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Server-Side Header Bidding: A Publisher's Guide

Server-Side Header Bidding: A Publisher’s Guide

An innovative thinker or game-changing invention comes along every so often, reshaping the world and bringing…

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An innovative thinker or game-changing invention comes along every so often, reshaping the world and bringing in a new age. Header bidding is something that was a game-changer for programmatic advertising and has since become the go-to tactic for publishers looking to maximize their ad inventory ROI.

Since we are here to discuss a subset of header bidding technologies, specifically server-side header bidding, I will spare you the details of this technique for now.

Server-Side Header Bidding

One programmatic approach is server-side header bidding, which places the auction on the ad server. At this point, the auction server receives a single bid request from the JavaScript code that you placed to your website’s header.

The Process of Server-Side Bidding

What occurs invisibly with server-side header bidding the moment a visitor arrives at a page on your website is:

  1. Rather than contacting numerous ad exchanges or SSPs, the JavaScript wrapper delivers a single request to a dedicated auction server.
  2. All of the bids are collected by this auction server through effective communication with numerous SSPs.
  3. The server will choose the winning bid after all the offers have been received.
  4. The user is presented with the ideal advertisement in an instant after the winning bid is returned to the wrapper.

Why use Server-Side Header Bidding?

There is a problem with traditional header bidding, also known as client-side header bidding. The auction takes place in the browser of the person. This leads to:

  • Unhappy Users—as the page takes longer to load.
  • Advertisers who are unhappy because adding more demand partners makes the ads load more slowly.
  • Unhappy Publishers: you can only add a limited number of demand partners to avoid delay.
  • Server-side header bidding came in handy in this case. When you use this technology, your header tag (the JavaScript code) only makes one bid call to the ad server. Now the server has done the rest of the hard work. That’s it for delay.

Problems with Server-Side Header Bidding

Server-Side Header Bidding like any other emerging technology has its own issues.

Difficult Setup

It’s not as easy to set up server-side header bidding as it is client-side bidding.

To make sure bid replies are sent on time, you need to know a lot about the bidding process, set up your servers correctly, and be good at managing your time.

Dependence on Third-Party Providers and Transparency

When auctions are held on the server, it’s harder to see how the buying is going. It might be harder to find problems and fix them.

Depending on third-party companies can also come with risks, such as the possibility of data leaks or differences. Notably, 57% of internet users around the world were worried about their safety online in 2022, which shows how important it is to be open and honest.

Matching Cookies

This is because server-side header bidding is focused on the server, so it doesn’t always directly access user computer cookies. Because of this limitation, match rates may go down, which can make targeted advertising efforts less effective.

Cost Considerations

Server-side betting can make it faster for pages to load, but it can also cost more. These include costs for maintenance, managing more data flow, and paying third-party providers.

Server-side header bidding is still a good choice for many authors, even with these problems.

Optimize Server-Side Setup in 4 Steps

Step #1: Select a Reliable Server-Side Platform

Select a platform that is known for having good server-side auctions, like one that works with Prebid Server or Google’s Open Bidding.

Features like strong protection, clear reporting, and good customer service should be given top priority.

Step #2: Configuring your Server Settings

Set up your infrastructure so that it can handle more info. This includes making the best use of the CPU, memory, and network speed.

Change the server’s capacity and timeouts to make sure bid replies happen on time.

Step #3: Make sure you follow privacy rules

It is very important to follow data privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA when using server-side header bids.

  • Use consent management platforms (CMPs) and other tools to keep track of user permission.
  • Review your data methods often and stay up to date on privacy laws.
  • Make sure that any third-party service companies you work with follow the rules.

Step #4: Use Hybrid Header Bidding

Both client-side and server-side header bids can be used together in a hybrid bid. It gives you the best of both worlds: transparency on the client side and a better CPM on the server side.

  • Start by sending only a small amount of your traffic to the server. As you get used to it, slowly add more traffic.
  • To keep an eye on speed, use real-time analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Prebid Analytics.
  • Change things based on real-time data and insights, like changing timeout settings or floor prices.

Digital advertising lives on new ideas. Server-side header bids is just one example of how the industry is working hard to improve the user experience and find new ways to make money. For authors, the most important thing is to keep learning and being able to change.

In a world that is always changing, it is important to stay educated. This means going into great detail about data, how people act, and market trends. It goes like this: you learn something, use it, think about it, and then you learn it again. To make the most money while giving users a smooth experience, you have to be committed to success at every step.

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