By now we all know header bidding has become a major focus in digital advertising. In the space of two years, header bidding has gone from virtually unknown to an industry standard, with nearly 70% of publishers using header bidding, according to Business Insider.
Up until now, publishers have mainly used browser-side header bidding. With browser-side header bidding, advertisers bid on the inventory inside of the header of the publisher’s web page.
The challenge with browser-side header bidding
One challenge with browser-side header bidding, or client-side header bidding, is that it can slow down ad operations on your site which can affect overall page load. Because you have a container directly on the page, the more partners you add, the slower your header bidding solution becomes.
Another issue is that each ad partner bidding on the inventory has a different response speed, so your auction can sometimes work only as fast as your slowest bidder.
The bottom line? With browser-side header bidding publishers can be limited. They are incentivized to use fewer partners to prevent latency. They are also dependant upon the speed of their header bidding partners. All of this having to be weighed against all other code functioning on their web page.
How does server-side header bidding fix the latency problem problem?
Publishers now have another option: server-side header bidding, or as we like to call it, header bidding 2.0. Server-to-server header bidding allows the auction operations to occur outside of the publisher’s site browser. So rather than having multiple calls coming and going from the web page, the auction is held after one call is sent to an external server.
Who hosts the header bidding server solution?
With server to server header bidding, the publisher chooses a server side bidding technology partner to implement and host the solution. A few SSP’s and Exchanges are working on these solutions already like Sovrn, Index, and Google.
Sovrn is currently beta testing it’s own server side header bidding solution and Google is expanding its traditional Ad Exchange only option for Dynamic Allocation with their beta Exchange Bidding solution.
If you have any questions about server-to-server header bidding contact your Sovrn account manager or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.