How to make AdSense compete with your other Ad inventory in DFP Small Business

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I assume that if you are reading this chapter you are not only serving AdSense via DFP but instead have other Advertising campaigns that you run.

So how can you maximize the revenue of your Ad Inventory using the build in DFP AdSense feature? Easy, make AdSense compete with your other inventory.

This means that you can set up DFP so that it will only show AdSense if the AdSense Ad showing actually has a higher CPM then your other Ads in competition for a specific Ad Unit.

To do that you first need to set up the build in AdSense feature for your DFP Ad Units: How to set up Google AdSense using DFP Small Business build in AdSense option

If you previously used my initial approach and created a separate line item for each AdSense Ad Unit you unfortunately have to disable them all and set up your DFP Ad Units for using AdSense like I described in the link above.

Now you need to know that only Line Items of the following Type can compete with AdSense:

  • network
  • bulk
  • price priority
  • house

You can set the Type of a Line Item here:


You’ll find an explanation of the different priority types here: DFP Small Business Line Item Settings Explained

So if you want your Third Party Ad Inventory to compete with AdSense you need to make sure that the Line Items serving your Third Party Ads are set to one of the above Types.

Now you just need to set a CPM price for your Line Items and as soon as you did that, AdSense will compete with your Third Party Ad Inventory and will only show if the CPM price the AdSense Ad gets is higher then your defined CPM price.

You can set the CPM price by clicking on a Line Item you want to compete with AdSense then click on the Settings Tab and enter the CPM price into the Rate field.


Click save and you are done.

I have read some posts on webmaster forums where people thought they could use this system to ‘trick’ AdSense to serve higher paying Ads on their websites.

CAREFUL: If your goal is to only get Ads that have an equal or higher CPM you defined and if not don’t get an Ad at all then you can use the above method.

But if you think that you can ‘trick’ AdSense into serving only higher paying Ads to circumvent your Smart Pricing Factor you are mistaken.

If you use the method above and don’t have Third Party Ads competing with AdSense you will get a lot less Ad Impressions from AdSense (depending on the CPM you set).

Each Ad Impression that is not delivered, even if it only pays cents, is revenue lost. Keep that in mind.

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3 Responses to How to make AdSense compete with your other Ad inventory in DFP Small Business

  1. Mark T. Dutton says:
    what should you set the CPM rate for when it is an ad network?
    • admin says:
      I would suggest to set it to your avarage CPM rate of this network
  2. Nicolas Barrios says:
    I did it but i got a message "need ads". Is it necessary to create ads or i must leave by default without ads?

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