Google AdWords Workshop – Part 4:
Distribution Options

The following article is part 4 in our series on running your own pay-per-click advertising campaign with the Google AdWords program. If you are new to AdWords, read the introduction here first.

When you create a new keyword targeted AdWords campaign, your ads are set to appear not only on Google but also an extensive network of partner sites.

According to Google, this combined reach makes it the largest online advertising network in the world, reaching 80% of all US internet users . . . and an international audience in over 100 other countries.

Besides, other Google properties that carry AdWords include Google Maps, Google Shopping, Google Groups and several others.

Google’s network partners are comprised of two groups:

Search Partners
Firstly, sites which use Google to provide search results for them . . . including many of the top 100 destinations on the internet, and thousands of less well known sites. These partners are members of the Google search network where your ad is shown in the same way as if the user had carried out the search on one of Google’s own sites.

Content Partners
The second group of partner sites are consumer and business content sites ranging from major publishers to thousands of smaller niche subject sites and blogs. Google scans the content of these partner sites and automatically selects ads to display that have keywords closely matching the subject matter of each page.

You’ve almost certainly seen these ads on many sites labeled as “Ads by Google”. For example, a story about visiting Miami on this travel site is flanked by ads from Google for cheap airline tickets.

Google calls this contextual advertising, but it’s also known elsewhere in the industry as content targeting.

With over one million sites worldwide now earning commissions on such ads, this has been the fastest growing segment of Google’s business in the past. (That title now belongs to mobile).

Google also works with large circulation newsletter publishers like to place ads matched to the subject matter of newsletters delivered to millions of subscribers via email.

And they place contextually targeted ads next to messages sent by users of their own free email service, Gmail, as well.

You can customize the distribution of keyword targeted campaigns via the campaign settings area of the AdWords control panel.

These settings allow you to configure distribution in any one of five ways:

It’s important to note that both the Search Network and the Content Network are turned on by default for new campaigns.

In most cases, you’ll want to remain opted in to the Search Network. However, new advertisers should be wary of the Content Network at first. I’ll discuss the reasons why in an upcoming post.

Suffice it to say that we recommend new advertisers deselect the Content Network (now renamed the Display Network) in the first instance.

Gary Elley

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