GPT Troubleshooting Tools

Using Google Publisher Toolbar(GPT) and Console(GPC) to identify and fix ad issues on the site.

Google recently sunset the DART tags and from April 5th, 2016, onward, Publishers will have no other choice but to switch to Google Publisher Tags (GPT).

DART tags expire; switch to GPT

Switch to GPT brings the gift of Google Publisher Console(GPC) and Toolbar(GPToolbar), which helps better manage ads and troubleshoot ad related issues on your website.

Let’s have a look at each of these –

Google Publisher Console (GPC)

Google publisher console is a useful tool available for publishers using Google Publisher Tags (GPT). It helps identify ad units/creatives being served among other things but most of the information is only available if you have the DFP access of that particular site. Feel free to explore the tool. Unlike TF Ad tracker, there is no need to install any plugin, it is an onscreen tool. There is also a developer’s console available for the apps.

To enable GPC for a page, add – ?google_force_console or ?googfc at the end of the page link.

Sample links:


GPT google publisher console live on urbandictionary

  • Here we can see that the Publisher has placed the code wrong for the ATF leaderboard unit (ROS_BTF_728x90)
  • Tells us if publisher uses friendly/safe frames or not.
  • To ensure only one ad is fetched, sometimes it might be used to troubleshoot issues where multiple ads are loading
  • Also gives us time taken to load/render a particular ad.
  • Also tells us compatible ad sizes (and units) for a defined ad unit which helps us traffic Billboard/Leaderboard from top unit.
  • Bottom links like Open Ad Unit in DFP, Delivery Diagnostics provides us additional actionable info. Open creative in New Window helps the publisher to isolate an ad unit while studying ad call.

Here’s more about the Console on DFP Small business help page. Now let’s look at the Google Publisher Toolbar –

Google Publisher Toolbar (GPT)

I found toolbar the most useful as it can easily be installed in the form of a browser plugin from Google Chrome store. It can help easily identify and block a bad ad.

GPT Google Publisher Toolbar image 1
GPT allows you to link your Adsense, DFP and AdX accounts


GPT Google Publisher Toolbar image 2
Linking accounts provide you an instant account overview option


GPT Google Publisher Toolbar image 3
GPT provides you useful information regarding the ads that appear on the page


GPT Google Publisher Toolbar image 4
Overlay feature displays important information about the ad


GPT Google Publisher Toolbar image 5
GPT provides ad details that helps to identify and block ads if necessary


Screenshots above cover most of the features but the most useful is that GPT can provide the following information:

  • Name of the line item in DFP which was called to serve the ad, thus help in identifying and blocking the partner whose ads might be causing the problem.(There could be a problem in the passbacks setup within the partner whose line item is being called by DFP as for Google is identifying the line item displaying the ad not the 3rd party serving it)
  • Name of the Ad unit defined on the site within DFP
  • Creative which displayed the ad(can help us identify the bad creative)
  • Priority of the line item that served the ad.
  • Ad Size defined for the unit serving ads, among other information.


One thought on “GPT Troubleshooting Tools

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