New Changes Coming to Auctions in Google Ad Manager

Brian Blondy, April 7, 2019

Google recently announced that they would be making significant changes to the auction in Google Ad Manager by simplifying programmatic buying and selling by transitioning publisher inventory to a unified, first price auction for Google Ad Manager. Google expects the changes to roll out in 2019.

Background

Over the last few years, the methodology in which ads are bought and sold via programmatic technologies has become more and more complex. Often a single impression is offered across multiple auctions with different rules.

This complexity has made it challenging for advertisers and agencies to value programmatic inventory they wish to purchase and conversely, it has driven publishers to adopt increasingly complex ad monetization strategies, which as a result, reduces transparency across the industry.

What’s Changing?

Google has decided to switch from a single first price auction for Google Ad Manager inventory to reduce transactional complexity and create a fair and transparent market for everyone.

With this change, all prices offered from indirect buyers on Ad Manager (Google Authorized buyers, Exchange Bidding buyers and non-guaranteed line items) will compete in a single unified first price auction.

No other competing offers will set the price paid by another buyer, and the buyer that wins the auction pays the amount they bid. By simplifying our auctions in Ad Manager, we can help make it easier for publishers and app developers to manage and get fair value for their inventory.

What you should expect?

  • Google will start testing with a small percentage of traffic in the next few months before rolling out this change broadly.
  • Google plans to move Google Ad Manager to first price auction before Q4 2019.
  • Changing to a first price auction means that you will need to rethink how you use price floors and, in general, pricing strategies simplify.
  • Google plans to roll out new features to manage pricing conveniently in the unified first price auction.
  • Google said that this change would have no impact on auctions for ads on Google Search, AdSense for Search, YouTube, and other Google properties.

In the coming weeks and months as we will be updating this space with any additional news that we receive.