How Google Extends The Reach Of Their Search Ads

If you’ve ever used Google AdWords you may have noticed your ads also run on the “Google Search Network” in addition to Google owned properties. The Google Search Network are niche search engines where AdWords may also show your ads and advertisers are automatically opted-in.


AdWords Search Partners
Google Search Network


In addition to only offering a vague description of what the Search Network contains, Google doesn’t publish a list of their Search Partners where your ads may be seen. This lack of clarity and control of where ads will be shown could leave paid search marketers frustrated, and it casts a heavy doubt on whether or not to include them when setting up a new search campaign.

How Google Recruits Private Search Engines

Websites that contain a search results page are contacted by a Google representative, or can fill out a form and request special ad units from Google. Once accepted, they can place these ads above or below search results on their websites.

Some of the sites in this “network” include high-ranked domains: CNN, Walmart, Mayo Clinic and the Yellow Pages.

However, not all search engine partners are high quality, and our investigation found a number of low quality search engines showing Google search ads. Furthermore, theses sites advertised against search terms Google wouldn’t typically show on their own properties. Search Results with Google Ads


Who are Google’s Search Partners?

Google does not publish a list of the search engines they work with, so to answer this question we used our search engine for source code for answers. One thing we noticed right away was that the Search Partners all used Google’s “ads.js” JavaScript library (““). We were shocked to find that library is used on over 25,000 domains!


Here are the top 100 search partners we uncovered, sorted by popularity.

Alexa RankWebsite

Get the full list of search partners at NerdyData, or Contact Us for even more results from our larger, custom reports.


Advertisers Should be Made Aware


Currently it is not possible to view which search engines your ads display on, and many small businesses advertising on Google most likely do not know their ads are showing on non-Google owned search engines. Also, since these are text ads, you can’t even put a tracking pixel to integrate with other companies for ad viewability or tracking.

As always, advertisers want more control over the performance of their accounts. Whether Google will hand over that control remains to be seen, but we hope this analysis provides advertisers some insights into whether they should be targeting the partner network with their campaigns.


About NerdyData

We help customers find websites using certain technologies, or obscure pieces of code. Our search engine crawls and indexes popular websites frequently so you can search for any code, retroactively.

Is your search term very obscure and you want to analyze our larger enterprise database?  Email us today to learn more