It’s the world’s largest search engine. It’s an email service. It’s a web browser. It’s an advertising platform.

These days, you’re better off asking what Google isn’t rather than what it is. When you think of any internet-related service, it’s natural to assume Google has a platform for it. That’s certainly true in the digital advertising space. Google Ad Manager is one of the largest digital ad platforms out there — it captured 36.3% of the United States’ total investment in digital advertising in 2020. With a single platform.

So then, why shouldn’t publishers use Google Ad Manager to bring in advertising revenue on their sites or apps? They absolutely should, but it shouldn’t be the only thing they do. In this post, we put Playwire and the DIY approach to using Google Ad Manager face to face in a cage match. Read on to learn what you’re missing when you set up and manage Google Ad Manager on your own.

Playwire offers a comprehensive suite of revenue amplification services for publishers. That includes Google Ads and a whole lot more. Contact us to learn more.

-- Article Continues Below --

Google Ad Manager Training Library

Visit the Google Ad Manager Training Library!

Google Ad Manager is Great, but There’s More You Can Do

We need to be clear about something before jumping into the main content of this article. Google Ad Manager is not just a good idea — it’s essential to any well-rounded publisher revenue strategy.

Playwire is a Google Certified Publishing Partner (GCPP) — an honor held by only a handful of organizations around the world. We’re certainly not suggesting that you shouldn’t use Google Ad Manager. We’re simply saying that Google Ad Manager is one part of a strong revenue strategy. It’s not everything you should be doing. 

At Playwire, we use our partnership with Google to connect publishers with premium Google demand, but we add to that with dozens of other demand sources, ad tech innovations and services. 

DIY Google Ad Manager: What You’re Missing

If you’re doing Google Ad Manager the DIY way, you’re already headed in the right direction. But Google Ad Manager alone does not connect you with all of the sources of advertising demand you need to maximize your revenue. By working with a partner like Playwire — one that uses Google Ad Manager and a range of other demand sources and tools to boost your revenue — you could see a revenue increase of 40% to 50% right away.

Here are some of the things you’re probably missing if you’re only doing Google Ad Manager:

Header Bidding

Header bidding is a relatively recent development in advertising technology, but it has made enormous waves in the industry in a short time. Diving too deeply into the details of header bidding would make this post a little too long, but here’s the simple explanation: header bidding is a way of doing the programmatic auction process that has advertisers bid on inventory blind to other bids. The publisher gets the best bid instead of just the first bid that meets the auction criteria.

Header bidding doesn’t come with Google Ad Manager. You have to add it — build a header bidding wrapper, install it on your site, configure your settings and servers and more. In other words, the DIY approach to Google Ad Manager is leaving the revenue-boosting power of header bidding on the sidelines.

In fact, many publishers, like Letterboxd, see an immediate increase in ad revenue just by turning Playwire’s header bidding solution on, before any additional optimizations are even done. 

Amazon Advertising

Amazon’s Transparent Ad Marketplace (TAM) is an enormous source of advertising demand. It’s obvious but worth saying: doing Google Ad Manager alone DIY likely means you’re missing out on all of the demand that TAM holds. 

There’s no reason to slow down your revenue like that. Partners like Playwire use Google Ads, TAM and various other demand sources in tandem to give publishers access to all of the demand — not just some of it.

-- Article Continues Below --

Google Ad Manager Pillar

Read The Publisher's Guide to Google Ad Manager and GAM 360.

Google Ad Manager vs. DFP Premium

Most publishers who are using Google Ad Manager are using Google DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) Small Business. But did you know there’s a premium option? It’s called DFP Premium. It’s intended for sites with high traffic and relatively complex advertising and sales operations. It comes with several major perks, including Google support and programmatic real-time bidding through Open Bidding.

Here’s the problem: you have to be invited to use DFP Premium. And you aren’t likely to be invited until you have an enormous amount of traffic. 

Playwire has a solution. Publishers who use Playwre get automatic access to DFP Premium through our account. That way, you can get the benefits of DFP Premium without having to jump through all the hoops.

Engaged Ads

Some advertisers like to get their ads in front of users who are really engaged with the content of a particular website or app. If a user has been on your site for a couple of minutes already, there are plenty of advertisers who would pay a premium to show that user their ads.

With Google Ad Manager, that’s just not possible. You can’t show a user who has already been shown an ad another ad. But with Playwire, you can. Getting higher cost per mille (CPM) rates and showing additional ads to the same user is incredibly valuable, so we have made sure our publishers have this ability.

More Time to Focus on Your Content

In addition to all the differences already listed, there is one more major drawback to a DIY approach: TIME. In an industry where time may be even more valuable than money, getting to take the amount of time you would have been spending managing ads (with the Google Ad Manager DIY approach) and instead focus that time on building more great content, the ROI is far greater than just the increase you’ll see in ad revenue.

With the DIY approach you (or your team) will have to manually manage ad filters, category blocks, price floors, and more. When you can leave that work to a trained Ad Tech team, and just focus on your content, your business will flourish.

"Working with Playwire was a turning point for Math Playground. I had every possible ad filter in place. I had blocked whole categories of ads and banned advertisers. I was spending the entire day manually reviewing every ad. It was a battle I just couldn’t win. It got to the point that I was ready to give up the ad-supported model, but that’s when Playwire stepped in with the whole solution. It’s what kept Math Playground going."

- Colleen King, Founder and CEO, Math Playground

Playwire: Get Google Demand and Much More

Google Ad Manager connects you with a great source of advertising demand, but you can do more. With Playwire, you get full Google Ads management, header bidding, access to other major demand sources and dozens of other perks that ramp up your ad revenue.

Ready to stop worrying about your ad sales and start seeing your revenue rise? We’re ready to make that happen for you. Just contact us online.

Contact Us