Should You Include or Remove Google Search Partners?

If you're a business or advertiser using Google Ads, you've probably come across the setting called "Google Search Partners." This setting allows your ads to appear on search partner sites, which are websites that have partnered with Google to show ads.

On the surface, enabling search partners may seem like a great way to expand your reach and get more exposure for your ads. However, it's important to understand how search partners work before you enable them. (there can always be pros and cons in Google Ads!)

google search partners selection screen

What are Google Search Partners?

Google Search Partners include Youtube and other websites/search engines that have partnered with Google to show ads (like Ask.com). These websites can be a variety of different types, including search engines, news sites, and general interest websites.

When you enable search partners, your ads can appear on the search results pages, site directory pages, or other pages related to a person's search on these websites.

Search Partners List

Seer Interactive recently wrote a great article on Google search partners and mentioned this list of Google search partner websites: 

  • Google sites: YouTube, Google Groups, Google Maps, Google Images, Google Shopping, etc.
  • Search engines such as Ask.com, Lycos.com and Dogpile.com.
  • Search results and product pages on partner sites: Amazon, Wal-Mart, Target.

Benefits of Enabling Google Search Partners

There are a few potential benefits to enabling Google Search Partners:

  • Increased reach: Search partners can help you expand your reach and get more exposure for your ads.
  • Lower CPCs: Search partners often have lower CPCs than Google Search, which can help you reduce your cost per click (on average) for your advertising campaigns.
  • More conversions: Search partners can also lead to more conversions, depending on your industry and target audience.

Risks of Enabling Google Search Partners

There are also a few potential risks to enabling Google Search Partners:

  • Lower quality traffic: Search partners are not always at the same quality level as the standard Google Search network. This means that your ads may be shown to people who are less likely to be interested in your products or services.
  • Wasted ad spend: If you're not careful, you may end up wasting your ad spend on search partners that are not performing well. (this is why it is vital to monitor the stats of the search partners if you enable them!)

Should you enable Google Search Partners?

If you're new to Google Ads, I generally recommend that you start with the standard Google Search network and disable the Search Partners. Once you have a good understanding of how Google Ads works and you're happy with the performance of your campaigns, you can then consider enabling search partners.

If you do decide to enable search partners, it's important to monitor your performance closely. In the video at the top of this page, I show you how to see your Search Partner Stats.

Summary

Enabling Google Search Partners in Google Ads can broaden reach and potentially lower your average cost per click but it poses risks like lower quality traffic and worse campaign performance. The decision depends on factors such as industry, target audience, and campaign goals. For beginners, I recommend disabling at the start.

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