Basically, there are three campaign types in Google AdWords: Search and Display Networks, Search Network only and Display network only. Even as a beginner, you will have a general idea where your ads appear in each campaign type (in the search results and/or on matching websites). However, there are some other ad placements that are not so obvious.
- Google Instant/ Google Suggest. When someone starts typing a search phrase, Google suggests variants for this phrase, e.g. “buy flowers… ” gets suggestions for “buy flowers online”, “buy flowers near me”, etc. First case: the user selects one of the suggested phrases (“buy flowers online”) and presses Enter. Your ad will appear if you bid for “buy flowers online”. Second case: the user types in “buy flowers” and pauses for a short while. In this case, your add will appear if you bid for “buy flowers”. Third case: the user types the search term differently, e.g. “buy flours”, which gets auto corrected, and your add will appear if you bid for “buy flowers”.
- Google Search Network sites. These may include local search engines, such web.de, or even personal websites. (“Search powered by Google”)
- Parked domains. These are undeveloped Web pages or domain names that are no longer hosting a Web page. Google may classify them as Search Network or a Display Network sites and thus show your ads on these parked domains.
- Error pages (such as 404 error pages). Some of them may also show ads (instead of Display Network sites) if they are recognized as relevant by AdSense for Errors.
- Google Sites – for Display Network. These include YouTube, Blogger, etc. sites. Remember that you can choose contextual targeting (websites on a certain topic), managed placements (certain websites) or filter by audience (e.g. people who have already visited your site).
- In mobile apps. This is available if you had selected this option for your Display campaign. In other words, adverts can appear both in mobile browsers and in apps which are part of the Google Display Network.
It is important to know where your ads may appear, because you may want to evaluate how the ads perform in this case or even exclude some of these placements from your campaign.