchange to compete with line items that represent unsold inventory based on their (value) CPM. As a result, Ad Exchange only serves if it can beat the competing rates of these line items. Keeping your rates accurate ensures that you maximize the yield for your inventory.

    If both a CPM rate and a value CPM are set, Ad Exchange competes against the value CPM for the line item.

    Fill rate and CPM: Use value CPM when you know the fill rate of a competing network. To calculate value CPM, take the CPM rate of the network and multiply it by the fill rate. Example: If you have a CPM rate of $2.00 and a fill rate of 75%, you should set the value CPM at $1.50.

How many line items should I create?

The best way to traffic an Ad Exchange line item in DFP is to create a single line item per syndication type (or consolidate existing line items into a single line item), then group them into a single order per account. You can then regulate your content through rules.

For example, if you have both display and mobile in-app inventory, you would navigate to Delivery and then Orders to create a new order and then:

  • Create one line item for display inventory:
    • Set the line item "Type" to Ad Exchange
    • Set "Web property alias" to the display Ad Exchange property
    • Target run-of-network inventory and all sizes you want to monetize
  • Create another line item for mobile in-app inventory:
    • Set the line item "Type" to Ad Exchange
    • Set "Web property alias" to the mobile in-app Ad Exchange property
    • Target run-of-network inventory and all sizes you want to monetize
When targeting run-of-network inventory:
  • By default, special ad units aren't targeted. You must explicitly target them if you intend to target an entire set of inventory.
  • Ad Exchange mobile in-app line items are only eligible for mobile in-app DFP requests, and Ad Exchange display line items are only eligible for display DFP requests.
Line items currently only allow you to select individual sizes, rather than all sizes at once. We recommend adding to the line item all sizes you are currently sending to DFP. Ad Exchange attempts to monetize if there is demand for a size. Run a historical report in DFP on ad request sizes to determine which sizes you monetize.

You may need multiple Ad Exchange line items per syndication type if: 

  • You use Ad Exchange video line items , because they currently contain advanced configurations.
  • You need to target more than one Ad Exchange account for accounting, access, or contractual reasons. We don't recommend this configuration; instead, we recommend merging operations into your default Ad Exchange account.
  • You need to prevent Ad Exchange native ads from competing against regular banner ads. In this case, you must have an Ad Exchange line item that contains only a “native” inventory size.

Configure a multi-size creative

To maximize yield, generate a multi-size creative when creating or editing a line item.

  • When creating a new line item, select Generate multi-size creative when saving it to generate a single creative with multiple sizes. This enables all bid requests from all specified sizes to compete against each other, resulting in higher auction pressure.
  • When editing an existing line item, select Automatically generate creative when saving it to archive your existing creatives and replace them with a single, multi-size creative.
If you have an existing DFP network, you may see a "Code snippet" box in your Ad Exchange creatives. This feature is not available to new networks and will be deprecated in the future. Learn more about "Code snippet" deprecation

Do I need to create an Ad Exchange line item for Open Auctions, Private Auctions, Preferred Deals, and First Look?

For Open Auctions, Private Auction, and Preferred Deals, you only need to create one Ad Exchange line item in total. 

DFP First Look doesn't require an Ad Exchange line item, and must be configured separately. Learn how to configure DFP First Look

Ad Exchange line item priority

Best practices for modifying Ad Exchange line item priority:

  • Line items that represent unsold inventory: do not set to a priority higher than 12 (between 1 and 11)
  • Guaranteed line items: do not set to a priority lower than 11 (greater than 11).

Doing so can result in unexpected behavior.

Block your traffic using Ad Exchange rules instead of DFP targeting

We recommend leaving Ad Exchange line items in DFP targeted as broadly as possible, and  using Ad Exchange open auction pricing rules to block traffic as needed. Centralizing your Ad Exchange blocking into a single location can reduce your operational cost and minimize opportunities for mistakes. To block across Ad Exchange and DFP for a single ad request, use advertiser and brand exclusions.

Ad Exchange open auction pricing rules don't apply to Preferred Deals, Private Auctions, or DFP First Look.

How do I target an OR condition across keys in key-values?

You must use several Ad Exchange rules/deals to separate OR conditions of DFP key-values into multiple Ad Exchange rules per key. For example, if there is a deal to target "age = 30" OR "gender = female", you need to create two deals, one targeting "age = 30" and the other targeting "gender = female".  

Can I include DFP placements in an Ad Exchange report?

Yes. Include the "DFP Placement" dimension in the Ad Exchange Historical report in DFP Query Tool. 

You can also map your DFP placement to an Ad Exchange channel so that it gets reported in the Query Tool. An Ad Exchange channel only includes data from after its creation or update.

Avoid serving Ad Exchange creatives through non-Ad Exchange line items

To benefit from dynamic allocation, we recommend you avoid serving Ad Exchange creatives as third-party creatives in non-Ad Exchange (for example, network) line items. Instead, try to serve creatives through an Ad Exchange line item in DFP in combination with Ad Exchange rules.

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