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Preparing Your Business for Google Ads' Real-Time Bidding Transition


Google Ads  Real-Time Bidding

In a significant move announced by Google Ads earlier this year, the digital advertising landscape is set to undergo a transformation on October 31, 2023. Google Ads intends to shift primarily to real-time bidding auctions, rendering the traditional approach of responding to multiple calls in mediation obsolete. This shift will impact businesses and publishers across Australia, and it's crucial to prepare for this change. Let's explore what this means for your business and how you can adapt to these new dynamics.


What is Real-Time Bidding?


Google Ads Real-time Bidding (RTB) is an advertising strategy that allows advertisers to bid on individual ad impressions in real-time as they become available. It's a dynamic and data-driven approach to digital advertising, where advertisers can adjust their bids based on factors like user demographics, browsing history, and website context. Advertisers participate in auctions for ad placements, and the highest bidder wins the opportunity to display their ad to a specific user at a particular moment.


This strategy enables advertisers to target their audience more precisely and maximise the effectiveness of their ad campaigns by ensuring that their ads are shown to the most relevant users at the right time.


Google Ads Real-time Bidding - Google's Key Updates:

  1. Transition Period for Hybrid Setups: Definition: Hybrid setups typically involve a combination of traditional waterfall ad units and real-time bidding ad units within a publisher's mediation setup. Change: Google Ads will continue to bid on "hybrid setups" even after October 31, 2023, for a temporary period. Hybrid setups consist of both bidding and waterfall ad units. This move aims to facilitate a smoother transition. However, it's important to note that Google Ads plans to gradually phase out its response to waterfall requests within hybrid setups by early 2024.

  2. End of Multicall Waterfall Requests: Definition: A multicall waterfall refers to the practice of sending multiple ad requests or calls sequentially to various ad sources, including Google Ads, within a mediation setup. Change: Post the October deadline, Google Ads will cease purchasing on multicall waterfall requests that lack bidding ad units. This change signifies the importance of integrating real-time bidding into your strategy.

  3. Single Waterfall Call Ad Units: Definition: In contrast to multicall waterfalls, a single waterfall call ad unit involves sending only one ad request or call to Google Ads demand within a mediation setup. Change: Google Ads may still participate in mediation waterfalls that involve a single call to Google Ads demand. This option provides some flexibility to publishers.


What Does this Mean for You as a Publisher?

As a publisher, it's essential to adapt swiftly to these changes. Before the October 31 deadline, consider implementing a real-time bidding solution to access Google Ads demand effectively. Ad Exchange, when used in conjunction with Ad Manager yield groups, is a viable option, encompassing demand from Google Ads, Display & Video 360, and third-party ad sources. If you're already calling Google Ads in bidding, there's no immediate action required. However, be aware that third-party demand sources may have their own bidding behaviour, so staying informed is crucial.

FAQs and Common Questions and Answers:

  • Will Google Ads Still Respond to a Single Call from Waterfall After 10/31? Yes, Google Ads may still buy on mediation waterfalls that involve a single call to Google Ads demand.

  • What Action Do I Need to Take If I Am Calling Google Ads in Both Bidding and Waterfall? If you're using both bidding and waterfall mediation for your inventory, no additional action is needed.

  • Which Publisher Platforms Support Google Ads in Real-Time Bidding for Apps Inventory? This transition applies to all publishers serving Google Ads campaigns in app inventory (excluding instream video). To continue serving Google Ads campaigns, it's advisable to use a platform that supports real-time bidding for Google Ads.


The digital advertising landscape is evolving rapidly, and the October 31 shift by Google Ads towards real-time bidding represents a pivotal moment for businesses. By embracing real-time bidding solutions and staying informed about these changes, Australian businesses can ensure they remain competitive in this dynamic ecosystem. Prepare for the future, and make this transition an opportunity for growth and success.


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