Discover how Prebid Header Bidding can supercharge your ad revenue in this guide. Dive into our comprehensive guide for publishers. Maximize profits today.

If you’re a publisher navigating the intricate world of advertising technology, Prebid is a name you should be well-acquainted with. In fact, according to Builtwith, it’s currently empowering a whopping 30,667 live websites, with an additional 150,229 sites that have harnessed its capabilities in the past.

prebid users
Image source – BuiltWith

In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Prebid, from its fundamentals to its pivotal role in optimizing ad revenue for publishers like you.”

What Exactly is Prebid (Prebid Meaning?

Prebid can be best described as a suite of tools and libraries that work together to enable header bidding for publishers. It provides a standardized and efficient way to implement website header bidding and ensures seamless integration with various demand partners and ad exchanges.

How Prebid Works?

It operates as an auctioning system that facilitates a fair and efficient process for selling ad inventory. Here’s a simplified overview of how Prebid works:

Step 1: User Visits Publisher’s Website/App

  • When a user visits a webpage, or mobile app with Prebid implemented, the Prebid library (either Pre-bid.js or Prebid Mobile) is triggered.

Step 2: Bid Requests to Demand Partners

  • The Prebid library sends bid requests to multiple demand partners, including ad exchanges, SSPs, and DSPs.

Step 3: Real-time Bidding

  • Demand partners respond with bids, indicating the highest price they will pay for the ad impression in real time.

Step 4: Auction and Winner Selection

  • Prebid gathers all the bids and conducts an auction to determine the highest bid. The demand partner with the highest bid wins the auction.

Step 5: Serving the Winning Ad

  • The winning bid’s ad creative is selected and displayed to the user, providing a seamless ad experience.

What are the Key Components of Prebid?

Prebid consists of several critical components tailored to specific platforms and environments:


Prebid.js is Prebid’s original and most famous component, designed specifically for web-based environments. It is a JavaScript library that publishers can easily embed on their websites to facilitate header bidding.

When a user visits a webpage, Prebid.js requests bids from different demand sources in real time, allowing advertisers to compete for ad impressions. The highest bid wins, and the winning ad is displayed to the user.

Prebid Server

In addition to Prebid.js, Prebid offers Prebid Server, a server-side header bidding solution. Prebid Server moves the header bidding auction from the user’s browser to the server, reducing latency and page load times.

It allows publishers to implement header bidding even on platforms where client-side integrations may not be suitable, such as mobile apps and other non-web environments.

Prebid Mobile

As the name suggests, Prebid Mobile is tailored for mobile app developers. It offers a comprehensive solution to implement header bidding within mobile apps, enabling developers to maximize ad revenue while delivering a smooth and engaging user experience.

Prebid Video

This is an extension of Prebid.js that caters specifically to video ad units, increasing CPM Bids.

It enables publishers to integrate header bidding for video ads, increasing competition among demand partners and driving higher CPMs for video inventory.

5 Key Features of Prebid

Open-Source and Customizable

Prebid’s open-source nature allows publishers to access the complete source code and customize it to suit their needs.

This flexibility gives publishers greater control over their ad inventory, making Prebid a preferred choice for those seeking transparency and independence in their header bidding setup.

Wide Range of Demand Partners

Prebid offers compatibility with numerous demand partners, including significant ad exchanges, SSPs (Supply Side Platforms), and DSPs.

This extensive integration capability ensures publishers can access a diverse pool of advertisers, increasing competition and maximizing revenue potential through CPM Bidding.

Multiple Ad Formats

It supports various ad formats, including display, native, video, and even out-stream. It enables publishers to monetize different types of ad inventory effectively and receive CPM Bids from diverse sources.

This versatility allows publishers to cater to a broader range of advertisers and increase their revenue.

Cross-Platform Support

Whether on websites, mobile apps, or video content, it is designed to work across different platforms.

This cross-platform support allows publishers to implement a unified header bidding solution across their entire digital property, simplifying management and optimization.

Header Bidding Mediation

Lastly, it offers header bidding mediation, allowing publishers to combine Prebid with other header bidding solutions.

This feature enables publishers to diversify their demand sources, optimize competition, and find the best Bidder for the ad space.

What are the Benefits of Using Prebid?

Increased Ad Revenue

Enabling multiple demand partners to bid in real-time allows Prebid to drive up competition, resulting in increased ad revenue for publishers.

With access to a larger pool of advertisers, publishers can unlock the actual value of their ad inventory.

Reduced Latency

Prebid’s server-side solution (Prebid Server) significantly reduces latency by moving the auction from the user’s browser to the server.

It leads to faster page load times, enhancing user experience and reducing the likelihood of ad fatigue or abandonment.

Better User Experience

With faster loading times and relevant, high-quality ads, Prebid contributes to an improved user experience.

Serving ads more likely to resonate with users allows publishers to increase engagement and retain their audience.

Transparency and Control

As an open-source solution, it provides publishers transparency into the auction process and control over their ad inventory. This way, publishers can see how the bidding takes place and make data-driven decisions.

Equal Opportunities for Demand Partners

Last, but not the least, it ensures that all demand partners have an equal chance to bid on ad impressions, avoiding the waterfall-based prioritization of ad networks.

This fairness creates a level playing field and encourages healthy competition among demand partners.

A Comparison Between Prebid vs. Google Ad Manager vs. Amazon Publisher Services

FeaturesPrebidGoogle Ad ManagerAmazon Publisher Services
Auction MechanismReal-time parallel auctioningSequential waterfall setupReal-time auctioning
Transparency & ControlOpen-source, customizableLimited control, closed systemControl over campaigns
Setup & MaintenanceRequires technical expertiseChallenging setupTechnical knowledge needed
Revenue SharingFree to use, no platform feesRevenue cut, significant feesRevenue cut, significant fees
Demand PartnersMultiple integrationsAccess to a large poolAmazon Demand integration
Reporting & AnalyticsInsightful analyticsDetailed reportingRobust analytics capabilities

How to Implement Prebid on Your Website?

Implementing Prebid on your website can be straightforward if you follow these step-by-step instructions.

Step 1: Choose Prebid Version and Components

  • Decide whether you want to use Prebid.js (for web) or Prebid Server (for server-side header bidding).
  • Determine if you want to include additional Prebid components, such as Prebid Mobile for mobile apps or Prebid Video for video ad units.

Step 2: Set Up Prebid Account

  • If using Prebid Server, create an account and set up Prebid Server to handle the server-side auctions. Follow the documentation provided by the Prebid Server platform.

Step 3: Obtain Publisher ID and Ad Unit Codes

  • Obtain your publisher ID and ad unit codes from your demand partners or ad exchanges where you plan to serve ads. These IDs are essential for identifying your inventory during the auction.

Step 4: Integrate Prebid Library

  • For Prebid.js: Add the Prebid.js library to your website’s HTML code, typically in the head section of your pages.

Step 5: Configure Ad Units

  • Define your ad units and set up their configurations in your setup. Specify the ad sizes, ad targeting parameters, and any other relevant options.

Step 6: Configure Demand Partners

  • Set up your demand partners’ configurations by providing their adapter settings and credentials in the setup. Each demand partner may have specific configuration requirements.

Step 7: Test Prebid Implementation

  • Perform thorough testing to ensure that your Prebid setup is functioning correctly. Test on different devices and browsers to check for any compatibility issues.

Why Publishers are Increasingly Adopting Prebid?

Revenue Optimization

Prebid’s header bidding technology unlocks higher ad revenue potential by allowing multiple demand partners to bid on each impression in real-time.

Publishers can maximize their ad yields and achieve better monetization outcomes than traditional waterfall setups.

Improved Competition

Second, its parallel auction ensures that demand partners compete fairly for ad impressions. This increased competition attracts higher CPM Bids, ultimately benefiting publishers by maximizing the value of their ad inventory and optimizing their CPM Bidding strategy.

Transparency and Data Insights

Prebid’s open-source nature gives publishers detailed insights into the auction process.

Access to data and analytics empowers publishers to make data-driven decisions, optimize ad placements, and understand their inventory’s actual value.

Better User Experience

Faster page load times due to reduced latency enhance user experience, leading to higher engagement and lower bounce rates.

A seamless and enjoyable user experience encourages retention and repeat visits with CPM Bidding Google Ads.

Tips for Maximizing Prebid Performance

Optimizing the Prebid setup is essential for maximizing its performance and reaping the full benefits of header bidding.

Here are some practical tips and best practices to enhance its performance:

Keep Prebid Updated

Regularly update it to the latest version to take advantage of new features, bug fixes, and performance improvements.

Staying up-to-date ensures that your implementation remains efficient and compatible with the latest industry standards.

Optimize Ad Units and Sizes

Experiment with various ad unit configurations and ad sizes to find the best-performing combinations for your website or app.

Analyze user behavior and adjust the number and placements of ad units to strike a balance between ad revenue and user experience.

Implement Lazy Loading

Incorporate lazy loading techniques to load ads only when they come into view rather than all at once.

It helps reduce initial page load time and enhances user experience, particularly for content-heavy pages.

Set Appropriate Timeout Settings

Configure timeout settings for bid responses to prevent long waiting times for slow or unresponsive demand partners.

Balancing timeout durations ensures that Prebid quickly moves on to the next demand partner in case of non-responsiveness.

Monitor Performance Metrics

Regularly monitor key performance metrics, such as ad fill rates, CPMs, and ad latency.

Analyze the data to identify trends, optimize underperforming ad units, and make informed decisions to improve overall Prebid performance.

Use Header Bidding Mediation

Combine Prebid with other header bidding solutions through mediation to diversify demand sources.

Header bidding mediation can help fill ad inventory gaps and increase competition among demand partners.

Optimize Ad Layout and Styling

Consider the layout and styling of your ad placements to make them visually appealing and unobtrusive to users.

Well-integrated and user-friendly ad placements perform better and lead to higher user engagement.

Test and Optimize Demand Partner Priority

Experiment with different demand partner priority settings to find the optimal order for ad requests.

Higher-priority partners have the first chance to bid, which can impact overall revenue. Regularly analyze performance to fine-tune the priority settings.


Prebid is a game-changing open-source header bidding solution that maximizes ad revenue for publishers.

Its real-time auction, transparency, and flexibility set it apart from traditional ad server setups, making it a preferred choice for publishers.

Publishers increasingly adopt Prebid for revenue optimization, improved competition, and enhanced user experience.

Regular updates, monitoring performance, and addressing challenges are vital for optimizing Prebid’s effectiveness.

Embracing Prebid opens doors to increased revenue and a competitive edge in the digital advertising landscape.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the meaning of Prebid?

Prebid is an open-source header bidding solution that empowers publishers to maximize ad revenue. It acts as a mediator between publishers and demand sources, facilitating real-time auctions to increase competition and revenue potential.

2. How does pre-bid work?

In real-time, it works by sending bid requests to multiple demand partners simultaneously, including CPM Bids. These partners respond with their CPM Bids, indicating the maximum price they will pay for an ad impression.

3. What is Prebid and post-bid?

It is a real-time strategy where ad auctions occur before the ad is served. Post-bid, on the other hand, involves ad decisioning after the content has loaded. Prebid is more popular as it enables publishers to increase competition and ad revenue.


Deepak has a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the ad tech landscape. Whether it's through in-depth articles, thought-provoking insights, or compelling storytelling, he’s dedicated to helping people navigate the complex world of ad tech with the simplicity of his words.

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