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Everything You Need to Know About Advertising on Google Partner Sites

Google ads are everywhere. You see them on websites, in apps, and even on TV. And as frustrating as it may be to see an ad for something you just bought pop up on your screen, there’s no denying that Google knows how to target its ads.

But what exactly are Google Search Partners? And how do they work with advertisers?

Here’s everything you need to know about advertising on Google Search Partners.

What Are Google Search Partners?

Google search partner sites are third-party websites and apps integrated with Google’s ad network. They host Google ads and earn a commission on any clicks or impressions those ads generate.

These partner sites display ads on behalf of Google and receive a commission every time someone clicks or views them.

 Advertisers gain access to a wider range of potential customers, as their ads get seen by people not necessarily using Google products.

On the other hand, the partner sites earn a commission on every click or view — a win-win situation for both parties involved. 

How Much Does Google Pay Its Partner Sites?

The amount of money a partner site earns per click or view varies depending on the type of ad, the topic of the ad, the geographical location of the person seeing the ad, and a few other factors.

That said, it’s safe to assume that partner sites earn a significant amount of money from Google ads. In fact, it’s not uncommon for partner sites to make more money from Google ads than they do from their own advertising efforts.

How Do the Google Search Partners Work with Advertisers?

Advertisers who want to display their ads on Google Search Partners can do so through the Google Display Network.

The Google Display Network is a collection of websites and apps that have agreed to host Google ads. It includes both Google Search Partners and first-party websites like YouTube and Gmail.

When an advertiser creates a campaign on the Google Display Network, they have the option to target specific websites and apps where they want their ads to appear. They can also target audiences by interests, demographics, and even location.

The Google Display Network gives advertisers a lot of control over where their ads are seen, which is one of the reasons it’s such an effective way to reach potential customers.

Are Google Search Partners Safe for Advertisers?

Yes, Google Search Partners are safe for advertisers.

Google ensures the search partners they bring on board are legitimate websites and apps with high-quality content. The company also regularly monitors partner sites for signs of fraud or inappropriate content.

In addition, all ads that appear on Google Search Partners must comply with Google’s advertising policies. That means the ads are not allowed to be misleading, offensive, or inappropriate.

Advertisers are also assured their ads will only be seen by people interested in them and that they will not be associated with any harmful or offensive content.


What are the Benefits of Advertising on Google Search Partners?

There are several benefits of advertising on Google Search Partners, including:

Access to a Broader Audience: Google Search Partners give advertisers access to other networks besides Google and its products. If you’re a brand looking to get in front of a new audience, advertising on Google Search Partners is a great way to do it.

Your campaign will gain much more exposure than just Google’s SERP. 

More Control Over Where your Ads Appear: Advertisers on the Google Display Network has much control over their ads. This means you can target specific websites, apps, and audiences by interests, demographics, and location.

Compliance with Google’s Advertising Policies: All ads on Google Search Partners must comply with Google’s advertising policies. It gives advertisers peace of mind knowing that their ads will not be associated with harmful or offensive content.

Targeted Advertising: Advertisers can target their ads to specific websites, apps, and audiences. Your ads will only be seen by people interested in them, leading to higher click-through rates and conversions.

Improved ROI: Because you can target your ads more effectively on Google Search Partners, you’re likely to see a better return on investment (ROI) than you would with other forms of advertising.

As you can see, there are many benefits to advertising on Google Search Partners. If you’re looking for a way to reach a wider audience and improve your ROI, then this is a method you should consider.

Disadvantages of Google Search Partners

With the benefits come the potential downsides. Here are a few disadvantages of using Google Search Partners:

  • You have less control over where your ads appear
  • Your ads might appear on low-quality websites
  • You might not reach your target audience
  • Ads on Google Search Partner sites cost more per click
  • There’s a risk of click fraud

While advertising on Google Search Partners has its advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. Before you decide to use this method, weigh the pros and cons to see if everything still makes sense. 

When to Use Google Search Partners

When setting up Google ads, Google Search Partners is a default setting that you might have to turn off. You can turn off this setting in the “Networks” section under “Campaign Settings.”

However, using the Google Search Partner network can be beneficial in some situations, such as when you want to reach a larger audience or target a specific country or region. 

If you’re not sure whether or not to use Google Search Partners, we recommend doing a test campaign to see how it performs for your business.

Should You Advertise on Google Search Partners?

If you’re an advertiser, you’re probably wondering if you should be advertising on Google Search Partners. The answer is it depends.

Your ads will show on Google Search Partner sites by default unless you turn it off in the setting.

Unlike Google Ads, which only appear on Google’s search engine result pages, your ads on Google Search Partners can appear on millions of websites and apps across the web. 

This gives you the potential to reach a much wider audience than you would with Google Ads alone.

The problem is that Google Display Network experiences a much higher fraud rate than Google Ads. That means you could be paying for clicks that are not from real people. 

Plus, you have less control over where your ads appear on Google Search Partners. That could lead to your ads appearing on low-quality websites unrelated to your business.

Still, advertising on Google Search Partners is a worthwhile investment for many businesses. The pros outweigh the cons for most advertisers. 


7 Common Misconceptions About Google Search Partners

Before we jump into the details of how to succeed with Google Search Partners, let’s dispel some common misconceptions:

Misconception 1: All Sites Included in the Network Are Small Search Engines

That is not true. In fact, some of the sites included in Google’s Search Partner network are quite large, with millions of visits per month. 

Examples of large sites in the network include NYTimes, CNN, Business.com, and Info Space.

Google defines search partners as:

Misconception 2: The Search Partners are Only Good for Traditional Search Campaigns

Everything You Need to Know About Advertising on Google Partner Sites

That’s also not true. Google Search Partners can be a valuable tool for other types of campaigns, such as Display and Shopping campaigns.

Misconception 3: You Can Only Target the U.S. with Google Search Partners

Not true again. You can target other countries with Google Search Partners as well. In fact, this can be a great way to reach a global audience.

Misconception 4: Google Search Partners is More Expensive than Google Ads

This is not always the case. It depends on your bid strategy and how well your ads perform.

Misconception 5: The Search Partner Networks Don’t Work, They Never Will

This is not true. The Search Partner network can be a valuable tool for many businesses. 

The key is to test it and see how it works for your business.

In recent years, Google has also made several changes to the network that have further improved its effectiveness. 

For instance, in 2018, they launched the Smart Bidding feature, which uses machine learning to optimize your bids for conversion goals.

Misconception 6:  Google Search Partners is Just for Big Companies

Any business can use Google Search Partners, regardless of size. 

Misconception 7: You Need a Big Budget to Succeed with Google Search Partners

That’s also not true. You can start small and scale up as you see results.

You just have to be a little creative with setting the ads.


Low Hanging Fruit Tips for Getting Started with Google Search Partners

Now that we’ve debunked some common myths, let’s get into some practical tips for getting started with Google Search Partners. 

Note that we’ll only be covering low-hanging fruit tips in this section.

#1. Your Brand Campaign

If you have a budget for it, we suggest you max out your brand campaign. 

That’s the safest and most effective way to get started with Google Search Partners. 

A brand campaign is when you use your brand name or other branded keywords as your ad’s target keyword.

For example, if you’re a clothes retailer shop named “Fashion Nova,” you want to target your ad to people searching for “Fashion Nova” or similar terms. 

People who search for your brand name are usually further along in the purchase funnel and more likely to convert.

The quality score for your brand terms will also be higher, which means you’ll get a lower Cost-Per-Click (CPC) and a higher ad position. 

#2. Your RLSA Campaigns

RLSA = Remarketing Lists for Search Ads. 

This powerful tool allows you to remarket to people who have visited your website in the past. 

For example, if someone visited your website but didn’t purchase anything, you could remarket to them with a Google Search Partner ad and attempt to get them to come back and buy.

#3. Review keyword Performance Regularly

It helps to review your keyword performance regularly. 

You want to make sure that you’re not wasting money on keywords that aren’t converting.

It could be that your keyword terms are too broad, and you’re getting a lot of clicks but no conversions. 

If that’s the case, you want to add negative keywords to your campaign to filter out those unqualified clicks. 

If you’re not sure how to review your keyword performance, you can always hire a PPC agency or Google Ads expert to help you out. 

#4. Review Match Types

Another thing to review regularly is your match types. 

Your performance might be skewed across match types. 

For example, you might be getting a lot of clicks but no conversions from broad match keywords. 

We suggest you download the segmented keyword report in Google Analytics to see how your match types perform. 

As you’re soon to find out, search partners don’t perform that well on broad match keywords.

You might want to consider changing your match types to more restrictive options like phrase match or exact match. 

#5. Review Device Usage

You also want to review your device usage. 

Your Google Search Partner ads might be performing differently on mobile devices versus desktop devices. 

Segmenting device data in Google Analytics can help you determine which devices give you the best results. 

If you’re not happy with your mobile performance, you might want to consider creating a separate mobile campaign.

#6. The Bottom of the Performance Delta

You also want to look at the bottom of your performance delta. 

Your conversion volume might be high, but what about your conversion rate? 

You want to ensure that you’re not leaving money on the table by not optimizing your campaigns for a specific list of keywords. 

Are the generated returns cost-effective? 

Are you getting the most out of your advertising budget? 

Run a few quick reports to shed some light on problematic areas.

#7. Try a Different Approach

If you’re not happy with your Google Search Partner performance, we suggest trying a different approach. 

There are a few things you can do to change your strategy. 

First, you can try changing your ad copy. 

Second, you can try changing your keywords. 

And third, try changing your match types. 

We suggest you experiment with a few different approaches and see what works best for your business.


5 Examples of Sites in the Google Search Partner Network

To understand Google Search Partners and what they do, let’s look at some examples of sites in the network. 

Here are five examples: 

  1. AOL.com: AOL is one of the largest Internet service providers in the world. They offer various services, including email, news, and weather.
  2. Amazon.com: Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer. They sell everything from books to electronics to clothing.
  3. BizRate.com: BizRate is a price comparison site. They help consumers find the best deals on products and services.
  4. 247 Sports.com: 247 Sports is a sports news and information site. They provide news, scores, and statistics for a variety of sports.
  5. YouTube.com: YouTube is the world’s largest video-sharing site. They allow users to upload, view, and share videos.

These are some of the sites in the Google Search Partner network. 

As you can see, the network includes a wide range of websites, from large to small and from general to specific.


When Will Your Ad Show on Google Search Partners? 

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t publish a list of sites in the Google Search Partner network. 

They do, however, say that your ad will show on “a diverse set of high-quality websites.”

Your ad will generally show on Google Search partner websites related to your target keywords.  

For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “dog food,” your ad might show on a website about pet care or a website that sells pet food.

Where Will Your Ad Show on Google Search Partners? 

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t publish a list of sites in the Google Search Partner network. 

They do, however, say that your ad will show on “a diverse set of high-quality sites.” 

Your ad will generally show on Google Search partner websites related to the keywords you’re targeting.  

For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “dog food,” your ad might show on a website about pet care or a website that sells pet food. 

When it comes to the size of the Google Search Partner network, there’s no official number. 

In quick highlight, here’s a list of websites your ads could show if you switch on Google Search Partners: 

  • Search Engines: Google, AOL, Ask, Dogpile, Lycos, Yahoo! 
  • Google Sites and Products: Google Maps, Google Shopping, Google Groups, Google Maps, etc. 
  • Content Sites: About.com, eHow, Mashable, Slate, TechCrunch, etc. 
  • Aggregators and Directories: City search, Foursquare, Yelp, Yellow Pages, Zagat, etc.
  • Search Results Pages: Google Images, Google News, etc. 
  • Product Pages: Walmart, Amazon, Target, etc. 

As you can see, the Google Search Partner network includes a wide range of websites.

Is Amazon a Google Search Partner?

Yes, Amazon is a Google Search Partner. 

In fact, Amazon is one of the largest websites globally, and they’re a part of many different advertising networks, including the Google Search Partner network. 

If you’re looking to reach a large audience, advertising on Amazon is a good option.

By switching on Google Search Partners, your ads will show on search results like at the bottom of Amazon’s search pages. 

Is YouTube a Google Search Partner?

Yes, YouTube is a Google Search Partner. 

As a Google-owned service and the largest video-sharing site globally, YouTube is a part of Google’s advertising network. 

So, your ad could also show up on YouTube by advertising on Google.

Is Bing a Google Search Partner?

No, Bing is not a Google Search Partner. 

Bing is a competitor to Google, so they’re not part of Google’s advertising network. 

But they have their own advertising network that you can use to reach people who use Bing. 

Can You Switch on Google Search Partners On some Ad Groups but Not Others?

No, you can’t. 

Google Search Partners can only be applied at the campaign level. 

You can’t switch it on for some ad groups but not others. 

You can decide what campaigns to run on Google Search Partners and what campaigns to run as search ads on Google. 

For example, you might want to run a brand awareness campaign on Google Search Partners and a more targeted campaign on Google search.

Can You Choose Where Your Ads Will Show with Google Search Partners? 

No, you can’t.

It’s either all or nothing. 

When you switch on Google Search Partners, your ad will show on any of the network websites related to your keywords. 

You can’t choose which websites your ad will show on.

Can You Set Your Campaign Solely for Google Search Partners, without Google Ads? 

No, you can’t.

Google Search Partners is a part of Google Ads. 

You can’t run a campaign on Google Search Partners without also running it on Google Ads.

However, this is possible with Bing ads. 

With Bing ads, you can set your campaign to run solely on their Search Partner network.

What Campaign Types Are Available on Google Search Partners? 

Google Search Partners is available on Google search and shopping campaigns but not on Video or Display campaigns.

How Do I Switch on Google Search Partners? 

To switch on Google Search Partners, you need to go to the “Networks” tab in your campaign settings. 

Next, tick the “Include Google Search Partners” checkbox, and that’s pretty much like it.

Does Bing Ads Have a Search Partner Network? 

Yes, Bing Ads has a Search Partner network called Syndicated Search Partners.

But unlike Google ads, Bing ads allow you to create a Syndicated Partners only campaign. 

Also, like Google Ads, Bing Ads has its own list of where your ads can appear. 

They include:

  • Wall Street Journal
  • Gumtree
  • InfoSpace
  • CBS Interactive
  • AadMarketplace
  • Ecosia
  • Duckduckgo
  • Excite
  • AltaVista
  • The Weather Channel 
  • MapQuest
  • Pogo Games

How Can I Tell Google Search Partners Traffic from Google Search Traffic? 

When you’re looking at your traffic in Google Analytics, there’s no way you can tell which traffic came from Google Search and which came from Google Search Partners.

How Can I Tell Google Search Partners Traffic from Google Search Traffic? 

When you’re looking at your traffic in Google Analytics, there’s no way you can tell which traffic came from Google Search and which came from Google Search Partners. 

The best way to tell is to look at the following:

  • Low click-through rate: If your ad has a low click-through rate, it’s more likely that it came from Google Search Partners. 
  • Low Cost Per Click: If your ad has a low cost per click, the odds are good that it came from Google Search Partners. 
  • Low Conversion Rate: If your ad has a low conversion rate, it’s more likely that it came from Google Search Partners. 

To sum it up, if your ad has a low click-through rate, low cost per click, and low conversion rate, it’s probably coming from Google Search Partners.

You can also filter the report for Google Search Network data and Search Partners data to see the difference. 

Go to the segment filter > Network (with Search Partners) to do this. 

This should tell you what traffic came from Google Search and what came from Google Search Partners.

Everything You Need to Know About Advertising on Google Partner Sites

Why Am I Having Strange Searches in My Search Query Report? 

Sometimes, the traffic from Google Search Partners can pick some strange searches that may not seem like they’re coming from a real person.

For example, Pepper picked 267 impressions for the following search term.

“new elt Waldhauser fur lined waterproof country yard boot rrp 195 size uk 6 39 sporting goods equestrian riding boots & accessor.”

Note that this search is far from their target keywords, and it’s not even a proper sentence. 

It’s easy to pass it off as an accidental search, but they had 86 searches for this particular search term.

So, what’s the explanation?

That’s because Google has to pull data to insert into the keyword column from somewhere when pulling search term data. 

If it can’t find this data, it will use the link the user clicks to get to the page containing your search Partners ad.

In such as case, the search term would be the URL of the page that the user clicked on (like Amazon or eBay). The search term presented in the report will contain the product name, size, and RRP price.

So, every time your ad appears on this page, it will generate this search term. 

That explains why these searches seem strange and have nothing to do with your target keywords.

That’s also why search partners generally have poor click-through and conversion rates. 

The second example is shown below:

“wheely bin waste bins & dustbins”

In this example, we have “wheely bin” as the keyword, and the second part is waste bins and dustbins, which appear to be the categories that the user clicked on to get to this particular ad. 

Is it a Good Idea to Include Google Search Partners in My Campaign? 

So, what should you expect if you’re thinking of adding Google Search Partners to your campaign?

First of all, you have to be aware that performance will vary for each account. The table below shows the aggregated performance of Google Search Partners compared to Search Network.

As you can see, the impressions Search Partners get are almost on the same scale as Google Search Network (at 94.75%), but the click-through rate is only 5% of that of Google Search Network. 

While your ad might be appearing in front of many people, only a few go the whole way to click on it. 

Also, while the conversion rate is only a measly 4.86% of that of Google Search Network, the cost per conversion is almost similar (at 45.83%) to that of Google Search Network. 

Everything You Need to Know About Advertising on Google Partner Sites

This means that, while you might not be getting a lot of conversions from Google Search Partners, the ones that do convert are doing so at a similar cost to those from Google Search Network.

To sum it up, if you’re thinking of adding Google Search Partners to your campaign, be prepared for many impressions but very few clicks and conversions.

Will the Low Click-through Rate and Conversions Affect My Quality Score? 

The short answer is no. It won’t. 

Google has stated that the click-through rate (CTR) and conversion rate from Google Search Partners will not affect your quality score. 

 CTR is used to calculate your quality score, but Google Search Partners is treated as a separate network. 

That means that the CTR from your Google Search Partners ads will not affect your quality score.

What Should I Look for When You Switch on Google Search Partner? 

When you switch on Google Search Partner, you’ll notice a few things. 

The first one is a reduction in click-through rate (CTR). As we’ve mentioned before, the CTR on Google Search Partners is generally low. 

get google ranking ad

The second thing you’ll notice is a reduction in conversions. That’s because Google Search Partners have a different conversion rate than Google Search Network. 

The third thing you’ll notice is a considerable increase in impressions. 

Also, as we’ve mentioned before, Google Search Partners has a much larger reach than Google Search Network. 

In summary, just by switching on Google Search Partner, you’re likely to see a reduction in CTR, conversions, and an increase in impressions.

The opposite is also true. If you’re thinking of switching off Google Search Partner, you can expect an increase in CTR, conversions, and a reduction in impressions.

How Do I Start Advertising on Google Search Partners? 

If you’re thinking of adding Google Search Partners to your campaign, the first thing you need to do is create a new campaign.

Then, under “Networks,” ensure that the “Search Partners” box is checked. 

Note that exact or phrase match keywords tend to perform better than broad match keywords on Google Search Partners.

If you see a poor performance from Google Search Partners, one of the reasons could be that you’re using broad match keywords or broad match modified keywords.

If you’re the type that loves segmenting your campaign, we suggest you start by running your Search Partner campaign on Exact Match and Phrase Match keywords only. 

Alternatively, just switch it on your whole account to bring in the data. Once you have this data, you can start to segment your Search Partner campaign by match type, ad group, or even keyword.

Here are some tips on how to optimize your Google Partner campaign:

  • Separate campaigns for Google Search Partners and Google Search Network: The principal idea is to duplicate your campaign and have one of the campaign versions running on Google Search Partners. 
  • Start with Exact Match and Phrase Match keywords: As we’ve mentioned before, these match types tend to perform better on Google Search Partners.
  • Monitor your campaign closely: Check your campaign performance daily. If your Google Partner campaign is not performing well, switch it off. 
  • Try different ad copy: Write different ad copy for your Google Search Partners campaign. Use a different call to action or a different offer.

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