A Brief Overview of Programmatic Advertising v/s Google Display Network

Published On: September 23, 2019Categories: Digital Marketing

In the advertising world, Gogle Ads was ruling the internet until Face book ads took over. Now both of them are competing with programmatic advertising that threatens to take over the digital landscape. Programmatic advertising is the next level advertising platform that comes with a limitation free and real time bidding formula.
Although GDN has helped advertisers to connect with many publications but programmatic advertising has grown to become the most efficient way to buy display ad space.

What is Programmatic Advertising?

New in business, programmatic advertising is a platform that allows internet advertisers to buy and sell ad inventory making use of an automatic and data driven method. It includes multiple ad spaces, right from mobile, native, video and display ads. This term more often is used in the digital advertising genre and relates to real-time bidding (RTB) or Open Auctions.

How does Programmatic Advertising work?

Programmatic advertising indeed is a revolution taking over the digital space with immense potential. It is a new age process that utilizes the power of machine intelligence and facilitates buying and placement of ads that are most appropriate for your business. This particular technique also eliminates the need for a mediator or an ad network as ad inventory is sold on ad exchangers.


The concept originally came into picture with growing understanding between advertisers and publishers, post which agencies began lending a helping hand to advertisers to achieve their marketing goals and communicate more effectively to the target audience.
Programmatic advertising is the use of machine intelligence to buy ad placements that are most suitable for you. There is no middleman in the form of an ad network here. Ad inventory is sold in platforms called ad exchanges. You will have to use a DSP, or display-side platform, to key in the type of audience you want to target;

ad publishers use an SSP, or supply-side platform, to convey the availability of ad inventory to ad exchanges. When a visitor enters the website, ad exchanges get information about the user. If it matches the specifications of your target audience, you automatically enter an auction with other advertisers.

The advertiser with the highest bid gets his ad shown on the web page. All of this happens automatically in milliseconds. Each ad space is sold in real time via bidding. This is also called RTB (real-time bidding).

What is Google Display Network?

GDN is a product of Google with millions of sites as an inventory. It is an efficient tool that provides detailed insights on the audience but not as much as programmatic networks.

How does the Google Display Network operate?

Google Display Network or GDN works like an interface or mediator connecting the advertiser and publisher. One can use the network to select the target audience based on various criteria such as demographics, age, interest and a lot more. GDN also allows control over ad schedule and ad placement on the website.

Google Display Network and Programmatic Advertising both offer a good amount of target options. A few of them have been outlined below –

  • Keyword targeting – is space where keywords that relate to your ad can be selected.
  • Topic targeting facilitates selection of topic related to the ad. And in this case the website that relate to your topic will be selected to display your ads
  • Interests targeting, here one gets an opportunity to select the interest of their target audience. Demographic targeting, here where you can choose the location, age group, and similar information about your target audience.

However, the primary difference between both methods is the data used for targeting. GDN makes use of Google search data. Well this indeed is a decent option yet not as good as programmatic advertising


Let me conclude by saying that both of them have their own pros and cons. Yet, programmatic turns out be more beneficial with additional features. Nevertheless, you need to consider your needs and evaluate properly what all you need as basic features of GDN can be used effectively. You can consider our programmatic marketing solutions to upscale your marketing goals.

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