So you’ve graduated from FB Ads, now to the good stuff

Mike Rhodes
Recently Digital Marketer (DM) had a webinar featuring Mike Rhodes, 
who gave a fantastic  run-down of Google Display Network (GDN). Like much DM content it was share-worthy. So let’s jump into it.

A well-known tactic of advertising and marketing is to interact with your audience at different times and places. Google Display Network helps you place your ads in front of your target across the web.

Like any ad network Display is an intricate system. To quote Shrek, it’s sort of like an onion; there are multiple layers to Display, each designed to help you optimize your advertising goals. This post is going to focus on some of GDNs basic functions.

In Display you’re able to instruct Google how to disperse your ads in a number of ways. There are four main categories of dispersion.

Managed Placement

This is similar to “exact match” but for GDN. You can give Google a list of websites and even apps to place your ads on. You are able to specify which part of the websites to place on (ie. landing page, extensions, etc.). Let’s say my product is a training program to teach people how to dunk a basketball (because who wouldn’t want to buy that!) I might tell Google, place my ads on Now whenever someone visits the ESPN page and clicks on the NBA section, they see my ad.


Contextual placement is based off of themes or interests. You essentially say “Google I have this product to help people learn how to dunk, place it on sports sites”. Then Google places your ads on and and the sportscenter app, etc.


Google already keeps track of people and places them in “markets” for you. Google’s placement is based off people’s recent behavior. For example, Google might say someone is in the market for buying a used car; Google knows this because of their searches, site history and site behavior within the past two weeks. Basically Google is saying, “This person has been searching for used cars and spending a lot of time on used car sites, they’re in your market”. In essence this allows you to put your re-market code on your competitors website.


Lastly there is demographic targeting. Google is able to pretty well guess at certain demographics; ie. gender, age, income, etc. but it’s not finitely known like in Facebook, because people don’t have that information entered in. Demographics typically should be used as an extra layer of your targeting, rather than a stand-alone filter.

Are you excited about the awesomeness of GDN possibilities yet? Like any interface, your best chance of understanding it will be to go play around with the technology. These four overlying categories of GDN are a great place to start for anyone. 

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