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GDN vs. DV360: Which Display Ad Platform Is Right for You?

Whether you are new to display marketing or you’re a seasoned professional seeking the best combination of powerful features and flexibility, understanding all the options available on Google’s advertising platforms is key.

Google offers two primary platforms for delivering ads and measuring their performance: GDN and DV360. The key difference between them is that GDN is natively integrated into Google AdSense while DV360i s completely reliant on third-party services for its traffic data.

Why GDN?

GDN was released in the fall of 2014 and positioned as a new and improved Google Display Network. True to its billing, GDN is a better platform for performance advertisers, those who have higher eCPM goals, and those who want a more fluid relationship with Google. It offers greater customization options, advanced testing, and much more.

Here’s why it’s better:

1) GDN has access to high-quality inventory that other platforms don’t offer. With GDN you can run ads on any page on the web – there are no limits. You have access to all AdSense content as well as non-AdSense content.

2) GDN has higher eCPM potential. For example, the eCPM for an ad on DV360 might be just $0.28 compared to $0.33 for the same ad on GDN. In addition, GDN reaches more than 50% of the internet whereas DV360 reaches less than half.

3) GDN has better reporting capabilities and you can get more out of it if you’re an optimization pro. You can set up multiple campaigns within the AdWords interface itself. You can also set up multiple reports across different campaigns, campaign goals, ad groups, and campaigns.

4) GDN gives offers more granular reporting. You have a wider range of options to report on your performance: eCPMs and view ability, for example.

5) GDN provides better ad delivery flexibility. You can deliver ads through several different delivery mechanisms: Desktop, Mobile Web Display Network (Desktop-Mobile), Mobile App DistributionNetwork (Mobile-Mobile), and Traditional (display) display campaigns that are delivered using the Desktop interface in HTML format only.

Why DV360?

In contrast, DV360 provides advertisers a more holistic traffic view of their campaign performance, which is ideal if you want to know how well your ads are performing across multiple channels.

DV360 was released in January 2015 with a focus on enhanced performance marketing and more highly targeted campaigns. It has all the features of GDN but adds some new bells and whistles that you may find helpful when it comes to performance.

Here’s why it’s better:

1) DV360 provides access to high quality inventory that GDN cannot. DV360 also has a proprietary algorithm that filters out the low-quality traffic.

2) DV360 is more targeted and therefore has less wastage of impressions and clicks. It also tends to give you better performance for your campaigns.

3) DV360 can improve your reporting because it’s a more highly targeted platform. It makes your reports much more useful because the data is more specific. You can also use a selection of reporting tools not offered in GDN, such as the cost per action metric.

4) DV360 is flexible in terms of ad delivery. You can deliver ads through a number of different display tactics including Mobile Display Network (Mobile-Mobile), Mobile App Distribution Network(Mobile-Mobile), and TrueView in-stream video (Video).

5) DV360 has an innovative feature called Cross-Device Targeting. It will track your ads across multiple devices and provide better data and performance for all cross-device users on your behalf.

Which Platform Is Best for You?

Ultimately, there is no “best” platform because the one you use depends on what you want from your campaigns.

DV360 is better if you’re running highly targeted campaigns or if you’re an optimization pro who can take advantage of its enhanced feature set to give your campaigns an edge over competitors.

However, GDN is better for performance advertisers and offers better flexibility than other platforms.