A Look at Google Display Network Data over the Past 365 Days

A Look at The Google Display Network Over the Past 365 Days

After attending the Tableau Conference 2015 two weeks ago, I was anxious to leverage some things I learned to analyze our customer’s data. I decided to look at Google Display Network (GDN) placements over the past 365 days.

The main key performance indicators (KPI’s) I wanted to focus on was impressions, cost, and conversion data. Please take conversion data with a grain of salt as conversions can be vastly different things depending on the client type and what we’re actually tracking, but it’s still useful to review.

As far as impressions go, there was very little surprise to see that out of the top 10 placements receiving impressions for our clients. Two of placements were Google properties including youtube.com and mail.google.com. I was a bit surprised about how many sites were categorized under anonymous.google.com. We’ve definitely seen a mixed bag in terms of conversion performance on a client by client basis. Many times we do end up excluding anonymous.google.com from our GDN campaigns, but I’d recommend letting the data speak for itself. Also, if you are interested in identifying what sites are falling under the anonymous category, I found a great blog that can show you how to do that here leveraging Google Analytics. Also to note, there were also two weather-related sites appearing in the top 10 for impressions; weather.com and accuweather.com.

Top 10 Impressions Google Display Network

We also wanted to take a look at the Top Google Topics within the GDN in terms of impressions. Obviously, this totally depends on the topics and keywords you are targeting, but our clients are seeing a significant amount of impressions around IT & technology, followed by news, business, and education.

Top Google Display Network Topic Targeting

Now onto cost! Which placements accounts for the highest costs within the past 365 days on the Google Display Network?

Top Web Sites by Spend on Google Display Network

There was definitely some overlap between the domains with the most impressions and most spend. A couple of new domains within our top 10 for spend were:

  • mobileapp::2-com.google.android.gm
  • pogo.com
  • littlethings.com
  • blogspot.com
  • and ehow.com

As you can see, youtube.com, anonymous.google.com, and mail.google.com continue to dominate GDN (what a coincidence ;)). Also, another Google property, blogspot.com is in the top 10 for spend across our clients in the GDN.

Finally, let’s take a look at some conversion data. There is a positive correlation in terms of the high spend GDN placements and highest conversion placements (which is what we should see!).

Top 10 Converting Web Sites on Google Display Network

Obviously, we are looking across a variety of different accounts, some big and some small (in different industries and with different goals) that can skew the data. But, I think it’s interesting to try and find trends within your data and tell a story with it, rather than just looking at placement reports on a campaign by campaign basis. You’ll be surprised what type of learnings you wouldn’t have notice by focusing on a much smaller data set and only leveraging Excel.

About Joe Castro

Joe Castro is the Director of Online Advertising at Fathom. He has over 7 years of experience in digital marketing with a concentration in PPC/paid search and display advertising. He primarily works with healthcare clients, but his experience spans across all verticals. Joe is a frequent blogger for Search Engine Journal. In his free time, he enjoys working out and spending time with family and friends.

Leave a Reply