This post was most recently updated on July 20th, 2021
The answer to this question is No. However, a few years ago, Google responded to Header bidding’s method.
Google announced its full rollout of Open Bidding to counter punch header bidding, which is now commonly known as an alternative.
Open Bidding is a unified auction that relies on server-side connections, where several ad exchanges and SSPs compete with Google’s Ad Exchange to win the impressions. The auction takes place on the server rather than the user’s browser.
Google generates the bid requests and passes those requests to GAM (ad server) for auction. From there, each bid request gets categorized based on the visitors’ demographics and targeting. The bid is presented depending on the category to reduce complications of the bidding process between publishers and advertisers.
Here’s how to set up Open Bidding:
Header bidding has become known due to its advanced programmatic ad buying technique and still in its unbeatable place. It provides publishers more control over the process by offering their inventory simultaneously to multiple ad exchanges before requesting the ad servers, rather than ad waterfalls.
This method helped improve auction efficiency, maximize yield and increase Publishers’ ad revenue while also providing all advertisers an equal shot at higher quality placements.
For detailed information on header bidding, you can check this article:
Both platforms have a common goal: making them available to multiple demand partners equally, and are based on real-time Bidding. The main difference is their execution process.
For instance, Header Bidding has a more complicated setup than Open Bidding but is better in transparency and higher match rate for cookies.
On the other hand, Open Bidding has a simplified setup and overall reduced page latency, but less transparent than header bidding because Publishers can’t conclude why a specific advertiser won the auction. Publishers have no control here, since Google manages it.
Publishers can run open Bidding and header bidding together in Google Ad Manager. In fact, a lot of publishers are doing it already. Some publishers run with other solutions simultaneously to further improve bid pressure and overall performance. Just make sure to keep an eye on the page latency.
There’s no method with no shortcomings. Both also serve a significant improvement in auction efficiency and performance. It is up to you to decide and implement the right solution depending on your needs.
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