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DoubleClick For Publishers- A Complete Guide

Rehnuma Khatoon

Updated on August 11, 2023

DoubleClick For Publishers- A Complete Guide
Google DFPDoubleClick for PublishersDFP

The Google advertising ecosystem has come along a long journey of technological evolution over the years. From functioning as a simple auction system in 2000 to introducing useful features from time to time, such as site targeting, and demographic-specific display ads, Google ads have become a prevalent and indispensable digital advertising platform for businesses worldwide.

With constant improvements in Google’s online advertising system, the network has become more profitable for app advertisers and publishers looking to make money from mobile apps or websites. That’s why Google launched Doubleclick for Publishers. While every app publisher on Google has a unique objective to achieve, app monetization always remains their top priority.

Rebranding of Google Ads Portfolio
Rebranding of Google Ads Portfolio

Small and medium publishers can use Google AdMob or AdSense alternatives to monetize their app/website easily. However, publishers with 5+ million views or DAU feel like AdSense and AdMob are limiting their app’s monetization potential, not allowing them to monetize the traffic to the fullest.

So, what’s the solution to their problem? That’s where Google DoubleClick comes into the picture. DFP is a central place to monetize different types of inventory like websites, mobile apps, games, and videos.

In this regard, our blog post examines the ins and outs of Google Double click for publishers to discover how this feature drives value to the publishers. Before we get started, let’s look at Google’s brief history of rebranding to make its advertising ecosystem more accessible and value-driven.

Table of Contents

What is Google DFP-DoubleClick for Publishers?

Google DoubleClick is a full-fledged ad-serving platform/tool designed to streamline various processes associated with ad monetization on the publisher side. Note that Google announced the rebranding of DFP as Google Ad Manager on June 27, 2018, with combined core DoubleClick for Publishers and DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX). These two are Google’s former services that shut down once GAM was launched.

Although DoubleClick for Publishers is a powerful tool for publishers, many often misunderstand DFP as they think of it as an independent ad server or seller-side platform (SSP). However, DFP is an innovative programmatic advertising solution that is way more useful than any ad server or SSP. Owned by Google, Double click for publishers offers a seamless user experience and optimized features similar to your experience on Google’s top products like AdSense and AdMob.

Publishers looking to increase their ad revenue from existing formats or planning to modify their entire ad publishing strategies can leverage the benefits of DFP and achieve sustainable ad revenue growth. To understand various jargon associated with DFP, refer to our DFP that explains DFP both on the basic and advanced levels.

Role of DFP (Google Ad Manager) in the ad serving process?

Let's understand the role of DoubleClick for publishers in the whole ad-serving process. Simply put, we will understand the journey of ads from DFP to a particular app or website. Following is the explanation of the ad serving process in a nutshell:

  1. Visitors land on any website or app- As soon as a user opens a website, the ad content immediately gets loaded via the web server. That said, the ads must come from a server such as DFP.
  2. The ad server receives ad requests- Once the website/app spots any user, it sends some parameters to the DFP as to what ads will be suitable for the publisher's vacant slot on the web page or app.
  3. DFP determines the ideal ads to be served- DFP strategically analyzes the parameters such as audience type, ad format, and slot size to serve high-performing ads on empty slots.
  4. Selected ads are delivered to the app/website- Upon successfully serving ads on the desired slots, DFP keeps track of the times a particular ad is served and how much traction it has gained, including clicks, impressions, conversion, etc.

How does DoubleClick for publishers work?

Specify your ad inventory

Determining your ad inventory is similar to putting a vacant space on a physical hoarding or banner for sale. When done on DFP’s ecosystem, publishers need to specify ad inventory for an app or website to sell it to the advertisers.

Sell your ad inventory to advertisers.

Interact with DSPs or direct advertisers and tell them the total number of clicks and impressions your ad slots receive. Furthermore, review advertisers' campaign terms and agree to them if they are legit. This way, you reserve the right buyers for your ad inventory.

Setup your campaign

Now that you have ad inventory and advertisers, the next step is to set up advertisers' objective-specific campaigns using Google DoubleClick for publishers. These objectives include ad delivery, targeting options, geo locations, and custom audience targeting.

Optimize your ad revenue

Maximizing your ad revenue is all about grabbing the highest bid for your ad slots. If you cannot find your ideal advertiser with bidding and other approaches to selling ad slots, another tried and proven way to do it is by accessing Ad exchange. For your ease, DoubleClick for publishers allows you to connect your ad exchange on the platform and get direct access to advertisers ready to pay the most for your ad inventory.

Deliver your ads

Once you upload creatives to DFP, your ads are set to deliver. Google's fast and reliable infrastructure guarantees that your campaign delivers creatives on time while achieving its desired goals.

Measure ad performance

As a publisher looking to earn the most from each impression on various ad slots, you must track and measure the ad performance as soon as your ads are live. Ad performance tracking is not challenging in the Google ads ecosystem, thanks to DFP's fast, flexible and robust reporting features. Additionally, DoubleClick for publishers supports regular optimization of campaign delivery and releasing new ad revenue opportunities.

How does Google Ad Manager (DFP) differ from AdX and Adsense?

GAM vs. AdX vs. Adsense- A comparison

Aspect of comparison Google DFP- Now called GAM Google AdSense Google AdX
What is it Rebranded as Google Ad Manager, DoubleClick for publishers acts as a compact programmatic advertising solution that publishers can use for ad delivery, publishing, monetization, and more. Self-managed website monetization platform designed for small and medium-sized publishers. Publishers can put their inventories across millions of advertisers for real-time bidding. Earlier known as Double click exchange, Google AdX is a real-time ad inventory marketplace that allows advertisers and publishers with a unified platform to bid, buy and sell ad inventory.
Payment model Publishers are free to choose a payment model, CPM or CPC. CPC- Cost per click CPM- Cost per impression
Participation criteria Publishers must have 5M+ monthly page views or daily active users. No threshold applicable 10M monthly page views or daily active users required
Setup and use Can be complicated for newbie publishers. Easy to setup and use Complicated because Google set complex guidelines to grant access to AdX.
Suitable for Both free and paid versions are available as GAM and GAM 360, respectively. Free to use Free to access
Technical proficiency Partially substantial, you may require a Google-approved advertising partner Not required Highly substantial. Collaborate with a Google-approved advertising partner

How to get started with Google DoubleClick for Publishers(now called GAM)?

Google makes it mandatory for publishers to have a valid AdSense account if they want to access and use Google Ad Manager (DoubleClick for Publishers). Follow the below steps if you have an AdSense account. Or else, you can create an account first and then get started with the following steps:

  1. Visit Google Ad Manager’s home page and click “Get Started”.
Google Ad Manager
Google ad manager intro
  1. Provide Google with an idea about your business niche. Choose a best-fit option from the suggestion (see the box in the below image) and click on “Continue”.
Google Ad Manager
Google ad manager get started
  1. Fill in more details about your app business, from the number of daily active users, your preferred features, your Google Adsense account details, and the region where your business is based.
Google Ad Manager
Google ad manager get app developers
  1. On the next step, Google Ad Manager will ask you to fill in a form with details like your name, company’s name, website address, country and a brief description of your campaign objective. Once you complete the form, click on “Submit”.
Google Ad Manager
Google ad manager contact
  1. Google Ad Manager does not immediately approve your request to access GAM. Their team reviews your application thoroughly and gets back to you with the final decision. (You get replies typically in minutes in case of a favorable decision).
Google Ad Manager
Google ad manager thanks
  1. If your application is approved, Google will allow you to sign up for Google Ad Manager and continue to maximize your ad revenue.
Google Ad Manager
Google ad manager eligible

How is Google DFP better than Ad Servers?

Google DoubleClick for publishers distinguishes itself from other ad servers with its unique and unparalleled Google Adx dynamic allocation setup. A dynamic allocation is an automated approach to determining whether Google ad exchange ads or third-party ads should run or not on the Google ecosystem.

With DFP, publishers get an idea about their potential revenue from advertising on AdX. Also, they remain assured about maximum earnings from ads since DFP only chooses to run the AdX ads with the high-paying bid. AdX ads that fail to pick high bids don’t generally qualify for DFP. Instead, DFP prefers to run ads from third-party ad inventory that pay more. This concept signifies that DoubleClick for Publishers is better than Ad exchange or any ad server as it ensures high revenue for publishers.

DoubleClick for Publishers Glossary

DFP Terminologies- Basics

Ad inventory

Ad space available on a publisher’s app or website for sale. For example, if an app has 50 ad units and 30 are open for bidding, 30 are considered ad inventory.

Ad units

Slots or space on an app/website that occupies ads for advertising purposes.


International Advertising Bureau who are authorized to define ad sizes globally to bring uniformity across publishers.


Generally called a “campaign”, an order refers to an ad request that advertisers make for the publisher’s inventory.


Bidding or real-time bidding in the advertising ecosystem refers to a process by which advertisers bid for publishers’ ad inventory and close the sales deal quickly in real-time.

Line item

Every ad order must have a minimum of one line item as it defines various parameters for the ads to run. For example, which ad unit will the ads utilize, which format and creative to use, and what details to enable effective custom targeting?

Ad creative

Content that will appear on the desired ad units. Ad creatives can be still images, videos, blogs or banners per brand parameters.

Audience targeting

An audience-limiting approach to define the right audience demographic for the ads and limit its display to people who are more likely to engage, retain and convert.

Ad placement

Grouping of multiple ad units in a technically organized manner.


DoubleClick for publishers aggressively monitors and measures your app/site’s traffic and impressions on the existing ad units to predict the future availability of ad inventory.

  • Freeing up Inventory
  • Process of
  • Order types
  • Payment models

DFP Terminologies- Advanced

Dynamic allocation

A publisher-centric feature that allows third-party line items to compete with AdX and AdSense ad inventory, guaranteeing high bids for your ad inventory.


An approach that divides a day into various parts to define specific running time for the publishers.

Frequency capping

Features for allocating rules regarding how often the ad will be displayed to the same audience.


A backup creative that supports the on-time display of creatives to the desired ad slot in case users’ browser faces some technical faults or inefficiencies in seeing the primary creatives.

Guaranteed and Non-guaranteed

Line items that guarantee to deliver a specific amount of impressions. On the flip side, Non-guaranteed line items are not obligated to provide specific impressions as these only fill the leftover inventory.

Exclusion label

Labels that are assigned to line items to separate it’s served separately across the line items with the same levels.

Publisher Console

A valuable tool for solving tagging issues and debugging ad delivery.

Also read: What is Google Ad Manager?

Google DoubleClick for publishers FAQs

What is DFP?

DFP, called DoubleClick for publishers, is a Google-owned ad management solution that allows publishers to manage everything around their ad inventory, including sell, deliver, and schedule.

Why was DFP (double click exchange) rebranded to GAM (Google Ad Manager)?

GAM is the hybrid version of DoubleClick for Publishers since it was formed by merging Google Double Click Exchange and Google Double click for publishers. Hence, publishers do not need to signup and manage two different platforms after Google Ad Manager (GAM).

Do I need Adsense to account for using DFP?

Not necessarily. Serving ads on your app/website through DFP doesn’t require an Adsense account. However, you need to connect your AdSense account to DFP to gain access to it.

What benefits will I get by connecting my Adsense and AdX accounts to DFP?

Google Ad Manager is integrated with innovative features and capabilities. When you connect your Google AdSense or Google AdX to GAM, it automatically gets a record of your unsold inventory and fills them back to avoid wastage. For more details, you can consider connecting with a Google AdX partner.

Is Google DFP free or paid?

Google DoubleClick for Publishers is now GAM, with two free versions: Google Ad Manager (GAM) and Google Ad Manager 360 (GAM 360), paid version.

What are the terms & policies associated with DFP?

Google allocates strict policies and a set of rules to ensure high safety on GAM. See this blog to understand DoubleClick for Publishers (GAM) related rules clearly. Although the criteria for monthly impressions are negotiable with Google, a publisher’s app or website must have over 5 million impressions to get started with a Google Ad Manager account. If you meet this criterion, Visit Google Ad Manager and follow the instructions to get started.

Ready to grow your ad revenue by at least 40%?

Category :
Programmatic Advertising


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India Office
GreedyGame Media Private Limited,
4th Floor, No.04, Zed Pentagon,
Hosur Main Road, Bommanahalli,
Bengaluru 560068 Karnataka
USA Office
GreedyGame Inc.
2093 Philadelphia Pike,
#2346, Claymont,
State of Delaware 19703
© GreedyGame Media Pvt. Ltd. 2023. All Rights Reserved.