How Does Header Bidding Work?
February 4th, 2019
Before header bidding, publishers and advertisers generally relied on a technique known as the “publisher waterfall.” This old school technique was given its name as it mimics the flow of a waterfall. The approach means approaching bidders based on their performance in the past. At the top, we have the exchange partners that have historically paid the most money. Once the bid is rejected it then cascades down to the next exchange partner. Unsold impressions are continually pushed down to the next tier, until someone finally purchases the impression for a bargain price. Did we mention that this whole process takes place in milliseconds?
“Header bidding removes a major inefficiency from the market, as publishers are no longer required to spend countless hours optimizing a waterfall against historical data. This leads to fairer auctions, greater yield and time saved for publishers,” said Newer Heights Consulting founder Justin Festa.
To optimize the header bidding process, header bidding wrappers/containers are utilized. Header bidding wrappers reduce the amount of manual work needed in the auction process and allow publishers to manage their demand partners efficiently. They do this by consolidating the hundreds of line items that header bidding previously required in the publisher’s ad server. This gives publishers the control that they’ve been yearning for and still allows them to choose who they sell to. Wrappers also negate increased page latency and load times, meaning that there is no negative impact on the user experience. And this whole process happens faster than it takes you to read the word “faster.”
To summarize, header bidding gives digital publishers access to more advertisers, it gives them more control over the auction, in real-time, and it enables them to maximize yield.
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