The Google Adsense Blog helps you to get started with Google Ad Manager, Google’s hosted solution for managing your ads. Ad Manager is free to use, but if you grow big you might have to pay up, be sure to read the terms of service so that you know what you’re getting into.
So why would you want to use Google Ad Manager?
I’m a fan myself, although it does go against my principal rule of not having important stuff hosted out of my control. Since all ads and statistics are in Ad Manager, which is connected to your Google account, there is a theoretical risk of not having access to your data.
However, the issues I have with Ad Manager end up losing to the positive aspects. For one, Google Ad Manager is fairly easy to use, compared to OpenX, another ad managing platform that is great in essence but not all that user friendly. Granted, Ad Manager takes some time getting into, but I still found it more suitable for my needs. Those needs being setting up various ad spots on several sites, and easily changing the ads when a criteria (date or number of clicks or pageviews) has been met, as well as utilize campaigns and such. Ad Manager does this with flying colors.
I urge you to give Ad Manager a go if you sell your own ads. After you’ve created the ad spots in Ad Manager and added the code to your blog’s template files, you won’t have to mess around with it anymore. All ads are uploaded, changed, and controlled basically, through the web interface on the Ad Manager site, so no more hacking template files. This is a good thing, since you won’t risk braking anything. Another good thing is that you get statistics for your ad spots, something a static image ad in your sidebar template files won’t give you. This tells both you and your advertisers how things are working out, which is interesting if nothing else.
To me, Google Ad Manager’s been a great option. Does it work for you? Why/why not? Do share in the comments.