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What is Google Ad Manager, and why should you care?

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Web and mobile app publishers the world over use Google Adsense to monetize their websites and apps. But there is more to website monetization than Adsense. Google Ad Manager is another solution – a more advanced one – to monetize your website. 

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Many years back, Google had two other monetization platforms named DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) and DoubleClick AdExchange (AdX). Both of these were eventually merged into one solution, which was named Google Ad Manager (GAM). That is the origin story.

Google Ad Manager

What separates Google Ad Manger from Adsense? For starters, Adsense is available to publishers of all sizes, including small websites. However, GAM is available to only Web publishers with monthly traffic of over 100,000. Also, it requires more technical knowledge to use than Adsense. Almost anyone can use Adsense, as mostly what is requires is to copy and paste codes. With Google Ad Manager, you need a more technical grasp of things to put it to use.


Lastly, and perhaps the real benefit of GAM, is that it allows you to take advantage of multiple ad exchanges and ad networks (including Adsense), and so can deliver much higher revenue for your website. When you use Adsense, you are relying on only one ad exchange/network, Google. With Google Ad Manager, you can earn income from multiple exchanges/networks.

Like Adsense, GAM involves inserting tags in your website’s header, as well as at locations where you want your banners to be displayed. It is recommended that you use an ad plugin for inserting your tags and codes.

While Adsense provides both responsive and fixed ad banners, ad banners from Google Ad Manager are usually in fixed sizes. As such, you will need to use an ad manager plugin to display different banners for when your website is accessed on desktop and when it is accessed on mobile devices.

While Adsense is free to use, GAM works a little differently: there is a free version named Google Ad Manager Small Business, and there is a commercial version named Google Ad Manager 360.

Again, to use Google Ad Manager, you need to have some more advanced technical skills. It isn’t as simple as copying and pasting codes as AdSense requires. It will likely be overwhelming for non-technical people.

A way out is to work with Google Partner agencies who do all the heavy lifting behind the scenes and provide you with the codes to place on your website. These partners include companies like AdPlus, Setupad, and Ezoic, among others. Signup with them and hand them your Google Ad Manager network/company.

To sign up for Google Ad Manager and get the network/company code required by Google Partners, you need to first have an AdSense account, so signup for AdSense first at adSense.google.com, and then head over to admanager.google.com to sign up for your Google Ad Manager account.

Note that you will need a Gmail account to sign-up for both. Once signed up, the Google partner of your choice will take care of the technical details. Note also that these Partners have different requirements for acceptance on their services. For example, your website must meet a minimum traffic level that varies from Partner to Partner.

If your website is still small, it isn’t ready yet for GAM. You will need to grow it for a while. But you can use AdSense to monetise in the meantime till it is big enough to qualify for Google Ad Manager and Google Partners who will manage it for you.

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Google Partners earn a small commission on the total revenue that your website generates from GAM. It is worth it though, as the work they do helps you increase your website revenue, as much as five times, and sometimes more.

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