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DV360 vs Google Ads | Which is Better?

3 years ago -

DV360 vs Google Ads | Which is Better?

Programmatic Display is one of the fastest growing online marketing channels; programmatic advertising is when you use intelligent software to automatically buy digital advertisements. Digital advertising reaches potential customers that include those who haven’t been in direct contact with your product/brand. It activates unreachable needs & builds brand preference. But how do you know which platform to choose from? – Google AdWords or Display and Video 360

As a Google-centric marketer who works in the programmatic world, we often run into a question from a client are like:

Although they both are great platforms to make your business grow and allow you to buy display campaigns; but Display and Video 360 are almost always the superior choices for anyone looking to take their programmatic efforts to next level.

Google Ads allows purchasing display campaigns that are only run on Google’s own services- Google Display Network (GDN). It is the best option for newer and smaller-sized advertisers who do not want to invest heavily in programmatic display ads. Google Display Ads (GDA) accessed by Google AdWords accounts to generate incremental reach in search activity. GDA is easy to generate and possible to access campaigns, budgets, and reporting within the same environment.

Display and Video 360 (DV360) is a Google Demand Side Platform that provides the technology to allows advertisers to bid and buy inventory directly from publishers or from outside of Google’s own network. DV360 has much more to offers, including extended targeting capabilities, more reach, better creative options, better brand safety settings, and frequency management. It is too complex for smaller advertisers.

Display and Video 360 (DV360) vs. Google Ads

Impressive Reach

DV360 is superior to Google Ads when it comes to reaching. You can reach more users across a wider range of sites; reaches over 80 mobiles. Desktop, and connected TV (CTV)/ Over-The-Top (OTT)/ Linear TV ad exchange networks that cover 90% of the web. In addition, Google ads are all for basic display ads, retargeting and some video placements; whereas DV360 provides CTV/OTT video buys, tv commercials, audio choices, and access to YouTube inventory.

Targeting Opportunities

Dv360 has all of the targeting options that are available in the Google display network suck as Google In-Market and Affinity audience segments. DV360 allows you to target your campaigns more extensively than Google ads. An additional option is to determine what percentage of the ad impressions should be displayed to page visitors.

We can say that without targeting, there is no guarantee that an ad will ever be shown to a visitor, but can load at the bottom of the site which the visitor will never navigate to, and yet it is counted as an ad impression in ad management systems. This cannot be analyzed and controlled by Google Ads.

Third-party data

Google ads offer only Google’s own targeting data whereas there are a lot of third-party providers accessible via DV360 that enable you to drop down your audience targeting.


Google ads cannot take the advantage of deals even with publishers using GDN. DV360 offers to create deals with publishers. For example, to access lower or fixed ad display prices, access ad inventory that is not sold at all in an open auction, and pre-purchase before the general auction.

Bidding Options

DV360 provides more algorithmic automated machine buying capabilities than Google ads. You can independently optimize your manual purchase more widely in DV360 than Google ads. It automatically adjusts your bid based on your set performance goals which are based on Google’s Algorithm. That reduces the manual optimization work and improves your time management.

Video Exchanges

Google ads and Dv360 are used to purchase video ads on YouTube. In Google Ads, you can purchase a possible format that is in-stream, in-search, and in-display, whereas DV360 has in-stream and in-display formats. Also, to YouTube, DV360 allows you to purchase video inventory from over 35 ad auctions at affordable prices and a larger selection of premium sites.

Data Management Platform (DMP) Integration

To those advertisers who want to take one step ahead in targeting opportunities, the Google Marketing Platform Campaign Manager and DV360 provide DMP integration that enables you to combine your first-party and third-party into customized audiences. These audiences can help to get you more targeted campaigns that give better results.

Image source by Artefact


Why Choose DV360 over GDN?

To sum it up, DV360 is basically a Google Display Network with stronger Campaign setups, additional layers to brand safety, better scale, and better insights & management. It offers the ability to gain better and impactful results.

  • Google Ads is best for those advertisers with smaller budgets. It offers a basic and sufficient opportunity to dabble in the world of programmatic display, just looking for a presence on the web. This is why it is first important to know your client’s end goal.


  • If your client has a larger budget and is looking for more reach, scale, strategic, and control options to expand their presence across the web ecosystem, the DV360 platform might be the best option.

 Related Topics:

What Is The Google Display Network (GDN)? Where Ads Run

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Ruby is an IT Engineer | Blogger | Digital marketer who offers Copywriting, ghostwriting, and blogging services to provide digital marketing content that gains social media attention and increases search engine visibility.

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