What is header bidding in programmatic advertising?

Bidding for headers is an advanced programmatic advertising technique that serves as an alternative to Google's “waterfall” method. Header bids are also called advance bids or prebids, and they offer publishers a way to simultaneously offer advertising space to several SSPs or ad bags at the same time. Header bidding is an advanced programmatic advertising technology that works with JavaScript code placed in the header part of the page. It starts loading as soon as the web page loads in the user's browsers, connecting to their offering platforms to place offers before calling the ad server.

All of this happens within a fixed period of time, preferably two seconds, as set by the publishers. This means that SSPs, direct DSPs, ad bags, and ad networks must respond with their offers within two seconds. From there, advertisers can decide in real time how much they are willing to bid based on the information in the ad request. Because the advertisers couldn't bid on each other simultaneously, the ad inventory was sold to the first advertiser with a bid above the publisher's minimum price.

Header bids allow multiple advertisers to bid on ad inventory simultaneously before the ad server decides which ad to show. Publishers can share bid-level data with advertisers so they can adjust their bidding decisions going forward. While bidding on headers isn't the perfect solution, they're the best solution available to publishers right now. Bidding for headers, also known as pre-bidding or prebidding, is a programmatic technology by which publishers simultaneously offer their ad inventory to many in-demand partners, such as Google.

Before sending the offers from the header auctions to the packager, the demand partners organize their own auctions to decide which advertiser or DSP will participate in the main auction. A header bid wrapper is a JavaScript tag placed in the header of a page that provides access to several advertising demand partners and regulates profitable ad auctions with real-time bidding (RTB). Before bidding on headers, the programmatic advertising ecosystem used the waterfall or daisy chain technique to auction off advertising space. The programmatic advertising industry has come a long way in recent decades, and today, digital publishers have no shortage of advertising technology providers to choose from.

On the contrary, advertising bids offer all ad bags and advertisers the same opportunities to bid on (premium) ad inventory, resulting in greater competition and increased revenue for publishers. The header bid container allows publishers to flexibly add or remove a source of advertising demand without modifying the website's code. Js is an open source header bid container, but maintaining it is a tedious task that requires technical resources. However, the TAM is not a managed service, so publishers must take care of the technical implementation of header bids themselves.

If your current team is unable to manage this situation, you can use managed header bidding solutions.

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