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Document Revision 2.23

PulsePoint offers a robust, automated, and highly compatible header bidding solution. It is designed to facilitate any publisher's ability to run pre-bid auctions, thus creating better demand competition throughout the ad stack, with minimal integration hassle.

Getting Started

Why Header Bidding

Header bidding is a superior alternative to traditional waterfall implementations. It allows programmatic demand to compete with direct-sold revenue on price, without compromising existing commitments to advertisers.  Publishers employing header bidding enable the user’s browser to surface the ad impression to all sources of demand, simultaneously. In addition, this process eliminates passbacks. Accordingly, visitors to your site will enjoy a dramatically improved experience, because of faster page load times.

Who Benefits from Header Bidding

PulsePoint’s header bidding solution is designed for all publishers, large and small, as long as they have a Google Ad Manager (formerly called DFP) account. It is compatible with other third party ad servers on the market.

How to Start:

If you are new to Header Bidder you can get started with PulsePoint's powerful wrapper:

  1. (REQUIRED BEFORE LAUNCH): Sign a header bidding contract with PulsePoint.
  2. Add line items to your Ad Manager ad server, for the wrapper to trigger, based on the highest bid for each ad placement.
  3. Configure the PulsePoint wrapper.

Please note the following:

  • If you already have a header bidder wrapper installed, you can retrieve the configuration file and header bidder endpoint for most major wrappers directly from the Publisher Selling Desk.
  • You can learn more about generating header bidder config files for major wrappers.
  • If you have developed your own header bidder solution, you can call directly our header bidding endpoint from within the browser environment. In that case, see this page.



Header Bidder Wrapper (or) Header Bidder Container: A JavaScript code that can call one or more header bidders.

Header Bidding: A setup, placed on a publisher’s page, that requests bids from PulsePoint. The demand partner passes their bid value through a key value pair into the ad tag(s) that call the ad server. An order contains line items (a.k.a. pricing tiers) in the publisher’s ad server that are preset to target these key value parameters. The header bidder's highest price then competes with other programmatic and direct-sold demand in the ad sever to determine which ad is displayed.

Line Item: See Pricing Tier. Applies to Ad Manager orders.

Pricing Tier: A component of your order that tells your ad server the worth of the bidder demand. For example, for the range $0.10 - $20.00, you can set up line items at $0.10, $0.20, $0.30, …, $19.80, $19.90, $20.00, Each pricing tier contains a different monetary amount, according to the bidder demand’s worth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will I see discrepancies between PulsePoint reported impressions and Ad Manager when using header bidding?

PulsePoint header bidding minimizes discrepancies by collecting creatives and delivering ads after the publisher’s ad server confirms the ad should be served. Discrepancies are primarily caused by the user leaving the page before the ad loads, and by differences in ad server counting methodologies, especially from external redirects in a waterfall.

Will this solution affect my page load time?

No. PulsePoint uses a lightweight script which will not impact page load performance, even on slower connections, by virtue of our asynchronous methodology.  In fact, we allow publishers to customize their timeout window per factors such as site, section, page, device, and geo.

Is the header bidding asynchronous methodology safe?

Yes. PulsePoint’s solution is designed to optimize your monetization, while reliably preventing poor user experiences.

What happens if no ads are available for a page?

PulsePoint's header bidding solution detects when there are no eligible ads for a page. In that case, it will not return a bid. This safeguard minimizes processing power and bandwidth usage.          

Do I need to implement header bidding on my entire site?

No. Publishers fully control how to implement this solution on their pages.

Should my pages that leverage header bidding use tags that differ from tags elsewhere on my site(s)?

Yes. You will enjoy more informative reporting that will clearly distinguish between header bidding and non-header-bidding methodologies.

Why should I choose PulsePoint’s automated trafficking tool vs. manually trafficking line items in Ad Manager?

Manual trafficking requires considerably more effort on your part to configure header bidding. Accordingly, PulsePoint strongly recommends leveraging its automated trafficking tool.