What is DFP? How does DoubleClick for Publishers Work

DFP stands for DoubleClick for Publishers, is a SAS platform designed to manage the process of delivering ads to your websites, mobile devices, games and much more. DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) is an ad management tool that allows publishers to sell, schedule, deliver, and manage their ad inventory. Although this comparison won’t be accurate technically, but you can think of DFP as AdSense on steroids.

The SAS platform is also called ad serving. Which put simply, is the technology and services that puts ads on all your websites. This service is an application run by Google and it provides you with a toolkit to manage your ads for a multi-device audience.

DFP features

DFP features include a central place, advanced forecasting, and revenue optimization. The central place is one page to analyze your traffic on all of your platforms. Advanced forecasting calculates how many impressions you will receive on each ad that you sell to advertisers. Revenue optimization uses Google AdSense and Ad Exchange which scans all networks to find where you get the most revenue for each ad impression.

Since it’s built and managed by Google, you can expect the same intuitive user interface and robust functioning that you’ve likely experienced with AdSense, but DFP takes it a step further by giving you deeper control over your ad inventory and significantly more ad management and delivery options.

How does DoubleClick for Publishers work?

DFP is a hosted ad server, meaning that it acts as an intermediary between your ad inventory and the ad networks and advertisers that want to purchase your ad space.

With advanced features such as ad trafficking and delivery, inventory management, revenue optimization, inventory forecasting, and granular reporting, DFP provides an entire toolkit to publishers for delivering ads on their web, mobile, and video ad inventory. A full feature list of DFP is available at their website.

You can sell ads directly or deliver them using AdSense or any other third party ad network.

Now that you have a little idea of what DFP does, let’s talk about starting your own DFP network. When you sign into DFP you are connecting with a network that manages all of the advertising appearing on your webpage. This is the area where you determine how much ad space you have. Once you have done that it is easy to create, manage and report on specific ad campaigns.

Now, let’s talk about the process of delivering these ads to your webpage. First, you create the ad unit, which are the spaces in your content where ads will be shown. Once you’ve created the ad unit then DFP automatically creates ad tags which are pieces of HTML and JavaScript code. Then you move the tags to your advertising platforms, and when a user visits that platform, the tags identify an ad unit and place an ad into that space.

Now I’m sure your wondering how does it know which ad to place when users visit your website. What DFP does for each ad request is select the best ad from all of your ad campaigns and then delivers that ad and records the data.

The ultimate goal is for the user to click on the ad and become a potential customer. DFP will also record the number of clicks ads receive, what inventory they’re under and much more. DFP allows you to make custom reports to dig deeper and come up with alternative ways to bring more efficient ads.

Here are some terms that will give you a better understanding of how this whole DoubleClick for Publishers process works!

  • Inventory is the number of ad units you have available to sell. The ad units can be grouped into different categories.
  • Tagging is HTML and JavaScript code placed onto your content to connect ad units to your inventory.
  • Trafficking is where you create and manage ad campaigns. In this step you can create orders, line items, and creatives to target for specific audiences. You can use specific inventory to only show ads to users in certain locations.
  • Forecasting calculates how much ad inventory you will have in the future and then helps you sell that inventory without overselling.
  • Reporting is where you can analyze the data and determine how well a certain campaign is doing. These reports as stated earlier in this blog are customizable and help you make more efficient campaigns.
  • Account Administration is the toolkit that you have available for your network.
  • Traditional Ad Serving is a service provided for publishers to deliver their advertisements to web servers based off ad content determined by publishers and advertisers.

So why is DFP and all this information important to learn? Well if you’re like most people who start an online content company or are already apart of one, then advertising is the best way to increase your revenue. Consumers are not willing to pay for online content because most of it is free. So the best way to fund your online content is through advertising, and DFP gives you an advantage when it comes to connecting the right ads to your website.

How is DFP different from AdSense and AdX?

AdSense is a display ad network that serves contextual ads from Google’s Display Network (GDN). Google Ad Exchange, on the other hand, is an ad exchange that allows publishers to sell their inventory directly along with ads that are displayed from the GDN.

There are some other crucial differences between AdSense and AdX, for instance, AdX allows publishers to serve up to five ads per page as compared to AdSense that only allows three — just this one feature can make a lot of difference to overall revenue numbers if managed well.

DFP, in contrast to both, is a platform that allows the serving and management of ads from different sources, in and of itself, DFP wouldn’t be able to do anything for your website — to make DFP work, you have to connect it to the right sources.

What is DFP? How does DoubleClick for Publishers Work? DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) is an ad management tool that allows publishers to sell, schedule, deliver, and manage their ad inventory.



  1. DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP) is a comprehensive hosted ad serving platform that streamlines your ad management, whether you deliver ads to websites, mobile webpages, mobile apps, games, or a combination.

  2. I think this article answered your question – How does DFP work?

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