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What's the difference between the GDN, DFA, and DBM? | AdWords FAQs

If you’ve ever found yourself confused by the many acronyms sometimes used to refer to Google’s advertising platforms and products, you’re not alone. It will require some additional reading to fully understand these three acronyms, but we’ve defined what they mean and what they’re used for, and included additional resources below!


The Google Display Network and DoubleClick Bid Manager are display ad buying solutions, whereas DoubleClick for Advertisers (now DoubleClick Campaign Manager) is an ad serving and management platform.


GDN: The Google Display Network

The Display Network is a collection of over 2 million websites that reaches over 90% of people on the internet. Most commonly, advertisers show ads on this network by setting up an AdWords account. The Google Display Network can display image, text, and video ads.


Read more about the Google Display Network on the AdWords Help Center.

DBM: DoubleClick Bid Manager

DoubleClick Bid Manager is a demand-side platform (DSP) which allows advertisers to buy inventory through ad exchanges in real time. DBM is more complex to set up, but also offers a larger inventory of places where your ads can run.


Read more about DoubleClick Bid Manager.

DFA: DoubleClick for Advertisers

DoubleClick for Advertisers (now known as DoubleClick Campaign Manager, or DCM) is part of the DoubleClick Digital Marketing platform. Advertisers can use DCM to manage their digital display campaigns across websites and devices, from planning to reporting. Easily update and automate campaigns, and engage across formats with simplified video ad creation and rich media management.


Learn about DoubleClick Campaign Manager, formerly known as DoubleClick for Advertisers, on the official website.


Read the community discussion: Difference between GDN, DFA, DBM

Have a different question? Post to the community.

Francesco G

Hi Cassie, 


thanks for the explanation above, really useful. 
I hope you don't mind me asking a few questions on Double Click Bidding Manager.


1. For what kind of business is it thought, compared to for instance DFA? Further, does DFA allow programmatic trading or is this, would you say, the USP of DBM?


2. Basically linked/similar to N.1 - why would clients go for DBM, if it's harder to understand and set up from DFA? What are the benefits in this?

thanks so much in advance,