Securing a Google AdX account is often seen as the next step after using and outgrowing Google AdSense, which is best suited to smaller publishers in the early stages of their monetization journey. We’ve outlined the main differences between the two in a separate post, but in short, AdSense acts as an ad network and AdX is an ad exchange network.
This article was originally published on Feb 24, 2016 and has since been updated on January 30, 2023.
Why get an AdX account?
It’s easy to understand why websites that rely on ads would want to have an AdX account. AdX, (or the Google Ad Exchange) has a well-earned reputation as being the most profitable source of programmatic ads for websites. The combination of CPM-based ads, a larger pool of advertisers, the ability to control minimum prices, and the option to use more ad units on the page appeals to many.
Getting an AdX account allows publishers to access Google’s advertising exchange, where they can buy and sell display advertising inventory from a variety of sources, including Google’s own websites and other participating publishers. AdX provides a platform for advertisers to reach a large audience, and for publishers to monetize their inventory. It also offers advanced targeting and reporting capabilities, making it easier to manage and optimize advertising campaigns.
What’s the catch?
Desirable though an AdX account is, actually obtaining one can often seem like a bit of a challenge. Unlike AdSense and other “small-publisher networks” there is no AdX signup form because AdX is invite-only.
Google AdX is not available to all publishers because it has specific eligibility requirements, such as high-quality content, large traffic volume, and a commitment to follow Google’s policies and standards. Additionally, it is designed for larger, more established publishers and advertising networks, and not all publishers meet these criteria.
So, how exactly does a publisher get into this exclusive club?
Why is AdX invite-only?
The main reason why AdX remains exclusive to those that qualify is that AdX is a solution that is less automated than AdSense and requires extensive knowledge to run efficiently. AdX publishers are given a lot more freedom and this cannot be policed in the same way as AdSense.
Whilst AdSense is a large-scale, automated solution, AdX is not as scaled and requires more work on Google’s end. Because of this, it is an exclusive solution to those that meet Google’s minimum requirements, rather than one which any publisher can use.
By being selective about who it works with, Google can maintain high standards for quality and ensure that the platform is being used effectively and efficiently. This helps to protect the interests of both advertisers and publishers, and ensures that the platform continues to deliver value to all parties involved.
How to get an AdX account
In June 2018, Google Ad Exchange and DoubleClick for Publishers were consolidated as one product now known as Google Ad Manager. Before this time, the two tools were separate, however, the invite and approval process still remains the same.
Strictly speaking, publishers now need to get access to Google Ad Manager in order to access Google Ad Exchange. There are two ways to do this:
Method 1: Through a Google account manager
Publishers can sign up for their own Google Ad Manager account but direct access to AdX is on an invite-only basis through the discretion of Google account managers. If you have an account manager, an account in good standing, and a boatload of traffic you could simply ask. They’ll assess your suitability, looking at areas such as your traffic levels and in-house resource for managing AdX, and potentially put you forward for an account.
If you get an account through this channel you get maximum flexibility, as it is your account, but you will be managing it yourself (If you understand the difference between AdSense and AdX you’ll also understand that this isn’t particularly straightforward).
Method 2: Work with a Google Certified Publishing Partner
If you don’t have an appointed Google account manager, don’t worry – there is still another way to get access to Google AdX without having your own Google Ad Manager account. Google Certified Publishing Partners, like OKO, have special Google Ad Manager (GAM) accounts that are approved to work with partner inventory. Through these, we can create sub-accounts for our partners to gain access to Google AdX and allow them to serve ads and earn revenue through those.
This approach opens the doors of AdX to publishers who wouldn’t meet the requirements for having a direct Google Ad Manager account. It also removes the extensive knowledge and learning requirements of having a direct GAM account, as the partner’s AdX account is managed by the Network Partner Manager for them.
The main advantage of working with a GCPP is that they will do most of the legwork for you, ensuring that your ad setup is well-optimized and up-to-date. This frees up publishers’ time and allows them to focus on other areas. In OKO’s case, we work on a simple revenue share basis, taking a small cut of the revenue we generate through AdX before it reaches the publisher.
This works out well for everyone, as the revenue gains from a well-managed account can easily outperform the revenue share, which often means incremental revenue at no additional cost.
Millions of pageviews and still using AdSense? You could be earning more with OKO. Click here to find out more about how OKO run AdX for a wide range or publishers, or cut to the chase and click here to sign-up or apply right away.