What is Header Bidding?

Header bidding, also known as advance bidding or pre-bidding, is an advanced programmatic advertising technique used in the digital advertising ecosystem. It is a method that allows publishers to offer their ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges simultaneously before making calls to their ad servers. This process aims to maximize revenue by creating a competitive auction-like environment for advertisers to bid on available ad impressions in real-time.

Header Bidding

How Does It Work?

Here’s a breakdown of how header bidding works:


When a user visits a website, the webpage loads, and the publisher’s ad space is ready to be filled with advertisements.

Tag in the Header

Instead of relying solely on a single ad server, the publisher places a small piece of code (header bidding tag or wrapper) directly into the header of their webpage.

Simultaneous Ad Calls

The header bidding tag triggers simultaneous ad requests to multiple ad exchanges or demand-side platforms (DSPs) before the publisher’s ad server is called.

Real-Time Auction

Advertisers bid on the available ad impressions in real-time. This creates a competitive environment where advertisers can submit their bids for the opportunity to display their ads.

Winner Determination

The highest bid wins, and the winning ad is served on the publisher’s website.

Ad Serving

The winning ad is then served, and the webpage is displayed with the selected advertisement.


Header bidding offers several advantages to both publishers and advertisers:

Increased Revenue 

By allowing multiple demand sources to bid simultaneously, publishers can access a broader range of advertisers and potentially receive higher bids for their ad inventory.

Improved Fill Rates

Header bidding can help reduce ad inventory wastage by maximizing the chances of selling available impressions.

Fair Competition

Advertisers compete on an equal footing, as they all have the opportunity to bid on the same impressions at the same time.


Publishers and advertisers gain insights into the value of ad impressions and can make more informed decisions about their advertising strategies.

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