Skip to main content

When we audit Google Ads performance, one of the most common items we see is that performance by network is not being considered and can lead to thousands of dollars in wasted ad spend.

Let’s start with the basics. Search campaigns can be enabled into 3 networks: Google Search Network, Google Search Partners, & Display Network. The Google Search network is not optional, but Search Partners and Display Network are options you can opt-out of.

There are several ways to check if your campaigns have opted in to these networks. The first option is to go to all campaigns and then select settings. This will display all of your campaigns with their settings. You can look at the column titled Networks and see which campaigns are opted into which networks, like below:

Screen Shot 2019 08 28 at 10.48.15 AM

We can see this account has some campaign opted into search partners. Historically this account has also opted into the Display Network.

Now we need to evaluate the performance of each network. Head back to the all campaigns tab and select your date range you would like to look at, I suggest at least 30 days, but this can be more if needed. Go to segment and then network. You should see something like below:

Screen Shot 2019 08 28 at 10.48.38 AM


For the campaign at the top that is paused, we can see that on the Search Partners network, although our cost per clicks were cheaper, this was the only metric where this was better than on the Google Network. The click thru rate, cost/conv and conversion rate all performed worse than the Google Search Network. Also, we can see that the campaign is limited by budget with an impression share of 37%. What this means is that we can eliminate the search partners network and funnel those $3,038 up to the Google Search network and see better returns with our money. We can also see that a test was done for the Google Display Network, but due to the campaign having such a low impression share, this was removed fairly early on.

This same pattern holds true for the second campaign as well.

It is very important to test the various networks, check-in on results and then optimize to avoid wasting funds and to ensure that you get the most bang for your buck!