Apples and Peaches

We recently started to use Google DoubleClick for Publishers (Google DFP), a cloud based ad server offered by the ad network giant himself. As you might expect from our recent articles on serving mobile ads, we didn’t just import all our locally hosted ads and waited what is going to happen. I personally designed a small test to check, how the ad performance running through an extra server is going to be. As the most basic test I could think of, I compared ads from the AdSense network served directly and through Google DFP.

This article is not just naming the results, but is also going to describe the setup in detail, so you will be able to design your own tests. Anyway, you can also jump directly to the numbers at the end of this article.

You're using WordPress and would like to get Advanced Ads for free?

Why test the Google DFP performance?

Wait, why bother testing Google’s ad server and not just use it? Didn’t the company already earn our trust with AdSense? It did, still there are several reasons why I wanted to test different angles.

1. Bad experience with ad servers and networks

I recently had a bad experience with a passback ad code I gave to another ad network. The passback was just an ad code the network should send, when they were not able to deliver ads themselves. I was even able to set a minimum CPM they had to reach with their ads. Else, the passback code is used.

Pretty great, I thought at the beginning, but after a few days I noticed, the passback was performing just about 10 percent of the income the same ad would generate if served directly. Of course, I know this because of a split test I ran at first. To solve this, I had to limit the frequency cap to 3 ad impressions a day so the fill rate would increase high enough that the passback didn’t really matter.

At the end, this experience made me very cautious about trusting ad servers.

2. Unexpected differences with AdSense banners

A few month ago, when I installed my first local ad serving solution and just started split testing banners, I created different AdSense banners for the same position. I just served these 3 banners randomly on the same placement and surprisingly had different results. I even came up with a theory that might generate you some more income, but I am still testing. It is not easy to “generate” old banners 😉

3. Ask the Google DFP forum

Before starting something new, you should at least search for others opinions. I did so while reading through the great step-by-step introduction of Google DFP and found a few posts where publishers complaint about the bad performance or decreased income from AdSense ads served with Google DFP. The linked post mentioned a lot of possible settings where the same settings don’t seem to apply for everyone.

4. Saving time

As split tests are kind of my thing, I really wanted to test this. But there is also a more practical explanation. Due to tests, different ad codes depending on browser size and optimization we really have a lot of AdSense codes for our word game platforms. Transferring them to an ad server is a lot of work. So there is an economical risk for doing this just on a hunch. Testing might not only save us time in case of a negative result, but also help us to determine if transfering just a few of the ads wouldn’t be a better solution.

Google DFP or AdSense?

Ad server vs. ad network

Let’s start by shortly explaining the difference between Google DFP and AdSense.

Google DoubleClick for Publishers is an ad server in the cloud. Under the name Small Business this service is free for up to 90 million monthly ad impressions. Google DFP does not come with its own ads, but rather provides the infrastructure for you as a publisher to serve ads based on your settings.

Google AdSense on the other hand is an ad network. I would even call it ad auction. So as a publisher, AdSense helps you to find advertisers who want to present their product on your website and sell it to the highest bidder. Almost, because Google uses the information it has about the visitors surfing behaviour to display the ads most likely to be clicked on. The settings regarding the content or number of servings of these ads are rather limited. You are also not able to combine AdSense ads with your own ads or even target a specific advertiser like you would on an ad market place.

Comparing apples and peaches?

Saying that Google DoubleClick for Publishers is an ad server and Google AdSense is an ad network might raise the question of them being too different to compare. Indeen, as a service, they aim into different directions. But remember, that Google DFP is also serving AdSense banners as a fallback. These ads even come from your AdSense account (I suppose, because there is no Google DFP without having an AdSense account).

I heard both terms fallback and passback for an ad that is being used if the main ad can’t be displayed.

Serving just AdSense seems like a perfect base line that makes this test reliable and it makes sense to compare banners from Google DFP AdSense passback and native AdSense. As you will see below, you can also combine both services.

So the basic question for my test is:

Does using AdSense as a fallback in Google DFP result in a higher income than serving AdSense banners directly?

Your first step to increase your ad revenue

Subscribe to my monthly newsletter and get additional ad optimization tips to boost your ad revenue. It is free and you can opt out at any time.

Testing with 4 banners

Setting up the test seemed to be easy. Take an AdSense banner code and a Google DFP inventory with the same size and AdSense as a fallback and run each of them with the same number of impressions on the same sites. Unfortunately, the results you get might be misleading.

control ad

As you remember my experience with different AdSense banners I mentioned above, I needed to make sure this is not going to happen again or that I can at least measure the impact of the newly created AdSense unit. In social sciences this is called a control group. This shall draw a base line to check, if other than the expected parameters might apply to a test and influence the results when comparing just two test groups.

In our case, I created a control ad. This is, by all means, a complete identical AdSense banner as the one I already used before. Same size, same channels, same placements, same number of impressions. It has just another name and is younger.

AdSense banner through DFP

Due to my bad experience with banners served as a fallback, I also wanted to know, how reliable Google DFP is serving banner codes. This definitely needs some additional tests with third party codes, but I wanted to cover the basics here. So I added a fourth banner in AdSense and serve the code via DFP. One would expect Google to serve their own ad codes very well, even if AdSense and DoubleClick for Publishers are different services. In this case, the Google AdSense code is handled like any other Creative from third party ad networks.

AdSense: native or through Google DFP?

If you choose to use the AdSense fallback of Google DFP you should be fully aware of one very important fact. You will get paid through your AdSense account, but there isn’t any special reporing. You won’t be able to analyze the AdSense income like you know it from your AdSense account. When I received my first payment, it took me some time to figure out the source of the addional money. For people using AdSense a lot, serving AdSense as native code makes more sense than using the Google DFP passback.

Setting up the test

The inventory

So there are four banners now running the same amount of impressions on the same pages. This is the inventory:

  1. The AdSense banner I already ran for a couple of month now providing reliable numbers as a basis.
  2. The Google DFP banner filled with AdSense as a fallback.
  3. The control ad to test the impact of the ads age.
  4. A native AdSense banner served through Google DFP

Banner 1 and 3 are directly served from our website without any external ad server. Banner 2 and 4 run through Google DFP.

Serving the ads by page impression

I decided to run this test based on page impressions. Meaning, that one of the four ads is served randomly on every page view instead of on a user basis. There wasn’t any evidence for me in past tests that would lead me to the assumption that running a user based split test would result in significant different results.

Implementing the tags in your site

We are using Advanced Ads for WordPress to serve ads on our sites. This is a great plugin that even serves Google DFP. In this article I explain how to use DFP on dynamic websites like WordPress.

Google DFP better than AdSense?

Before I get to the results, I wanted to sum up the questions I had regarding Google DFP or AdSense:

  • How does it feel to use Google DFP over AdSense?
  • Is there a significant difference in the way how to serve AdSense banners?
  • Is serving native AdSense tags through Google DFP an option?

For now, I didn’t want to go into the details of optimization. I know, there is a chance a lot might say that if I would have fine tuned setting xy and move A to B the results for one of the banners could have gone straight through the roof. Might be, but I wanted to see if Google DFP is worth a shot at all. So I didn’t get into details like speed for now. This will be a topic of one of the future articles.

The bare figures

I ran the test for three weeks. This doesn’t say a lot about the long term, but that is why I created the control ads to see if age matters.

Your eyes probably already took a peek below to the number, but let me say the obvious: the CTR, CPC and RPM of your site will be different. However, this test is not to compare our ad performance with yours, but the different methods of serving AdSense. This might still work for you.

CTR CPC RPM
conventional and old Google AdSense 0,19% 0,22 € 0,41 €
Google DFP with AdSense Fallback 0,10% 0,35 € 0,35 €
Google AdSense control ad 0,20% 0,21 € 0,43 €
AdSense via Google DFP 0,22% 0,20 € 0,45 €

Google AdSense significantly better

The numbers clearly state to use any method of serving code from the Google AdSense ad network than to rely on the Google DFP AdSense fallback. The younger Google AdSense ad performing slightly better than the one I already used a long time, but still, the difference is not really significant to me. The same goes with the difference between the two new AdSense banners. Even though we are talking about a couple of hundred thousand ad impressions for each ad, the difference of 2 euro cents in RPM might still be random.

As a result on these numbers, I already deactivated the Google DFP banner with AdSense as a fallback. The other three ads are still running for other tests.

The most interesting on these numbers is that die Google DFP AdSense in fact got the worst click through rate and the best cost per click at the same time. There was no difference in serving this ad and I can only guess the reason for it. Maybe, the AdSense served from Google DFP is not well integrated with the mother ad network and doesn’t benefit from its self optimization. So it randomly shows ads with a high CPC, but since it is not optimized for the site or the visitor, he clicks less. If you have another explanation, please leave a comment.

Use Google DFP and AdSense

So, to go back to my initial questions to this test:

How does it feel to use Google DFP over AdSense?

Is there a significant difference in the way how to serve AdSense banners?

Is serving native AdSense tags through Google DFP an option?

I might answer them all together. The test showed that both services do their core business very well. Google DFP serves ads but is not performing well as an ad network. Google AdSense is a great ad network, but lacks some additional settings.

Since even combining both services results in a great performance, publishers get the benefits from both programs: Combining different programs and serving ads based on a hierachy or frequency cap and having custom channels in AdSense to track and fine tune their banners.

Fine tuning Google DFP

From now on we are going to use Google DFP when there is a more complex setup. When displaying only AdSense banners we will stick with our local setup.

Anyway, this test only answers the basic question whether to use Google DFP or not. There are a lot of settings we still need to go through and see, if we can optimize the results a bit by playing with options like synchroniously/asynchroniously ad serving. Keep in touch for more information.

Image Sources

  • Apples and Peaches: @duxschulz / pixelio.de

The Author

Image Sources

  • Apples and Peaches: @duxschulz / pixelio.de

Comments

  1. Fabian

    Thanks for this great article – helped me a lot to unterstand DFP better. But im still not sure if switching Adsense to DFP… i read somewhere that you can get one more Adsense-Slot when using DFP (4 ads instead of 3) – do you know if that’s true?

    Thanks again.
    Regards, Fabian

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Fabian, thanks for your question. That is a tricky one. Many publishers wish the answer to that question is that more than 3 AdSense units are allowed. Many even suggest that it is possible. And I once had more than 3 AdSense banners displayed on one of my websites by accident. Still, I would not suggest you to do it, neither with direct AdSense or AdSense enabled units in DFP. There is nothing in writing from Google that I know of, where this is even mentioned. I know, this is a limitation for publisher who use AdSense units only as a fallback, but better save than sorry. Google can pull the plug at any time. Here is one link confirming my assumption: https://support.google.com/dfp_sb/answer/118990?hl=en.
      Best regards
      Thomas

  2. José Fernández

    Hi Thomas,

    I’ve been trying to create a split test as you do here but I found some problems when trying to implement the “adsense as line item” option. Could you give me some orientation on this, please?

    So far, I have followed this tutorial, http://www.dfptutorial.com/how-to-set-up-google-adsense-as-line-item-using-dfp-small-business/, but I am not sure if google is somehow blocking this way to go as is not recommended. I can see in DFP reports that my DFP line item is being served but I just see a white rectangle where the adsense ad should be. On the other hand, I don’t see any “impressions” in the adsense corresponding report.

    Hope you can give me a help in hand. Thank you very much!

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi José,
      thank you for your question. You got me a bit scared first, but after checking I can confirm that running native AdSense as line item, still works. If you use AdSense as a line item with the ad code from your AdSense account, the DFP report for AdSense is not showing them. You have to visit your AdSense account to see if it works. The most common reason the AdSense ad is not shown is, that it is too soon. Depending on your site’s traffic this might take a couple of minutes to a few hours. If still nothing, check the source code if your AdSense code is visible there.
      I hope this CAN point you into the right direction.

  3. Indian IT Hub

    Hi Thomas, Fisr of all thanks for such a gr8 helpful article. But I still have some doubts may be these are of my won mind only. Actually I have heard simply that using adsense code through DFP can increase your CPC means we can force google adsense to send ads on our page which have higher bid. For exapmle we can creat 2-3 ads of our own website and bid them high say $3 cpm and then DFP will serve the ad on our webpage greater than $3 and if it does not have that much high priced ad then our own network ad will be displayed on our page. Now my question is that is it true what i have heard and if YES then how we can do all this…

    I will be grateful to you for this help, please reply if you can… Thanks a ton once again..!!…

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Thanks for your message. It is true that adsense banners can be used when bidding for an ad impression and as well as a fallback when there is no other ad to be served on a specific ad placement. You can enable adsense for an ad unit under Inventory. Click on the ad unit and enable AdSense inventory settings.

  4. Al Calderon

    Thanks for the great article. If I am using dfp mainly for adsense ads for the moment, would you suggest creating a creative and adding the code or checking the “Maximize revenue of unsold and remnant inventory with AdSense” box. Thanks for your help.

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Al,
      if you display ads on different positions with different sizes I would suggest to use creatives with native adsense banners, because it is possible to track the success of each of these banners.
      Thomas

  5. Pingback: The DFP Passback Problems | District Digital

  6. shanmugammist

    Nice article.

    Hello sir, Kindly clear my doubt. I have hosted adsense account only. When I went for dfp, Ad has been served to my domain sites. As well as my adsense account has been credited. My account reached minimum threshold. Will I get payment from adsense or not?

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi, payments for the Google DFP AdSense is made through the native AdSense accounts.

  7. luis peralta

    Hi Thomas,

    we are using dfp to serve both adserver and adsense as fallback. As far as we can see, if we try your sugestion to not use the fallback but the adsense tag isntead, in that way we were loosing the auction power of dfp, right?

    i mean… if we place adsense as house campaigns, the adserver would not compete with adsense and would just serve as much as it can. am i missing something?

    being that true, the adsense tags would be only better than adsense fallback if no other ads were present in dfp for auction… so, if i would be serving only adsense, why use dfp at all?

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Luis, as far as I know, the native adsense is handled like other external ad codes and so you can only insert a fixed cpc for them to let them take part in the auction.
      If you are just serving adsense and don’t want to test other ad networks or adsense banners against each other, you don’t want to open adsense banners in a new tab and don’t care about the other nerdy features there is no argument to use dfp here.

  8. maria

    Hello Thomas, I ‘m sorry if this already answered in the article but honestly I barely speak english and I still newbie on this google ad world so I still confuse a bit. I want to ask something.
    1. is that okay if I use DFP and another ads sites such as chitika or bidvertiser or else? because I heard if you use google adsense, you only have to have google adsense or if you put another sites, google will ban you.
    2. about the cpc. do you think dfp and adsense have same cpc? or one of them have higher cpc?
    Thankyou for your time 🙂

  9. Aubrey Clark

    Thomas, thank you for a great article. I was just wondering if you have changed any of your opinions one year later? I would be very interested to know … even if the answer is “n o.”

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Aubrey,
      yes, even now, beyond the first small tests, I find DFP to be a great solution for specific problems. I am currently preparing more articles on that topic where you will learn when Google DoubleClick for Publishers is a good choice and when not.

  10. Philippe

    Hi, Thomas. Thank you for this post! When you say that it is not possible to combine AdSense ads with our own ads, do you mean that I can’t insert my own creatives to be served in my pages, let’s say for 80% of the time, and have the other 20% coming from AdSense for a same ad unit?

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Philippe,
      you can do that using two line items in one ad unit and filling in 20% resp. 80% into the “goal” field of the line items.

  11. Musthafa Ullal

    I have received a DFP for Publishers email 2 years ago and it was so confusing that, I have never tried the DFP. I am using only Adsense as of now. After reading your post, I made my mind to try the feature again. Thanks for the detailed post.

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Musthafa, great to hear that. Keep me updated on how DFP works out for you.

  12. Vivek Goswami

    Hi Thomas,

    Thanks for your insights. It’s really unfortunate I got across this article 4 months late, after losing substantial revenue to Adsense via DFP (Google DFP with AdSense Fallback).

    After thorough investigation, it seems to me that DFP can’t fill alternative adsizes. I mean, if I have a Large Rectangle (336×280) ad setup via DFP, it never fills with a medium rectangle (300×250) ad unit. I’m running an A/B test with Async Adsesne and Adsense via DFP, and it seems almost conclusive that the alternate filling isn’t happening. There can be cases where advertisers have a better CPM for a smaller ad, but DFP can’t bid for that, due to the lack of alternate filling. Did you see that in your experiments?

    Also, if you can help me with your fill rates in the above table, that’d be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance! 🙂

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Sorry for my late reply. For the reasons mentioned in the article, I prefer using native AdSense through DFP, so I never stumbled upon the problem of smaller ads not being displayed in bigger ad places.

  13. Eric C

    Thanks for this great article, very helpful. Looks like oogle DFP can also be used as a trick to hide your AdSense pub-id.

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      I haven’t thought about it that way, but one could indeed see a reason to do this.

  14. Alex

    Hi Thomas – great post, very insightful. My site runs a mix of direct buy campaigns and ad network ads. We use DFP and fallback to Adsense when there is no active direct buy campaign. I am curious – can we set up DFP to fallback to a non-adsense network? Can we set up DFP to fallback to multiple different ad-networks (adsense for 3 units, and valueclick for another 2 units, for example?). This is something I’ve found difficulty answering so any insight would be most helpful!

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Alex. You can add the other network with some artifical price that is below your directly sold ads so it gets served as a fallback. I multiple fallbacks should work if they all have the same artifical price.

  15. mike

    Thanks for the article. My guess that the DFP with adsense as back up is worse because the back up adsense has not learnt the best ads to serve. So it is serving generic finance / other high paying clicks but which are irrelevant to content. The other options are serving normal channels which have built up history? Or have I missed something?

    I have had up to 5 adsense units on pages where I have accidentally mixed adsense and DFP code. I would not recommend it as it is against regulations. I suspect it is a software glitch from Google rather than giving permission for more ads.

  16. Roman Sterly

    Hi, whats the difference between Pageviews in Adsense reports and AdSense impressions in DFP report? It seams that AdSense impressions in DFP correspond with Ad requests in Adsense reports. It is rather confusing .

    Also, I see e.g. 4600 pageveiws and 18080 ad requests in Adsense. I use 2 ad units on most of the pages, 1 ad unit on the rest, never more. Thus I believe the ad requests shouldn´t be more than 2 times higher than pageviews, right?

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Roman, for the first question: depending on the report there are either ad impressions or page views listed. A single page view can have multiple ad impressions.
      For your second question there is probably a logical explanation that I can’t see without looking into your setup.

  17. Pingback: Adsense vs DFP

  18. Tech84

    Thank for this explanation, for the longest time I thought using DFP is just like using Adsense where they would be the ones handling the Ads (the advertisers go to them not me) And I would just be getting more laser targeted ads.

  19. Pingback: Ads | Pearltrees

  20. Suchita

    Hi,
    This post was really very very useful. I am a pro in this field and have been learning things only on the basis of what is available on surfing. I have a big website to manage. And believe me since last 3 days continuous reading.. I was unable to identify the correlation between adsense and DFP. How these are related or different and how is it getting managed at Google’s end.
    Reading your article has given me very great insights and a basic understanding. Thanks a lot!!!

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Thanks, Suchita, I don’t think an author can receive a better feedback on his article!

      1. Suchita

        Hey, now by appreciating my feedback, you have opened a window for me to ask a lot of questions to you related to all my queries.. :-). Don’t worry, I have subscribed to your newsletter to stay updated with your mental frequencies. But certainly , would be happy if I can get to interact more with people like you to understand the stuff more clearly.

  21. Leo Lok

    Hi Thomas

    Thanks for the great article. I am a Google DFP newbie and I have some questions regarding Adsense through DFP

    1. At number four of your experiment which is “A native AdSense banner served through Google DFP”, did you set up the adsense through the DFP adsense inventory setting, or inserted an adsense code created from the Adsense network to the DFP?

    2. The reason for the first question is that I need to see the number of Adsense clicks both at the Google network and DFP, as someone told me that I can check invalid clicks through comparing the click counts at both platforms. Do you think it is true?

    Thank you very much!

    Best Regards
    Lok

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Lok,
      1. I did set up the ad in the AdSense network and used the tag in DFP just like I would use any tag from other ad networks in DFP
      2. interesting theory, but I haven’t tested it. If you do, please give me a short feedback.

      Thanks
      Thomas

  22. Dan Rutledge

    Thanks for the article. Did you by any chance compare the number of ad impressions per page view? I was running some similar tests to the ones you did (comparing Adsense to Adsense/AdX through DFP) and I found that DFP was delivering less ad impressions per page view than Adsense code directly. It took me a while to figure it out, but the different numbers of ad impressions meant that all the CTR numbers generated by the various reports were actually not useful. That is… in the end I discovered on my site that lower CTR by Adsense actually generated more overall revenue because Adsense delivered the ads faster and therefore had more ad impressions per page view, if that makes sense. I just wanted to throw that out for people that are running tests. Don’t forget to check ads per page view!

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Dan, thank you for your very valuable comment! Indeed, what I didn’t publish here is the overall income. With almost the same impressions for each ad, the income was also higher on the winners here in the test. Still, I didn’t focus on the impressions here and since this article is already older, a new test with impressions in mind sounds like a great idea. Thanks again for bringing it up!
      Best regards, Thomas

  23. Michelle

    I just started trying DFP. I took one page and replaced the direct adsense with adsense through DFP. The RPM dropped about 30%. I don’t know if this is normal, or if I am using DFP “incorrectly”.
    Is this normal ?

      1. Michelle

        Thanks for the link, Thomas. I tried with or without “single”, and in both case got the same results. The web page I was experimenting with has 3 ads (the Adsense max. allowed). It used to report (in adsense) a number of impressions which was almost exactly 3 times the number of page views. Similarly, the page RPM was almost exactly 3 times the impression CPM. When I tried DFP , these ratios dropped from 3.0 to 1.85. Actually close to 40% lower (I was less accurate in my original post when I stated 30% – it was just an “eyeball”, without calculator). A few hours ago I gave up on DFP and reverted to the original Adsense tags. Differentially (i.e. looking only at new page views and impressions since the change) I’m back to a ratio of 3.0.

        1. Thomas Maier Article Author

          Thank you for the feedback. I keep an eye on it next time I set up AdSense through DFP.

          1. George

            Running Adsense ads thru DFP, for almost a year, doing various steps to improve it in general, I decide two days ago to do the same test .
            Running two ads (separate channel) direct from Adsense I’ve got a really better CPM and strange… a doubled CTR!
            I have left 3 ads to running thru DFP and at the end of the week, if the above two ads continues to have the increassed behaviour, I will try to switch all of the back again thru Adsense.
            Until now, I can strongly agree with Michelle!
            Thanks for this great webspace and tips.

          2. Thomas Maier Article Author

            Hi George, thank you for your extended feedback. I recently talked to someone who could increase his revenue with AdSense through DFP, so there must still be a factor we are missing here.

  24. Dmytro

    Hello Thomas,
    We are currently use native adsense code to serve ads on site. We want to try DFP to do that.
    Is it really need to link adsense account to dfp for using adsense code ad line item? Cos’ official documentation talk we should..

    thanks,

    BR, Dmytro

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Dmytro, can you post a link to the documentation please? I am not sure now if the AdSense connection is needed in general or only if you want to use the AdSense fallback. However, it doesn’t seem needed for me if you use native AdSense ads, but I might be mistaken and would like to read up on it again.

        1. Thomas Maier Article Author

          From this line: “Before you can target your AdSense or Ad Exchange ads to specific inventory you’ll need to link your AdSense or Ad Exchange products to your DoubleClick for Publishers account.” I would say that linking is not mandatory if you use AdSense as a line item.
          I have linked the account in order to test line item vs. AdSense fallback, so I can’t test it anymore.
          Thanks
          Thomas

  25. guest

    LOL I googled how many ads can you have with google and DFP combined and this comes up.
    Guess I can’t get an answer.
    is it 3 of each? or just 3?

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      I definitely understand the confusion. You can use up to 3 native AdSense ads. When you use the AdSense fill in DFP then they tolerate when you have more.

  26. Praveen

    Hello Thomas,
    Thanks for the informative article. You meant that AdSense ads served through DFP have higher CPC and mostly displays irrelevant ads to the website content that are having only a feeble chance of clicks. But, now I could hear that google is not emphasizing on section targeting, still the relevant ads will be displayed and ads displayed are having a chance based on interest. Presently, I am not clear about which will get you the better revenue if served through DFP or directly when only using Adsense ad network?

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      The best answer here is to test that for your specific page. In general, I prefer to send my ads through as few channels as possible.

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi Eugene, last time I checked, I didn’t find the reference to AJAX in the TOS anymore, but please, really, correct me on this with a link.
      I don’t know any limitation of this kind with DFP.

      1. Eugene

        https://support.google.com/adsense/answer/48182?hl=en

        Invalid clicks and impressions – Learn more – … generates clicks or impressions, repeated manual clicks or impressions, automated click and impression.

        How to define AJAX request? Is it repeated and/or manual impression if my users clicking the button and getting the result with Adsense without page reload? Thank you for your answer.

        1. Thomas Maier Article Author

          An AJAX request is not the same as an automated impression. If you load the ad when a real user visits your site and don’t change that after the ad was loaded, there shouldn’t be a problem. Rotating ads with AJAX might be a problem though. You can use DFP for that.

  27. KWS Adams

    I have been dumb about how DFP and Real adsense works. But thanks to your post. I can now be able to tell this difference and at least give it a try – oh and which I have started already to work on. One more question, where are earnings through DFP credited? Adsense account or somewhere else? Thank you.

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      The earnings you made from the AdSense fallback in DFP are credited in the “Request Sources” report type in your AdSense account.

  28. Giovanni

    So you are suggesting to serve adSense like a normal order, standard type, maybe low (10), where all other orders are medium (8), and fill all the remaining impression with this adSense order? I am testing this with Criteo and others.

        1. Thomas Maier Article Author

          I believe that it really depends on your use case. Do you actually need DFP at all then? Do you have more networks you want to test against AdSense, etc. Testing this setup is also a good idea and for me, native AdSense wored better than the AdSense fallback from DFP.

  29. Vijay

    Great article about Google DFP and great insights indeed!

    I was a new for this DFP thing and wanted to know its benefits.

    BTW, FYI, your link as you have mentioned in an earlier reply to Fabian is broken . Please remove that 🙂

    1. Giovanni

      Ho Thomas,
      in the past few month i’ve tried every kind of settings, serving AdSense via DFP as network, as fallback, as Sponsoship, event more Orders one against the other both servign AdSense as publisher Standard with a little overbook, but i had no good return.
      If i switch back to normal AdSense units the CMP and revenue rise up till 70% and just now i’ve introduced some new banner 300×600 and 300×250 that had a good cpm over AdSense, than i put that in DFP as Fallback, they stay high for 2 days that went down icredibly by 70% and more.
      That’s sad but this way i can’t use DFP and AdSense together on the same banner to sell it.

      1. Thomas Maier Article Author

        Hi Giovanni, thank you very much for your insights. I can not explain what happens here, but am very grateful that you took the time to share your experience with us. Thomas

  30. Modasta

    Hi Thomas,

    Need your help in displaying adsense ads through dfp. I have created adsense hosted account for youtube channel to run ads in youtube video. Now i want to run adsense ads on my website http://www.modasta.com through DFP for the inventory which is not utilized.

    I have linked my DFP and adsense accounts and I’m able to show the ads through DFP but not through adsense. Do i need to create ad units in adsense or does dfp takes care of the ad units. Is there anything which i might be missing in the whole process.

      1. Modasta

        Thanks Thomas. I have created the ads in adsense.

        In site authorization section it is showing “This URL is not available for signing up for AdSense.”

        My account is a hosted account on youtube and now i don’t know how to display ads on site modasta.com

        1. Thomas Maier Article Author

          Sorry, I must admit that I am not experienced with YouTube and AdSense. There seems to be a lot different in this combination than with a normal AdSense account.

  31. Viacheslav

    How were you able to see the metrics (CPC, CTR, RPM) for DFP Adsense Fallback ad? As you correctly stated “…there isn’t any special reporing. You won’t be able to analyze the AdSense income like you know it from your AdSense account…”

    1. Thomas Maier Article Author

      Hi, there is a report type called “Request sources” in AdSense, where you should see impressions for the AdSense ads displayed through DFP.

  32. Awogor Matthew

    Such a long read. I was thinking DFP is a separate platforms where you can only use your google account to sign up without involving Google Adsense. But now it clear to me to see that, I need adsense to end revenue. I thought I will get paid by my advertiser then set up banners through DFP just for tracking purpose.

    Thanks for this interesting article sir.

    Regards