Where Are Google Ads Advertisements Shown? A Guide To The Google Display Network And It’s Partners

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Excerpt Introduction:

So, you’ve dipped your toes into the Google Ads pool, but do you know where your ads are floating around? From the vast ocean of the internet to the cozy corners of your favourite news site, Google Ads can take your message far and wide. Grab a cuppa, and let’s decode this together, shall we?

Google Ads

So, What’s the Deal with Google Ad Placements?

Navigating your Google Ads account can feel like being a kid in a candy store. So many options, but which ones will give you that sweet, sweet ROI? Whether you’re the proud owner of a blossoming startup or a marketer looking to spice up your strategy, understanding where your ad group lands is the first step to making them work for you.

Google Ads Campaign Type

The Grand Tour of Google Ads Campaign Types

Google Ads doesn’t just throw your ads into the digital void. It’s more like choosing the perfect billboard location, except these billboards are digital, and the locations are, well, pretty much everywhere online.

Search Campaigns:

For those who aren’t aware, a Google Search Ad is a form of online advertising that allows businesses to display their ads on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).

When users search for keywords related to the ad, these paid advertisements appear at the top or bottom of the SERP, marked with a “Sponsored” label, offering prominent visibility to target audiences based on their search queries.

This pay-per-click (PPC) advertising model enables businesses to bid on keywords, paying only when a user clicks on their ad.

    • Where They Show Up: Right there in Google Search results, and on other sites that fancy Google’s search function. This is most commonly known as the Google Search Network, which includes the main Google search results pages, as well as other Google search partners websites.

    • Who Should Use It: Perfect for when you want to catch folks while they’re hunting for something specific. Selling handmade soaps? Your ad could be the first thing someone sees when they Google “buy organic soap.”

    • Simply Put: Google Search Network, partnering search sites

Display Campaign

Display Campaigns:

A Google Display Ad is a type of Google advertising that allows businesses to showcase their ads across a vast network of websites, videos, and apps that are part of the Google Display Network (GDN).

Unlike Search Ads, Display Ads can appear as banner, image, or text ads on websites related to the business’s products or services, targeting users based on their interests, browsing behaviour, or previous interactions with the advertiser’s website.

This format is ideal for building brand awareness and retargeting audiences, as it reaches users while they’re browsing online, not just when they’re searching for specific terms.


    • Where They Show Up: Think of any website you visit for your daily dose of news, recipes, or memes. Yep, your ads can show up there, thanks to the Google Display Network. You are able to somewhat trim down your targeting to specific websites, although sometimes it’s better to let Google do this for you.

    • Who Should Use It: Ideal for those wanting to make a visual impact. If you’re all about creating ads that are pleasing to the eye, this one’s for you. Google Display Ads are graphic intensive, so making sure you have well-made graphics is a MUST.

    • Simply Put: Youtube, Gmail, Google Display Network (GDN)

Video Ads

Video Ads:

Google Video Ads are a dynamic form of online advertising delivered through the Google Ads platform, specifically designed to be displayed before, during, or after video content on YouTube and across the Google Display Network.

These ads can range from short bumper ads that last a few seconds to longer skippable ads, allowing advertisers to engage with a broad audience in a visually compelling format.

Ideal for increasing brand awareness, driving sales, or promoting specific products, Google Video Ads leverage the power of video content to capture the attention of viewers based on their interests, demographics, and viewing behaviours.


    • Where They Show Up: Before, during, or after YouTube videos. Sometimes, they pop up in other video spots across the web.

    • Who Should Use It: Got a story to tell through video? Maybe you have a revolutionary dog-walking gadget that needs a demo. Video ads can be your big winner.

    • Simply Put: Youtube

Shopping Campaign

Shopping Campaigns:

Google Shopping Ads, also known as Product Listing Ads (PLAs), are a type of advertisement that allows retailers to showcase their products directly on Google’s search results and the Google Shopping tab.

These ads feature rich product information, including images, prices, and the store name, without requiring the user to click through to a website.

Designed to make shopping easier and more intuitive, Shopping Ads use product data submitted through the Merchant Center to automatically generate ads that appear when users search for relevant products, facilitating a direct pathway for users to purchase products they’re interested in.


    • Where They Show Up: Alongside Google Search results and on Google Shopping. It’s like having your product in the window of the busiest digital street.

    • Who Should Use It: E-commerce heroes, this is your stage. If you want to show off your latest fashion line or tech gadgets, shopping campaigns/PMAX can get your products seen.

    • Simply Put: Google Search Network

performance max

Performance Max: The Jack-of-All-Trades

Now, let’s talk about a newer player in the game: Performance Max. Imagine having a Swiss Army knife for your ads, one that automatically finds the best place and format for them across all of Google’s channels. That’s Performance Max for you.


    • Where They Show Up: Everywhere and anywhere across Google’s vast networks—from the Search pages to YouTube videos, from Display Network websites to even the Google Play store.

    • Who Should Use It: Ideal for advertisers who want to leverage Google’s AI to automatically optimise their ad placements across all possible channels. Say you’re launching a revolutionary gardening tool. Performance Max will plant your ads (pun intended) in front of interested gardeners no matter where they hang out online, be it watching a DIY gardening video on YouTube or searching for gardening tips on Google.

    • Simply Put: Google Search Network, Youtube, Gmail, Google Maps, Google Display Network (GDN), Discovery Network

Discovery Campaigns

Discovery Campaigns:

Ever noticed those ads that pop up in your YouTube recommendations, or within your Gmail, or even on the Google Discover feed on your phone? They’re so seamlessly integrated that you might not even realise they’re ads. That’s the magic of Discovery Campaigns.


    • Where They Show Up: In very personal, curated spots where users are open to discovering new things—Google Discover feed, YouTube’s home and “watch next” sections, and the promotions and social tabs in Gmail.

    • Who Should Use It: Perfect for brands that want to connect with users in a more personal, subtle way. If you’ve got content that tells a compelling story or an offer that’s too good to miss, Discovery Campaigns can introduce you to users in a moment of discovery. Imagine you’re promoting an exclusive travel deal; a Discovery Campaign can showcase your breathtaking ad right when users are dreaming up their next vacation.

    • Simply Put: Youtube, Gmail, Discovery Network

Google Discovery has now been upgraded and renamed to Google Demand Gen, which is an expansion of the prior channel and puts more of an emphasis on vertical short-form video content to convert users across channels such as Youtube. Here’s the channels new changes:

Making It All Click: Real-World Applications

Making It All Click: Real-World Applications

Consider you’re at the helm of a trendy fitness app. Performance Max could be your powerhouse, pushing your ads across search results, YouTube workouts, and fitness blogs, maximising your visibility based on conversion goals.

Meanwhile, Discovery Campaigns could softly nudge those considering a healthier lifestyle as they’re scrolling through travel vlogs or checking their Gmail for the latest gym deals.

App Campaigns:

In a world where our smartphones might as well be glued to our hands, App Campaigns are your golden ticket to getting your app into those hands. It’s all about showing your app ad where your future users are already playing, working, and socialising on their mobile devices.


    • Where They Show Up: Across Google’s largest properties, including Google Search, Google Play, YouTube, and the Google Display Network. Essentially, places where users are likely to download your app.

    • Who Should Use It: Perfect for app developers or companies with an app that solves a problem or entertains. Whether your app helps people track their fitness goals or it’s a game that keeps them entertained on their commute, App Campaigns can boost your visibility and drive downloads.

    • Simply Put: Google Display Network, Youtube, Gmail, Discovery Network, Google Display Network, Google Play Store

Imagine your app helps people meditate. Your ad could pop up when someone is searching for “stress relief” on Google or browsing health and wellness videos on YouTube, guiding them straight to your app in the Google Play Store.

Hotel Campaigns:

Hotel Campaigns:

For those in the hospitality industry, Hotel Campaigns are like having a billboard in the digital travel agency. These campaigns put your hotel front and centre when potential guests are planning their next getaway.


    • Where They Show Up: On Google Search and Maps, where traveler’s find and book their accommodations. Your hotel appears in searches with availability and pricing, making it easy for traveler’s to choose you.

    • Who Should Use It: Hoteliers and accommodation providers looking to attract traveler’s. If your place has the cosiest beds in town or views that can’t be beaten, Hotel Campaigns help you stand out in the crowded travel market.

    • Simply Put: Google Search Network, Google Maps

Let’s say you run a boutique hotel with the best rooftop bar in the city. A Hotel Campaign can highlight your unique selling points to traveler’s searching for “hotels near downtown” or “hotels with a rooftop bar,” bringing them one step closer to booking a room.

Google Ads

Wrapping It Up

Feeling more clued in on where your Google Ads can show up? Whether you’re a wizard at targeting the perfect audience or just starting to dip your toes in the digital advertising ocean, knowing where your ads can land is crucial. And hey, if you ever feel like it’s a bit too much to juggle, that’s what we’re here for.

Fancy a Chat?

Luke Morphew

Got questions or ready to dive deeper? Maybe you just want to chat about how we can get those ads of yours in front of the right eyes? Drop us a line, and let’s make your Google Ads as effective as a well-placed billboard in Times Square.


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