“The Sell Sider” is a column written by the promote facet of the digital media group.
Immediately’s column is written by Mike Chowla, Sr. Director of Product Administration, PubMatic.
Header bidding is now widespread and profitable on the internet, and Prebid.js is essentially the most broadly used answer. Nevertheless, the vast majority of publishers utilizing Prebid are nonetheless utilizing the identical client-side bidding setup Prebid initially launched in 2015. The promoting ecosystem has developed significantly since that preliminary launch, however publishers haven’t developed their tech according to these adjustments.
Google’s newest adjustments have made it much more necessary that publishers reevaluate their header bidding tech.
Immediately, with cookies on the decline, server-to-server (S2S) bidding is the higher choice for many publishers. The adoption of different IDs makes up for any concern about decrease cookie match charges that led publishers to client-side setups within the first place, particularly now that many impressions don’t help cookies already. S2S additionally delivers a giant benefit relating to web page load velocity. Resulting from adjustments in how Google Search ranks internet pages, web page load velocity needs to be a major consideration when selecting a monetization stack.
Cookies are nonetheless going away
The first good thing about client-side header bidding had been higher cookie match charges relative to server-to-server. With Google’s announcement that Chrome’s removal of third-party cookies is delayed until 2023, many within the promoting ecosystem could also be tempted to lose deal with preparations. That could be a massive mistake.
In america, third-occasion cookies are already gone on 50% of promoting impressions resulting from consumer- and browser-side cookie blocking. Shifting to server-to-server now for the post-cookie world might instantly present the complete profit on half of the accessible impressions. The benefit of higher cookie match charges for client-side bidding is waning.
As publishers undertake different IDs, conventional cookie IDs have gotten much less necessary. Knowledge from AdStage benchmark studies mixed with PubMatic’s inside information confirmed that impressions with registration-based id have 1.9x higher monetization than these utilizing cookies. Shifting to addressability options arrange for post-cookie success brings actual monetization advantages now and may offset any monetization impacts resulting from decrease match charges when transferring to server-to-server bidding.
Google Net Vitals
Server-to-server bidding offers a transparent efficiency benefit for web page load instances. With client-side bidding, the very best case is the browser should make one community name for each demand companion. Some demand companions require one community name per accessible impression. For many publishers, these community calls to fetch bids occur in the course of the crucial a part of the web page load course of, since making advert calls as early as potential improves monetization. With fashionable high-functionality internet pages, the browser should load many objects and execute a very good quantity of code to render the web page. Including a number of calls to fetch bids throughout this course of slows down web page rendering.
Web page render instances are extra necessary than ever now that Google is rolling out Core Web Vitals as a rating issue for Google Search. Core Net Vitals contains three metrics to gauge web page expertise, two of that are straight impacted by web page load instances. Server-to-server can dramatically scale back the potential unfavourable impression of header bidding on Net Vitals scores. As an alternative of the a number of calls to fetch bids, all of the demand companions are consolidated right into a single name to a server, which then calls every demand companion. Along with lowering the variety of community calls, the server offloads the work of setting up bid requests and processing responses for every demand companion.
Demand companions are right here
Server-to-server bidding now provides demand that rivals client-side integrations. Firstly of 2018, when Prebid Server was in its infancy, there have been solely 9 demand companions accessible. As of July 2021, there are 118 demand companions accessible, and these companions embody the overwhelming majority of accessible demand throughout a number of codecs, together with show, video, cellular in-app and CTV.
Additional, S2S bidding additionally resolves the central pressure that has challenged header bidding since its inception. Including demand companions improves yield, however with client-side bidding, each further demand companion slows down the web page load. With server-to-server bidding, there’s negligible impression on web page load instances because the server is doing the heavy lifting.
Shifting to server-to-server
For publishers, the most important problem in transferring to server-to-server is needing the server part. Publishers have two primary choices: run their very own occasion of Prebid Server or use a vendor-hosted version. The trail chosen will depend on the writer’s scale, in-house technical capabilities and what actions they need to deal with from a strategic perspective. The largest argument towards operating one’s personal server is that it takes time and a spotlight that might be higher spent on actions that drive income.
To get began, publishers have historically moved some however not all demand companions server-side. Nevertheless, the most important web page efficiency positive factors come from transferring all companions. Thus, a very good first step is utilizing server-to-server bidding for browsers which have already ended help for third-party cookies, akin to Safari and Firefox. With these browsers, there’s no danger of monetization degeneration resulting from a decrease cookie match price.
As with all change to at least one’s monetization stack, the very best apply is to A/B take a look at adjustments first earlier than committing to it, so all variations – each good and unhealthy – could be assessed. Nevertheless publishers select to get began, the time is now to start making the transition to server-to-server bidding.