Google is rolling out programmatic bidding for limited ads

Google AdMob will support programmatic bidding on inventory eligible for limited ads in early 2024.

This new serving mode enables contextual programmatic demand for publishers serving limited ads and allows demand from:

  • Google Demand.
  • Authorized Buyers.
  • Open Bidders.
  • SDK Bidding.

Why we care. This feature offers publishers the chance to potentially increase revenue through programmatic demand. However, using invalid traffic-only cookies might have legal implications, so it’s advisable to seek guidance from your legal department before deciding whether or not to use it.

How it works. If you choose to use this new serving mode, Google will use invalid traffic detection-only cookies and local storage (regardless of the user’s consent signals in limited ads requests), as well as enable programmatic demand (and an invalid traffic-only cookie & local storage used).

This inventory requires the use of the invalid traffic-only cookie as it plays a crucial role in safeguarding against invalid traffic, a prerequisite for programmatic demand.

What is programmatic demand? Programmatic demand is a feature that can boost your earnings from Google ads in your Web Stories. It can also be used to fill in Web Story ad unit line items.

What is invalid traffic? Invalid traffic refers to any traffic not generated by a genuine user with authentic interest. This can include:

  • Accidental clicks caused by intrusive ad implementations.
  • Fraudulent clicking by competing advertisers.
  • Advertising botnets, and more.

Optional. Google has made programmatic bidding on limited ads an optional feature because publishers are legally responsible for the tools they use, and opinions may vary on whether user consent is necessary for invalid traffic-only cookies and local storage.

Potential legal issues. Google is advising publishers to consult their legal teams before deciding whether or not to use this feature, considering regulations and regulatory guidance. Publishers must assess if employing invalid traffic-only cookies and local storage on their sites/apps requires user consent.

Publishers that do not want to use invalid traffic-only cookies and local storage without user consent should opt-out of this feature.

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Deep dive. Read Google’s limited ads guidance for more information about this change and how to prepare.

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