What is Google EBDA?

Google EBDA is Google’s answer to the rise of header bidding that has taken the adtech industry by storm over the last two years. EBDA stands for Exchange Bidding Dynamic Allocation. This feature eventually will be available for Google’s ad server, DFP (DoubleClick for Publishers) users.

EBDA allows for the integration of demand programmatic demand sources such as SSPs, networks and exchanges to bid dynamically within DFP’s Ad Exchange, to holistically increase yield. In theory, this should simplify the process for publishers to work with additional demand sources seamlessly within DFP.

Header bidding is Evolving rapidly.

Header bidding today is built as a “hack” for Google’s DFP ad server with 100s or thousands of line Items housed in DFP and activated once a winning bid is sent to DFP from the client of a publishers page. EBDA is the much awaited response from Google which will allow publishers to turn on their favorite SSPs and exchanges directly within AdX to compete in real time against Google’s demand.

Many companies have developed their own client and server side header bidding wrappers. Check out our list of header bidding companies here.

According to AdAge: “Although header bidding has seen significant adoption by publishers, however, it still carries the reputation of a hacky workaround to DoubleClick. That changed last week after Facebook backed the tech, saying it would work with Index Exchange, Sonobi, Amazon, AppNexus, Sortable and Media.net to bring demand from its Audience Network to publishers using header bidding.” 

In header bidding, A publisher generally will work with anywhere from 3-15 header partners with 3-5 client side and another 3-5 server side (S2S). Most publishers use some form of prebid.js, the most widely used open source header bidding wrapper with over 70 demand partner adapters. With EBDA, a publisher can simply turn on partners server side who are integrated into the platform to bid on their inventory alongside of Google AdX (Google’s Demand)

How will this affect the demand side?

Major ad exchanges who work with publishers who insist on using EBDA, may have little choice and be forced to integrate into EBDA and participate in a server side auction. While from a latency and efficiency perspective, server side bidding has it’s benefits for publishers (they can integrate as many partners as they want in theory to participate in the auction), From the demand side, exchanges may have problems cookie matching and wont be able to see their code on a live publisher page client side. Overall, there are many pros and cons.

EBDA is still in beta with a handful of publishers participating as Google fully evaluates then positioning of the product and figures out the effect in the grand scheme of things. While the Beta started in April 2016, we have been hearing more and more publishers discuss EBDA in Q1 of 2018.

It’s an exciting time to be a publisher and hopefully we hear more announcements or see a working demo of EBDA in the near future. Time will tell if Google’s “version of header bidding” will be successful!

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