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What’s the deal with EBDA (Exchange Bidding in Dynamic Allocation)?

Adi Pinco, October 26, 2022


  • EBDA offers a number of advantages to publishers, including ease of use and higher CPMs
  • EBDA is Google’s answer to header bidding
  • Publishers of all sizes can benefit from EBDA in adding value to their ad inventory
Photo by Sergey Zolkin on Unsplash

Publishers are constantly searching for the right balance between creating an engaging user experience and generating revenue, and one tool that has proven successful at helping to find that sweet spot is Exchange Bidding in Dynamic Allocation (EBDA).

Also referred to as Open Bidding, EBDA was introduced by Google in 2018 as its answer to header bidding. Despite its ability to reduce the complexity of the bidding process for publishers, many are still unsure on exactly how EBDA works and what it can offer.

In this guide, we will try to clear up any uncertainties you may have around EBDA.


What is EBDA?

EBDA is a server-side solution that allows both ad exchanges and SSPs to bid on publisher inventory alongside Google’s ad exchange AdX. This all takes place in a unified auction within the ad server side and not a user’s browser.

To understand why EBDA was developed, first we must take a step back and examine the introduction of header bidding itself.


The history of Exchange Bidding in Dynamic Allocation

Prior to 2016, Google had a strong advantage in the ad bidding process. The Dynamic Allocation function within DoubleClick for Publishers essentially allowed Google Ad Manager to compete with publishers’ direct sales teams before other ad exchanges and SSPs were involved. AdX was therefore able to offer premium inventory, while other players could only purchase unsold inventory.

Header bidding was developed to level the playing field. Within this method, multiple exchanges can bid on inventory simultaneously, allowing publishers to invite other partners to create a bid request before AdX. However, Google immediately started working on its own solution.

EBDA was created as an alternative to header bidding. Within EBDA every exchange and SSP invited in by a publisher gets to bid in a single Dynamic Action.


What are the benefits of EBDA?

For publishers, there are numerous advantages offered by EBDA:

Ease of use Header bidding can take time and specialist knowledge to implement; EBDA by contrast can be set up within a few minutes, with minimal coding knowledge thanks to its ability to work alongside your existing tags.

Reduces latency – Thanks to the bidding process taking place within Google’s infrastructure though server-to-server connections, webpages and ads load faster on a user’s device, which  enhances their experience. If a request takes more than 160 milliseconds, the page will automatically time out.

Eliminates bid discrepancies – Thanks to Google handling all layers of billing within the process, billing is very precise. Header bidding, by contrast, can leave you at risk of revenue loss when the bid sent and payment received don’t match.

Involved reporting – Like many products within the Google ecosystem, the reporting on EBDA is clear, precise and transparent, with in depth analytics that allow you to maximize the value of your ad inventory.

Higher eCPMsUltimately, EBDA can have a positive impact on ad revenue. The increased competition that comes from all partners bidding simultaneously on inventory leads to higher eCPMs and revenue, allowing you to gain a better understanding of the value of your ad inventory.

New and improved In the latest version of EBDA Google released Header Bidding in yield groups, a simpler, more efficient way of setting up header bidding in AdManager. The feature also provides improved, more accurate reporting and better performance through header bidding with more granular bidding facilitated.

Is EBDA right for you?

If you have already had success with header bidding, then the answer is yes. Its easy integration, accurate billing, and in depth reporting can help publishers of all sizes to raise the value of their ad inventory.

If you would like to find out more about Exchange Bidding in Dynamic Allocation and how you can unlock its potential, don’t hesitate to get in touch