Understanding How Display Networks Work on the Internet

In recent times, you may have seen digital marketing guides telling you to use display networks. As an example, the Google Display Network (GDN) is perhaps the biggest and most well-known on the internet right now. But do you know how display networks actually work? If not, you’re not alone. It’s time to learn!

What’s the Google Display Network?

Since the GDN is the most well-known display network, it makes sense to focus on this area. After all, this is likely to be the reason you clicked on this article. Traditionally, advertising would take place on the platform that you chose. For example, on Google search results or on a Facebook news feed. Well, a display network provides advertisers with access to more destinations in a single platform.


As an example, those advertising on the GDN will have access to millions of apps, websites, and other assets. Additionally, your ad can also appear in all other Google-owned assets such as Gmail and YouTube. According to Google, the display network on its platform reaches nine in every ten internet users thanks to the sheer number of assets and platforms.

Google Display Network vs Google Search

To truly understand the GDN, we need to compare it with more traditional Google search advertising. Why? Because only when you appreciate the differences will you understand the mentality required for the display network. As we’ve already discovered, search ads appear at the top of search results while GDN ads can appear in various places over the internet.


Generally, you’ll use search ads to complement organic traffic, capture people as they pass through the customer journey, and supplement a short sales cycle. Also, businesses use search ads because they have urgent products or services to promote. On the other hand, display ads allow for a more visual experience. Rather than just links and text, display ads open the door to images and videos. For example, this includes a video ad before a YouTube video.


Furthermore, advertising on the display network is beneficial if you want to boost awareness among people with passive intent. While these people aren’t necessarily looking for a product/service, unlike search ads, they are willing to discover new brands and enter the funnel. Rather than meeting the demands of those who need your products, the GDN is all about generating the demand in the first place.


Additionally, a GDN strategy is also better if you have a longer sales cycle. With so many different assets, you can meet your audience as they traverse the internet. Just in case this wasn’t enough, you’ll also enjoy deeper targeting options because it goes beyond keywords.

Should You Use Display Networks?

As we’ve just seen, using display networks like the GDN does make sense in many situations. For example, those who want to boost awareness in various places on the internet will benefit from display networks. As most advertisers find, many keywords have less competition so you can attract the attention of those browsing the internet without intent.


While the CTR is much lower than search ads because the intent is different, CPC tends to be lower with display networks. Also, the customization options for your audience go beyond anything you can expect on a search engine alone. You can target by the following:


Custom intent keywords
Audience affiliates
In-market segments


The GDN goes beyond keywords, and it offers lots of placement options for advertisers. With this in mind, it adds value to the marketing strategies of many businesses each year. Visit King Kong’s website if you need help with display networks this year!


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