After hearing all the exciting news and new features of the new DFP advertising tags (aka. Google Publisher Tags), how could a publisher not implement them? After implementation of the asynchronous ad tags, the ads are supposed to load faster from single page request ad serving, you're supposed to be able to serve ads in emails and newsletters and DFP can serve passback ad tags that point back to DFP to choose the next ad.
That all sounds great, right? Well, we fell for it too. We implemented the new tags for several clients and encountered a few problems:
1. Ad Exchange CPM's Dropped: The exact day we implemented the Google publisher tags, we saw about a large drop in CPM. The next day we saw close to 20% drops in CPM. Mind you, this was in Q4 when CPM's are supposed to consistently climb as we get closer to Christmas. This has happened every year in the past, the only difference here was the implementation of the new DFP tags.
2. Advertising Fill Coverage Dropped: As soon as we implemented the Google publisher tags, we saw drops in ad impressions immediately. We compared this to the site's Analytics and saw no consistency. The traffic remained constant but the ad impressions dropped by an average of 10%. Therefore, the new DFP ad tags served a lower percentage of functional ads versus the old tags.
3. Non-existent Third Party Advertising Network Passback Capability: Google claimed the new DFP ad tags enabled the capability to send passback ad tags to third party ad networks that would send any passback ad impression back to DFP to choose the next advertisement to show. This is a feature that DFP Premium has and is the optimal passback strategy for any publisher. However, this feature is non-existent for the Google publisher tags. Many DFP reps that we've dealt with have admitted this and said they will change the language about this feature.
Overall, the new DFP advertising tags have been a huge and expensive disappointment. We have reverted back to the old DFP advertising tags and are in the process with the other clients. We believe the drop in Ad Exchange CPM came from the fact that the new DFP advertising tags are iFrames. Expandable ads are not able to be served in iFrames without additional external code setup. Expandable ads go for high CPM's and the new DFP advertising tags aren't able to serve them properly which hit the Ad Exchange CPM's hard. The new iFrame ad tags could be the reason why the fill of functional ads dropped by an average of 10%. Expandable ads and certain rich media advertisements in third party ad networks weren't able to serve properly. The lack of a third party ad network capability was negligent communication on Google's part. It is important to ask your Google rep about these specific features first.
Keep in mind these tags are still in beta so we would recommend to be patient and maybe implement them later when they have gone through proper revisions. In the meantime, stick with those old tags and don't be lured by misguided Google updates.
Kean Graham is one of the banner ad monetization experts at Monetize More. He specializes in boosting the banner ad revenues of high traffic websites. Kean specifically specializes in online classified monetization.
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