In the digital advertising industry, there are numerous ad networks helping publishers to sell their ad inventories, and each of these ad networks has a unique set of offerings, pros, and cons. And publishers typically want to integrate multiple ad networks to increase their ad fill rate. The math is simple – An ad network can’t offer 100% fill rate for a publisher and unsold inventories essentially are available opportunities to pump up the ad revenue.
Let’s start with the most basic question. Can you integrate multiple ad networks?
Of course, you can. Although there is no restriction on the number of ad networks a publisher can work with, it is better to know how to add the suitable ad networks to get the best revenue.
Adding Multiple Ad Networks
There are a couple of instances when you should start looking for multiple ad networks and we’ve discussed a few below.
– When the reach and scalability aren’t enough. There’s no doubt that an ad network can help a publisher to reach thousands of buyers across the globe. But, not all ad networks can reach advertisers worldwide and sell your pool of ad impressions. So, if you’re tired of selling your inventories to a fixed range of advertisers and want to reach more buyers, then you should try running multiple ad networks on your site. Since each network has its geographic presence, adding multiple networks can help you reach a broader range of advertisers. This is especially true when you’ve partnered with a niche ad network.
– When the ad network doesn’t offer the desired range of targeting options. Ad networks have plenty of targeting options such as contextual targeting, placement targeting, and more. Targeting is preferred by many publishers as it enhances the user experience of a website. But, there might be an ad network that doesn’t offer targeting options as per your needs. It might be offering contextual or placement but not the one you wanted.
– When the network doesn’t offer the desired pricing model. Usually, a publisher opts for two pricing models – CPM and CPC. Different ad networks have different pricing models for publishers and not all will offer the degree of flexibility in pricing as you expected. Therefore, this could be a reason to look beyond your existing ad network and try to run multiple ad networks.
– When you don’t understand the true value of your inventories due to lack of transparency. In some cases, ad networks (horizontal ad networks) don’t allow publishers to know which advertiser bought their ad space. Hence, it becomes challenging for them to understand their ad inventory value. In such cases, adding an ad network preferably vertical ad network which is more transparent than a horizontal ad network can be helpful.
– When the existing ad network doesn’t support multiple ad formats. Several ad networks are offering various formats of ads. But not all networks can offer ad formats suitable for your website or the ones you desire. In fact, some networks can provide custom unique ad formats that could improve your user experience.
– When an ad network has limited features such as low ad fill rate, low CPMs, etc. Some of the ad networks can offer 100% fill rate but lower CPMs (think Google AdSense ad balance) and some might have a low fill rate but higher CPMs. To achieve both, it’s good to partner with more than one ad network.
– When an ad network doesn’t yield expected ad revenue. Under certain conditions, some ad networks might not generate the revenue you expected and there are a lot of factors involved. In such scenarios, integrating multiple ad networks can help to improve ad revenue.
So, instead of relying on a single ad network, it’s better to try multiple networks and keep experimenting to find suitable ones. But where should you start?
As there are many networks claiming impressive fill rate and page RPM, what are the best ones to start with? The answer depends on your goals. In the aforementioned scenarios, identify where you are at and then decide an ad network that will solve your problem. For example, if you need to run different ad formats, choose a network which offers the formats you would like to run.
Can I Run Multiple Ad Networks Along with Google AdSense?
The answer is – Yes, you can and you should. A publisher can integrate more than one ad network. However, not all ad networks are allowed to work in parallel with Google AdSense. Google has defined a list of Google certified ad networks that can be run along with AdSense.
List of Ad Networks that can be Run with Google AdSense:
Here’s a list of few ad networks.
- A1 Platform
- Fluct Inc.
- MobileFuse LLC
- Interplus Co. Ltd
- Shopping Network
- Somplo Ltd
- Spread Over Inc.
- The Reach Group
- Totally Interactive Weather.
Note: We aren’t recommending any of the ad networks. It’s rather an example to show you, the publisher. We suggest you bypass ad networks and connect directly with demand partners via header bidding wrapper. How to assess whether you are eligible to implement header bidding or not? If your monthly page views are greater than 1 million, you can get better demand and revenue by running header bidding. Get started today.
How to Run Multiple Ad Networks?
So, now you are sure that you can run ad networks along with Google AdSense. But wondering how to do that? That’s understandable as the ad tech industry has evolved and so many technologies have been introduced in the past decade. Generally, there are two methods publishers opt for – waterfall or header bidding.
In the waterfall method, ad networks are ranked or prioritized based on historic performance. If the primary ad network can’t fill-up the ad inventories with ads and leaves the impressions unfilled, then it is passed to the secondary network. The second network will try to fill the impressions and if it fails, then it is passed to the next one. And this process is continued until an ad is served or you run out of ad networks.
Here, in the waterfall method, you can select particular ad units and target those units at any ad network you want (select the best network for the ad unit) via Google Ad Manager (Google’s ad server).
The second method is – header bidding. In header bidding, you can connect to multiple demand partners simultaneously to sell your ad impressions in real-time. Header bidding can sell your ad impressions based on real-time market value and encourages bidders to bid intensively to win the impressions – resulting in the best possible ad revenue. It bypasses all the inefficiencies in the waterfall model. Learn why it is better here. As said above, you need to pass the threshold to implement and get the best out of header bidding.
If I do so, What Will Be the Impact?
By the time, you know integrating more than one ad networks can increase revenue and fills the existing void in your setup.
That being said, it can increase complexity, page latency, and ad loading error, unless you set up your ad server properly. Google has excellent documentation and training video library to guide you through the ad server setup.
Google AdSense is undoubtedly one of the best ad networks a publisher can try and it doesn’t even require minimum traffic conditions. But, as illustrated above, running more than one ad network in parallel with AdSense can yield better results. Let’s take an example of a publisher working with Media.net and AdSense at the same time.
If your RPM is around $10 without AdSense, you can expect a 20 to 30 percent uplift. However, it highly depends on your audience and site quality.
The key is to keep experimenting and measure their performance over a period of time. Doing this helps you to know which combination works best for your niche.
There are several ad networks which don’t ask publishers to work with them solely. And it is one of the best merits of such ad networks since this enables the publishers to do A/B testing with their ad formats, sizes, and many other things. It is advisable to keep a track on all ad networks as working with multiple partners can create reporting discrepancies, etc. Apart from a few complexities, multiple ad networks can undoubtedly work better than one.