Prebid Setup in Google Ad Manager Main Image

You probably must have decided that instead of using a proprietary solution you are going to go an extra mile to create ad manager header bidding yourself. To get started you first need to have at least a few partners registered and ready to be added to the setup. Google Ad Manager (GAM) lets website owners to run header bidding using Prebid.js. Prebid is an open source header bidding wrapper and GAM (previously known as DFP) is an ad server created by Google.

For a smaller website we recommend to use a proprietary solution that already has all of the largest partners added, for example Setupad. This will save a lot of time and headache, meaning you will have more time to focus on content rather than the setup of the ads. Most of premium SSP’s require to have quite a lot of traffic in order to get approved. Whereas proprietary solution will have it all taken care of because of their already developed partnerships. You can have a look at how header bidding works on other websites by using browser extensions.

Using Google Ad Manager website owners can set up Prebid and handle header bidding through line item setup. The interface is user friendly and intuitive with reporting dashboard that supports key-value pairs. Website owners can easily customise the auction process and see reports in detail.

How Does Prebid.js Work?

Before implementing header bidding in your website setup it is important to understand how Prebid works on a higher level. Here are the steps it takes to display a creative in this setup:

  1. The Ad Manager tag on website page is paused, bound by a timer. Meanwhile the Prebid.js library fetches all bids and creatives from numerous SSP’s/DSP’s/AdExchanges you work with.
  2. Prebid then passes data about those bids to the Ad Manager’s tag on page. Which then passes it to the Ad Manager as query string parameters.
  3. Ad Manager has line items targeting the query string bid parameters.
  4. If Ad Manager decides Prebid wins, it then returns a signal to Prebid telling the library to show the winning creative on the website.
How Prebid Works Image
Image 1. How Prebid Works Image. Source:

The Prebid.js library is composed of:

  • The core wrapper.
  • Adapters that the publisher wants to use.
  • Optional modules that can be utilised.

The easiest to get started is to follow the video below. Even though it shows how to set up DoubleClick, it is still relevant for Google Ad Manager users.

When the setup is ready remember to update the line items and keep on with ad testing. Check Prebid doc and Ad Manager updates in order to be in the loop of things. Open source community keeps adding and optimizing features quite often so you will have to check the changes often. All of the necessary information to keep on developing is available here and here. Or you can use any of these already created solutions that work great with almost any website.

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About Alvils Karlštrems

Alvils Karlštrems is an Ad Operations Specialist. Knows all the ways how to optimize ad delivery on websites.

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