Google’s Answer To Header Bidding Is Now Generally Available

Google header-bidding solution Exchange Bidding has exited beta and is generally available to all publishers who use Doubleclick for Publishers (DFP), the company said Wednesday.

Google also said it is alpha testing an expansion of Exchange Bidding to new ad formats like video and buying methods like programmatic. It expects to release a beta version of those features in a few months.

Google also introduced reporting tools coupling DFP data with DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) so “publishers can gain a comprehensive understanding of their entire ad stack performance,” Jonathan Bellack, Google director of product management for publisher ad platforms, told AdExchanger in an email.

Exchange Bidding is used by hundreds of publishers – though it’s only now becoming broadly available – and new SSP partners like TripleLift, Smaato and Aerserv bring the number of exchanges to 10.

Header-bidding adoption dislodged the Google ad exchange’s preferential placement atop DFP. But with Exchange Bidding, Google made its case to publishers as a potential replacement for or as a way to monitor header-bidding technology.

Exchange Bidding relies on server-to-server connections, which are faster than the page tags some header bidding solutions rely on, and lower latency improves ad viewability, and thus yield.

It’s also faster to install, with Exchange Bidding essentially a plug-and-play product compared to heavy development and collaboration required of publishers in header-bidding integrations.

Meredith, an Exchange Bidding beta partner, said it joined because its pages loaded faster and because it consolidated exchange reporting within Google, which reduced measurement discrepancies with advertisers, Chip Schenck, the media conglomerate’s VP of programmatic sales and strategy, told AdExchanger last year.

Is it open to demand-side partners?

But Michael Richardson, AppNexus’ senior director of product line management, said Exchange Bidding trades on the transparency offered by header-bidding integrations while keeping publishers “locked in the AdX black box.”

(AppNexus is a major provider of header-bidding technologies, as is Index Exchange).

As an SSP, for instance, AppNexus could join Google’s Exchange Bidding service, but it wouldn’t be able to bring in its own DSP demand “because that would cannibalize revenue from AdX,” Richardson said.

Google is opening the supply-side service to more demand sources, though slowly and only in closed alpha tests.

Publishers who would like to use Exchange Bidding can’t apply it in all circumstances because sometimes buyers have preferred or guaranteed rates on inventory, so on those occasions the publisher wants to ignore a higher bid.

Exchange Bidding technology partners like Index Exchange and Rubicon Project will test the product applications in PMP deals where the SSP sets up preferred auction deals with external demand sources on behalf of a DFP publisher, Bellack said.

Exchange Bidding also only applies to desktop, mobile web and in-app display ads, so it won’t work with publishers who rely on non-banner inventory.

But DFP plans to open a beta program for Exchange Bidding video ad campaigns in the coming months. The inclusion of native ad SSP TripleLift as an Exchange Bidding partner and a column labeled “Not yet supported” under “Native” on the Exchange Bidding support page also indicate the company’s intention to add more ad formats.

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  1. AppNexus doesn’t own prebid, not sure why you always attribute it to them. And why site only Index when others have similar market share?