What is GDN? Overview of display advertising network for newbies

Running Ads on Google display advertising network is a great solution to expand your reach online. And since GDN – Google Display Network ads appeared, running Ads with Google has extended its potential reach to more Google partner platforms to help your business gain brand recognition.

Our article by Weapon Agency  provides some google display network ads best practices. 

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Google Display Network (GDN) – is a Google ads display advertising network system owned by Google and Google partners such as Youtube, Gmail, Google Shopping, and Google Finance Google Websites & Apps. Google defines this action as wanting more users to reach your ads when they use “the internet” – the users are reading, browsing, or shopping.

Advertising on GDN allows advertisers to display ads on multiple platforms, not just the Google Search Network (GSN). As a result, GDN helps businesses to reach people worldwide and expand their brand awareness across the display advertising network. 

Different from the Google Search Network, GDN Ads are placed in the most prime locations on Google. From there, users can see ads more easily when looking up keywords.

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Google has built its networking platforms to help businesses extend their reach campaign. For example, your company may post its rich media display ads on various platforms and publisher partners of the Google Display Network, thanks to the Google AdSense program and the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.

For example, a well-known video game company has access to various channels, including their websites, publications, news, streaming services, and video platforms. Now, a smaller console-selling company wants to attract more video game players and is aware of the potential reach of the more well-known video game company. 

So, the smaller company uses GDN to display their Ads on the famous video game website to expand their reach. In this case, the display network ads can appear on top or bottom, left or right of the website and blog articles; before, during, or after a video stream. In particular, the business can manage, auction, bid, control these display network ads and choose which platforms the ads could appear on. 


Consumer Behavior Data  img: Schoollyguide

Advertising on YouTube have two options for displaying their display ads: within or outside the video, before, after, or in the middle of it. Advertisers have two options on this display advertising network. The first model is auction-based with Google Ad, and the second model is reserved media placement. 

When different ads have different bid ranges, GDN uses an auction model to select the winning bids to display the ads on the display advertising network such as websites or apps. In this situation, the auction model pays the seller a respectable sum to allow your adverts to display on their website or video. The website or video owner sets the winning bids.

The ad buyer cannot significantly alter their bid once they have set it for the auction competition. Therefore, the highest net bid usually determines the winner. 

In this display advertising network process, the auction sometimes closed at a lower bid. However, the ad purchasers who won discounted bids could need to pay more in the future to reserve a position.

This model lets the advertisers choose to pay the cost-per-thousand impressions at a fixed cost in the google ads network. The strategy aims to increase brand awareness. Typically, the Google ads network specialists will assist you in the bidding process. 

There are four types of ads format in the display advertising network reservation system:

Non-skippable in-stream ad: 15 to 20 seconds video that forces impression and views

Skippable in-stream ad: 5 seconds video appears in the pre-roll, but the video can be up to 6 minutes. 

Masthead ad: appear on top of the Youtube homepage across the Youtube home feed, desktop, mobile apps, and TV apps. 

Bumper ad: 6 seconds of non-skippable video

Advertisers may also choose the sectors and target markets where they want their ads to appear. For example, they can pick from Youtube lineups reservation, choose among Youtube video topics, pick the audience’s interests, target affinity audiences and customize viewers’ demographics. 


With a more extensive reach on the audience, Google Display Network advertising can be a hit or miss. You may spend more time on treasure hunting without actually finding the treasure. GDN has a popularity of brand awareness, but when considering conversion value, GDN can adversely affect your advertising budget. You prefer to use GDN, especially if you believe your customers are visual learners who can understand better about your business.

When a business is leaning towards niche marketing, they prefer to stick with the Google Search Network (GSN) because advertisers can control their spending more on the GSN. The argument favors Google Search Network because GSN can get really specific keywords to target “ready to buy” customers. Therefore, advertisers spend more time researching the potential “ready to buy” keywords.

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A New Media Age Online article stated that “Keyword targeting” on GDN – Google Display Network hits eight times the industry standard. This advantage gave businesses the ability to get “more clicks” in the Google ads network. Especially, 2M+ GDN websites are registered, and companies now get access to higher visibility. This campaign was a prospect when you maximize the bids to keyword targeting. Nevertheless, the GDN CTR (Click-through-rate) is less than three times that of the GDS. However, according to Hubspot, the GDN CTR of 0.5 percent data is possible for brand recognition.

Like the name, GDN promotes more display network Ads to help visual visitors quickly learn about your business. The GDN purpose is to reduce CPC costs because visitors won’t click on your display network ads when they are not interested in your products or services. 

Including GDN in the Google Ads network has a lower keyword bid rate because you target your audience more than just “keywords.” GDN is a great tool to promote your affiliate hit, especially if you think some websites have more potential to reach your target audience in the display advertising network. 

Marketers anticipate that GDN will persuade visual learners to understand the businesses first with display network Ads before clicking on an advertisement, hence lowering the search intent on SERPs.

Different from the GSN, where advertisers can only place ads on Google. Sometimes, Google is not the most effective place to attract your target audience. For customers shopping on various platforms, GDN helps the business target customers from different locations. In addition, the advertisers control which websites and platforms the ads should appear on.


In the GDN network, when ads are shown to new audiences, who have never seen or heard about your brand, Advertisers may use GDN remarketing to show ads to those who have previously visited the website or mobile app or they somehow interact with your brand. In addition, GDN dynamic remarketing offers the activities from previous visitors, so the businesses can study these customers’ behaviors and lead them on the right track of the customer journey. GDN provides the products and services visitors have viewed or learned about your business in this case. 


The following are some of the most typical retargeting audiences:

  • Visitor who visit the website
  • Visitors who have downloaded material on the website
  • Visitors who have filled out a form or visited particular product sites
  • Visitors who have registered for a trial offer or an account
  • Visitors who have finished a transaction or made a purchase 
  • Visitors who started any of the activities as mentioned above but left the website before finishing it

With remarketing, the purpose is to lead the visitors to the next stage of the customer journey. When a person passes through the phrase “learning about the brand”, they can “get familiar with the product”. So, businesses can target the visitor and convert them into real customers.

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