What is the Google display network

Google display network

Expanding Your Digital Presence with Google Display Network

The Google Display Network (GDN) is an expansive digital advertising realm, encompassing over 600,000 apps and more than 3 million websites globally. It’s a powerhouse in digital marketing, reaching over 90% of internet users across the world. This platform allows marketers and organizations to showcase their products and services well beyond the scope of Google’s search network. Unlike the Google Search Network, which operates on a pay-per-click model, GDN functions more passively, primarily serving as a pivotal tool for brand awareness.

The Unique Edge of GDN

Integrated into Google Ads, GDN places your advertisements on platforms and websites that your target audience frequents. It enables you to engage with your audience in their daily online activities, whether they are watching videos, playing games on apps, or browsing through emails on Gmail. The advertising formats on GDN range from text and video to image-based ads. Often, these ads interrupt the audience’s online activities on various websites, hence the moniker “Interruption Marketing.”

Operational Dynamics of GDN

GDN’s network includes websites, mobile apps, and video platforms. It targets a diverse audience: from visitors on your website to app users on their mobile devices, to video enthusiasts on YouTube and other platforms. One of GDN’s premium offerings ensures your message precisely reaches the right audience through “interest segments,” leveraging categories available on Google platforms, such as keyword-based targeting.

Advertising via GDN allows for specific geographic and demographic targeting, a boon for small businesses aiming for local or national traffic. This method synergizes well with geographic targeting strategies employed in paid search campaigns.

With geo-targeting and device targeting, your ads gain visibility on mobile and desktop devices across numerous global sites, including search engines like and

Diverse Ad Formats on the Google Display Network

  1. Image Ads: Available as HTML5 files or images, these come in both static and dynamic formats.
  2. Gmail Ads: These personalized ads appear directly in users’ inboxes, offering the flexibility to be opened, saved, or forwarded.
  3. Engagement Ads: Captivating video or image ads, primarily displayed on YouTube and throughout the Display Network.
  4. Responsive Display Ads: These ads allow for a mix of text, logos, and images in a single advertisement. Their flexible design adapts to any site’s format, size, and length. Advertisers can upload various images, descriptions, and texts, with Google automatically selecting the optimal combination for display. These ads are user-friendly, requiring minimal manual optimization.

In contrast to organic search results, which only appear for relevant searches from unbiased, non-personalized searchers, GDN specializes in remarketing and engaging paid or unpaid prospects with a high similarity index. It offers robust tracking capabilities for purchases, conversions, and comprehensive metrics like impressions, clicks, and prospect details, thereby complementing your organic search ranking efforts.

When to Advertise on the Google Display Network

In addition to traditional search advertising, Google offers advertisers the chance to place their ads on a variety of sites across the internet. This collection of websites, ranging from blogs to news sites and even YouTube, is known as the Google Display Network (GDN). According to Google, the GDN includes over 2 million sites that reach more than 90% of global internet users. Given the breadth of this network, it’s highly attractive for advertisers looking to expand their online presence.

When users are on the GDN, they’re not necessarily in “buying mode.” Instead, they’re engaging in their daily internet activities: reading news, blogs, watching videos, etc. To gain traction on the GDN, your ads need to capture the users’ attention and motivate them enough to click through to your site, leaving the content they were engaged with. Achieving this is not a simple task; even with top-tier creativity, it’s challenging to draw users to click on ads while they navigate the Display Network.

But don’t write off the GDN just yet: while clicks may be fewer, advertising space on the network is abundant. It’s an ideal space for promoting brand awareness, and its broad reach is appealing for advertisers looking to expand their fan bases. By increasing your brand’s visibility, you might see more clicks on organic listings or an uptick in brand-specific searches. Plus, these clicks are typically less expensive than those on the search network.

You should be running a campaign on the Display Network if:

1. You Want to Familiarize People with Your Brand

Many advertisers use the Display Network to promote brand awareness. Given the GDN’s vastness, it offers ample opportunities for advertisers to connect with their audience. Google Ads provides a variety of targeting options, from managed placements (specific sites chosen by the advertiser) to site groupings based on audience characteristics and more. By appearing on reputable sites popular among your target audience, you can quickly familiarize these individuals with your brand.

2. You Have a Lengthy Sales Process

If you’re selling a product or service that consumers are unlikely to purchase immediately, you need to ensure your brand remains top of mind for prospects as they consider making a purchase. To do this, we recommend using remarketing through the GDN. This strategy allows you to display ads to anyone who has visited your site in the past, encouraging them to return and convert.

3. You Have an Eye-Catching Product

Since the GDN allows advertisers to display image ads, it’s ideal for advertisers selling luxury products with visually appealing ads. Since display advertising relies heavily on distraction, it’s helpful to have an attractive product to promote. Take, for example, the ad below. You can’t tell me you wouldn’t give it a second look!

4. You Have Compelling Video Content

If you’ve already invested time and energy into creating impressive video content, why not use it? YouTube attracts throngs of visitors (over a billion views a day), meaning the advertising potential is huge. Moreover, given the popularity of advertising on YouTube, Google has made it increasingly easy for advertisers to create video campaigns (especially for those who can leverage existing creative). This can be an incredibly effective way to connect with your target audience. People are more likely to engage with video content than with text or image ads, and with Google’s TrueView option, you only pay for users who demonstrate genuine interest in your video (by watching it for 30 seconds or more).

Juan Esteban Yepes

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