PPC Tuesday – The Google Search Partner Network

By Matthew


Today, I will be going over the Google Search Partner network and its importance to advertisers.

So what is Google’s Search Partner Network?

The search network comprises those sites that use a Google powered search engine and those sites that partner with Google to showcase search results. Essentially, your AdWords ads have the potential to show on additional search engines such as aol.com, ask.com and lycos.com and on sites who use Google search, such as usatoday.com, amazon.com, and nytimes.com. Similarly to the Display Network, your ads have the potential to show on additional, relevant sites, but unlike the Display Network you are still bidding on keywords that visitors are searching for.

When setting up a new campaign you are automatically opted into the Search Network. To see how this inclusion is portrayed go into the “Settings” section under “Networks and devices.” Under the “Search” category you will see a checkbox for “Search Partners.” Opting into the Search Partner network is an all or nothing deal. In other words, you can’t pick and choose the sites you opt into, either you choose to be on all search partner sites or none. Additionally, Google doesn’t let you know which sites are in the partners network as you can only see data at an aggregate level. You can however, view Search Partner data at all levels of your account except for the keyword level.

To view Search Partner data you’ll need to click the “Segment” drop down menu and then click “Network.” Here you will be able to see how your ads are doing on Google search, Search partners and the Display Network. The Search Partner network will often show a lower click-thru-rate (CTR) than Google search. Depending on your metrics you can choose to cease running your ads on search partner sites. Keep in mind that by choosing to not run ads on partner sites you will see significantly less impressions.

Overall, I like being able to advertise on Google partner sites as you get more exposure. Like the Display Network, I would prefer the ability to choose the partner sites I advertise on and subsequently exclude. However, the fact that I can advertise on additional search engines and sites just like I do on Google.com is encouraging.