AdSense moves to a first-price auction

On October 7, 2021, AdSense announces it will move to a first-price auction by the end of the year.

AdSense moving to a first-price auction comes with its fair share of advantages most likely to advertisers bidding for ad spaces while publishers might not see any change to their average revenue earnings.

On display ad selling platforms, a first-price auction simplifies the buying experience for advertisers because the final price reflects the winner’s bid.

Google Ad Manager and AdMob have already moved to a first price auction, and by streamlining the auction model across AdSense, Ad Manager, and AdMob, advertisers benefit from a consistent process across Google’s ad selling platforms.

This helps to grow advertiser spending confidence across the display advertising ecosystem and an increase in spending confidence over time will benefit publishers.

Why is AdSense making this change now?

In the early days of online display advertising, ad space was typically sold to advertisers in a second-price auction, where the final price paid by the winner was determined by the amount of the second-highest bid.

Over time, many ad selling platforms in the display advertising ecosystem, including Ad Manager, AdMob, and many third-party ad exchanges, switched their auctions to first-price.

In a first-price auction, the final price reflects the winning bid. In the coming months, AdSense will move to a first-price auction.

This will help advertisers by simplifying how they buy online ads and make it easier for them to buy your ad space sold on AdSense.

Which AdSense products are affected?

The move to a first-price auction only affects the following AdSense products:

  • AdSense for Content
  • AdSense for Video
  • AdSense for Games

This move does not affect:

  • AdSense for Search
  • AdSense for Shopping

As a Publisher, Do I need to take any action?

No. You do not need to do anything, these changes will update automatically.

Do I need to change my ad implementation?

No. The move to a first-price auction will not impact your ad implementation.

Will I still be able to leverage all ad formats in the new auction?

Yes. This change does not affect the ad formats that AdSense offers.

Will my AdSense earnings be impacted?

Due to the dynamic auction environment, we cannot predict how specific AdSense publishers will be impacted.

But, on average we expect the impact to AdSense publishers’ earnings overall from the move to a first-price auction to be neutral.

When Ad Manager moved to a first-price auction, there was a neutral to slightly positive impact to publisher earnings on average.

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