Google Search vs. Display Network

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AdWords consists of two very different types of advertising: search and display. If you plan on using AdWords, it is crucial that you understand the difference. When you set up a new campaign, you are given the choice of using the Search Network, Display Network, or both. Here’s an explanation of what those are:

The Google Search Network

The Google Search Network refers to search engines like Google. Advertising on the Search Network means your ads can appear when someone searches for the keywords you designate. So in this situation, people are actually looking for products, services, and information related to a specific topic. To be a little more figurative, they have a question and are looking for an answer. Or, they have a problem and are looking for a solution. This, of course, is what search engines are for. So why is it called the Search Network? Because Google has partners that it has arranged to show its search results with. For example, is in the Google Search Network. If you do a search on, you will get results from the Google search engine.

The Google Display Network

The Google Display Network is very different. The Display Network is a massive inventory of advertising space on pages all over the web. In fact, it’s the largest inventory of ad space on the planet. People and businesses that have websites and blogs can “rent out” parts of their web pages for Google advertising. Google shows ads in those spaces and if someone clicks on an ad, the advertiser will pay. Part of the money goes to Google and part of the money goes to the owner of the web page. Google tries to match up ads for certain businesses to the content the ads appear with. For example, a travel agent who runs an AdWords display ad might have their ad appear next to a news article about airline prices or specific destinations like Paris, London, or Las Vegas. Advertisers also have the option of choosing specific pages on specific websites to show their ads. This is done by setting up a campaign on the Display Network, choosing placement targeting for specific web pages, and then bidding for the space.

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