Online Advertising with Google Display Network – A Primer

Originally known as the content network, Google’s Display Network (GDN) is a large group of publisher websites that helps advertisers display ads based on the content of the page. It’s part of Google Adwords.

What is the Google Display Network


Unlike search advertising, where your ads are shown according to the search query, ads on the GDN are triggered when it is relevant to a particular page’s content or when specifically targeted by the advertisers. For example, if you’re reading an article on finance, it makes sense for you to also want to be interested in an ad for an investment house. See the screenshot below from Business Insider:

Advertise Online with Google Display Network

The Google Display Network offers both pay-per-click and CPM (where you pay for a certain number of impressions) models.

Benefits of the Display Network

Right now you must be wondering why you should even bother doing any online advertising on the Google Display Network. Aren’t search ads enough? Search ads are great, but Google’s Display Network has many advantages going for it:

Reach Users When They’re Consuming Related Content – As you probably well know by now, we’re huge proponents of search engine optimisation (SEO). Free traffic has a nice ring to it, don’t you think so? But studies show that search page views make up approximately 3-5 percent of all page vies on the Internet. People don’t really spend that much time on search engines. By advertising on the GDN, you get to reach prospects when they’re out consuming content related to your products.

Tremendous Reach – And when it comes to reach and creating awareness, no one comes close to Google’s display network:

  • 4.3 million page views a day
  • Over 1 million content partners
  • Reaches 80 percent of online users

Highly Targeted Ads – If you know what you’re doing, you are able to target users with impressive granularity. You can cherry pick which websites you want your ads shown, what time you want your ads shown and which ads to show on which websites.

Multiple Formats are Great for Branding – Unlike search ads, you can use images and rich media such as video ads when advertising on GDN. Different users are influenced by different formats – some might prefer creative banners while others might prefer videos. This use of different formats is great for creating awareness and improving brand recall.

Smart Pricing
Unlike search ads which uses the Adwords Discounter, GDN uses what is known as Smart Pricing. This takes into consideration the probability of the user converting when calculating the cost-per-click. This makes it cheaper for you to target prospects earlier in the buying funnel.

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Fairuze Shahari

Principal Consultant at CLOUDROCK
Written by: Fairuze Shahari

Fairuze Shahari is a principal consultant for CLOUDROCK and oversees all our SEO efforts. Follow him at @FaiJnr .
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Written by: Fairuze Shahari

Fairuze Shahari is a principal consultant for CLOUDROCK and oversees all our SEO efforts. Follow him at @FaiJnr .