This morning, Google emailed publishers using AdSense about new programmatic support next year.
Starting in Q1 2024, Google is launching support for programmatic bidding on inventory eligible for Limited ads.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so read on to understand:
- What Limited ads are
- What the new programmatic support entails
- What publishers need to consider
To understand this feature, we first need to understand what Limited ads are.
What are Limited ads?
Limited ads essentially give publishers the ability to serve ads to consumers in a limited way.
To do this, limited ads turn off the collection, sharing, and use of personal data for personalization of ads.
Since limited ads turn off all personalization of ads that require a local identifier, certain ad features are not available for limited ads. Some of the main unavailable ad features include:
- Any sort of ad personalization
- Audience targeting
- Interest-based categories
- Mobile carrier targeting
- Conversion (and in-app conversion) metrics
The New Programmatic Serving Mode
In this new programmatic bidding support, Google will allow contextual programmatic demand when publishers serve Limited ads.
The demand will come from:
- Google Demand
- Authorized Buyers
- Open Bidders
- SDK Bidding
For publishers opting into this new programmatic support, Google still needs to use the invalid traffic detection-only cookies and local storage, for which Google does not require user consent.
Then, programmatic demand is enabled by the following:
- When there is no certified CMP present
- When the <D=1 flag is in the ad request
- When a user declines consent for Purpose 1 of IAB Europe’s Transparency and Consent Framework
- The signal for all other lawful bases required for Limited ads eligibility is present in the TC string.
What Publishers Need To Consider
This new programmatic feature from Google is optional for publishers, meaning they can opt in or out of Ad Manager.
But why is it optional?
Google recognizes that publishers are legally responsible for the specific tools they use and how they handle user consent on their websites.
Meaning – this is not a “one size fits all” solution for all publishers.
Google recommends that publishers work with their own legal teams to determine if they can – and should – use the new programmatic feature.
Essentially, publishers need to determine their requirements for invalid traffic-only cookies and whether their rules require user consent.
It’s also important to note that the new feature will be turned on by default once available.
Google proactively provides steps to turn off this feature (once available in Ad Manager).
- Sign into Ads Manager
- Navigate to Admin >> Global settings >> Network settings
- Turn off the feature for Programmatic limited ads
- Scroll to the bottom and click Save.
Lastly, it’s important to consider what this means for a user on a publisher’s site if opted into the feature.
As a user, they will likely be served ads considered less relevant to them.
It could influence their perception of their experience on the publisher’s website.
Additionally, if there’s not as much engagement on those non-personalized ads, publishers could see less incremental revenue from those Limited ads.
While Google hasn’t given this launch a specific date, we know it’s set to launch sometime in Q1 2024.
Publishers can stay ahead of the game by reviewing their existing rules and regulations on requirements for user consent.
If eligible, it’s up to you to determine whether to take advantage of this expanded programmatic ad-serving feature.