Deleting third-party cookies from Chrome is a headache for publishers, especially for programmatic revenue. The possibilities of programmatic targeting have been mainly based on third-party cookies, targeting has made it possible to influence the results of advertising and thus the value of inventory. Naturally, the greater the amount of revenue that comes programmatically, the bigger the impact is expected. Of course, there is still time to implement the change and the market is actively looking for solutions to guarantee the future.
So far, there are only indications of concrete solutions, and future practices will certainly take time to find their place. In March 2021, Google confirmed that once third-party cookies are phased out, they will not build alternate identifiers to track individuals as they browse across the web and will not use them in their products. Google's opt-out opens the market for other independent players, and there are already several Universal ID solutions on the market.
However, many Prebid user ID modules are still under development and still require considerable effort, testing, and building integrations to function as desired. But in any case, it looks like Prebid is going to be more critical to the publisher than ever before.
In this text, we take a closer look at the key features of Prebid that publishers should now be aware of.
Prebid.js + Prebid server will be standard
Typically, the partners of the Header Bidding solution, i.e. bidders, are integrated into the page using Prebid.js (Client-side), which has made it possible to keep the equivalences of cookie synchronizations between technologies on a good level.
Moving bidders from the browser to the server-side, almost invariably weakens the synchronization of cookies, at least initially, which has affected the popularity of server-side solutions. But without third-party cookies, there is nothing to sync between technologies. This means that at the latest now is the time to move to a server-side solution as it also offers a lot of benefits to publishers. Read more about the benefits on the server-side here.
For example, if you have more than five integrated partners in a client-side Header Bidding solution, moving lower-performing partners to the server-side can affect ad loading time on your site so that your ads are more likely to be seen by visitors before they move on to content. This, of course, also affects advertising revenue, as many advertisers know to only buy impressions with a good level of viewability. In addition, enabling the use of the server-side, or even easily switching between implementations, prepares the publisher for the future changes.
What should a publisher do?
Make sure your partners support the server-side solution. The number of server-side adapters is constantly growing, but there are still significantly more adapters available that support Prebid.js. If your partners do not support the Prebid server, require them to add support.
The easiest and fastest way is to choose a hosted Prebid-Server solution offered by a partner. You can find a list of partners here. Sure, you can build it yourself, but it requires technical understanding and coding skills. Our Relevant Yield's HB Manager solution provides effortless client and server-side Prebid integration. It allows you to enable both client and server-side adapters, perform A/B testing between implementations, and create floor price rules. In addition HB Analytics allows you to track Header Bidding implementation returns and various metrics with customizable reporting and alerting capabilities. Relevant Yield's HB Manager is a fully adserver and SSP neutral solution that supports Prebid.js, Prebid-Server, Prebid Mobile, Prebid Video and Prebid SharedID implementations.
Be also sure to have resources and time for implementation and testing. Deploying Prebid and server-side adapters requires configuration and coordination with different platforms. With A/B testing, you can figure out which partners to move to the server-side right away, and which ones to continue as a client implementation. With the help of the Relevant Yield HB Manager, testing and changes are made easy, also without coding skills.
Rapid changes and testing are the new normal
In general, quite a few publishers regularly update and optimize their Prebid settings. The most common way is to update them a few times a year or quarterly. Of course, this is understandable because changing settings takes time and resources and there is often something else to prioritize. However, most upgrades require new partners or bidders to be added from time to time.
Prebid already offers many features with ongoing development that will be needed in the future when third-party cookies go down in history. For example, if you’re wondering which of the ID module providers to choose from - list here - A/B testing is a good way to start. With A/B testing and analysis, you can test how cookieless browsers (Safari and Firefox) perform when an ID is available compared to when it is not. Tests with our partner ID5's universal ID implementation have shown a significant increase in revenue in browsers that do not support cookies.
What should a publisher do?
Make sure you have an easy and fast way to do A/B testing (like Relevant Yield’s HB Manager) and, remember, there is no point in testing without being able to easily analyze the results (HB analytics). Ideally, you run tests on a small portion of your inventory so you can learn from the results without compromising revenue, or alternatively, you can respond quickly with, for example, set alarms (read more about Relevant Yield alarms here). Building and maintaining the analysis itself takes resources, so a ready-made solution can often be a sensible option.
Be sure to keep Prebid up-to-date as well. New versions of Prebid.js are released weekly. To take advantage of new features and updates to bidder adapters, you must always have the latest version available to keep everything running smoothly. As a Relevant Yield user, you avoid updating because its users are always updated with the latest version of Prebid automatically.
Also keep yourself up to date on User ID modules. Testing different providers of ID modules (27 in total) would certainly be an interesting starting point, but far too time-consuming an approach in practice. You can save money and time by focusing on those ID solutions that have public supporters in the ecosystem. A good option is the ID5 solution, which works with more than 70 technologies (including Relevant Yield) and is active on more than 100,000 websites and reaches more than 400 million visitors daily. We recommend at least testing this option.
Relevant Digital is a member of Prebid.org
Prebid.org is an independent organization designed to ensure and promote fair, transparent, and efficient header bidding across the industry. Funded by dues-paying members, it manages the open source projects Prebid. js, Prebid Mobile, Prebid Server, Prebid Video, Prebid Native, and others. Relevant Digital is a member company of the Prebid.org community. In practice, it means helping to build and shape the future of the advertising technology ecosystem together with the community.
Relevant Digital’s proprietary technology Relevant Yield helps publishers and networks manage, develop, and maximize advertising revenue, and its Header Bidding management and analytics support Prebid.js, Prebid Server, and other Prebid.org open source projects. Through the platform, publishers can also adopt ID5's Universal ID solution, which makes it easy to identify visitors and thus impact programmatic advertising revenue.
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