Serve Your Own Ad with Google Ad Manger

Back in March, Google announced a beta launch for an online ad manager that allowed publishers to manage their own ad serving. Beta testers could use the software to not only serve Google AdSense ads, but any other ads they want. The test prove positive and Google has now opened Ad Manager to anyone who wants to use it.

What is Google Ad Manager?

Google Ad Manager is a hosted ad management solution that can help you sell, schedule, deliver, and measure all of your directly-sold and network-based inventory. The best way to understand what it does is to take a tour. Some of the main features of Ad Manager includes:

  • Inventory management
  • Yield optimization
  • Ad targeting
  • Trafficking, ad delivery, and order booking
  • Creatives and rich media management
  • Reporting
  • User interface navigation
  • Account administration

The best thing about the Google Ad Manger is the cost – it’s absolutely free. If you have a Google Account, you can use Google Ad Manager. This is sure to put a huge dent into companies that sell ad serving software.

Google Ad Manager Vs. OIO Publisher

As nice as Google Ad Manager is, I don’t see it taking over the current best blog ad serving solution, OIO Publisher Direct. The one key advantage OIO publisher has over Ad Manger is sales and order fulfillment. Google doesn’t do it. Most bloggers can barely find enough time to run their blogs, much less do ad sales. Until OIO Publisher came along, I’ve always recommended new bloggers use ad networks instead of selling private advertising.

Google Ad Manger serves the ads after you’ve sold it and collected the money. OIO Publisher is a more complete solution. OIO Publisher takes the advertiser from the sales page to the payment page to the thank you page. The only thing you have to do is approve the ad. The main disadvantage of OIO Publisher is it cost money. However, at only $37, it’s not going to break you.

If you have tried out Google Ad Manager, I would like to hear your experience with it. Please let me know in the comments.

16 thoughts on “Serve Your Own Ad with Google Ad Manger”

  1. Hugo Santos says:

    Google ad manager looses in all aspects comparing to oiopublisher. Ok it costs money, but it will be one of the best investments a blogger can do.
    I have heard complains saying using google ad manager wasn’t as easy as it may look,..

    1. Tried it out yesterday… still getting used to it.

  2. wisdom says:

    Haven’t tried it out yet, so don’t really have any comments. Heard about this yesterday though.

  3. I wouldn’t be surprised if they added order fufillment later. They’re always upgrading their projects.

  4. Dave says:

    I’ve been using Ad Manager on both my sites ( and Carbon Fiber Gear) for a few months now.

    I come from a background in online advertising as you know John. I have sold ads on my sites since 97, and I currently work for a company that’s main source of revenue is online advertising. I use Doubleclick (now owned by Google) and AdTech at work, and in the past have personally used phpAdsNew (Now named OpenX) for my own projects.

    So far, I would say I like OpenX better than Ad Manager in terms of usability and reporting. OpenX is easier to learn out of the box I think, and the reporting looks/works better than Ad Manager. That said, Ad Manager has come a long way since it first started in beta, and has only been getting better. It is a pretty powerful solution, and I choose it over OpenX mainly for the fact that it is an ad server hosted on Google’s servers, provided for free to me. Alternatively, OpenX is also free, but requires you to install it on your own servers. If you start to really generate some traffic, you can take down your server if it’s not powerful enough. With Google Ad Manager, you don’t have to worry about it.

    Google Ad Manager does have a fairly steep learning curve. Coming from use Doubleclick’s DFP system (doubleclick for publishers), I’d say I fairly easily got into Google Ad Manager as I understood the lingo and generally how things should be setup. I will say that once you learn how to set everything up correctly, it’s pretty awesome.

    I’ve never used oiopublisher before, but the issue with that to me would be that it’s used only on a WordPress platform (I think, I haven’t researched it). Some of my sites don’t use WordPress in every section, but I’d still like to serve ads to those pages. With Google Ad Manager, I can do that with ease…plus I can setup those areas as separate zones, and traffic ads accordingly. This is beneficial both from a tracking perspective, but also from a selling perspective if your site is ever big enough since you can sell different “zones” of your site.

    Now I’m starting to ramble, so I’ll leave my thoughts at that 🙂

    1. Orchid Help says:

      thanks for this thorough review.
      Does openX require a DB like mySQL and what are the limitations of it?
      Glad to read from you again.

      1. Dave says:

        It does require MySQL, and runs off of PHP.

        One thing to note though is that OpenX is working on a hosted solution, but not sure if it will cost anything or not.

        You can see more about OpenX here:

  5. Noobpreneur says:


    Good coverage on Google Ad Manager – I’ve been reading reviews on it lately, but I agree that OIO publisher’s ad manager is better than Google’s.


  6. oio is the way to go for sure

  7. Mark says:

    how about a post on openx? isn’t that what you use for the rectangle ads?

  8. Dan Grossman says:

    Typo in your post title 🙂

  9. Mark Avey says:

    I’ve been using AdManager for quite a while on one of my sites. I’ve written about the experience here.


  10. Eric says:

    I think of myself as a power user and I find Google Ad Manager confusing. I have been in the SEM\SEO and online ad space for quite some time and I needed to try out a new system. The idea of having everything under one roof was great – but I feel like they failed. I agree with you on the OIO front and think it should be simplified.

  11. Yuri Kantos says:

    I tried several solutions, including Google Ad Manager, OpenX and AdSpeed. I like the unique features of AdSpeed, like real-time reporting and detailed visitor stats. Google’s goal to control all advertising assets (they have publicly stated that) is not good for competition and for both publishers and advertisers in the long term.

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