What is Real Time Bidding (RTB) or Bidding Advertising In Real Time

Real Time Bidding or RTB marketing a new player to online advertising. And it is that real-time bidding offers new possibilities to advertisers, although the vast majority still do not understand very well what it consists of. This article will analyze its possibilities, as well as the pros and cons of this form of online advertising compared to other more traditional ones used in the sector, such as Google Adwords.

Internet real-time bidding can be described as the process of buying and selling adverts on the Internet in real-time through real-time auctions that occur in response to the request to load a web page (typically milliseconds). A well-done SEO positioning (optimized for search engines).

Bidding platforms or ad exchanges are frequently used for those auctions. Thus, Demand Side Platforms (DSPs), which are the latest ones on the market, also offer added value. These platforms apply mathematical intelligence to auctions, allowing them to bid substantially more to show an ad that is of higher quality.

Where can I learn more about Real Time Bidding?

The operation of the RTB is really simple. It is based on Big Data, and the tools it has for the intelligent exploitation of millions of data.

It all starts when the user accesses a web page. Your browsing data (those you have allowed) are collected in the form of cookies and thus what is known as the visitor profile is formed. Thus, companies and advertisers for whom the profile is interesting will receive a bid offer. They are the ones in charge of assessing this offer, and bidding to a lesser or greater extent so that your advertisement appears on the page, in various formats: as a banner, as a single advertiser (that is, only your advertisement appears on the page), like floating ad…

When the editor receives the offers from advertisers, he must analyze them in order to select the one that most interests him. Once it has been decided, the advertiser will be notified that his bid has been the winner and the ad will be published on the web in the format that he had indicated in his request.

But now advertisers can target their messages to a specific user: if someone visits pages about cars, the ads on other pages they visit (regardless of their content) will also be about cars. This advertising model is highly appreciated by those advertisers who are not only looking for immediate results, but also want to generate a brand and its relevance.

Although it may seem similar, real-time bidding advertising should not be confused with what is known as programmatic advertising. RTB is one of the types of this advertising, but not all programmatic advertising is RTB, as there are options where web page publishers sell their ad space at a set fixed price, instead of using a fixed price method.

Real Time Bidding Actors

In order to fully understand what RTB consists of, it will be necessary to know the actors involved in the process.


These are the markets where Real Time Bidding is facilitated, without owning the advertising space. Their characteristics is that they are open, and a meeting point for publishers and advertisers (supply and demand). You can think of them as an auction house: they put a print at the buyer’s disposal, which goes to whoever bids the best price.

Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)

It has already been mentioned above, and it is about the provider of the technology. Its maxim is to optimize the purchase process of the spaces destined for advertising. Thanks to this technology, advertisers can determine the unit price in real time of each impression that is offered to them in the markets (Ad Exchanges). DSPs work both with direct advertisers and with agencies, relying on complex algorithms that use large databases and that contain a lot of information about each user, such as the URL they come from, their relevance, the conversion history.

Data Partners

Data Partners are the data providers that DSPs rely on to create their databases.

Trading Desk

Although it seems that everything is automated, behind the RTB there is a human team that makes sure everything works. This is made up of people who work in the advertising and marketing department of the advertising company, and also in advertising agencies.

Sell ​​Side Platforms (SSPs)

They optimize the profitability of advertising spaces, thus ensuring that advertising reaches the profiles most adjusted to the offer. They are the most suitable if you want to improve the reputation of a brand, and obtain significant data from the audience.

Real Time Bidding versus Google Adwords

The main provider of Internet advertising is Google Adwords. Being the most used, and the one that most people know, it is a good tool to compare with Real Time Bidding and thus understand if this advertising is adapted to the type of product that you want to sell.

As segmentation is the main advantage of online advertising, the comparison will focus on location, on the device used by the requested profile and its behavior.

  • The locations. Both Adwords and RTB give their advertisers the option to advertise based on the location of the person who will see the ad. The differences in both platforms are minimal in this sense, they only respond to location modifiers, such as zip code, IP address, city, state, country.
  • The devices. In Google Adwords the advertiser can configure their ads to specifically target mobile device users. The RTB goes a step further, and also allows a greater segmentation of these users and display advertising according to the mobile operating system they use, the device model or the browser they are using on it.
  • Behavio Behavioral data includes the interests of users, as well as their demographic or socioeconomic data. In Google Adwords, advertising can be created for each group, although it must also be combined with other orientations. At RTB, in addition to being able to create ads oriented only by this data, more precise profiles of users are also obtained, thanks to the fact that data is obtained from third parties to create the bases.

Thus, each advertiser must carry out an analysis of the target audience, and decide based on it whether the company’s objectives will be optimized using RTB or Google Adwords.

Real Time Bidding: A Good Option for Advertisers

Efficiency is the key as more and more advertisers are switching to RTB. Because of real-time bidding, ad buyers no longer have to work directly with publishers or ad networks to negotiate prices and placements.

With technology based on Big Data, you can choose to advertise on a wide range of sites, sticking with the one that is most interesting, reducing the number of wasted impressions and preventing users who are not interested in the product they are selling from receiving said impressions advertising.

For websites that give advertising space to these advertisers, RTB may seem less profitable than other advertising methods, but nothing is further from the truth. This type of platform allows you to set a minimum bid below which the ad will not appear.

As described in the previous paragraphs, although Google Adwords and Real Time Bidding meet the same objectives, those that offer brands spaces to advertise, reaching a segmented audience, are not the same, and therefore should not be used as synonyms.

This is just one more point in the evolution of online advertising. There are many platforms that offer this service: it is the job of the advertiser to study their product, the target audience they want to reach and decide which system best suits their purposes.

With such a wide market, the Internet has been gaining market share over more traditional advertising platforms, such as the press, radio or television, thanks, above all, to the great segmentation effect they offer: so advertisers know who your ad will arrive, further increasing the profitability of ads.

Combining actions on different platforms will help improve the perception and awareness of the brand, as well as being able to reach as many customers as possible.