The essence of programmatic advertising is to get the correct value of impressions and display to the right audience. Header Bidding and Google Open Bidding are here to provide both. But the question is which is the best, header bidding or Google open bidding?

There were the days when publishers and advertisers depend completely on Google for ad monetization. However, Google’s dominance was interrupted when header bidding steps into the market. Because of header bidding, the publishers were able to sell their ad impressions to the highest bidder and the advertisers were able to buy premium inventory and target audience in a more optimal way. This means a win-win situation.

In response to the header bidding, Google introduced Open Bidding. Both bidding ways look similar and provide the same results (i.e. provide publishers to sell their inventory to the highest bidder in real-time). But both are different though. In this blog, we will discuss header bidding and Google open bidding and which one is the best for publishers.

Header Bidding

Header bidding is an advanced programmatic method where publishers can open their ad inventories to multiple demand partners, before making the call to the ad server. Header bidding is done through inserting JavaScript code in the header section of publisher’s website, where a client-side auction is then commenced. Header bidding offers better fill rate, it’s transparent and can generate higher revenue, but have page latency issues.

Google Open Bidding

Google open bidding also known as exchange bidding is a unified auction which allows other exchanges to compete with AdX within Google Ad Manager. The auction takes place on the server-side in open bidding. Google handle all the billing, reporting and payments. According to Google, they introduce open bidding to reduce the complexity of bidding procedure for publishers and advertisers.

Advantages of Header Bidding over Open Bidding

Transparency: Publishers have full control over the bidding process in header bidding. But open bidding runs completely within Google Ad Manager. Open bidding is basically a black box to publishers.

Cookie matching: Client-side header-bidding allows access to advertisers to match cookies directly. Whereas in open bidding user data is exchanged but most of the data is filtered in this process which makes open bidding less effective.

Easy to access: Starting with header bidding is very easy. Publishers have to insert a JavaScript code to their website header. After inserting code, they can start calling demand partners. Whereas open bidding is restricted to DFP users and those working with partners such as Mahimeta.

Advantages of Open Bidding over Header Bidding

Reduced page latency: The major drawback of header bidding is page latency. Header bidding causes pages to load slow. The reason behind that is the header bidding takes place in the user’s browser. Whereas, open bidding is a server-to-server process and happens inside Google’s infrastructure. This means faster page loading and ad serving.

Complex setup: Publishers just need to sign up with DFP to get started instead of a complex process in open bidding. Whereas, header bidding requires technical knowledge to get started and to manage it. Header bidding wrappers make this process easier but it can’t be compared with open bidding.

Google manages payments: All payments are managed by Google in open bidding. Whereas header bidding is managed by publishers and sometimes actual bid does not match the payment, which results in revenue loss.

Can Publishers Run Both Header Bidding and Open Bidding?

Yes, publishers can run both of them and do experiments for better results. Publishers should monitor and compare both of them. Results could vary for different publishers and can’t be predicted. But through experimenting publisher will know about the best bidding solution for them.

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