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Home > English > Marin University > Marin On-Demand > Training: Going Live with Marin Bidding

Training: Going Live with Marin Bidding

What You'll Learn

In this training article, we'll show you how to:

  • Set your bidding folders to Preview and Traffic mode
  • Understand the changes that take place in your account once you've trafficked a Marin Bidding folder
  • Review the Settings History associated with your biddable objects



Did you know? A biddable object is any object in your Marin Client Account that can have its bid raised or lowered by Marin Bidding. These can be keywords, groups, managed placements, product groups, and more!

What is Marin Bidding?

Marin Bidding is our transparent, customizable bidding solution designed to help you optimize your search spend to meet your unique business goals. In other training articles we've covered in-depth details about how to create a new bidding folder, how to customize your folder settings, and how to leverage this unique bidding solution, so if you haven't yet read those training articles, we do recommend you take the time to do so. This article is specifically designed to help you understand the various changes that will start to take place in your account once you enable Marin Bidding.

At a high level, when you set your folder to Traffic mode and hit Save, Marin's bidding algorithm will start updating bids and, during the nightly sync, those new bids will be pushed to their corresponding publisher account. Below we'll review the changes you may start to see in your account, details on what those changes mean, and where to find information associated with these changes.

See It In Action 

Join a member of the Marin Software team as we walk you through the steps you'll need to take to go live with Marin Bidding. 

Click the play button to get started. (Length: 3:30).

How to Enable Marin bidding

Below we'll explain how to kick off Marin Bidding and the corresponding activity you will see in the Marin Platform associated with this update. Some of the items below are changes that happen in every account, and other changes are ones that only happen in certain instances, but we want you to be prepared for all possible outcomes so that there's no concern if you see these things happening in your account.


  1. The first step, as always, is to log into the Marin Platform.

  2. Once you're logged in, go ahead and navigate to the Bidding tab.

  3. Identify the bidding folder you would like to activate and click on the folder name to open the folder's Settings tab.

  4. At the top of the page, in the Bid Calculations section, if the mode is set to Off, go ahead and set it to Preview. It's Marin's best practice to run your folder in Preview mode for a few days prior to setting your folder to Traffic mode, as this will help you understand the bid calculations Marin's algorithm is using. Launching a folder in Preview mode will also give you access to tools to help predict the outcome of trafficking your folder with its current target and rules. 

    bid calculations.PNG


  5. Once the Bid Calculations setting has been updated, click Save.

  6. If your folder is already in Preview mode with campaigns mapped in, meets the minimum conversion threshold necessary for bidding to a financial goal, and you've done all of the necessary QA to launch your folder in Traffic mode (See our Bidding SmartStart for additional QA instructions), go ahead and change the Bid Calculations setting to Traffic and hit Save.

    bid calculations - traffic.PNG


  7. You can confirm that your folder is now active by scrolling down to the bottom of the Settings page and reviewing the Settings History. The most recent setting displayed in the New Value column should represent your folder's current status.

    bidding folder settings history.PNG


  8. From here, Marin will take over and start calculating bids. Bids will be calculated for each biddable object at 5 p.m. local time, based on the time zone of your account. To learn more about the time zone of your account, check out the "How to Change Time Zone Settings" article in the "Want To Know More?" section of this page.

  9. If you choose to activate your bidding folder early in the day and would like your bids to be calculated prior to 5 p.m., please reach out to our Customer Success Center to kick off this activity. This is done on a one-time basis. If you would like to adjust the timing that bidding takes place on a daily basis, please reach out to your account representative to determine if your account is eligible for this change.

  10. Once bids have been calculated in Marin, they will be sent to their corresponding publisher account (Google, Microsoft, etc.). Navigate to the Admin section and the Activity Log sub-tab to see activity related to automated bidding. This activity can be identified with the text Trafficking XX keyword bids for folder in the Description column and System in the User column. You may also see similar activity for group, managed placement, and product group bids.

    bidding activity log.PNG


  11. Once bids have been calculated and sent to the publisher, you will start to notice new bids at the object level. To see the current bid for all objects, navigate to the corresponding tab and use the View Builder to bring in any of the bidding-related columns. Below is a list of columns that are associated with bidding.



    Search Bid $

    Keyword search bid currently set at the publisher

    Note: If Search Bid = 0 [zero], then the Group Search Bid is used as the search bid set at the publisher.

    Calc. Search Bid $

    The bid is calculated by the application from the historical performance data and Folder bidding targets.

    Min. Bid $

    First Page Bid (Google) or Min. Bid for the keyword, as defined by the publisher

    Min. Bid Delta $

    Calculated as Search Bid $ - Min Bid $. If Search Bid $ = 0, then Group Search Bid $ is used. If negative, indicates the amount that the Search Bid $ is below the Min Bid $.

    Group Search Bid $

    Bid for the Keyword's parent Group. Group Search Bid is used for a Keyword when the Keyword Search Bid = 0

    Bid Override

    Indicates if Keyword is in Bid Override mode. Bid Override is set to On for Keywords that are being bid manually (see also Bid Override in the Edit Keyword menu). Otherwise, Bid Override status is set to Off.

    Override Until

    Expiration date for Bid Override

    Bid Calc. Date

    Date of most recent bidding calculation

  12. To review bid changes on any object, click on the name of that object, navigate to the Settings tab, and scroll down to the Settings History. Here you will see a log of all bid changes that have been made either from manual changes, by Marin Bidding, or by any other automated bidding tool. Changes that are made by Marin's automated bidding will have the username Marin Bidding and will show Max Search Cpc (which is your bid) as the setting details. The Old Value and New Value columns will include details on the old bid and the new bid for this object.

    keyword settings history.PNG


  13. In reviewing your object bids, you may notice that some of your keyword bids have been set to $0.00. If this happens, this indicates that these keywords have extremely low click volume. As a result, these keywords will default to using the ad group-level bid. To see the corresponding ad group level bid for a given keyword, use the View Builder to bring in the Group Search Bid column.

    Once the keyword gains enough data, it will automatically move away from using the ad group-level bid and start getting bid up or down to correspond with your Folder settings. No manual intervention is needed for these keywords to start getting bid up or down again, provided have enough data.


    group search bid column.PNG

    To identify keywords that are using the Group Search Bid, use the View Builder to bring in columns for Search Bid and Group Search Bid. Then, add a filter for Search Bid = 0.
    search bid equals 0.PNG

  14. After midnight local time, based on the time zone of your account, Marin will perform its nightly sync with the publishers. For Google search campaigns, Marin will sync Google’s estimated First Page Minimum Bid for keywords with impressions. Use the Min Bid column to review these estimates, but keep in mind that these are only estimates and do not necessarily reflect the bid at which your keyword will see the best performance.

  15. In rare instances, you may see another update to the keyword Max Search CPC (your bid) performed by the user System in your keyword's Settings History. This means that the bid was changed on the publisher side, either manually or using one of Google's automated bidding tools, and Marin has synced this change into the Marin Platform. To find out if these changes are taking place, click into a keyword and from the Settings tab, scroll down to the Settings History. Instead of the Username Marin Bidding, you will see the Username System.

    Typically, this is an indication that you are using another bidding technology, such as Google Conversion Optimizer or Google's Flexible Bidding Strategies, which are not compatible with Marin Bidding. This can also indicate that someone has changed the bid on the publisher side and Marin has synced in this change during the nightly sync. Making changes manually in the publisher tool is also discouraged because it can sometimes overwrite changes that are made by Marin's automated bidding tool.

Try it yourself

Now that you've read and seen the steps, how about trying them for yourself? Below you'll find an interactive section which you can use to run through the steps above in a demo environment that is not associated with a live account. That means that your results won't be recorded and you can take your time to ensure you really understand the process. 

Get started by clicking below. 

Want to know more?

Bidding is a complex topic and we have a lot of additional information available. If you would like to learn more about the various changes you might see in your account associated with Trafficking a bidding folder, click on any of the links below.



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