Should you advertise on Search Partners?

Normally the big "where to show your ads" decision is between the display network and the search network.

  • The display network are the sites that host Google adverts alongside their articles. Usually news sites or blogs. You'll see a bunch of ads in a block at the top or the side.
  • The search network consists of Google search (,, etc) and search partners.

Search partners are hundreds of non-Google websites (like AOL), as well as Google Maps, YouTube and other Google sites. New campaigns default to show ads on both Google search and search partners.

We check the campaigns we manage regularly to see how much each conversion costs (a sales lead in in our case) on Google search versus what it costs on search partners. Most of the time they're about the same. Sometimes the difference is huge.

In the last two weeks the cost per conversion on search partners almost doubled on one of our campaigns in South Africa: R85.41 per enquiry on Google search vs. R164.06 per enquiry on search partners.

The campaign makes sense even at R164 per enquiry because each sale is worth much more than that, but disabling search partners and showing ads only on Google search frees enough budget to fund an extra 60 enquiries a month.

Decide where your ads show using the 'Network' setting in Google AdWords. Screenshot below.

You can compare the performance of keywords, ad groups and adverts across the different networks by segmenting the stats. Click on the 'Segment' dropdown and then select 'Network (with search partners) as shown in the screenshot below.

Give me a yell if you need a hand checking how much your search partner enquiries cost.

Want higher conversion rates?

I’ve seen conversion rates double, triple and even 10X after a few quick and easy changes to the enquiry form.

Subscribe now and I'll send you a free copy of my in-depth ebook High-Converting Enquiry Forms.

You're already paying for clicks. Now turn them into conversions.

Privacy policy. Unsubscribe at any time.

Don’t believe every recommendation from Google.

The optimisation score is Google’s newest way of telling you how to run your Google Ads account. Read on to see how following it blindly can hurt your business.

Google showed your ads to the wrong people today.

Google showed your some of your adverts to the wrong people today. You (or someone you hire) must deal with this or your ads are going to start costing more and generating fewer leads. Here's how.

Has Google jumped the gun on mobile?

How much commercial activity happens on mobile phones? Is it enough to justify a mobile-first approach to development? Case study with mobile vs desktop AdWords generated leads across 7 industries.

How to get fast traction on a brand new AdWords campaign.

I worked out a process for getting fast results from new AdWords campaigns so I didn't have to worry as much. You're welcome to copy (and improve) my process.

Improve conversion rates by adding extra calls to action.

Need to improve your conversion rate? Here's a tested approach that takes only a few minutes.

Should you show ads to people on their phones?

It is a fact that more people use the internet on their phones than they do on computers these days. But are these glued-to-their-phone types going to buy from you?

Putting a little science into AdWords

In the past I relied on a combination of the change history in AdWords, some rough notes and my memory to keep track of my testing. It worked but it wasn't great. It became more difficult as my business grew. I started to feel like I was losing control. I couldn't answer questions about an account without having to root around in Google docs, AdWords and email. Read on to see how I fixed this.

Should you advertise on Search Partners?

We check the campaigns we manage regularly to see how much it costs to generate an enquiry on Google search versus search partners. Most of the time it costs more or less the same. Sometimes the difference is huge.

Using the Search Terms Report to find negative keywords.

The Search Terms Report is a great place to find negative keywords to add to your AdWords campaign. It shows (some of) the actual words and phrases that triggered your ads.