Browse Definitions :
Definition

real-time bidding (RTB)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

Real-time bidding (RTB) is an automated auction process for the purchase of individual ad impressions on websites and other online venues such as apps and games.

RTB is an integral component of programmatic advertising, which automates the processes and transactions involved in buying and placing ads. Real-time bidding algortithms are designed to optimize transactions so that publishers receive the best payment per impression and advertisers can get their ads in front of the most relevant audience. Bids for ad impressions are established based on criteria including the size and placement of an ad as well as details about the site and audience.

Here's how RTB works: When someone clicks a link to a website or enters the site's name or URL into the browser address bar, the browser creates a connection to the publisher's content server. When the server returns the code for the page from the site publisher's content server, at least one line of the code includes the option to display an ad, along with the URL for retrieval of content from an ad server.

The ad server checks its stored data for relevant information -- if the ad space is reserved or would work for a premium inventory buyer, for example, or if there is any data about the viewer that would make the spot more valuable to some advertiser for a targeted ad. Depending on what data it detects, the ad server may make the opportunity available to the open ad market where it will be auctioned off. If that decision is made, the publisher's server connects to a supply-side platform (SSP), the software that publishers use to make their inventory available to ad exchanges and demand-side platforms (DSP), the advertiser's counterpart system.

The SSP determines whether the requester of the web page is known and may connect to a data exchange to access more information about that user. The SSP then sends the request and user data to an ad exchange, which is connected to ad networks, other demand-side platforms and possibly additional ad exchanges. All of these systems include data about what advertisers will bid for ads based on various criteria, such as the user's age, gender, geographic location and interests. If there are no pre-cached bids, the exchange requests bids from the demand-side systems based on those criteria. The winning bid is selected in 10 milliseconds and the ad is displayed to the user, all while the requested page is loading.

The Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) explains the back-end processes involved in RTB:

This was last updated in February 2017

Continue Reading About real-time bidding (RTB)

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

How much insight do you have into where your ads appear or the type of ads that appear on your website?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS)

    Transport Layer Security (TLS) is a protocol that provides authentication, privacy, and data integrity between two communicating ...

  • van Eck phreaking

    Van Eck phreaking is a form of electronic eavesdropping that reverse engineers the electromagnetic fields (EM fields) produced by...

  • zero-trust model (zero trust network)

    The zero trust model is a security model used by IT professionals that requires strict identity and device verification ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

  • business continuity software

    Business continuity software is an application or suite designed to make business continuity planning/business continuity ...

  • business continuity policy

    Business continuity policy is the set of standards and guidelines an organization enforces to ensure resilience and proper risk ...

SearchStorage

  • solid-state storage

    Solid-state storage (SSS) is a type of computer storage media made from silicon microchips. SSS stores data electronically ...

  • persistent storage

    Persistent storage is any data storage device that retains data after power to that device is shut off. It is also sometimes ...

  • computational storage

    Computational storage is an information technology (IT) architecture in which data is processed at the storage device level to ...

Close