Unified Pricing Rule: Where to start and how to adjust based on the “real” fill rate

Unified Pricing Rule: Where to start and how to adjust based on the “real” fill rate

Unified Pricing Rule (UPR) is only available on primary or “mapped” accounts. You have a mapped account if you see the “Ad Exchange account settings” tab when navigating to Admin > Global Settings.

Ad Exchange settings

It is essential to consider that when setting up UPR, it applies to the following:

  1. The Open Auction via Authorized Buyers (formerly known as Ad Exchange Buyers)
  2. Private Auctions (both optimized and non-optimized)
  3. First Look demand
  4. Third-party exchanges that participate in Open Bidding
  5. Remnant line item types Price Priority, Network, and Bulk
  6. Ad Exchange linked accounts

UPR does not impact the following:

#1 – House line items

house line items

#2 – Line items with zero rate and has no Value CPM set

Value CPM

The UPR with the higher floor applies in case multiple rules have overlapping targeting criteria.

More info here: https://support.google.com/admanager/answer/9298008

Where to start?

#1 – Check your geographic report on Google Analytics to see where most of your traffic comes from. Focus only on the top locations (e.g., top 5 or top 10). You may also run this on Google Ad Manager, and see which countries get the most impressions.

Google analytics countries

#2 – Run a Google Ad Manager historical report for the last seven days (or previous three days for more recent data, especially if there were large fluctuations in the last 7 days), break it down by geography and device if applicable.

GAM historical report

#3 – Pay attention to the Total average eCPM and Total fill rate.

total average ECPM

#4 – Cluster the ones that are performing somewhat within +/- 0.05 CPM. This means, countries that perform closely can be in the same UPR, while the ones that have significant gaps will also have their separate UPR. This allows you to set the floors accordingly.

#5 – Once you have decided on how many UPRs you will create, also choose on the corresponding floors. Start by first identifying the acceptable fill rate for you. For example, some people consider 75% as “good enough,” others can go lower or higher. It really depends on the site. Based on this benchmark, here’s a sample strategy:

Fill Rate UPR floor
0-50% – $0.20 of the average CPM
51-60% – $0.10 of the average CPM
61-70% – $0.05 of the average CPM
71-80% = average CPM
81% and up + $0.10 of the average CPM

In PubGuru University, you can learn more ad optimization strategies and exclusive tips & tricks.

You can also check out how to improve your fill rate for a sticky ad unit and 5 ways of maximizing the fill rate.

#6 – Go to Inventory > Pricing Rules

#7 – Create a New Unified Pricing Rule

#8 – Give it a name, set up targeting criteria. Revisit the plan on which locations you are clustering and the corresponding floors.

#9 – Target CPM or hard floor? We’d recommend using Target CPM because it can still accept lower bids, so it’s less restrictive, yet overall, Google Ad Manager will try to match the CPM set.

pricing

#10 – Start with 1-2 ad units at a time. Doing it all at once may jeopardize your performance. It needs to stabilize first before you proceed to create more UPRs.

#11 – Set up a tracker and closely monitor performance, with particular attention to fill rate, which will dictate your decision on whether to drive the floors up or down.

Fill Rate is NOT the same as Ad Exchange coverage

Let’s not forget that Unified Pricing Rules apply not only to your Ad Exchange demand but the rest of the demand sources running on Google Ad Manager, as mentioned previously. When evaluating Fill Rate, don’t look at AdX coverage but the overall average Fill Rate.

pricing

Expect the drop

During the first 2-3 days, expect your performance or fill rate to drop big time. This is the period when you would panic and give up, but don’t! It should start adjusting and picking up again on the 4th or 5th day, so it takes a bit of patience.

Unified Pricing Rule is extremely sensitive to changes and takes a bit of time to get back on its feet. This drop happens every single time you change the floor. Because of this, we recommend no more than $0.03 increment or decrement whenever you decide to update.

Here’s an actual UPR experiment we conducted for an ad unit:

UPR experiment

Notice the drop on 12/13 to 12/14 after the floor was changed, then started picking up on 12/15 onwards. It then stabilized from 12/18 onwards, and that’s when we then decided it was time to increase the floor since the Fill Rate was within an acceptable range. Then back to the cycle.

If Fill Rate plateaus after 3-4 days, it only means it has already reached its best performance on the floor you set last. That signals your next step – go up or down.

Conduct ad quality monitoring to make sure ads are filling just fine for every page load.

Granular floors optimized by Machine Learning

Granular Floors is the latest MonetizeMore technology that uses machine learning to set individualized and specific floors for specific bidders for individual users. This is especially important for demand sources that prioritize high impact ads, as well as for high value and ultra-high value users (high HHI users, procurement employees). Granular Floors are the publishers’ version of the advertising side’s “bid shading” – they allow us to hide the true value we’re willing to sell an impression for, just as bidders have used bid shading to hide the true bid they’re willing to pay for an impression.

The impact overall is increased bidding pressure across all participants in the auction, and is not only limited to Ad Exchange. It pushes RPM’s up in every ad request, without manual intervention. It’s like your Ad Ops helper running in the background, saving you time and generates you more revenue.

Granular Floors + AdSense re-render:

AdSense Re-render minimizes your unfilled impressions by using AdSense as a fallback in your ad stack. There are numerous reasons why an impression could come back from GAM as unfilled, and this makes sure publishers are still monetizing that inventory.

Using MonetizeMore’s advanced ad technology has both Granular Floors + AdSense Re-render packaged together, so not only are your RPMs optimized, you are also monetizing every single ad request, maximizing performance.

Conclusion

Are you still struggling to maximize your fill rate and set up Unified Pricing Rules? As you can see, our guide shows you how to do it with confidence, step by step. However, it is a complicated process, and to novice ad optimizers, it might seem difficult. Don’t let that stop you from improving your ad revenue! Let MonetizeMore take care of it all for you. Sign up for a Professional account at MonetizeMore today!

Kean Graham

CEO and Founder at MonetizeMore

Kean is the resident expert in Ad Optimization covering areas like AdSense Optimization, DFP Management, and third-party ad network partnerships. Kean believes in the supremacy of direct publisher deals and holistic optimization as keys to effective and consistent ad revenue increases.

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