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Programmatic Bidding on Inventory Eligible for Limited ads

Programmatic Bidding

Google recently communicated with AdSense, AdMob, and Ad Manager users, informing them about the upcoming launch of programmatic bidding support for inventory that qualifies for Limited ads. These Limited ads allow publishers to show ads in a restricted manner, disabling the gathering, sharing, and use of personal data for ad personalization.

The company made an announcement stating, "In early 2024, Google plans to introduce programmatic bidding support for inventory that's eligible for Limited ads. Publishers can activate this new mode to utilize cookies and local storage specifically for detecting invalid traffic on both consented and non-consented traffic, enabling demand from Google Demand, Authorized Buyers, and other entities in Limited ads."

Google elaborated in the email that this new mode would enable contextual programmatic demand for publishers using Limited Ads and will facilitate demand from various sources including Google Demand, Authorized Buyers, Open Bidders, and SDK Bidding.

Google clarified that using the Limited ads serving mode means Google will use cookies and local storage for detecting invalid traffic irrespective of user consent signals received with Limited ads requests.

The email text shared by Google reads:

In the first quarter of 2024, Google plans to support programmatic bidding on inventory suited for Limited ads. This mode will allow contextual programmatic demand for publishers serving Limited Ads and enable demand from multiple sources. Should you opt for this mode, Google will use cookies and local storage for invalid traffic detection regardless of user consent signals in Limited ads requests. The programmatic demand will be enabled under certain conditions, such as the absence of a certified CMP, the presence of a <D=1 flag in the ad request, or if a user declines consent for Purpose 1 of IAB Europe’s TCF, and the signal for other lawful bases required for Limited Ads is present in the TC string.

The use of this feature is optional, acknowledging the legal responsibility of publishers regarding tool usage and varying opinions on whether invalid traffic-only cookies and local storage should need user consent. The invalid traffic-only cookie is necessary for this inventory as invalid traffic protection is crucial for programmatic demand.

Publishers are advised to consult with their legal teams to decide on using this feature, considering relevant regulations and regulator guidance. They need to determine if using invalid traffic-only cookies & local storage on their sites/apps requires user consent. Publishers not wishing to use these without user consent should opt out of this feature.

Further details on this update and how to prepare or opt out are available in Google’s help center articles (Ad Manager, AdMob, AdSense).

Additional points explained:

  • Google's Trust Token API can be accessed to combat fraud and abuse, and consent is not required for this usage.

  • Ad-serving technologies will continue as normal, including caching or installation of JavaScript tags or SDK code, with ad creatives sent and sometimes cached on devices. Basic ad serving will still use data like IP addresses.

  • Invalid traffic detection-only cookies & local storage are used to defend against fraud and abuse, with no consent requirement from Google.

  • Publishers who prefer not to use invalid traffic-only cookies and local storage without user consent can opt out in the AdSense user interface.

Limited ads are enabled by default but can be disabled or re-enabled in the AdSense account under Brand Safety, Blocking controls, and then Ad serving.

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