What are AdSense/AdX Line Items in DFP?

Introduction to DFP

DoubleClick for Publishers (DFP), formerly called Google Dart, is an ad server that helps publishers serve impressions to their websites. It also provides a variety of built-in features for managing the sales process of online ads using a publisher’s dedicated sales team. Should a publisher not sell out all their available ad inventory, it can choose to run either other ad networks or AdSense ads as remnant inventory in DoubleClick for Publishers. Also, Ad Exchange can be linked to directly compete with other ad networks.

DFP Line Items

In DFP, a publisher has to add the names of the advertisers from which it is running multiple ads. For each of these advertisers, it has to create an order which is basically a folder containing line items. A line item defines an advertiser’s agreement with the publisher to buy the specific number of impressions ( for CPM), clicks ( for CPC) or time ( for CPD) during a certain time at a certain price. Each line item also includes details with respect to the positioning of the advertiser’s ad and, optionally, the time of the week at which it will get showcased and also to whom it will be displayed.

Each line item in DFP has a type. Now each type has a default priority value. Thus all line items have priority values of their own. Line item types and priority values regulate the how the line items will be organized for ad selection. The type and priority of a line item determine how DFP will organize the competition between all the other line items for each ad impression.

For example, if a line item of priority 4 competes with a line item of priority 12 for an ad impression, DFP prioritizes the line item of priority 4 over the one of priority 12. So the rule is that lower the number, higher the priority.

There are 7 different line item types in DFP- Sponsorship, Standard, Network, Bulk, Price Priority, AdExchange/AdSense and House.

What are AdSense/AdX line items?

All publisher sites have two types of ad inventory- guaranteed and non-guaranteed or remnant.

Non-guaranteed inventory is the part of the ad inventory that is sold to advertisers or ad networks without a time cap, after the guaranteed inventory has been directly sold to advertisers. Ad networks often buy remnant inventory in bulk and then sell them to advertisers on a CPM or CPC basis.

The AdSense/AdX line item types are non-guaranteed inventory with a priority level of 12. The AdExchange line items appear only when a DFP publisher has linked its AdSense/AdExchange account with its DFP account. These line items compete with other line item types of the same level on an impression-by-impression(CPM) basis. DFP chooses the line items that fit the criteria and then call AdExchange to look for ads that fit the same criteria. If AdExchange manages to find one that also happens to have a higher CPM, that AdExchange line item will serve. This is the line item type that enables Dynamic Allocation, the proprietary bidding system of Google.

Benefit of AdSense/AdX line item

AdSense line item types allow publishers to use one or more Ad Exchange accounts across their DFP inventory. These also allow publishers to use one or more AdSense accounts for various segments of inventory.


AdSense line items are the ones that enable publishers to take advantage of the consolidation between AdSense, AdExchange, and DFP. Although non-guaranteed inventory with a lower priority level, these line item types are extremely important for bringing in additional revenue from remnant inventory. 

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  1. Hello,


    for some days now AdSense ads are delivering on my site. I manage everything via DFP and created an AdSense line item with “price priority” and set a value CPM of 3 Euros. However, the report in Adsense shows me that i just get 20 cents per CPM. Where’s the mistake?

    And I also can’t choose the line item type AdSense. Ads are alreay running so that means my Adsense and DFP account must me linked already? Can you help me on this?

    Kind Regards

    • Hey Ruth,

      You need to have DFP Premium Account to create the Adsense Line item, Also you need to run the DFP Ad unit report with Adsense parameter to check how much CPM you are getting.

      When you add adsense code as a creative inside DFP, with fixed CPM to Line item. It means that Adsense will compete with your price priority line item, If Adsense wins it will give you more than 3EUR cpm, Else Adsense creative which you have uploaded will serve.

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