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Friday, January 23, 2009

Talking AdSense optimization in Google Ad Manager

It can be tough to sell advertising in today's economy. It can be even tougher to figure out how to maximize revenue for each ad impression. Google Ad Manager, our hosted ad serving and management solution for publishers with small direct sales teams, was built to address these issues. Ad Manager helps publishers maximize the value of their ad impressions while reducing ad serving costs.

We enlisted the help of Nandu Ramani, Engineering Lead on Ad Manager, to talk about one of Ad Manager's features that helps publishers maximize the value of their ad impressions: AdSense price optimization.

What is the AdSense price optimization feature in Ad Manager?

Many publishers don't sell all of their ad inventory. In these situations, publishers might not serve any ads or might serve less valuable house ads, therefore losing potential earnings. The AdSense price optimization feature in Ad Manager provides an automated solution so publishers will always have an ad to serve in an undersold situation.

We also wanted to make sure that when a publisher runs multiple ad networks they are always showing the most valuable ads. For certain individual impressions, AdSense can provide the highest paying ad. When that's the case, an AdSense ad shows. When that's not the case, an ad from the highest paying alternative network will be shown.

How does the price optimization feature work?

In order for AdSense to compete against other ad networks, a publisher must manually enter a CPM for each configured network. We use the CPM entered to determine in real time, on a per impression basis, whether or not an AdSense ad will pay a publisher more. If the AdSense eCPM is greater than the CPM value entered for competing networks, then an AdSense ad will be shown. Additionally, AdSense will never compete with a publisher's directly-sold inventory. To enable the price optimization feature, all a publisher has to do is check a box when setting up inventory.

As a publisher, how much will I earn using AdSense price optimization?

It's hard to predict; the best way to find out is to opt your ad slots into AdSense price optimization and see how AdSense performs for you. With AdSense price optimization, Google will always serve the highest paying AdSense ad available, and will never lower the price of the winning ad, or reduce your earnings from it.

When should I use the AdSense price optimization feature?

We suggest you opt all of your ad slots into AdSense price optimization. AdSense ads will only appear if they're able to pay you more than the alternatives, so there's no risk of losing revenue.

We also recommend that you opt your premium placements into placement targeting so AdWords advertisers may specifically choose to bid for space on your website.

Sounds good. How do I get started?

If you already have an Ad Manager account, go into the inventory tab in your account. For each ad slot where you want to enable AdSense price optimization, click on the name of the ad slot, check the 'Maximize revenue of unsold and remnant inventory with AdSense' checkbox, and click 'Save.'

If you don't already have an account, get started today at http://www.google.com/admanager. Then, when you're setting up your inventory, make sure to opt all of your ad slots into AdSense price optimization.

For more information about AdSense in Ad Manager, check out the following video.

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