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What is Header Bidding? A Comprehensive Guide for Publishers

16 days ago

Header Bidding: A Comprehensive Guide for Publishers

Header bidding is an advanced advertising technique that allows publishers to offer their ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously, before making a call to their ad server. It helps publishers maximize their ad revenue by creating a competitive auction environment for their inventory.

Traditionally, publishers used a waterfall system, where ad exchanges were prioritized based on historical performance. However, this approach led to inefficiencies and missed revenue opportunities. With header bidding, publishers can level the playing field and give all demand partners an equal chance to bid on their inventory.

Here's how header bidding works:

  1. The publisher places a JavaScript code, known as the header bidding wrapper, in the header section of their website or app.
  2. When a user visits the publisher's website, the header bidding wrapper sends simultaneous bid requests to multiple demand partners, which can include ad exchanges, demand-side platforms (DSPs), and ad networks.
  3. Each demand partner evaluates the user, the available ad inventory, and other targeting parameters to determine whether to place a bid.
  4. The demand partners submit their bids, including the bid price and other relevant details, back to the header bidding wrapper.
  5. The header bidding wrapper collects all the bids and selects the highest one.
  6. The winning bid is then sent to the publisher's ad server, which decides which ad to serve based on the bid price and other factors.
  7. The ad is displayed to the user.

Header bidding offers several advantages for publishers:

  • Increased competition: By allowing multiple demand partners to bid simultaneously, header bidding increases competition for the publisher's inventory, leading to higher bid prices and increased revenue.
  • Maximized revenue: Publishers can access a larger pool of demand sources, including premium advertisers and niche ad networks, which can result in higher CPMs and overall revenue.
  • Improved fill rates: With header bidding, publishers are less likely to have unsold inventory, as they can tap into a wide range of demand sources.
  • Enhanced transparency: Header bidding provides publishers with greater visibility into the bidding process, allowing them to understand the value of their inventory and make informed decisions.


  1. Google Developer Documentation

In conclusion, header bidding is a powerful technique that enables publishers to optimize their ad revenue by creating a competitive auction environment for their inventory. By implementing header bidding, publishers can increase competition, maximize revenue, improve fill rates, and gain enhanced transparency into the bidding process.

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