Personalized and non-personalized ads

EU user consent controls in DFP provide a variety of options for enabling personalized and non-personalized ads. This article details the differences between the two types of ads. Learn more about ads personalization settings in Google's publisher ad tags

Personalized ads

Personalized advertising (formerly known as interest-based advertising) is a powerful tool that improves advertising relevance for users and increases ROI for advertisers. In all our publisher products, we make inferences about a user’s interests based on the sites they visit or the apps they use. This allows advertisers to target their campaigns according to these interests, providing an improved experience for users and advertisers alike. Learn more about our advertiser policies for personalized ads.

Google considers ads to be personalized when they are based on previously collected or historical data to determine or influence ad selection, including a user's previous search queries, activity, visits to sites or apps, demographic information, or location. Specifically, this would include, for example: demographic targeting, interest category targeting, remarketing, targeting Customer Match lists, and targeting audience lists uploaded in DoubleClick Bid Manager or Campaign Manager. 

Non-personalized ads (NPA)

Non-personalized ads are ads that are not based on a user’s past behavior. They are targeted using contextual information, including coarse (such as city-level) geo-targeting based on current location, and content on the current site or app or current query terms. Google disallows all interest-based audience targeting, including demographic targeting and user list targeting.

Although non-personalized ads don’t use cookies or mobile ad identifiers for ad targeting, they do still use cookies or mobile ad identifiers for frequency capping, aggregated ad reporting, and to combat fraud and abuse. Therefore, you must obtain consent to use cookies or mobile ad identifiers for those purposes where legally required, per the ePrivacy Directive in certain EEA countries.

Non-personalized ads will not support third-party buyers or third-party ad tracking for May 25, 2018.

Non-personalized ads for programmatic

When non-personalized ads are served using either the non-personalized ad technology provider controls within DFP publisher controls, or a non-personalized ads signal is passed in the tag, the following happens for programmatic transactions (Open Auctions, Private Auctions, First Look, Preferred Deals, and Programmatic Guaranteed):

  • Ads that serve do not use information based on the user’s past behavior
  • Google does not record information against user identifiers for the purposes of personalized ads measurement or targeting
  • No ads serve using interest-based audience targeting (including demographic targeting and remarketing list targeting)
  • Ads served via GDN and DBM will only use contextual and placement targeting. These ads may use IP address for very coarse level geo-targeting (city-level) and to prevent invalid activity. These ads also use cookies and/or IDFA and AdIDs for frequency capping, aggregated ad reporting, and to combat fraud and abuse.
  • Non-personalized ads will not support third-party buyers or third-party ad tracking for May 25, 2018

Non-personalized ads for reservations

When non-personalized ads are served using the publisher controls or a non-personalized ads signal is passed in the tag, the following happens for tag-based reservation line items:

  • Google will offer a solution for publishers to select the reservation line items in their network that are eligible for non-personalized ad serving. Publishers are responsible for selecting the line items that serve, and ensuring they only choose line items that can serve in the absence of user consent to personalized ads
  • No ads serve using interest-based audience targeting (including demographic targeting and remarketing list targeting)
  • Google does not record information against user identifiers for the purposes of personalized ads measurement or targeting.

Non-personalized ads for yield groups

When non-personalized ads are served using the publisher controls or a non-personalized ads signal is passed in the tag, the following happens for yield groups using Exchange Bidding and mediation for mobile apps:

  • Exchange Bidding is disabled and no callouts are made to Exchange Bidders 
  • Mediation for Mobile Apps is not disabled

Common features impacted by non-personalized ads serving: 

  • DFP audience targeting will not be available for NPA requests
  • DFP mobile carrier targeting will not be available for NPA requests
  • DFP bandwidth targeting will not be available for NPA requests
  • Certain Data Transfer fields, such as UserId, will be unavailable
  • Deals with non-DBM buyers will not be able to transact for NPA requests
  • Deals with DBM buyers may be impacted if they use third-party pixels or audience targeting for NPA requests

Non-personalized ads changes in reporting

  • For non-personalized ad traffic, certain DFP Data Transfer fields will be blank, including UserId, AudienceSegmentIds, Bandwidth, and MobileCarrier.
  • Accuracy of DFP Reach Reporting may be impacted.
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