Still rolling along in the beleagured world of websites. Hope you all are doing well. Anyway - I was wondering if anyone could suggest any resource NOT written by Google as to how to work with google ad manager. If I could afford to hire someone I would... but trying to work through the Google Ad Manager thing is making my brain ache.
The best resource at the moment is publisher university, but I honestly don't think it is great. The issue is that Ad Manager is a huge topic - much larger than most realise. Most people just want to "learn the basics" but what those basics are change a lot based on individual needs. For independent publishers those basics are probably going to be simple inventory set-up, traffic basic direct campaigns, integrating programmatic partners, understanding dynamic allocation, overview of reporting and some trouble-shooting.
I've not seen a guide aimed at those sort of needs. Those that exist seem to be geared more towards specialist roles that need a much deeper understanding of a much narrower range of topics. I've looked too - as I train our new-starters in all those areas. I have considered turning some of our internal training materials into a short blog series to cover this, but have not started that yet (I really should to this though - we get a lot of enquiries from people who need help, but aren't in a position to pay for it). Out of interest: What are the blocks you are hitting?
You are right it is not great....they should be absolutely embarrassed. You will make a #*$! fortune if you do put it out there...and perhaps you will hire me as your stateside rep. Anyway... I am embarrassed to admit it, I fell at the first gate. With a conceptual problem as follows:
I don't understand how I or if I have to interact with, say, Criteo. Or do they just...once I have built all the tags etc...do they just find me?any advice you can give deeply appreciated.
Sadly we'll make no money from it, which is why it is still on my todo list! It feels like something we should do none the less. Concepts though - that is something I can help with here. If you don't mind, I'll PM you a link to this in more detail to (I'm not allowed to post my own links).
Google Ad Manager is an Ad Server. It's job is to allow you to traffic ads from different sources in an efficient way. For instance, you might have ads that you only want to show once a day to mobile users in the USA, and others ads that you want to show the rest of the time. An ad server makes this easy. Traditionally an ad server would only provide the means of trafficking, not any ads itself. You strike up the deals then traffic them using your ad server. Should be simple shouldn't it?
Now let's Google that up a bit! Google Ad Manager is an ad server, as described above. However it is also very closely tied to Google's Ad Network (AdSense) and their Ad Exchange (AdX). Although the lines are merging between AdX and GAM, it is useful still to think of them as distinct products. You can traffic whatever ads you like in GAM, but also enable more ads from AdSense/AdX .
To use your example, Criteo would have 3 ways to get an ad on your website if you were using GAM: 1. Bid through AdX . Criteo are a major buyer through AdX, so if you were enabled for AdX they would automatically bid through that and the payment would come via Google (minus their cut). Seamless, convenient and requires no direct relationship between you and Criteo. 2. Be trafficked through GAM. If you have a direct relationship with Criteo then you can traffic them through GAM. They give you the tags and you ad them as creatives. If you are smart you'll do this through header bidding. This avoid Google taking a slice and allows you to run the auction on your terms. Probably the highest performing option, but not the simplest. 3. Tags on page. Criteo love this, but I think it is a rotten method. You put Criteo tags on your page and they get to buy impressions they want before GAM even sees them. Again, this requires a direct relationship. It's a simple method, but I can't think of much else positive to say about it (although I'm happy to rant all day about why it is a bad idea!).
Glad it's useful. I'm actually working on a webinar related to the above at the moment. It's really for a group of clients who are at that point where they are outgrowing adsense and considering next steps, so its advisory rather than a "sales thing". If any WebmasterWorld people think it might be interesting let me know - we're not charged per seat so I'm very happy for others to sit in.