When it comes to paid Google ads, you might wonder where your ads are going to be shown or what kind of traffic to expect in return. And wait — Google Search Partner placements? What are those?
There is so much more that goes into Google Ads once you start to really research what to expect.
This blog post goes over why you need to edit your search partner data and how you can manage them so you can see real results from real traffic.
What Are Google Search Partners?
Basically, search partners are sites in the search network that partnered with Google to show ads. As a result of the partnership, those websites will be given a portion of the profit from advertising.
Once you buy clicks from the Search Partners network, your ads will then appear on pages on sites that are a part of this network. That means your ads will be shown on site directory pages, search results pages, Google search sites, and on search pages within another website, like Amazon or Walmart.
Google-owned sites like Maps, Gmail, and Youtube, are included in the areas of the internet your ads may be displayed.
Who are Google’s search partners, you ask?
Aside from the unbelievably vague description Google offers on what search partners actually are, Google actually hasn’t published the list of their Search Partners. This means paid search marketers are left in the haze without any insight or control to where those ads will be shown.
We’ve already discussed how Google utilizes search result pages, site directories, and other related pages for ad placement, but we didn’t talk about the fact that Google’s network also uses parked domains.
What’s the catch?
User searches don’t happen on parked domains.
What Are Parked Domains?
A parked domain is a registered internet domain that isn’t linked to an email or website.
Basically, it’s a fake search network your search ads are showing up on.
This works by sending false traffic through those links to your website, which then mimic the actions that make it look like you’re getting high performing traffic when you really aren’t.
On top of all that — you’re paying for it.
Related: How to Manage Google Ads Budgeting Successfully
How to Exclude Parked Domains
Naturally, your next thought is probably something along the lines of how the heck can I exclude Parked Domains? ?
Luckily, Google did create the ability for you to choose Parked Domains when creating your ad.
The way this works is through Category Exclusions, but it’s important to remember that Parked Domains are the only category in which you need to exclude the option in both Search and Display.
If you aren’t already excluding Search Partners, make sure you do this step!
How to Pull Your Google Search Partner Placements
So Google doesn’t share your ads performance details in Google Ads UI.
What you have to do to see these details is pull the data from the Google Ads API and the Placement Performance Reports with the AdNetworkType2 segment.
Using Supermetrics is a great way to easily extract data, especially if API leaves you scratching your head.
Supermetrics is a tool made for marketers that allows you to see:
- Where your ads were shown.
- How your ads performed on the list of the Google Search Partners sites.
Don’t Let The Good Data Fool You
At first glance, it might seem like your ads are rocking it! ?
But if it seems a little too good to be true – it probably is.
Evaluate which URLs seem a little…iffy, and then take a look at their CTRs and Conversion Rates. Are they higher than the rest?
If so, then you’ve probably been subject to fake traffic from parked domains.?
Until Google is more open about who their search partners are and where your ads will be placed, marketers will be left guessing where their ads are going.
The next best thing is to disable the parked domains feature and keep a close eye on your data so you can be sure that you’re getting the real traffic you deserve.