Setting up Adsense and Google DFP

Simplicity and Complexity of Google Adsense and DFP for Publishers

Google-AdsenseI began my Ad Network with Google DFP and as I don’t come from a business background it read like a Latin text book. I delved deeper and deeper into the meaning of everything to try and unravel terms such as “Advanced forecasting” “Ad Units, Placements, Line Items, Orders, Campaigns, Ad Networks, In-House” etc etc etc…
The task became so complex on the one hand that I wasn’t sure that I was qualified for the job. “Is this something I should have studied at University or College?” The terminology used in the Ad context is a language learned from text books, dry and arid projecting yields and forecasts, channels and inventory…

The process can be tricky for a first timer setting up Adsense so  here are some top articles that explain the process.

Top articles and YouTube tutorials on setting up Google DFP and Adsense

10 Tips to Get Adsense Account Approved for Your Blog or Website

How to fix googletag.defineSlot was called without a matching googletag.display call.

How to fix googletag.defineSlot was called without a matching googletag.display call.

How to fix googletag.defineSlot was called without a matching googletag.display call.

More About Google DFP

indexGoogle DFP is an Ad Server. It serves Ads that you either upload yourself, or that you syndicate from an Ad Network.

An Ad Network serves their own client’s ads such as Adsense.

The nitty gritty of it all is this: If you wish to serve Adsense Ads through Google DFP Ad Network, you need to set up an Adsense Account and get approval from Google first before DFP will start serving Adsense Ads.

Why is my Adsense application rejected?

There are a number of different reasons for this and a lot of this information is found in the afore-metioned articles but it took a lot of searching before I discovered why I kept receiving the rejection email from Google Adsense saying there was insufficient content on my client’s site. The site has over 6000 impressions per month and is a very thorough topical blog on Finance in South Africa. I couldn’t understand where there was a lack of content.

When you request approval from Adsense there is a brief waiting period, in my experience a couple of days and then you receive a notification in your Adsense dashboard saying you may proceed to the next step in the approval process which is embedding the Ad Code snippet supplied by Adsense, into your site.

I made a number of mistakes here because when you place the ad code on your site all you see is a blank hole where the ads should go. This really looks unprofessional and it is beyond me as to why Adsense cannot just serve a placeholder in the interim so that your site doesn’t have gaps in the content. So in my first attempt I set up a dummy page with some dummy text, embedded the Adsense code into a WordPress widget in the sidebar and awaited approval. I was rejected of course and realized the dummy content was obviously reviewed and viewed as just that.

My next attempt was to place the code on the home page at the bottom of the side bar, so that at least the blank space serving no ads was below the fold as it were. The home page of the site is a blog style layout which in WordPress terms meant that there were a number of articles, all snippets and not a full page of copy. This was also rejected by Adsense. Although they pointed out in the rejection email that there was insufficient content, I still had not clicked that it was because of the blog layout of the page. Finally I embedded the Adsense code on a single post page on the site in a recently published article. I also added a terms and conditions page to the footer of the site and at last the account was approved. The terms and conditions can be obtained from .

Now this was just the Adsense side of the journey. If you want to serve Adsense Ads through Google DFP it is really remarkably easy.

The following instruction is from Google Adsense Help Centre and explains quite clearly how to start serving Adsense Ads…the bit I was unclear about was whether I needed to create orders and line items for this but the answer is no.

All you need to create in your Google DFP account is an Ad Unit and enable it for Adsense. You then generate your Ad Code and embed it in the header and body of the site. The article below taken from Google Support Documents explains how and here is the direct url

“To enable an existing or new ad unit for AdSense:

Go to the Inventory tab, then select Ad units in the left-hand panel.
Click the ad unit you want to edit or click New ad unit to create a new one.
If creating a new ad unit, click override for “AdSense inventory settings.”


If editing an existing ad unit, click edit for “AdSense inventory settings.”
Select the Maximize revenue of unsold and remnant inventory with AdSense checkbox.
Click Save.

When will AdSense ads appear on your site?
Now that AdSense is enabled for the ad unit, the system uses AdSense to:

For this to happen, you don’t have to do anything other than enabling AdSense at the ad unit level. Once you’ve done this, if no eligible ads are targeted to the ad unit, an AdSense ad conforming to the format you specified is called and served. In this way, you’re not losing the opportunity to generate revenue.

By enabling AdSense at the ad unit level, you also get the chance to optimize your remnant revenue thanks to the dynamic competition between AdSense and remnant impressions.

You need to make sure that the line items you want to compete with AdSense have the right priority type: Network, Bulk, Price priority or House.
Only non-guaranteed line items are eligible for an impression-by-impression competition with AdSense, based on price.

If you want to do this for an existing line item:

Go to the Orders tab in your DFP Small Business account.
Select the relevant order and line item.
Pause the line item. This allows you to edit the line item type.
Click the Settings tab within the line item.
Click the Type drop down and select the most suitable of Network, Bulk, Price priority or House.

Enter the price that you charge for that line item in the Rate field, keeping in mind that it’s the value taken into account by the system when running the competition with Google AdSense.”

If you want your Adsense Account set up for you Please contact The First Step in Cape Town, South Africa, for a quotation.