New TV Solutions Rolling Out in Display & Video 360

Brian Blondy, May 19, 2019

Google is taking big steps toward evolving the programmatic world by joining the online world with the connected TV ecosystem.

Google and its demand-side platform, Display & Video 360, have recently announced that they have begun making more connected TV inventory available for purchase programmatically, in addition to working to define how TV consumers will be able to control their data and the privacy in this connected TV ecosystem.  

Google expects connected TVs to be the next frontier for programmatic advertising and an emerging space that will continue to grow.

Google claims that in just the past twelve months, the number of advertisers running connected TV campaigns on Display & Video 360 has increased 137 percent from 2018 to 2019.  And as of Q2 2019, Google has made more connected TV ad slots available to advertisers using Display & Video 360. 

Here is a breakdown of what Google recently announced regarding user privacy, linear TV capabilities and how it plans to consolidate the digital and TV buying experience for marketers.

Privacy – Present

In partnership with the IAB Tech Lab’s OTT Technical Working Group, Google assisted in developing new industry standards designed to create high-quality and user-focused connected TV experiences.

Display & Video 360 supports the Working Group’s new guidelines, Identifier for Advertising (IFA), which allows advertisers to reach audiences and measure their campaigns in a manner that simultaneously enables transparency, data protection and choice over ad settings to users. 

  • New IFA standards ensure marketers the ability to manage frequency, measure reach, and develop intelligent audience segmentation strategies.
  • End-users have clear choices regarding how data is used (reset collected data, fully opt-out of interest-based advertising).
  • The IFA standards have been adopted by TV device manufacturer Roku and measurement vendor Nielson.

Linear TV – Fall 2019

Display & Video 360’s new linear TV capabilities extend reach to traditional TV viewers by allowing for the purchase of ad slots on national broadcast networks and local TV stations through a partnership with WideOrbit (network affiliates).  Soon, marketers will have access to premium national broadcast and cable channels through clypd.

Within Display & Video 360, marketers can set-up detailed campaign parameters:

  • Target users by Geography, Time, Genre or TV network
  • Manage and optimize budgets and reach

Consolidated TV Buying for Media Buyers – Fall 2019

To build a strong collaboration between TV and digital media buying, Display & Video 360 will contain a consolidated TV workflow allowing marketers to buy connected TV together with traditional TV in one place under a single TV insertion order.

FYI: First-Price Unified Auctions in Google Ad Manager

Brian Blondy, May 16, 2019

Starting in May 2019 and rolling out in full in August 2019, publishers will begin using new unified pricing rules and data sharing for first-price auctions on Google Ad Manager

The changes will have an enormous impact on the way publishers sell and advertisers buy inventory through Google’s programmatic ecosystem. 

Here is a summary of how inventory is sold today and how it will be purchased as a standard in the near future with the arrival of first-price unified auctions in Google Ad Manager.

RTB Auctions – May 2019

  • First, a second-price, real-time bidding auction runs for authorized buyers from either Google Ads, Display & Video 360 and other DSPs.
  • Second, a first-price auction then compares the winning price from the second-price auction with a publisher’s guaranteed and non-guaranteed advertising campaigns and bids from exchange bidding buyers.
  • The highest bid from all of the auctions wins.
  • Publishers are entitled to set different floor prices for each of the demand sources that they are working with.
  • Publishers are entitled to set an unlimited amount of rules for each interested buyer.
  • Authorized Buyers are not required to share and receive bid data.

TimelineExpected May – June 2019

  • 1% of the Ad Exchange traffic is revised first-price auction format. Only unified pricing rules will apply to first-priced bids.
  • Google is recommending that publishers begin recalibrating their current pricing strategies and rules as soon as possible to ensure desired floor prices are respected during the leadup to first-price unified auctions.  If unified pricing rules are not created for certain types of inventory (subscribed users, premium articles), your impressions on this inventory run the risk of being sold without a floor price in Q3 2019.
  • 5% of Ad Exchange traffic will participate in the first price auction. (June)

Unified Pricing Rules – Expected August 2019

  • Rolling out in stages throughout the summer, unified pricing rules enable publishers to control a single, unified price for their inventory across all indirect demand sources within Google Ad Manager. All inventory will now compete in a single-stage auction with consistent rules and pricing across all channels. 
  • Google’s decision to move towards unified pricing rules aims to assist publishers to easily manage and to reduce the complexity of their website’s floor prices for all non-guaranteed bidders across all indirect sources of demand.
  • First-price auctions is an adjustment to better respond to a digital ad ecosystem, which is increasingly shifting towards first-price auctions and a model where consistent pricing rules will govern all sources of demand. Google believes that first-price unified auctions create a fair and transparent market for advertisers and publishers.  With the changes, first-price auctions are now the de-facto buying method for the programmatic industry as major ad exchanges already support first-price auctions.

TimelineExpected August 2019

  • All Ad Exchange traffic will participate within the framework of the new auction dynamics – unified auction plus first price auction.
  • Open Auction pricing rules will no longer apply to any percentage of Ad Exchange traffic, and only unified pricing rules will be employed.
  • From August 2019, publishers will not be able to set different floor prices for different buying platforms after the transition. 

Unified Pricing Rules – August 2019

  • Exclusive to display and video inventory (includes publishers guaranteed campaigns, all non-guaranteed bidders, authorized buyers and everyone else – at once).
  • Open Auction via Authorized Buyers (formerly known as Ad Exchange).
  • Private Auctions (both optimized and non-optimized).
  • First Look Demand.
  • Third-Party exchanges that participate in Exchange Bidding.
  • Non-guaranteed line item types Price Priority, Network, and Bulk (Beta).
  • Bids from publishers’ guaranteed campaigns.
  • Non-authorized bidders will have the same opportunities as authorized DSPs. 
  • Google will not have last look opportunity to pay just above the winning bid after an auction to win the impression. 
  • With a unified first-price auction, Google, like all bidders, will pay the full bid amount (minus fees).
  • Does not affect auctions for Search, YouTube, AdSense for Search or other Google property inventory.

Floor Price Strategies and Rules – Expected August 2019

  • Publishers are limited to setting more than 100 rules at a platform level for each interested buyer (including Google).
  • Large publishers often prefer to use hundreds of different rules for each buyer to ensure price consistency and unique pricing to each demand source across their portfolio of programmatic and direct deals.
  • Google has recently stated that it is open to exceptions and willing to change the allowed limit if during testing they find that it is too low throughout summer 2019.
  • Publishers should focus on determining the true value of their inventory and adjust pricing reflective of their existing advertising deals and how buyers are actually valuing their inventory rather than pricing how they believe that it should be valued.

Reporting and Data SharingExpected August 2019

  • Both publishers and advertisers will have to share and receive bid data.  More bid data will be shared with publishers and advertisers than ever before.
  • Publishers will be exposed to an aggregation of data from opted-in buyers as well as deeper visibility into each type of auction to give more in-depth analytics for pricing strategies.
  • Publisher pricing from non-guaranteed advertising sources will not be shared with buyers before they bid in the auction.
  • Publishers will now have the ability to receive reporting on all bids submitted by buyers from Google Ads and Display & Video 360.
  • Both Authorized Buyers and Exchange Bidding buyers will both be able to see the winning prices for auctions they participated in.
  • Greater transparency, operational simplicity, and more informed bidders. Buyers receive more pricing insights (data) in order to more effectively evaluate a publisher’s inventory.



FYI: Unified Pricing Rules in First-Price Auctions

Brian Blondy, May 6, 2019

Google has begun rolling out an open beta on Google Ad Manager transitioning publishers to its new unified pricing rules for first-price auctions on the platform.

Unified pricing rules enable publishers to control the pricing of their inventory across all indirect demand sources from a single location (Inventory > Pricing Rules) within Google Ad Manager.

Inside Google Ad Manager, publishers can set pricing rules for all indirect demand sources to compete in a single-stage auction with consistent rules and pricing across all channels.

• Open Auction via Authorized Buyers (formerly known as Ad Exchange)
• Private Auctions (both optimized and non-optimized)
• First Look demand
• Third-Party exchanges that participate in Exchange Bidding
• Non-guaranteed line item types Price Priority, Network, and Bulk (Beta)

Google stated in its press release outlining the new changes that the move to unified pricing rules for first-price auctions will “help reduce complexity in the programmatic ecosystem to create a fair and transparent market for buyers and publishers.”

Google believes that the move to first-price auctions is a necessary adjustment to better respond to a digital ad ecosystem, which is increasingly shifting towards first-price auctions and a model where consistent pricing rules will govern all sources of demand.

As reported by AdExchanger and Digiday, many premium publishers found that aspects of the new unified pricing rules to be eroding their ability to set the market value of their impressions independently.

First, publishers are limited from setting rules at a platform level (the buyer level). Formerly publishers set different floor prices for each of the demand sources that they are working with.

Second, publishers are capped at setting 100 rules for specific buyers (including Google). Large publishers often prefer to use hundreds of different rules for each buyer to ensure price consistency across their portfolio of programmatic and direct deals.

Google recently stated that it is open to exceptions and willing to change the allowed limit if during testing they find that it is too low. This will be something for publishers to monitor throughout Summer ’19.

Publishers are concerned that being capped by a set number of rules for unified pricing will restrict them from applying specific pricing unique to each of their demand sources. Commonly publishers set their floor prices higher for Google. Conversely, publishers expect Google to buy more at a reduced price thus elevating fears of a reduction in ad revenue. It remains to be seen whether a universal decrease across all exchanges and SSPs will amount to less revenue earned if more buyers are purchasing inventory that was being sold at a higher floor price previously.

Google stated that it would begin sharing more bid data than they have previously with publishers. This data will be an aggregation of data from opted-in buyers as well as deeper visibility into each type of auction to give publishers more in-depth analytics for pricing strategies.

Google believes that the new unified pricing rules will ease the management of inventory pricing across all indirect sources of demand. The proposed changes are expected to nudge publishers to begin recalibrating their current pricing strategies to be ready for Q3 2019.

Starting in late May, Google will introduce 1% of the Ad Exchange traffic to its revised first-price auction format, where the highest bid in the auction determines winning bids. Only unified pricing rules will apply to first-priced bids.

In June, 5% of Ad Exchange traffic will participate in the first price auction will increase to five percent (5%).

By August, all Ad Exchange traffic will participate within the framework of the new auction dynamics – unified auction plus first price auction. Open Auction pricing rules will no longer apply to any percentage of Ad Exchange traffic, and only unified pricing rules will be employed.

Google is recommending that publishers begin setting unified pricing rules as soon as possible to ensure desired floor prices are respected during the leadup to first-price unified auctions. This is important because if unified pricing rules are not created for certain types of inventory (subscribed users, premium articles), your impressions on this inventory run the risk of being sold without a floor price.


Eight Indicted for Causing Tens of Millions in Losses in Ad Fraud Scheme

Brian Blondy, December 9, 2018

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) presented a wide-ranging indictment charging eight individuals with 13-counts of wire fraud, computer intrusion, aggravated identity theft, and money laundering for allegedly masterminding and operating the 3ve (pronounced “eve”) and Methbot digital ad fraud scams.

The DOJ charged the individuals with amassing in upwards of $30 million of fraudulently earned ad revenue from advertisers seeking to place ads on prominent global websites.

The defendants allegedly used a server farm and a sophisticated botnet of computers to simulate the delivery of billions of impressions which never appeared on websites or were ever viewed by actual internet users.

The accused are Aleksandr Zhukov, Boris Timokhin, Mikhail Andreev, Denis Avdeev, Dmitry Novikov, Sergey Ovsyannikov, Aleksandr Isaev, and Yevgeniy Timchenko. Ovsyannikov was arrested in October 2018 in Malaysia; Zhukov was arrested in November 2018 in Bulgaria; Timchenko was arrested in November 2018 in Estonia, all under provisional arrest warrants issued at the request of the United States.

All of the arrested await extradition to the US, while the other five remaining defendants remain at large. (DOJ)

The DOJ indictment also includes seizure warrants authorizing the FBI to take control of Swiss bank accounts, 31 internet domains, as well as search warrants authorizing the FBI to extract information from 89 computer servers which formed the infrastructure of the botnet network of computers which engaged in the digital advertising fraud.

How The Ad Scam Worked

Between the years of 2014 to 2016, the accused individuals operated a purported advertising network (Methbot) to carry out the digital ad fraud operation.

The defendants arranged partnerships with global SSPs to place ad tags across their network of websites in exchange for ad revenue payments.

Rather than placing the ad tags on actual websites, the defendants instead utilized nearly 2,000 US-based computer servers to load ads onto fake websites by “spoofing” the ad impressions across more than 5,000 domains.

In order to create the illusion that actual human beings were interacting with the ads, the accused programmed datacenter servers to simulate internet activity – fake mouse movement, the starting and stopping of video players, and falsely showing users signed into Facebook on the websites.

An agency or advertisers looking to purchase inventory on premium websites would see the name of the prominent publishers on the ad exchange even though the site was, in fact, a masquerading as a legitimate version of a website. The bots would then visit the fake site and view the impressed ad to generate revenue.

The internet scheme falsified billions of ad impressions and caused defrauded advertisers more than $7 million for ads that were never actually viewed.

The defendants leased over 650,000 IP addresses, assigned multiple IP addresses to each datacenter and then fraudulently registered the IP addresses to create the illusion that the datacenter servers were residential computers belonging to internet users subscribers to local internet service providers.

In parallel, the accused are purported to have also operated an additional, and more profitable, advertising network (3ve) to carry out another advertising fraud scheme in addition to the Methbot operation.

The defendants operated a global botnet of 1.7 million malware-infected computers – each infected with hidden browsers which downloaded fabricated webpages and loaded ads onto these websites.

The actual owners of the infected computers were unaware that the ad fraud process was running in the background of their computer.

In total, the internet scheme falsified billions of ad impressions and caused defrauded advertisers more than $29 million for ads that were never actually viewed.

According to security firm Proofpoint, a vast majority of the millions of infected computers acquired the malware after being tricked by misleading ads shown on websites such as Pornhub.com, which stated that their browser or Adobe Flash required a “critical” update.

Industry experts believe that the malware included “anti-forensic” characteristics which prevented it from being detected or removed from infected computers as well as having digital self-awareness not to load itself onto already malware-infected computers which might by association blow their cover upon discovery.

How the Ad Scam Was Stopped

According to Buzzfeed News, Google and WhiteOps partnered together to begin analyzing information about a botnet they were both tracking in the first months of 2017.  The bots by design were programmed to visit specific websites in order to generate page views and ad impressions that resulted in ad revenue for the fraudsters.

In the following months, the botnet managed to evolve and modify its behavior after measures were taken to filter out the traffic from the advertising systems.

By summer 2017, Google and WhiteOps approached industry partners to address the botnet.  Industry leaders were leery that the Botnet’s size and power to defraud advertisers would begin eroding confidence, stability, and trust in the entire ad ecosystem.

The FBI organized a meeting of digital advertising and cybersecurity experts in August 2017 to build out a robust response to a massive ad fraud scheme which presented an existential risk to the stability of the global digital advertising industry.

The meeting would set in motion a criminal investigation into confronting the “largest and most sophisticated digital ad fraud operation experts have ever encountered.”

By October 2018, the FBI, working alongside and briefing its private sector partners, privately informed the group that it was ready to take down 3ve.

On Oct. 22, the number of bids for ads submitted to ad systems from sites associated with 3ve went from 375,000 at 12 am to 0 by 6 pm the same day. The FBI killed the 3ve operation in 18 hours.

Can You Avoid Getting Scammed by Ad Fraud?

According to the World Federation of Advertisers, ad fraud is currently only superseded by the illegal drug trade in annual revenue.

In 2018 alone, an estimated USD 19 billion stolen from advertisers and publishers by ad fraud — a staggering figure which mostly contributes to reducing advertiser confidence in the industry.

Is there a way to avoid being defrauded by fake inventory? We asked our in-house media buying agency, MediaTraderz, whether it is even possible to avoid purchasing fake inventory.

“It is always challenging to be 100% certain that the traffic you are interested in purchasing is indeed legitimate and not fraudulent. In our experience, our first step is to usually look for abnormal behavioral originating from the publisher in order to understand the source of the inventory,” said Gadi Elias, Programmatic Team Leader at MediaTraderz.

“When we see unusually low prices for what is usually premium inventory, we tend to view that opportunity with a sense of skepticism and primarily avoid it. Also when we see abnormal volumes of inventory for usually low traffic domains or apps we often use several of the industry’s best fraudulent authentications tools (WhiteOps, ProtectedMedia, and DoubleVerify) as solutions for better understanding what we are seeing on the exchange,” said Elias.

 

Google Ads or Display & Video 360 – Which is a Better Buying Platform for You?

Brian Blondy, December 1, 2018

Google Ads or Display & Video 360?

That is the question.

Google offers marketers two excellent platforms for buying programmatic inventory, Google Ads (via the Google Display Network) and Display & Video 360 (via the Google Marketing Platform).

Despite both having equally effective programmatic capabilities for marketers looking to buy digital advertising, the two platforms are entirely different from each other based on the available features and capabilities each uniquely offers digital marketers.

To bring clarity to the uniqueness of both platforms, we will be analyzing the precise differences between Google Ads and Display & Video 360 and then identifying which buying platform, or whether both used in parallel, would perhaps be the most correct strategy for your company’s current programmatic media buying activities and goals.

Introduction

Google Ads (Google AdWords)

Google’s most used advertising service for marketers for search & display ads on Google and its advertising network. The Google Ads program enables businesses to set a budget for advertising and only charges when users click (CPC model) the ads.

  • Google owns the world’s largest online display advertising network. (comScore).
  • Google display campaigns reach 80% of global internet users. (Google Benchmarks and Insights).
  • Consumers exposed to display ads are, on average, 155% more likely to search for brand-and segment-specific terms. (Specific Media).
  • Businesses make an average of $2 in revenue for every $1 they spend on AdWords. (Google Economic Impact Report)
  • 72% of AdWords marketers plan to increase their PPC budgets (Search Engine Watch).This is a strong indication that those businesses were generating positive ROI, because if they were not, then they wouldn’t increase their budgets.

Display & Video 360 (DoubleClick Bid Manager)

  • Google’s demand-side platform (DSP) that offers agencies, trading desks, and advertisers access to the world’s most exclusive collection of display, video, native and mobile inventory available in real-time.
  • Display & Video 360 is the evolution and consolidation of DoubleClick Bid Manager, Campaign Manager, Studio, and Audience Center. It offers a single tool for planning campaigns, designing and managing creatives, organizing and applying audience data, finding and buying inventory, and measuring and optimizing campaigns.
  • Display & Video 360 also offers keyword targeting similar to Google Ads but instead of targeting specific search keywords, Display & Video 360 is about contextual keywords.

Key Features Comparing Google Ads to Display & Video 360

Creative Options

Google Ads

  • Text, Image, HTML5 (only available for accounts with more than $1,000 total lifetime spend and requires sending an application to Google), Dynamic Creatives and Video Ads.
  • Build and manage creatives in “Ads & Extensions.”

Display & Video 360

  • Image, Rich Media (with Campaign Manager), HTML5, Native, Video Ads and Dynamic Creatives (only available with Campaign Manager and a Google Merchant Center account linked to a Google Ads account).
  • Display & Video 360 features a format gallery, an area offering descriptions about each format alongside with example ads for reference.
  • Build and manage creatives with Ad Canvas, Display & Video 360’s visual editor to build and edit creatives in real time.
  • Use data-driven creatives to personalize your creative’s look and feel for different customer segments: Panorama, Cue Cards, Blank Slate.

Third Party Data

Google Ads

Google Ads is limited to buying only on the Google Display Network (GDN).

  • Location and language targeting
  • Keyword targeting
  • Device targeting
  • Remarketing

Display & Video 360

  • The ability to find the users who could be the ones most interested in your solutions and most likely to convert or purchase.
  • Display & Video 360 provides marketers access to 35 third-party data providers*, which allows you to find users that are similar to your current website visitors, i.e., the types of people who are currently searching for the products/solutions that you offer, and specific demographics or affinity segments.
  • In addition to third-party providers, marketers will also benefit from third-party verification services, which is commonly called third-party data.

 

Device Targeting / Reach

Google Ads GDN

  • Google Ads is limited to buying only on the Google Display Network (GDN).
  • Location and language targeting.
  • Keyword targeting.
  • Device targeting.
  • Remarketing users who have previously visited your website. 

Display & Video 360

  • Integrated with 90 Ad Exchanges and includes approx. 1 billion websites. Advertise across all screens -Desktop, Smartphones, Tablets, Connected TVs (Tablet, Smart TV).
  • Advanced Targeting capabilities –Locate and target your current and desired customers based on specific demographics, interests and their purchase intent by using Google’s data. Audience frequency caps for excluding users based on the number of impressions they have been served (across media, channels, and identity spaces).
  • Data Management Platforms (DMP) integration by combining first and third-party data to enable buyers to seek out audiences who have either visited or not visited your website.
  • Audience profile analysis which allows marketers to understand the composition of your selected audience (either first-party or combined audiences) based on its overlap with all other audiences in Display & Video 360 (e.g., Google data, first and third-party segments, combined audiences, and other data sets you have access to).
  • Use your cookies and pixels to reach and monitor your target users across the Google Marketing Platform (only with linked accounts with products in the Google Marketing Platform).
  • Campaign activity features the option to create an audience based on the number of clicks, conversions, and impressions (which are based on first-party remarketing lists or lead to conversions). Once established, you can target the new audience list in multiple line items, both current and future.

 

Private Marketplaces (PMPs) & Programmatic Guaranteed (PG)

 

Private Marketplaces (PMP)

An invitation-only RTB auction where one publisher or a group of select publishers invite specific buyers to bid on inventory. The buyer/advertiser knows precisely which sites and ad placements their advertisements will appear on.

 

Programmatic Direct

Method for advertisers to automate direct ad buys for premium campaigns.

Programmatic direct incorporates both programmatic guaranteed deals and preferred non-guaranteed deals. Programmatic direct differs from real-time bidding in that it is a guaranteed-buy rather than an auction like RTB.

Publishers and advertisers are adopting programmatic direct because it allows for premium purchases to be conducted programmatically rather than through the traditional method of direct ad buys.

 

Google Ads

  • Limited to real-time bidding (RTB), buying ads through computer-run, real-time auctions.
  • Google Ads buyers do not have access to private auctions and direct buying opportunities.

Display & Video 360

  • Distinguishes itself from Google Ads by giving marketers the ability to target premium inventory available from high trafficked websites across the world via direct deals with publishers and PMPs and programmatic guaranteed buying opportunities.
  • Premium inventory is made available to every partner using Display & Video 360.
  • Buyers can also purchase a set amount of impressions to a particular website’s inventory through Display & Video 360.

 

Bidding Strategies

Google Ads

  • Automated Bidding based on marketing goals.
  • Manual Bidding for specific keywords & ad groups.
  • Bid Adjustments – Gives the user the ability to increase or decrease bids based on a set percentage.

Display & Video 360

Fixed Bid – Flat CPM, no automation used

  • How it Works: Use “Fixed Bidding” to have Bid Manager place the same bid on every impression inputted by the user, regardless of the impression value.

Minimize CPC/Minimize CPA – While spending budget in full, minimize action cost based on set goal

  • How it Works: Use “While spending full budget, Minimize CPC/Minimize CPA” to have Bid Manager automatically change your line item’s bid to get the best CPC or CPA performance possible, given the amount you have to spend to exhaust your budget

Meet or Beat a Goal of CPC/CPA –  Priorities Performance over Spend

  • How it Works: Use “Meet or beat goal of CPC/CPA” to have Bid Manager automatically change your line items bid to meet or beat a specific performance goal. If Bid Manager can’t both hit your performance goal and spend all of your line items budget, Bid Manager won’t spend all of your line items budget. If your line items goal is overly aggressive, your line item may not be able to spend its entire budget.

Display & Video 360

Viewability – Maximize the number of viewable impressions

  • How it Works: Use “Optimize for viewable CPM bid” to have Bid Manager automatically change your line item’s bid based on the probability that each available impression will be viewable.
  • For example, if you set a viewable CPM goal of $2 and an impression is 40% likely to be viewable based on Active View’s prediction model, Bid Manager’s automated bidding will bid $0.80 CPM (which is 40% of $2).

For mobile app install line item:

  • By default, it’s set to automated bidding to minimize cost per action (CPA). Because the action in this case is typically an app install, the default bid strategy is designed to minimize the cost per install (CPI).

 

Video Exchanges

Both Google Ads and Display & Video 360 allow marketers to purchase video ads on YouTube.

Specifically, the core difference between the two platforms is Google Ads is connected to the AdX exchange as well as any website serving video through the GDN whereas Display & Video 360’s power lies in its ability access to high-traffiked, premium websites from over 35 video exchanges.

Premium video inventory – Buy brand-safe video inventory for YouTube and TV programmatically through Google Partner Select, Display & Video 360’s premium video marketplace.

It is important to mention that Display & Video 360’s immense strength for video is a massive reason for adding Display & Video 360.  Since Google Ads is limited to the YouTube network and a smaller pool of websites offering video, Display & Video 360’s ability to offer 35 additional exchanges provides a considerable advantage for a marketer looking to launch video campaigns and would like to diversify and expand out the campaigns as far and wide as possible.

 

 

 

Reporting and Optimization

Both Google Ads and Display & Video 360 offer:

  • Instant Reporting – Allows you to see data immediately, instead of waiting for a report to run and then downloading the file for offline viewing. Instant Reporting is excellent for quick performance checks, ad-hoc reports, and routine analysis of standard dimensions and metrics. Instant reports can be single-use or saved for later, and also made into visualizations like bar and pie charts.
  • Funnel Analytics Measurement – Deep dive into all of your real-time analytics data to investigate whether your campaigns are reaching the right audiences and converting into leads.
  • Precise Campaign Management – Develop and manage your campaigns using Google’s advanced algorithms to adjust and optimize your bids, budgets and optimization strategies to reach your specific campaign goals.
  • Display & Video 360 allows marketers to view the number of impressions, ad clicks and specific website conversions that originated from the ad campaign.

Google Ads

Google Ads offers marketers reports which highlight post-click performance and essential metrics about the users.

Google Ads Reports Cover: Acquisition-Behavior-Conversion (ABC) cycle:

  • User acquisition paths.
  • User behavior on site.
  • Conversion patterns.

Google Ads reports show essential metrics from both Google Ads (Clicks) and Google Analytics (Bounce Rate).

 

Display & Video 360

  • Display & Video 360’s reporting system helps you to analyze performance across Display & Video 360 and take action based on those results, including instant reporting that allows you to quickly access data within Display & Video 360 without waiting for reports to export.
  • Full reporting of more than 66 dimensions and 145 metrics for viewing the essential metrics of a campaign.
  • Manual adjustments – Going through the ads one by one and adjusting the bid.

Should you add Display & Video 360?

Display & Video 360 will expand and benefit your current abilities to reach your intended audiences. You may be asking, “Why to switch things up when Google Ads is working well?”. We’re confident that if you’re asking this question, then your Google Ads campaigns are probably experiencing positive ROI at a low cost. We want to congratulate you, well done.

However, the central thesis of this eBook isn’t to try to persuade your company to ditch your Google Ads account in favor of a shiny, new Display & Video 360 account.

Instead, as a Google Certified Marketing Partner (GCMP), we would be remiss to ignore the massive benefits Google Ads yields and the success it is potentially already bringing to your company from running ads on the GDN.

We recommend that you should add Display & Video 360 and keep your Google Ads account.

The fact that you are opening a discussion about Display & Video 360 within your marketing plans, reflects the advanced nature of where your company’s digital marketing progress is in general. More specifically, if you’re looking to conquer the next digital frontier with your campaigns, Display & Video 360 is indeed the next building block after Google Ads for digital marketers aiming to take on online video advertising and higher budgets for display advertising on premium websites.

Google Ads is great for video campaigns for reaching audiences in YouTube. Though if you’re serious about running video ad campaigns, Google Display & Video 360 is immensely more suited for your goals since you can reach YouTube in addition to 96 ad exchanges which support video ad formats.

Our perspective is that advertisers should segment Display & Video 360 and Google Ads to each run specific campaigns in parallel to challenge each other and test each platform’s ability to achieve positive ROI. We believe that it is a positive approach to reach new audiences and earn better results. If your company is beginning to feel as though it needs to diversify itself into new exchanges, we can assist you in the decision to start using Display & Video 360 and combine it with Google Ads.

At Total Media, we have an abundance of experience working with premium advertisers seeking to maximize their ROI through Google Ads and Display & Video 360. If you would like to begin using Display & Video 360 and are not sure how to start or how to best use Display & Video 360, we can help you with everything along the way.

 

EBDA is now available as a part of Google Ad Manager 360!

Brian Blondy, August 29, 2018

Exchange Bidding Dynamic Allocation (EBDA) feature within Google Ad Manager (GAM) where exchanges and SSPs can bid on a publishers’ inventory, in addition to inventory sourced from the Google Ad Manager’s Ad Exchange (DoubleClick AdX), all within a unified auction inside the platform.

Introduced as a response to Header Bidding, EBDA gives new control to publishers to approve and onboard partners within GAM to access their inventory programmatically. The result is a unified auction on a much evener playing field, with the publisher in the driving seat. The feature is geared towards promoting unified competition for every impression, increasing yield and earned revenue for publisher inventory while reducing a publisher’s workload.

Using EBDA the entire flow for the publisher takes place within Google’s infrastructure, with Google handling the auction, reporting, billing and payments. This integrated approach will be a huge financial and operational benefit to publishers since they will not need to wait for payments from each of their demand partners every month. Whereas in the past a publisher would need to wait or even chase for their monthly earnings, Google will now deliver payment to publishers of all of the revenue earned.

Additionally, EBDA differs from Header Bidding in that it allows for a direct connection to exchanges through GAM rather than through linkage in a header bidding code on the publisher’s website. This difference alone gives publishers an opportunity to benefit from EBDA by significantly reducing latency caused by calling multiple Demand Sources in the head of the page and complexity within the publisher’s AdServer.

EBDA is important because it is the next stage of the industry transforming to fully programmatic. Whereas previously publishers were working with tag-based networks which would compete for an imperfect price against AdX which evolved into Header Bidding, EBDA enables publishers unmatched integration in one platform for bidding in real-time programmatically.

 

EBDA IS BUILT FOR PUBLISHERS:

  • EBDA is exclusively available within Google Ad Manager 360, the world’s premier ad serving platform for publishers.
  • Benefit from increased global competition and demand for your inventory.
  • Independently approve and onboard your demand partners directly into EBDA.
  • Reduced load latency and complexity for the partner tags in the page </head>.
  • Reduced complexity in your Ad Server.
  • Simplified auctions, reporting and billing for publishers.
  • Single timely monthly payment for all of your revenue earned.

OUR OFFER TO YOU:

If you would like to begin using Google Ad Manager with EBDA to earn more revenue from every impression, we are ready to partner with you to reach your goals.  For over ten years, our unmatched publisher solutions maximize revenue through advanced proprietary optimization technologies, analysis management tools and services.  We have extensive experience working with publishers to reach optimal revenue results from primary and other indirect demand sources. We are an official certified reseller and publishing partner of Google and we will provide you with access to Google Ad Manager 360 and EBDA.

  • Expert EBDA management of your inventory through elite optimization and yield management strategies.
  • Complete unification of all of your inventory inside Google Ad Manager 360.
  • More demand than you’re currently working with – OpenX, Index Exchange, Rubicon, Smaato, Sovern, and Pubmatic and more to come.
  • Expert monetization team and resources to support you every step of the way.

If you would like more information about EBDA or want to hear from us about how Google Ad Manager can benefit your website by increasing your revenue, you can contact us here.

 

Advertisers Can Now Exclusively Buy from ads.txt Supported Websites

Brian Blondy, August 14, 2018

Google announced the introduction of inventory controls in its Google Marketing Platform, specifically within Display and Video 360 (formerly DoubleClick Bid Manager) allowing advertisers to selectively choose to buy from websites which exclusively support ads.txt authorized inventory and exclude themselves from buying inventory from sites not using the ads.txt file.

The recently released Display and Video 360 (formerly called DoubleClick Bid Manager), a part of the Google Marketing Platform, allows advertisers to execute ad campaigns end-to-end in one place, creating efficiency in how teams work and helping teams do more together.  For more on Display & Video 360, click here.

Ads.txt allows publishers place on their website server a .txt file which explicitly lists which companies they sell their inventory through.  The file lists partners by name, but also includes the publisher’s account ID.  This is the same ID buyers see in a bid request, which they can use as a key for campaign targeting.  Buyers use a web crawler to download all the ads.txt files and the information contained within on a regular basis and use it to target their campaigns.   This means buyers know that if they bid on request that comes from an authorized ID, it’s coming from a source the publisher trusts or has control over.

 

Photo credit: Google

 

Originally launched in Q4 2017, Ads.txt has proved to be highly adopted and successful.  According to a blog post written by Tobias Maurer, Google senior product manager, ads.txt is making a big impact on the industry.

Nearly 600,000 publishers have adopted ads.txt since October 2017, specifically, 430,000 domains have added ads.txt files to their website since February 2018.

“We’re proud to say that nearly 90 percent of our publisher partners have adopted ads.txt. What’s more, over 80 percent of the available inventory across exchanges accessed by Display & Video 360 is now authorized. Finally, as more websites continue to adopt the standard, we plan to make the ads.txt-only inventory control the default setting for Display & Video 360 by the end of 2018. said Maurer.”

 

For more information about Ads.txt:

What is Ads.txt and Why is it a Hot Topic Right Now? Read here.

A Conversation about Ads.txt with Mr. Sherzod Rizaev of MinuteMedia (Full) – Read here

6 Ways to Increase your Mobile Game Monetization

Brian Blondy, March 12, 2018

With mobile game revenue at an all-time high in 2017, game developers are hurrying to find the perfect balance between user experience and ROI. It takes a lot of money, time, and effort to get the ball rolling and, obviously, the end goal is to make money – not only to cover costs but to make a profit as well. Yes, in-app purchases are a great way to stimulate a revenue stream but with only 5% of app users willing to spend money on in-app features, there is a roof. You want to find that sweet spot between game design and monetization so that your users will return and you can keep the lights on.

 

I love pop-up ads…. said no user ever.

You’ve developed a game you know users will love and you would hate to see your hard work go to waste because of intrusive ads. One misplaced ad during an epic battle moment or a prize reveal could cost you a user and, at the rate gaming apps are being downloaded for iOS and Android, this could mean even thousands more. Avoid annoying your users by becoming familiar with less-intrusive ad formats and designing your game accordingly, so that you won’t be that game.

 

Love the player and the game.

About as close to sweet spot as it gets, rewarded video is a win-win situation for both you and your users, and, not to mention, for advertisers (win-win-win?). Reach the 95% of non-paying users by offering them in-app currency for watching video ads. This way, your user gets “free” currency while you and your advertisers make real money. You can play around with the placement: pre-gameplay, mid-gameplay, or post-gameplay. Just make sure that your gamer isn’t in the middle of finally finding out what’s over the wall. Who said that UX and ROI need to come at the expense of one another?

 

You play the field while they play the game.

User experience doesn’t stop at ad placement and timing. Contextual targeting is critical for maximizing your ad earning. You can target different users by considering keywords, time, and specific messages – basically finding a way to connect with them through user experience. By working with multiple ad networks, you can ensure suitable ads for all your users and make things less “spammy”. Different ad networks will offer diverse eCPMs – the more suitable the ad request for your users, the higher the eCPM and the more money you can make.

 

If you can’t beat them, join them.

Here’s a thought – designing your game with the ads in mind. This is a great way to ensure natural integration of advertisements and smooth user experience. By leveraging art and animations into the game itself, you can tie ads into the storyline of the game – more of an inception, if you will. Ad earnings will increase with better visibility and user engagement.

 

If you got it, flaunt it.

If you haven’t designed it yet, make sure you consider a premium model of your game. A free version attracts more users and is more effective for long-term user acquisition than paid games. However, by leveraging in-app purchases for temporary upgrades, your loyal users may eventually want a premium version of the game and will be willing to pay to have certain permanent features. If not, they will still stick around for the free version.

 

Embrace the data.

Analytics and data are helpful for game developers to better understand their users. You can see metrics such as what kind of users the game is attracting, how long they play, and what features they like most. This is great for tweaks, adjustments, and overall user satisfaction. Using data and analytics to funnel your users’ willingness to pay is a clever way to increase ad revenue. For example, if native or video ads are causing users to leave the app, consider analyzing user data and showing ads once players reach a particular level or after a certain amount of time spent playing. More likely than not, these users like the game by this point and won’t be scared off by ads.

 

Talia Chudacoff is a Senior Account Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Talia by email at talia(at)mediatraderz(dot)com or on LinkedIn

Here’s What You Need to Know About the New Ad Blocker in Google Chrome

Brian Blondy, February 15, 2018

 

Google has officially enabled its new built-in ad blocker in Chrome today (February 15, 2018) which will automatically remove unacceptable ads and popups from websites across the web. The ad blocking tool empowers the browser to exclude specific types of ads, which as a result will motivate website owners to stop using them.

Using standards defined by the Coalition for Better Ads group (Google is a sitting member), Google will be targeting the following ads types on a site-by-site basis with the new tool:

 Desktop

  • Pop-up Ads
  • Presititial ads with countdown
  • Auto-play video ads with sound (Outstream)
  • Large sticky ads

Mobile

  • Pop-up Ads
  • Presititial ads with countdown
  • Auto-play video ads with sound (Outstream)
  • Poststitial Ads with countdown
  • Density >30%
  • Flashing animated ads
  • Large sticky ads
  • Full-screen scroll over ads

 

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google calls the pre-installed and enabled plugin as an “ad filter,” rather than an ad blocker, for preventing non-compliant advertisements from loading during a user website experience.

 

Google has adopted a three-step process for evaluating websites. First, informing the sites of the non-compliancy, and then giving an opportunity to the websites to correct the instances prior to eventually enforcing an ad block.

Google’s evaluation is based on the Better Ads standards and then scoring the website based on a pass, warning or fail rating system.  Google has given website owners the ability to access the evaluations via an API, in addition to allowing for sites to be re-reviewed after rectifying flagged ads after a review.  If a website has been rated as having violations and the owner does not respond or act upon Google’s recommendations for addressing the violations, then Chrome will begin blocking ads from the website after 30 days.

 

To assist publishers for preparing for the introduction of the plugin, Google has released a self-service tool called “Ad Experience Reports,” which notifies publishers of the current instances of non-compliant advertisements on their website alongside solutions for removing the known issues.

In a post published on Google’s official blog, Sridhar Ramaswamy, Senior VP for Ads & Commerce at Google, said that the reason for introducing measures to combat ad blocking was meant to assist and ensure publishers continue earning revenue in Chrome despite the prevalence of widespread adoption of 3rd party blocking software.

“We believe these changes will ensure all content creators, big and small, can continue to have a sustainable way to fund their work with online advertising.”

The ad blocker is placed in Chrome’s address bar on desktop and on through a notification on mobile near the bottom of the page that informs the user that ads have been blocked. Users of both desktop and mobile versions of Chrome will have the option to allow ads to be shown on site’s where ads have been blocked.

 

Based on the growing popularity of ad blocking plugins and the staggering impact they have caused to publisher revenue over the past few years, it’s logical that Chrome, the internet’s most used browser, would have to eventually take bold steps to address the growing ad blocking issue in Chrome.

Google is offering assurances that the Chrome tool will not be limited to only blocking ads from non-Google demand sources, meaning that the extension will also block non-compliant ads originating from Google’s programmatic sources.

Despite Google’s assertion of neutrality, it still remains to be seen whether the actions of the Chrome tool will adversely affect publishers’ revenue, their ability to monetize as they deem fit, as well as the reality that the tool may have the absolute power to weaken Google’s programmatic competition by blocking ads in a widespread manner inside all versions of Chrome.

 

 

Brian Blondy is the Marketing Manager at Total Media.  You can contact Brian by email at brian(at)totalmediasolutions(dot)com or on LinkedIn

 

The Best SSP for Publishers

Brian Blondy, February 13, 2018

February is an excellent time to begin asking whether the SSPs connected to your ad units have the potential to earn you the maximum yield for every impression you serve. Collectively we can point to dozens of name brand SSPs that provide sufficient monetization and fill rates for publishers.

Our experience working with publishers worldwide tells us that Q4 traditionally features larger budgets and more activity in comparison to Q1, a  typically calmer quarter yielding less revenue and advertiser campaigns. Q2 is approaching and with it comes new monetization opportunities.

The use of the word working relates less to how much revenue you earned from your ad units in Q1 but instead serves as a means for evaluating the fill rates and eCPM performance of each of your ad units. This concept also relates to your critical evaluation of the quality of ads, response rates and service provided by the platform(s).

But let’s talk about what’s really important which SSP will perform the best for you and make you the most revenue for every impression! if your website has more than 5M monthly visitors and you’re not earning significant income, you should be ready to make the necessary changes

We have spent the past year researching the best programmatic supply source providers (SSPs), analyzing countless ads arriving from various sources, and interviewing our clients regarding their revenue performance.

One thing remained clear throughout: DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) is the best SSP for achieving superior monetization results for your website in 2018.

 

AdX is the World’s Best SSP for Publishers in 2018

This year we made DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX) our top choice for SSP. Owned and operated by Google, AdX outperforms the competition by connecting publishers into the world’s largest exchange of global inventory.  AdX is Google’s exclusive programmatic platform featuring Real-Time Bidding (RTB) technology for premium websites to be paired with premium advertisers.

AdX pairs buyers and sellers across the industry and works with premium publishers and advertisers in the world’s largest real-time programmatic RTB bidding exchange. The AdX marketplace is connected to ad networks, agencies, and third-party demand-side platforms and powered by advertiser demand, conducted via live auction for the ad units.

If you have more than 5M visitors visiting your website per month, then you should strongly consider switching over to AdX. Publishers featuring ad units monetized by AdX expose themselves to the world’s most premium advertisers who are eager to spend significant advertising budgets on widely trafficked sites. Just this difference alone between membership in AdX equates to a substantial financial gain for the publisher who qualifies and begins using AdX.

AdX comes with AdWords buyers baked in which brings together the best of both of these worlds into one package. As a result, your website’s premium demand is amplified by the continued competitive presence of AdWords demand in the connected ad units.

Also, AdX reaches its full potential when it is enabled to compete with other networks via Google’s ad serving platform – DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP). By utilizing DFP (either Small Business or Premium), publishers can rotate between ad networks for their ad units, also, to directly selling ad space to advertisers, while always striving for 100% fill rates through the real-time competition since added competition for ad units drives the CPMs higher.

AdX vs. AdSense – Which one is right for you?

5 Ways to Boost Your Website Monetization

8 Ways to Avoid Termination of Your DoubleClick AdX Account

With a multitude of demand sources in competition for more of your website’s ad units, more bidders are involved for more ad units and the stridently pushing higher the price of the winning bids for your ad units. In the end, there’s no comparison; publishers make significantly more money by having AdX paired with DFP on their website.

Ultimately, if you’re a publisher who is aiming to maximize your advertising revenue and your website has over 5M visitors per month, then graduating to AdX should be your goal.

  • Sell your ad space to the highest-paying buyers in real-time
  • Increase revenues from premium and remnant inventory
  • Detailed reports on all of your inventory
  • Industry leading response times
  • Realize higher margins
  • Unmatched brand safety for publishers (and advertisers)

If you would like to join AdX and potentially make more money from your traffic, we can assist your website to maximize its potential with DoubleClick AdX.  Contact us today to get started!