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Simulate ad requests Beta

Formerly the Delivery diagnostics tool

You can use Troubleshooting tools to simulate ad requests and help determine why a different ad delivered than the one you expected. The Simulate request feature shows you which line item would win if you were to request the ad slot again. If an unexpected line item wins the simulation, you can see details on why the line item you thought would win didn’t. You can then change targeting and tag information to try and get the desired line item to win the simulation.

Read the following to learn how to simulate ad requests, see what you can do with the simulation details, and understand why the line item that won the simulation might be different from the original winner.

The Simulate request feature doesn’t retain information on page or server state. Therefore, competitive exclusions, roadblocks, and frequency caps won’t match the original request.

Steps to simulate ad requests

  1. Follow the steps to access delivery details for mobile or desktop.
  2. In the delivery details that appear on the Troubleshoot page, click one of the More info links to expand the details for an ad slot request.
  3. Near the bottom of the expanded details, click Simulate request.
    The “Original request” and “Simulation” sections appear. See below for details.

“Original request” section

This section recreates how the ad request you selected on the Troubleshoot page actually delivered. It includes:

  • Ad request details: The request and targeting information for the winning line item.
  • Winning line item details: The delivery details for the winning line item.
  • View non-delivery reasons: Click this button to see reasons why other line items were selected to serve over this one in cases that this line item was eligible. Here are details of the possible non-delivery reasons.

“Simulation” section

This section shows what would happen if you were to request this ad slot again. It includes:

  • Ad request details: The request and targeting information for the simulated request. It defaults to the current settings.
  • Winning line item details: The delivery details for the line item that wins the simulation.
  • Search for the line item you were expecting to win: If an unexpected line item wins the simulation, you can use this box to search for the line item you thought would win and click Go. You’ll see a pop-up with the details for the winning line item on the left side, and the reasons for non-delivery of the line item you searched for on the right side. Here are details of the possible non-delivery reasons.
  • Rerun simulation: You can change the targeting and tag information under “Ad request details” and then click Rerun simulation to see if the winning line item changes. If you eventually find a simulation that provides the desired winning line item, you can go back and update the actual targeting and tag information.

Why is the line item that won the simulation different from the original winner?

There are several possible reasons for this. Here are a few:

  • Every run request, whether actual or simulated, happens dynamically. As a result, several things can change from one request to the other, including run time, goals, new line items to compete against, etc.
  • The DFP ad selection process can result in different line items serving from one ad request to the next.
  • The simulation only considers one ad slot at a time. Therefore, if original winning line item is part of a request with multiple ad slots, like a roadblock, it won’t win the simulation.
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