What You Should Know About Google’s Ad Exchange

Updated on: May 25, 2023
With Google AdX, you can access real-time bidding to deliver the highest quality ads and increase revenue.

Google Ad Exchange, also known as ‘Google AdX’, is an ad exchange from Google that’s been serving both sides of the ecosystem — publishers and media buyers since 2009. When Google bought DoubleClick in 2007, it acquired all the assets, including the up-and-coming DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

After the acquisition, Google continued to develop the ad exchange and launched it as “DoubleClick Ad Exchange” in 2009. And the rest, as they say, is history. In over a decade, Google attracted millions of sellers and buyers, eventually making its ad exchange the largest in size and revenue contribution. When we studied hundreds of our publishers, Google (AdX) ranked as the top demand partner contributing to more than 50% of the programmatic revenue.

Without any further ado, we’ve compiled resources on Google Ad Exchange to answer all your questions. From the account setup to revenue optimization, you’re looking at the most comprehensive guide on AdX. Bookmark it; you’ll want to visit this page often.

What Is Google Ad Exchange (Google AdX)?

Just like other ad exchanges, Google AdX is a marketplace that offers a pool of ad impressions to buyers via real-time bidding. But, unlike AdSense, Google Ad Exchange is a platform that cannot be simply integrated into a website.

We meant that a publisher could not access Google’s AdX without Google’s ad server platform, i.e., Google Ad Manager. So, to take advantage of Google AdX, having an account with Google’s ad server is mandatory.

Learn more about its features and understand the difference b/w Google AdX and AdSense.

Benefits of Google Ad Exchange (Google AdX)

Using the Google AdX platform is a great way to get your ads in front of your advertisers. Let’s take a look at some of the great benefits of AdX.

Higher revenue potential: Google Ad Exchange provides access to a large pool of programmatic demand, including high-quality advertisers worldwide. This increased competition can lead to higher CPMs and better revenue potential for publishers. It also supports multiple ad formats, including display, video, and native ads, which can help publishers monetize their content more effectively.

Simplified ad management: Google’s ad exchange provides a centralized platform for managing programmatic advertising, which can simplify the process for publishers. You can set pricing rules, manage inventory, and track performance all in one place, reducing the need for manual optimization and management. It also provides real-time reporting and analytics access, allowing publishers to track performance and make data-driven decisions.

Improved user experience: Google Ad Exchange supports various ad formats and targeting capabilities, which can help publishers deliver more relevant and engaging ads to their users. This can lead to a better user experience and increased ad engagement, ultimately leading to higher revenue and better performance.

Am I Eligible to Get into AdX?

Hands down, this is one of the frequently asked questions, but it has no definitive answer. Google hasn’t disclosed the minimum eligibility criteria to get into Google Ad Exchange. That being said, we know who isn’t eligible.

  • Your content should be in a supported language.
  • You should host an ads.txt file.
  • You should have brand-safe content.
  • You should have a Google Ad Manager account.
  • You shouldn’t have any pop-ups under or redirect your users when they interact with the site/perform an action.
  • You shouldn’t host plagiarized content and avoid scrappers.
  • You shouldn’t get bots to inflate your ad impressions, thus revenue.
  • You shouldn’t buy low-quality traffic from illegitimate networks. As they tend to have low performance, Google buyers will likely avoid buying your ad impressions, and in the worst case, you’ll be suspended.

How to Sign Up for Google AdX Account?

You can get a Google AdX account in two ways.

  • Ask Google (your Google Account Manager): If you have an account manager (AM) and a Google Ad Manager account, you can check with your AM to see if you can access Ad Exchange. Unless you are a publisher with tens of millions of users, you must choose another option.
  • Partner with a third party: Google allows a certain number of third parties to resell Google AdX demand. For instance, we are an authorized Google AdX reseller and can help mid-sized publishers access Google AdX.

The best part is you don’t have to have tens of millions of page views if you are using a third party to do it. However, you’ll end up paying a fee, likely around 5% to 10%, for accessing Google Ad Exchange. We’ve talked about the steps in detail here.

What Should You Look For in a Google AdX Reseller?

Not all Ad Exchange resellers can produce the same results in terms of CPM and revenue. That’s why it is important to look into key factors before signing up with a reseller and see how they best fit you. Well, we will give you an AdX reseller checklist that you can use to find a reseller that meets your expectations and helps you maximize the yield.

  • Migration to Google Ad Manager
  • Revenue Share
  • Products & Services
  • Ad Revenue Optimization
  • Premium Demand Partners
  • Technical Support
  • Inventory Quality & Performance

We’ve explained all the factors in detail for your reference. While it’s not necessary that you have to check all the boxes mentioned above, ensure you ask the right questions. Sometimes, your manager header bidding provider will also be a Google AdX partner. If that’s the case, see if you can negotiate a better rev-share and get access from them.

How to Link Your Google Ad Exchange Account to Ad Manager?

After signing up on Google Ad Manager and procuring access to AdX, you can link Ad Exchange to Google Ad Manager and serve ads on your remnant inventories through it. Follow the steps described here to link your AdX account.

Note: Ensure you have complete access to Google Ad Manager and familiarize yourself with the navigation first.

How to Increase Your Google Ad Exchange Revenue?

Now that you have signed up for AdX linked your account with GAM, it’s time to see how you can maximize your revenue with the optimal setup. Note that implementing header bidding can intensify competition, forcing Google AdX to bid higher to win the auctions. So, you should run header auctions and follow the optimization steps below.

You can increase AdX revenue by optimizing inventories and rules and leveraging Opportunities and Experiments. Here’s the overview:

  1. Optimizing the Ad Exchange Inventories
    1. Explore different ad types & backup ads
    2. Play around with different ad formats
  2. Optimizing the rules in Google Ad Manager
    1. Optimizing blocking rules
    2. Optimizing opt-in rules
    3. Optimizing auction pricing rules
  3. Leverage Opportunities and Experiments

Learn how to do it step-by-step here.

What is the point of setting up Google AdX if you can’t understand its eCPM? We want to make one thing clear — Google isn’t going to provide you with the highest eCPM, but it will buy a huge volume of your impressions.

Let us help you understand Google Ad Exchange’s performance across browsers — Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox, and more. Why? We know that Google AdX is the largest demand partner contributing to more than 50 percent of the ad revenue, and it is important to know how it performs in both cookie and cookieless environments.

Wrapping Up

With Google Ad Exchange, AdSense is no longer Google’s only program that allows publishers to monetize their content with advertising. Publishers who have not partnered with Google can now access another option – finding an MCM partner. But what is it exactly? And how does it work? This article seeks answers to these questions and more.


What Is Google Ad Exchange?

Google Ad Exchange is a programmatic advertising platform connecting ad inventory buyers and sellers. It allows advertisers to bid on ad impressions in real time and publishers to monetize their inventory through a competitive auction process.

How Does Google Ad Exchange Work?

Google Ad Exchange connects buyers and sellers of ad inventory through a real-time auction process. When a user visits a website with ad inventory, Google Ad Exchange sends a bid request to potential buyers, who then submit bids for the ad impression. The highest bidder wins the auction, displaying their ad to the user.

How to Enable Exchange in Google Ad Manager?

Enabling Ad Exchange in Google Ad Manager requires publishers to connect with a Google Account Manager or partner with a third-party AdX reseller.

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