On April 2, 2012, we’ll be rolling out a number of changes to the Ad Exchange real-time bidding protocol. Although we've distributed communication on each of these topics individually, we wanted to provide a final overview of the upcoming changes. And a reminder: Although some of these may require action on your part, we expect all of them to save you time and energy in the long run.

Trading Locations
As you may know, your bid requests have been coming from a variety of data centers throughout the world. Occasionally we change the set of data centers used, which can cause headaches for your bidder. To reduce complexity and increase predictability, we've announced a set of four new, fixed trading locations: West Coast U.S., East Coast U.S., Europe, and Asia. As of April 2, 2012, these locations will become the standard, and you should expect all callouts to come from these locations.

New Bid Response Deadline
Our current bid response deadline of 120ms is a combination of 40ms “network time” and 80ms “think time.” Because the new trading locations schema reduces network time by stabilizing the origin of callouts, we are lowering the bid response deadline from 120ms to 100ms beginning on April 2, 2012.

While this is a shorter time window, your 80ms think time should not be affected. In fact, you can actually increase your think time by strategically locating your data centers near the four fixed trading locations.

Buyer Creative ID Mandatory
Starting on April 2, 2012, we will require all real-time bid responses to contain a new field: buyer_creative_id, which lets you set a unique identifier for each new ad creative you submit. Moving forward, all reports on the status of your creatives will be based on this ID. The ID also enables us to investigate and troubleshoot issues much more quickly.

From April 2 onward, any bid responses without the buyer_creative_id field will be rejected. If you are ready to begin using this field prior to the deadline, contact your Technical Account Manager.

Deprecated/Renamed Fields
The following fields in the bid request have been deprecated and will no longer be filled starting April 2, 2012:
  • protocol_version
  • campaign_id
  • excluded_click_through_url
  • company_name
Please note that excluded URLs may still be accessed via publisher_settings files.

Additionally, the MobileApp submessage has been renamed to Mobile. The following fields that are part of the newly renamed Mobile submessage have been deprecated and will no longer be filled starting April 2, 2012:
  • app_name
  • company_name
Starting on April 2, 2012, we’ll no longer be sending whitelisted vendors or GDN-approved vendors in the bid request. Check out this post for more details.

If you have questions about any of these changes, please reach out to your Ad Exchange Technical Account Manager.