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Google's answer to header bidding, an approach to selling online ads that threatened its overhwleming dominance in that business, is becoming widely available today after two years of testing.

Before header bidding, Google for nearly a decade built a seemingly unbreachable position in online ad sales that let it cherry-pick the best ad inventory from around the web for resale at a markup. With every publisher that used its Doubleclick for Publishers service to sell ads, Google was in place to beat any incoming best offer by just a cent. And because of its runaway lead over competing services, Google was the only one with this sort of an advantage.

That changed in 2016, when word spread like wildfire that a hacknow known as header biddingcould get around Google's position. Header bidding allowed publishers to collect bids from multiple partners at once instead of relying on just one, such as Doubleclick for Publishers, to wrangle bids.

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