Bid request
Bid request
A bid request is a piece of code that enables the selling and delivery of display ads in real time. These codes are programmed so that when a user visits a web or app page, they connect to multiple programmatic networks to deliver user information and ensure that delivery systems fetch the most suitable ads open for bidding.

What is a bid request?

Nowadays, due to the infinite scale of ads and the speed of online networks, it is impossible for marketers to manually carry out ad deliveries. Instead, most platforms use an automated bidding system called real-time bidding (RTB) where digital ads are operated, managed, and delivered through programmatic technology, and marketers are able to perform instantaneous auctions on multiple ad inventories. A bid request is a core component of RTB, and it is the mechanism that collects and provides information about users to enhance ad deliveries. Every time a user visits a web or app page, a bid request is triggered and provides consented user information that can be used to determine the most relevant ad for each user. 

How do bid requests work? 

When a user accesses a web or app page containing open ad slots, a bid request is automatically generated and extracts key data on the user under the premise that they have consented. This information is then shared with multiple ad exchanges, supply-side platforms (SSPs), and advertisers who can compare it to the pre-defined parameters of their target audience. If the specs of the user, device, and ad slot match those parameters and are worth engaging with, advertisers can choose to place a bid. If so, the ad is immediately thrown in for auction, and the highest bidding ad is automatically delivered to the user’s device in real time. All of this happens in less than a second, within the time a page loads. This process repeats infinitely, at every instance a user loads a new page. 

What information does a bid request code provide? 

Bid request codes provide vital information about the user and the devices they are using so that advertisers have something to refer to and make coherent decisions for ad delivery. Through bid requests, marketers are able to make data-driven decisions and deliver the most relevant ads to their target audience. Below are some examples of data that a bid request may provide. 

  • Cookies: Cookies are pieces of information stored by websites and later shared with web servers to keep track of any revisits of a specific webpage. If a website collects third-party cookies, it can also follow the user and keep track of other websites they visit. Cookies can help marketers with retargeting and ensure that they deliver ads that pertain to a user’s interests.
  • User’s demographics: Information such as age, gender, and location can be collected with the user’s consent. This information can help marketers define certain characteristics or interests of the user. 
  • Browsing history: A user’s browsing history reveals past web activity and the type of content the user most frequently interacted with.  
  • Time of impression: Time of impression shows when the user saw the ad and can help identify user behavior or habits. 
  • Platform/page information: This data provides information on the content and analytical data of a specific page and if it holds ad value. 
  • Device ID: Under a user’s consent, bid requests may be able to collect device IDs, which are unique identifiers like Google Advertising ID (GAID) or Identifier for Advertising (IDFA) that distinguishes user devices.

It is important to note that the recent introduction of privacy frameworks like App Tracking Transparency (ATT) limits who and what type of data marketers can collect. Hence, user demographics, browsing history, impression data, and device IDs are only available for users who have opted in to allow tracking.

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