How to Differentiate Google Search Network vs Display Network

Because Google advertising appear in both search network and display network, many untrained marketing professionals get confused by the term. You might have tried learning through Google Adwords help links but it is too wordy or confusing. So you end up reading through +10 pages and realize that is too much information. You just want the straight-to-the point guide and effective case based Google advertising method.

For your convenience, I’ve defined what are Google search network and Google display network, and how each network is used for which products/service.

Google Search Network

Google Search Network consists:

  • Google Maps
  • Google Shopping
  • Hundreds of Google Sites
  • Search Partners (Non-google websites that are partnered with Google)

Google Search Network Helps:

  1. Show their text ads next to the Google Search
  2. Reach customers actively searching for their specific product or service

Search Ad Formats are:

  1. Text Ads: Headline, Display URL (shows your website address) and description
  2. Ads with Extensions: Visual enhancements for your search ads to show prominent your business information (including phone number, locations, links to relevant contents deep within your website).

Keywords trigger your ads to show on “placements”.
Placements: Websites across the internet where your ads can appear. In terms of Google placement: (A) Google automatically makes your ads appear in these placements, matching to your keywords, or (B) you can specifically pick your desired websites from Google network websites.

You should run a search network campaign if:   

1. Working on a limited budget:
Because you don’t have a million dollar budget for your marketing department or your small business, you should be focused on targeting web users more specifically. For limited budget, search network advertising is the best since you can control the daily budget, your ad frequency and reach, and select specific placements (websites you want to target based on the content & themes of the site. For example, you don;t want to place “game ads” on the camping site or online shoe shopping blog.)

2. “Emergency Products”:
If you are offering products or services that users look for on a when-needed basis or “right-now-needed” moment, you should use search network. Most people search online by typing search keywords on google “search box”.

Google Display Network

Google Display Network are:

  1. Google Finance
  2. Gmail
  3. YouTube
  4. Blogger
  5. Partner Sites
  6. Mobile Sites
  7. Apps

Google Display network show Adwords Ads matched to the content of a given page.

Google Display Network helps advertisers:

  1. Use appealing ad formats to reach a wide range of customers with broad interest
  2. Build brand awareness and customer loyalty
  3. Increase engagement with customers
  4. Choose more specifically where their ads can appear, and to what type of audience

Display Ad Formats are: 

  1. Text Ads
  2. Image Ads
  3. Rich Media Ads
  4. Video Ads

You should use Display Network advertising when:

 1. Increasing brand awareness
Your target users will be going about the daily activities, looking at news, fund videos and reading blog posts. Display network advertising can increase visibility of your ads. But it is touch to draw users to click on ads while they are using display network. CPC in display network is also lower than that of the search network. Get More clicks on organic listings or clicks in brand-specific searches


2. Have a lengthy sales process (ex: buying a luxury product or using expensive service)
Use re-marketing to target users that previously visited your website. 

3. Have a sexy product
Use your product images to engage your customers and convert them to buying your products. Many e-commerce companies utilize display network to sell their product

4. Have a Video Asset
You can utilize Youtube to target video users online. Video ads are more engaging to people than text or images ads; Google TrueView measures which ads are actively viewed and you only pay to users who watch your video ads for 30 seconds or more.

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