Google Ad Manager Metrics: A Comprehensive Guide for Publishers

Updated on: March 4, 2024
Are you looking for Google Ad Manager metrics? This article contains all the descriptions and scopes you need to boost your ad revenue.

According to a survey by Advertiser Perceptions, a staggering 73% of publishers used Google Ad Manager as their preferred ad server and SSP in 2022. The media giant has consistently updated and improved its platform over the past decade to provide publishers with the most effective tools and features for their needs.

One of the most important features that Google Ad Manager provides to publishers is its reporting system. This feature allows publishers to gain valuable insights into their ad performance and identify opportunities to optimize and increase ad revenue.

As Google continues to expand and enhance its platform, the way publishers use reporting is also evolving. In the past, Ad Manager had only a few reports with limited metrics and dimensions. However, publishers now have access to hundreds of metrics, which can be overwhelming for newcomers to Ad Manager.

To help new publishers navigate the reporting system and understand which metrics are vital for their success, we have created a definitive guide that explains the important metrics and what they signify.

Key Google Ad Manager Metrics

The free version of Google Ad Manager has five reports which we discussed in our detailed guide. While future sell-through and video content reports are only available for Google Ad Manager 360 for publishers, you can access other reports with the free version of the ad server. Since each report consists of unique metrics, let’s understand them individually.

Important Metrics in Ad Exchange Historical Report

In the Ad Exchange historical report, you should include the following metrics:

Total impressions:

The metric summarizes the total number of filled ad impressions served by Google Ad Manager, AdSense or Ad Exchange, Yield groups (if any), and header bidding. Google Ad Manager has categorized impressions into three types: Served, Downloaded, and Unfilled.

While Unfilled impressions are well understood by the name, Served impressions are counted by Ad Manager when an ad is served. A Served impression is counted irrespective of the rendering of the ad creative on the users’ device. Downloaded impressions are counted when an ad creative is rendered on the users’ device.

If you’re wondering whether Total impressions include both types, then let us tell you that the Downloaded impressions are counted under this metric.

Unfilled impressions:

It shows the total number of ad requests sent by the Ad Manager that couldn’t return an ad. Mathematically, the value is calculated by GAM by using the given formula:

Unfilled impressions = Total ad requests – Total code served count

Pro Tip: If the number of unfilled impressions is higher than expected, we suggest you combine the dimensions Ad unit and the Requested ad sizes with knowing the ad units for which you sent the ad requests, but the network couldn’t fill the inventories. Here’s a detailed guide to reducing the number of unfilled ad impressions in Google Ad Manager.

Impressions not competing:

The metric shows how many ad impressions aren’t competing in dynamic allocation. Mathematically, this metric is calculated as given below:

Impressions not competing = Total eligible Ad Exchange impressions – Impressions competing in Ad Exchange.

Pro Tip: If this metric is higher than expected, we recommend you understand the line items’ priorities to reduce the number of impressions not competing in dynamic allocation.

Total ad requests:

The name says it all. The metric counts all the ad requests sent for a particular ad by the ad server.

Matched ad requests:

This shows the number of ad requests where a particular buyer was matched with the ad request sent by Ad Exchange, Ad Server, or AdSense. To segregate and know the individual match rate of Ad Exchange or AdSense, you can view Ad Exchange matched ad requests, AdSense matched ad requests, etc.

Pro Tip: Publishers often ask why there is a difference between total impressions and matched ad requests OR total ad requests and matched requests. To be clear, it is not necessary for a matched ad request to deliver an impression due to multiple reasons (the ad might not get rendered, or users didn’t view the ad, and so on).

For example, if the Ad Exchange wins an impression, but the ad doesn’t render on the device; you will find Matched ad requests as 1, but Ad impressions will be 0.

Total fill rate:

Fill rate is among the most important metrics, showing the number of ad impressions the network fills. In GAM, it is calculated by:

Fill rate = Total number of ad impressions/Total number of ad requests

Pro Tip: If the fill rate is too low for your network, we have compiled a list of practices to help you boost it.

Total average eCPM:

This metric displays the average eCPM totaled across the Ad Manager server, AdSense, Ad Exchange, and third-party mediation networks (if any). Mathematically, eCPM is calculated by the given formula:

eCPM = (Total ad revenue/Total ad impressions)*100

Total CPM, CPC, CPD, and vCPM revenue:

It shows the total amount of CPC, CPM, CPD, and vCPM revenue across the Ad Manager server, AdSense, Ad Exchange, and third-party mediation networks (if any). This metric is useful when dealing with advertisers with different pricing models.

Total CPM and CPC revenue

The metric shows the total CPM and CPC revenue based on the number of ad units served by the Google Ad Manager server, AdSense, Ad Exchange, and third-party mediation networks.

Pro Tip: If the value is lower than desired, we recommend you optimize your ads and set up multiple ad networks or exchanges, and you can even set up header bidding if your website’s traffic is more than a million.

Total active view % viewable impressions:

This shows the percentage of viewable ad impressions out of total measurable ad impressions. Mathematically, the server calculates it by using the following formula:

Total active view % viewable impressions = (Viewable ad impressions/Measurable ad impressions)*100

Viewability is an important factor that affects the ad revenue for publishers. So, it is recommended to include this metric more often.

Pro Tip: In case the viewability metrics are too low for your inventories, we have a list of actions that should be taken to increase the ad viewability score.

Important Metrics in Other Reports

Though Ad Exchange Historical is the most important report in Google Ad Manager, other reports also play important roles in helping publishers understand various factors to improve ad performance (in terms of revenue, delivery, speeds, and so on).

Total reach impressions: This metric is available in the Reach report and displays the total unique audiences exposed by a particular ad on the website. It is a key metric if you use frequency capping for your ad campaigns.

Non-viewable impression reasons: It is one of the best metrics in the Ad speed report. The metric shows how many ads weren’t viewed by the users and the reasons behind that. The metric can be further broken down into four categories i.e.

  • The slot never entered the viewport,
  • The user scrolled before ad-filled,
  • The user scrolled or navigated  before the ad loaded
  • User scrolled or navigated before 1 second, and
  • Other non-viewable reasons.

Pro Tip: Ad Speed report helps improve the loading/rendering of ad creative by metric Creative load time. The report provides insights into creatives’ loading speed and discusses factors affecting page speed and low viewability. 

So, based on your requirements, you can include the essential metrics in your report. Besides, if the values don’t meet your expectations, we recommend you review our article to improve your ad speed and user experience.

GDPR consent rate: The metric can be accessed by creating a Report on user messages. It helps publishers understand the frequency at which users opt for personalized ads after seeing the GDPR message during their pageviews.

What’s Next?

Tracking important metrics is the secret to generating better ad revenue via Google Ad Manager. However, we suggest you not use these metrics alone to measure your ads’ performance, which could lead to wrong decisions.

Each of these metrics provides one side of a story. So, instead of focusing on a single metric, combine the relevant metrics with relevant dimensions to paint a clear picture of what is happening. Couldn’t find what you’re looking for in the article? Let us know in the comments below.

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