Google is the most widely used platform in the digital advertising industry and it helps millions of advertisers and publishers to trade media programmatically. Close to 50% of the publishers in the programmatic landscape manage and deliver ads via Google Ad Manager and almost everyone uses Google Ad Exchange (AdX) to sell ad impressions. After all, Google AdX is the largest exchange and it contributes more than 50% of the revenue generated.
Though publishers can easily sign up for Google Ad Manager, getting access to Google’s Exchange is quite difficult. Thanks to the third-party authorized providers (Google Publishing Partners and Scaled Partner Management program), publishers can now get access to Google’s Exchange by paying a small fee — often as a rev-share.
In exchange, an authorized Google Ad Exchange reseller can offer a myriad of advantages to a publisher such as access to AdX demand, technical guidance, and so on. But, the question many publishers have is – can all AdX resellers help you in driving better results? Yes, a Google AdX reseller will help you to get better results. But, 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 are the best fit for you. Well, we are going to give you an AdX reseller checklist that you can use to find a reseller that meets your expectations and helps you maximize the yield.
“Everything you add is going to come at the expense of something else. Understanding what those things are will help you understand how well that partner is doing.”
– Justin Festa, Chief Digital Officer, LittleThings
Checklist to Help You Choose the Google AdX Reseller
1. Migration To Google Ad Manager
Though the majority of publishers have Google Ad Manager as their ad server, there are still a few publishers who have been relying on self-managed ad servers or other ad servers like AppNexus, Flywheel, etc.
Since Google Ad Exchange has a prerequisite of having the Ad Manager as an ad server, you may have to migrate your existing ad server (that means, orders, line items, and so on) to GAM. The good thing is there is no shortage of Google Ad Exchange resellers these days.
But, for such cases, you need to check how well the AdX reseller can help you to achieve the objective. Because not every reseller will have the ability and expertise to help you migrate the server and set-up the ad campaigns efficiently.
2. Revenue Share
Whether it is AdSense or Ad exchange, Google is pretty fixed in terms of revenue share. But, in the case of a Google AdX reseller, revenue share (b/w you and Google AdX reseller, not Google Ad Exchange) can be negotiated up to a reasonable number if both the publisher and reseller agree. Typically, the revenue share varies from 15% to 20%.
In the meantime, it is advised to check eCPM that the reseller can offer. A reseller who provides 60% rev-share, but has eCPM $2 is better than a reseller who provides eCPM $4 with a rev-share of 50%. Also, you should look into the NET payment terms of the reseller – if it is NET30, NET60 or NET90.
3. Products & Services
Header bidding has slowly gained recognition in the last few years. The technique eliminates the drawbacks of the waterfall method where selling the ad inventories occurred by calling the demand partners in a sequential order based on their historical performance.
This advanced methodology, header bidding, enables the publisher to sell the ad impressions in a marketplace by calling the demand channels in real-time and displays the ads from an advertiser who bids the highest value for the impression. Since header bidding isn’t a new technique, many publishers have already implemented it on their website with the help of their in-house tech team.
But, there are a huge number of small or mid-sized publishers who cannot possess a dedicated team to manage header bidding and run the ad campaigns on servers. So, check if your reseller can offer you the header bidding wrapper. Also, some resellers can provide you advanced products like ad refresh, video monetization, etc.
4. Ad Revenue Optimization
Header Bidding and other techniques to sell the ad impressions can maximize the ad revenue. But, there is only one way to ensure that you are staying ahead of the rapidly changing programmatic landscape – ad optimization.
Even though managed header bidding or PMP solution providers can help you get started with programmatic, you can’t set everything and leave the set-up to perform better on its own. Google Ad Exchange resellers should have the capability to find the gaps and fill those with optimal solutions. They are required to closely look at the granular aspects of ad performance and keep optimizing the SOV (Share of Voice)* to take your ad revenue to the next level.
*Share of Voice denotes the share of a particular demand partner. If Google Ad Exchange is responsible for 65% of your revenue, then that’s the SOV of AdX. You don’t want to let Google take over the revenue and if it happened, then there’s something wrong with the setup.
5. Premium Demand Partners
There are millions of advertisers and hundreds of demand partners that are seeking to display ads on your website. But not all of them will bid to buy your impressions. According to the latest Confiant’s Demand Quality Report, just 13 SSPs including Google Ad Exchange, AppNexus, Rubicon, Index Exchange, and OpenX accounted for 80% of the ad impressions passed through the Confiant’s system.
Though you might already have major demand partners on your header bidding stack, an AdX reseller can help you to get access to the remaining ones. You don’t need tens of demand partners. You just need the right ones. At Automatad, we’ve partnered with top demand partners to ensure we are bringing the best along with Google AdX.
6. Technical Support
Setting up Google Ad Manager seems easy when you deal with a couple of advertisers directly. But when the number of demand channels/partners increases, optimizing ad campaigns, implementing advanced technologies like header bidding can be quite daunting. An AdX reseller should have expertise in the ad operations so that they can pitch in ideas and help you with one-off queries.
This is important for mid-sized publishers. We generally receive several one-off queries from our publishers that have nothing to do with Google AdX. And, as we have been working with publishers for 6+ years, we now have a dedicated account manager and a flexible team in place.
As ads are delivered throughout the day, things can go wrong at any time. For a publisher, waiting for more than a day can be a huge loss. So, it is important to check how quickly you will be provided with support to resolve the issues. Ideally, a reseller promises to resolve the issue within 24 hours.
Also, they’d be able to audit results and help you find any discrepancies if they occur in the future. A reseller should be able to pull together different reports and find the parameters that have caused discrepancies and resolve them.
7. Inventory Quality & Performance
A Google Ad Exchange reseller creates child publishers, that is, it manages multiple publishers via the same account. Billions of ad impressions from a network of publishers are sold via the Ad Exchange account. So, it is fair to check and request past performance metrics to understand the quality of ad inventories a reseller has.
Google Ad Exchange has strict rules for publishers to create a safe environment for selling ad impressions. So, ensure that the AdX reseller is brand-safe and deals with premium inventories. It will not directly impact your ad revenue, but such information will help you understand the performance of Ad Exchange.
Google Ad Exchange reseller provides an opportunity to get access to Google AdX as well as other demand partners. And, it is suggested that you should keep the above-mentioned while talking with a partner. Please note that some of the pointers may not be suitable for you. For instance, if you have a Prebid stack with established SSP partnerships, then you don’t have to enquire about the demand partners at all. At Automatad, we work with Google (we are an authorized SPM partner) to help mid-sized publishers to access AdX demand. Interested in a quick discussion? Reach us here.