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Search Network vs Display Network

Search Network vs Display Network

Google Ads is an online advertising platform that allows businesses to reach potential customers through targeted ads. Google offers two main advertising networks: the Search Network and the Display Network. While both networks are part of Google Ads, they have different features and are used for different purposes. In this article we will discuss Google’s search network vs display network including when and how to use them to get the best results.

Basics of Search Network vs Display Network

The Search Network is a group of search-related websites and apps where advertisers can display their ads. It is primarily made up of Google search sites and non-Google websites (search partners). These ads appear at the top or bottom of the search engine results page when someone searches for a keyword related to the advertiser’s product or service.

The Display Network, on the other hand, is a group of websites, apps, and videos that have partnered with Google to display ads. These ads can be text, image, or video ads. Additionally, they may appear on various websites and apps that are part of the Display Network.

The key difference between the two networks is the way ads are targeted. The Search Network uses keyword targeting, meaning that ads are displayed to users based on the keywords they search for.

The Display Network uses contextual targeting. This means that ads are displayed on websites and apps that are relevant to the advertiser’s product or service.

When to Use Google Search Network

The Search Network is ideal for businesses that want to reach customers who are actively searching for their product or service. Here are some advantages of using the Search Network:

  • High-intent audience: People who are searching for a particular product or service are more likely to be interested in buying it.
  • Precision targeting: Advertisers can target their ads based on specific keywords, geographic location, device type, and other factors.
  • Cost-effective: Advertisers only pay when someone clicks on their ad, which means they are not wasting money on impressions that don’t lead to clicks or conversions.

Some examples of businesses that can benefit from Search Network advertising include:

  • E-commerce websites that sell products online
  • Local businesses that want to drive foot traffic to their store
  • Service-based businesses that offer online bookings or appointments (such as dentists, chiropractors, lawyers, etc)

When to Use Display Network

The Display Network is ideal for businesses that want to reach a larger audience and increase brand awareness. Here are some advantages of using the Display Network:

  • Wide reach: The Display Network includes a vast number of websites and apps, which means advertisers can reach a large and diverse audience.
  • Visual impact: Display ads can be eye-catching and visually appealing, which can help increase brand recognition and recall.
  • Flexible targeting options: Advertisers can target their ads based on factors such as demographics, interests, and behaviors.

Here are some examples of effective Display Network campaigns:

  • A clothing retailer could target users who have recently visited fashion blogs or websites related to fashion and style.
  • A tourism company could target users who have shown interest in traveling or have searched for vacation destinations.
  • A B2B software company could target users who work in specific industries or job titles and are likely to be interested in their product.
  • A dental practice could target users who have recently searched for dental services in their area.

Creating Separate Campaigns for Each Network

Creating separate campaigns for the Search Network and Display Network can help advertisers optimize their ad spend and improve their campaign performance. Some benefits of creating separate campaigns for each network are:

  • Better control: Separating campaigns allows advertisers to have better control over their targeting, bidding, and ad copy.
  • Improved relevance: Advertisers can create ad copy and landing pages that are tailored to the specific audience and intent of each network.
  • Enhanced performance tracking: Separating campaigns makes it easier to track and analyze the performance of each network and make data-driven decisions.

Here are some best practices for setting up separate campaigns:

  • Use different campaign settings: Set different campaign settings for each network, such as bidding strategy, ad scheduling, and device targeting.
  • Create separate ad groups: Group keywords and ad copy separately for each network to ensure relevance and alignment.
  • Monitor and optimize: Continuously monitor campaign performance and adjust targeting, bidding, and ad copy as needed to improve performance.

Here’s some tips for optimizing Search and Display Network campaigns:

  • Use negative keywords: Add negative keywords to prevent ads from appearing in irrelevant search queries or placements.
  • Test ad copy: Test different ad copy to find the most effective messaging for each network.
  • Analyze performance data: Analyze performance data regularly and make data-driven decisions to improve campaign performance.


In conclusion, the Search Network and Display Network are two powerful advertising networks that offer different benefits and advantages.

Understanding the differences between the two networks and knowing when to use each one can help advertisers create effective campaigns.

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