Yieldbot Rolls Out Open-Source 'Header Bidding,' Looks To Create Industry Standard

Yieldbot on Monday will release an open-source header bidding framework the company calls Pubfood.js. While it gives publishers a new tool to attract budgets from search marketers reaching into display advertising to broaden campaign strategies, it also aims to increase the value of media by improving the consumer experience and creating more direct relationships between buyers and publishers. 

Header bidding is code that sits in the header of the Web page and allows publishers to bring in programmatic bids before pinging their ad server to get better yield than they can using the ad server's decisioning rules.

As ad display advertising becomes more biddable and programmatic, search advertising teams continue to take on other media, insists Jonathan Mendez, CEO of Yieldbot. "Search inventory is limited and there's real-time intent in content on the pages in which Google serves display ads," he says. "People go from search engines into content on publisher sites with their intent in hand."

At the advertising agency ODM, 90% of its clients who manage search also manage display advertising buys, Christopher Stanger, group account director, told Search Marketing Daily.

Imagine if a search marketer bought a keyword, but the ad only served on the page 10% to 15% of the time, Mendez says. The search marketer wouldn't see the same results if the ad had an opportunity to serve on the page 100% of the time. Header bidding provides that opportunity.

Scott Kolb, founder of Slader -- a site that offers answers to textbook questions -- has been testing the process. He admits the open-source code gives the site more control over the ads published on the Web site.

As Yieldbot prepared to launch Pubfood.js, Google was testing an alternative to header bidding. Jonathan Bellack, Google's director of product management, calls the tool that runs in DoubleClick for Publishers First Look. He made the announcement at the IAB Ad Operations Summit earlier this month.

"A buyer still needs to buy through Google's AdX to use First Look," Mendez says, explaining that through Pubfood.js buyers will have a direct relationship with the publisher. Not one that must go through Google DoubleClick Ad Exchange (AdX).

The open-source framework becomes available for use by publisher teams including ad and revenue operations, as well as product and development professionals through GitHub. #Pubfood.js Slack channel also launches today, which serves as the industry’s first collaborative community for publishers and ad ops teams to discuss header bidding implementation and code improvement, as it relates to unlocking the true value of inventory.

Mendez says the company chose an open-source framework to continue rapid development of the platform with the hope that it will become the industry standard for publisher inventory access, monetization and user experience.

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