Programmatic Advertising Vs Google Display Network (GDN) – All you Need to Know

The advertising world currently is huge. This creates a huge confusion between the terms such as Programmatic Advertising and Google Display Network (GDN). These became popular when display advertising started to gain its momentum. GDN helped connect with a lot of publications. Programmatic advertising has become the number one way for brands to buy display ad space. 


Programmatic advertising accounts for upto 82.5% of the total digital ads spent. 

Google Display Network (GDN)

Probably everyone surfing the internet comes across GDN daily without even realising it. This system allows you to check your audience when they are surfing the web. The network spans more than 2 million websites and will show your ads to the targeted audience. Here you can include various ads such as: 

(1) Responsive Display Ads- ads that usually appear in between sidebars, paragraphs blending through the website. 

(2) Uploaded image Ads- shown in the format you upload them in and are treated as one image. 

(3) Engagement Ads- visual ads with engagement elements to catch the audience’s attention. 

(4) Gmail Ads- the images that you can see at the top of inboxes on Gmail. 


 The GDN integrates visually rich ads throughout an individual’s web experience rather than just displaying overlooked text.

  • Programmatic Advertising

This involves the buying and selling of digital ads using software. These ads can be placed on mobile, desktop, tablet, connected TV and more. They can also be placed into various formats:

    1. Image ads like the GDN 
    2. Audio ads appearing on podcasts, radio, etc
  • Video ads appearing on webpages or in-stream between video players. They CANNOT be placed on YouTube as it is a part of the GDN.


Programmatic advertising is not free or an open platform. Software as a service (SaaS) is used in order to operate programmatic advertising. We would suggest you to approach an agency like UniversalMind Media to buy ads through our existing partnerships with various popular platforms.