You are currently running GDN campaigns or your agency is on your behalf. However, you have heard that there is a better platform? How do you decide between DoubleClick Bid Manager (Display & Video 360) or the Google Display Network (GDN).

If you have the expertise – either in house or agency partner then use DV360. Its a more powerful platform with access to premium inventory. If you don’t have a high level of expertise or entry level advertiser, then GDN will suffice.


Both GDN and DV360 access Google Exchange Adex, with the vast majority of GDN’s inventory is only Adex. In contrast, DV360 can access AdX plus other non-Google exchanges such as AppNexus and OpenX (approx. 80 plus exchanges). By using DV360, you can access more inventory, of a higher quality = better performance.

Inventory available

Publishers don’t sell all of their inventory via the open auction. They sell some direct, some on Private market place deals, and some on the open auction. DV360 can buy the inventory across all value levels, whereas GDN is the open auction only / considered remnant inventory. This means that you’re probably getting a lot of “bottom of the barrel” from GDN. In comparison, with DV360, you’re able to set up deals which give you access to higher-quality inventory high up the food chain.

Deal types

In GDN you buy ad space through the open auction. DV360 allows advertisers to use direct deal bought programmatically being preferred deals, private auctions, and guaranteed deals. Guaranteed deals are a good option, as they give access to premium content and automate the process.

Creative formats

Banner blindness is real. To cut through with your message you need to stand out. GDN has the usual creative formats such as text, image, rich media, and video, DV360 wins hands down here, so many more formats including High Impact (e.g. interstitials, roadblocks), emerging media such as audio ads and Native (both Display and Video),.


GDN has basic Audience and Content targeting capabilities, but DV360 has additional targeting capabilities with sophisticated custom profile able to be made to match advertisers target audience. With more targeting options, there’s more chances for you to reach the exact group of people who will respond to your marketing efforts.

First and third party data

Both platforms allow you to use first party data to create audience lists.

DV360 has a powerful element to create 1st party audiences based on intent and behavior on site. This is through DoubleClick Floodlights tags and is a HUGE advantage of DV360.

Further DV360 allows has integration from 3rd party audience data providers such with which you can build custom segments to match your best customers. GDN does not allow 3rd party targeting.

Further, audience lists in DV360 are a perfect example of synergies across the Google stack: allowing you to share data across the platforms, Google Ads, Google Ad Manager, Campaign Manager, Display & Video 360, and Google Analytics 360.

Platform fees

AdWords/Google Ads has no platform fee, but DV360 does. Nothing in life is free…

Skill and effort needed

If you are an entry level advertiser, then GDN will work. If you have a budget and demands then you will need a platform that will deliver on core objectives.

DV360 is the more powerful platform across many criteria. If you are interested to see how DV360 can drive a better Return on Ad Spend for your programmatic get in touch with Ardent Communications today.