Header bidding myth buster

Header bidding has been there for quite a while already, but apparently many things stay unclear. The advantages of this approach have been covered elsewhere, in this article we would like to deal with both its real and imaginary downsizes. Here they go:

  • Latencies:
    • yes, open bidding increases page load time, which may impact user experience, viewability and search engine organic ranking;
    • still publishers stay in full control of time outs, so they can set them long enough revenue wise, and short enough from the UX angle;
    • there is also a new version of prebid being adopted on the market, so called prebid server, which moves all the bidding to the external servers and therefore totally eliminates the issue of latencies.
  • Lack of control over displayed campaigns:
    • it is a myth;
    • header bidding only affects the logic of bidding and auction dynamics, but has no impact on blacklists and whitelists – whatever is set in participating SSPs, will be respected.
  • Direct campaigns delivery problems:
    • it is a myth;
    • header bidding in its current state is unrelated to priorities of campaign delivery. Depending on the adserver you can either deliver your direct campaigns first or make them compete with programmatic, but in all cases you secure the inventory need to deliver direct campaigns in full.
  • Header bidding hurts publisher’s sales strategy
    • it is a myth;
    • the topic of campaign delivery priorities is described above, also all floor prices and black- or whitelists are respected.
  • You cannot implement header bidding without giving it the first look:
    • it is a myth;
    • it used to work this way a couple of years ago, when header bidding emerged on the market, but it is no longer the case. Now you can either create a unified auction asking ALL available demand sources or still prioritise your direct campaigns.
  • Reliance on one SSP:
    • it is a myth;
    • thanks to header bidding you can call many SSPs simultaneously in order to make the competition stronger and let your ad revenues grow.
  • I don’t need client-side header bidding, I already use EBDA:
    • it is a myth
    • EBDA is a solution provided by Google with no transparency regarding the fees and limited number of SSPs that can participate in an auction. In the end of the day prebid.js offer more flexibility and transparency;
    • client-side header bidding enables also direct connections to some DSPs (Criteo for instance), while EBDA does not.
  • Header bidding is hard to implement:
    • it is true if you want to do it entirely on your own, header bidding is very complex to code and keep organized
    • however there are companies like Waytogrow who offer an easy to implement meta-solutions and can be your day-to-day tech partners.
  • Significant reporting discrepancies
    • yes, it sometimes happen within Google AdManager reporting dashboard;
    • still, you can pull reports directly from SSPs and therefore reduce discrepancies to a minimum.
  • It is a workaround access for cheap campaigns I don’t want
    • it is a myth;
    • a publisher can protect it’s inventory with floor price policy. Also, header bidding itself offers a great level of protection thanks to increased competition among buyers, with great probability OF low-CPM campaigns being overpaid by other advertisers.

To sum things up, a relative maturity of header bidding does not always mean it is well understood on the market. So every time you are not sure about what you read or hear about it, feel free to refer to us and just ask. We certainly don’t know everything, but header bidding is all but mythical to us.

Still not sure about advantages of header bidding?
E-mail us at [email protected].

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