Google Search Partners is a setting that gets your ads on Google Partner sites. Learn to use this feature to expand your reach and get more conversions while minimizing wasted ad spend.

Here, you’ll find:

  1. What are Google Search Partners?
  2. Google Search Partner sites to know
  3. 7 strategies to improve your Google Search Partner performance
  4. Low-hanging fruit on the Google Search Partners network
  5. 5 myths about Google Search Partners
  6. How does the Google Search Partner network work?

There are many different types of Google Ads campaigns, ad placements, and ad settings. When creating a paid search campaign, it can seem a little daunting to know where to start.

Google Search Partners is a setting that allows your search ads to be displayed across a network of partners.

Read on to discover how Google Search Partners works, what some of the partner sites are, and how you can use this network to improve your ad performance.

What are Google Search Partners?

Google Search Partners are websites that partnered with Google Ads to display promotions on their sites and search results pages. They’re part of the Google Search Network and help to extend the reach of ads to hundreds of sites across the internet.

Essentially, Google Search Partners puts your ad across even more websites than just Google and YouTube, with the goal of increasing your ad’s overall reach.

And it can make a big impact. By integrating Search Partner campaigns into the overall strategy, we were able to help our client Peer Software increase conversions by 128%.

Sam Yadegar, CEO of HawkSEM, says, “Google Search Partners is a viable avenue to attract more potential customers. Not only do we use this to grow conversions, but we track and analyze the data in a granular fashion to increase conversion rates and to lower cost per acquisition as well.”

Looking for other reasons to start advertising through Google Search Partners?

Magee Clegg of Cleartail Marketing helped a brand generate a 14,000% increase in website traffic.

“This was achieved by utilizing an expansive network that serves ads on a multitude of websites and apps, thus reaching a larger and more diverse audience,” explains Clegg.

And Audrey Bakhach of Custom Digital Solutions was able to help another brand reduce cost per lead by 20% and increase conversions by 30%.

“This showcases how leveraging Google Search Partners can lead to enhanced targeting and cost savings, ultimately boosting campaign performance and delivering tangible results,” Bakhach shares.

Google Search Partner sites to know

If you’re considering incorporating Google Search Partner websites into your ad campaign, it’s important to know some of the sites that your ads could appear on. And though Google doesn’t share a complete list of its Search Partners, here are several websites that we know for sure are included.

  • Google sites: Google’s search engine, Google Images, Google Maps, Google Play, Google Shopping, YouTube
  • Non-Google sites: 247 Sports, Amazon,,,,,, Target, The New York Times, W3Schools, Walmart

You can tell if a website is sharing Google text ads by hovering over the ad link and checking if it leads to a domain.

Take a look at what these ads can look like on partner sites. For example, here are Google ads on



And finally,


Websites that have opted into the Google Search Partner network receive a small cut of the ad revenue in exchange for hosting the ads. And while several smaller search engines partner with Google, Bing doesn’t and actually offers its own Search Partners network for its advertisers.

7 strategies to improve your Google Search Partner performance

Google Search Partner performance can be a mixed bag. As Vaibhav Kakkar of Digital Web Solutions says, “Some advertisers find that Google Search Partners can bring additional traffic and conversions, while others might see lower conversion rates or higher costs-per-click (CPC).”

However, if you want to give this network a try in order to expand your reach, here are seven optimization strategies for your Search Partner ads.

1. Research where your audience spends time

What search engines and websites is your audience using? Understanding their online browsing habits is a part of putting together any digital marketing strategy, and that information can bleed over into your PPC strategy as well.

If you know your audience only (or mostly) uses Google and its proprietary websites, turning on Google Search Partners likely won’t benefit your text or display ads performance.

On the flip side, if you run an ecommerce store and know your audience also shops on sites like Amazon and Walmart, reaching them through the Partner network can be a great tactic.

Pay attention to where your audience spends their time online and use that to inform your ad strategy. Conducting market research, researching user demographics, and putting together a user persona can help you discover this information.

2. Create separate Search Partner campaigns

While you can’t create a campaign only for Search Partners, you can create two campaigns with this option toggled on for one and off for another.

“Segment your campaigns to allocate budgets and set bid adjustments specifically for partner traffic,” explains Bakhach. “This level of control can make a significant difference. Keep a watchful eye on the performance of partner websites and apps within your campaigns, allowing you to identify top-performing placements and exclude underperforming ones.”

This ensures your ads consistently display on relevant and high-quality partner sites, increasing the likelihood of engagement.

Creating multiple campaigns gives you more granular control, ensuring key metrics, like CPC or click-through rate (CTR), hit your goals.

3. Use specific Search Partner keywords

Paying attention to past Search Partner data can improve your ads for the future. Look at your Search Query reports from existing Search Partner ads to pinpoint high-performing keywords. Then create Search Partner campaigns specifically for those keywords.

“By routinely evaluating your campaign’s performance data and making the necessary adjustments, you’ll be well on your way to leveraging Google Search Partners effectively and boosting engagement while keeping a cost-effective strategy in play,” advises Bakhach.

4. Test new features and offers with Search Partners

Just because Search Partners didn’t work for a previous campaign doesn’t mean it’s never going to work. When you launch new features, product or service offerings, and the like, test Google Search Partners again.

“The best advertisers, in my experience, are those who remain personally invested in their efforts and are open to change,” says Draven McConville, founder at Klipboard. “They don’t hesitate to attempt new things and experiment.”

5. Experiment with your ads

Speaking of experimenting, test different formats, sizes, and creative assets within your ads, as well as different features and offerings.

“For advertisers looking to leverage Google Search Partners effectively, I recommend utilizing the extensive targeting options, unique ad formats, and flexible bidding strategies offered by Google,” Clegg recommends.

You have options — use them.

Bakhach agrees, stating that to adapt to the varied layouts and screen sizes of partner websites and apps, leverage responsive ad formats. They’re like chameleons for your ads, ensuring they look good and perform well across different platforms.

“Explore different targeting options, including keyword targeting, demographic targeting, and device targeting, to hone in on the most relevant audiences in the partner network,” continues Bakhach. “Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with various bidding strategies, such as target impression share or maximize conversions, to find the approach that best aligns with your campaign objectives.”

6. Turn off Search Partners for low-performing campaigns

Google Search Partners isn’t going to work for every campaign. Sometimes, no matter how you adjust your keywords, bid strategy, or what have you, it simply won’t perform the way you want it to.

And that’s okay — just turn off Search Partners in those instances and focus solely on Google sites.

Michael Wall, founder at Codefixer, says to monitor the effectiveness of your Google Search Partners campaigns, check in frequently. You may increase the performance of any advertisements by changing your bids or targeting if you notice that they aren’t receiving many clicks or conversions.

“However, you can completely eliminate any search partner sites from your ads if they frequently perform poorly,” continues Wall. “Concentrating your investment on the sites that are giving you the best results, will help to increase the overall performance of your ads.”

7. Monitor your ad performance

Finally, you need to keep an eye on your ads to ensure they’re working hard for your business.

“The key to effectively using Google Search Partners is to monitor its performance closely,” says Kakkar. “Separate the data for Google and its partners to analyze which channels are driving the best results.”

“Adjust bids, ad copy, and targeting settings accordingly,” continues Kakkar. “It’s essential to regularly review and refine your campaign to ensure that you’re getting a positive return on investment from Search Partners. For some businesses, it can be a valuable addition to their advertising strategy, while others may find that focusing solely on Google Search yields better results.”

Low-hanging fruit on the Google Search Partners network

If you’re new to Google Search Partners and want to test out a sure-fire (or as close to it as you can get) campaign, here are two low-hanging fruit options to try.

Brand campaigns

A brand campaign focuses on using branded keywords — or keywords that include your brand name in them. For example, client management platform HoneyBook created a brand campaign so its ad shows up at the top of its brand name search:

Brand campaigns

Using Google Search Partners for branded campaigns can help spread the word about your brand while also ensuring your competitors aren’t bidding on your name and stealing traffic.

RLSA campaigns

RLSA campaigns, or remarketing lists for search ads, targets people who have already been to your website. Using this type of ad for a Google Search Partners campaign can improve conversions and overall performance because your ads are appearing for people who are already acquainted with your site.

5 myths about Google Search Partners

Not every brand or campaign sees success from Google Search Partners. Of course, this can be the case for many new strategies. However, there are a few misconceptions about it that tend to go around — and we’re here to bust those myths wide open.

All partners are smaller search engines

One misconception is that all of Google’s partners are smaller search engines. And while many are, like Dogpile and, there are other sites too. Your ads can appear in search engine results, on directory pages, or even in search results on ecommerce sites like Amazon or Target.

If Google Search Partners doesn’t work for one campaign, it won’t work for any campaign

We briefly covered this, but it warrants another mention. Google Search Partners can work on a campaign-by-campaign basis, fully dependent on the ads, ad types, and keywords you’re bidding for.

In addition, Google Ads itself is always changing, updating functionality, offering new features. Experiment with your ads, but always check back in to see if Google has introduced new options that can give your Search Partner ads another chance.

Search Partners is for traditional search campaigns only

Search Partner ads don’t only show up as traditional search campaigns. You can also use it in the display network and for shopping ads. Again, test different ad types and creative to see what works best for your brand.

You can’t get more granular than segmenting by Search Partner network at the campaign level

One big frustration advertisers have is that you can’t see a comprehensive list of all Search Partners and how each one is performing. They say Google Search Partner ads aren’t granular enough, providing enough detail to know how well they work.

However, there are other ways to take a look at your ad performance. For example:

  • Look at how your keywords are performing, and select specific keywords for your Search Partner ads.
  • Review your match types to see how they perform across networks. In many cases, broad match keywords don’t always perform well on the Partner network.
  • Consider device usage, as Partner ads don’t always convert as well on mobile devices.

If the CPA is higher in Search Partners, you can’t do anything about it
Search Partners offers less control than traditional search ads. However, if you head back to our seven tactics for optimizing and improving your Search Partner ads, you’ll discover ways you can minimize the CPA (cost-per-action) for your ads.

How does the Google Search Partner network work?

So how does the Google Search Partner network even work? How do you turn it on or should you turn it on? Here are some of the top questions advertisers have when it comes to the Google Search Partner network.

How do I turn on Google Search Partners?

The default campaign settings automatically include Google Search Partners. But you can turn this on and off as you create or edit a campaign.
Log into your Google Ads dashboard and click on the campaign you want to switch Search Partners on or off for. You can also make this adjustment as you create a new campaign.

Then click on the Settings tab. Under Settings, you’ll see an option for Networks. Make sure the box that says Include Google search partners is checked, then click Save.

Do I get to choose where my ads appear?

You cannot choose specific sites to show your ads.

“Your ads will show up on the types of partner sites as users who like specific things or work in certain fields, based on your targeting parameters,” Bakhach explains. “The only other thing you can tweak is putting in ‘negative’ sites. So, if you have users coming that are producing more spam you can block ads on that site.”

Can I turn Google Search Partners on for select ad groups but not others?

Google Search Partners is a campaign-level change, so you can’t switch this option on for different ad groups. However, you can duplicate a campaign and have one campaign using Search Partners and another campaign solely living on Google sites.

Can I create a campaign only for Google Search Partners?

No, you can’t. You can create a campaign just for Google sites, but you can’t do the inverse and create a campaign just for Search Partners. You can set your Google search ads to appear in Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) and Partner sites.

The takeaway

The more reach your ads have, the higher the traffic you receive. Using Google Search Partners can help you achieve this. But if you’re not getting the right traffic to your site, then you’re wasting ad spend on irrelevant clicks.

To improve your performance and optimize your ad campaigns, reach out to HawkSEM to get help from our seasoned experts. We’d love to improve your PPC campaigns and boost your ROI.

Contact HawkSEM for Free Consultation