Why We Never Use GDN (Google Display Network)

May 11, 2020

5 Reasons why you should choose Programmatic over advertising via the Google Display Network.

Instead of using GDN, we have existing relationships with multiple demand-side platforms (DSPs). This allows us to create bespoke campaigns using specific creative, and buy the media at better prices. Here are our top five reasons why programmatic is more effective than GDN.

More control over ad display and creative

Both Programmatic advertising and the Google Display Network can support various types of ad creative – such as image, video, HTML5 and rich-media ads. Although when our ads are served, large amounts of publishers on the GDN do not have the correct technology on their websites to host all of the different types of media. This gives Programmatic advertising an advantage, as they have huge inventory of eligible websites that can run all available media. Users also have the ability to easily update ad creative within the Programmatic content server.

Increased Targeting Capabilities

The targeting on GDN campaigns is based on keyword targeting, interest targeting and generated topics within the Google Network. All of this data comes from within Google itself, based on user search history. Programmatic, however, is much more advanced – using various segments of third party data supplied by providers such as Neilsen, to ensure that your ads are being seen by exactly the right people.  

Increased Inventory

Google’s Display Network covers over 90% of the internet – meaning we can show ads on any websites that are opted in to the network as a Google partner.
However, Programmatic allows access to this inventory if we wish to, as well as other ad exchanges such as AppNexus, Rubicon Project and more – meaning that using Programmatic offers a much wider reach.

Protection to combat ad fraud and bot clicks

Via Programmatic we are able to exclude any domains that look suspicious or are under-performing our expectations. We can also pay for media from specific whitelisted sites that we want to ensure our ads are showing on, this way we can guarantee that if our ads are only shown on reputable, genuine websites that our conversions are being accurately reflected in our reporting.

Increased Relevancy For Placements

One of the biggest selling points for Programmatic advertising is that it is a brand safe platform; giving users the confidence and security that their content will not be shown alongside any distasteful content. On the Google Display Network, our ad would be shown to any users that Google think might be interested in our product or service, however using Programmatic we are able to use contextual placements, for example if we were promoting a pair of running shoes we might want our ad to show on Men’s Health, or Runner’s World rather than a food blog or finance website. Programmatic will also look for keywords and phrases in the website URL that relate to our subject, to ensure our ads are being seen alongside relevant, interesting content.


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