Google Display Network

The AdWords Display Network is a group of more than a million websites, videos and applications where your ad can appear. On the Display Network, your text ad can be automatically matched to websites and other placements when the keywords in your ad are related to the sites’ content. You also have the ability to select specific websites or pages about specific topics in the network where you want your ad to appear. More advanced targeting options are also available.

This network will show your text, image, animated and video ads on YouTube and other Google sites, like Gmail and on a collection of sites that partner with Google. With the Display Network, you have the most control over where your ads appear. You can choose targeting settings at the ad group level and tell AdWords exactly where on the network you want your ads to be shown.

Below are two examples of ads on the Display Network. The first is an image ad (see: Image and Animated Ads) and the second is a text ad (see: Creating Text Ads for Display Network):

Display Network image ad example:
Display Image Ad

Display Network text ad example:
Display Text Ad

You have three network settings from which to choose – “Search Network only,” “Display Network only” and “Search & Display Networks – all features.” If you’re creating a new campaign and want to show your text ads on the Display Network alone, simply select “Display Network only” after you’ve clicked the +New campaign button on the Campaigns tab.

Display Network

To change your network for an existing campaign, click the name of the campaign, navigate to the Settings tab and click “Edit” next to “Type” directly under the general campaign settings.

Display Network Settings

After you click “Edit,” you will see a drop-down menu on the left where you can choose your network.

Google Networks

The rules that apply to text ads typically apply to image ads as well. Google AdWords has several policies for both standalone image ads and image ads that are created using the display ad builder. Here are the technical requirements outlined by Google:

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Automatic Placements
Another feature in the Display Network are automatic placements. Automatic placements are locations where your ads can appear, and that is automatically matched to your keywords. Google uses contextual targeting to match your ads to relevant placements based on your keywords and other factors. For example, an ad group focused on Mexico travel packages might show ads on webpages about traveling to Mexico.

Automatic Placements vs. Managed Placements
Automatic placements are the webpages or websites where Google AdWords automatically places your ad based on either retargeting or the content of the page and its relevance to your keywords. Managed placements are webpages or websites you specify where you want your ads to appear.

You will want to have two separate campaigns, one for automatic placements and another for managed placements. After running automatic placements for at least a week (depending on volume), you can review the webpages where Google automatically showed your ads, and either choose to include or exclude them in your managed placements. To navigate to your automatic and managed placements, navigate to the campaign that contains your automatic placement, then click Display Network and then Placements.

In the websites under the automatic placements for our client,, we researched

Automatic Placements

To get more details about this website, like the precise URLs where our ads are appearing, select the site, then click Selected under the See details drop-down above. Here are some of the results:

Automatic Placements 2

When we navigate to the first URL listed, we see that the page is about real estate. Google likely placed one of our ads here because some of the content on this webpage was relevant to some of our keywords. Example: Our keyword is “handicap van rentals Miami”, Google sees “rentals Miami” and figures we want to rent an apartment in Miami. This is a great example of when to exclude a website using manual placements. To do this, simply select the URL, then click Exclude placements (excluded placements are also known as negative placements and negative sites).

Exclude Placements

There are certain situations where you might want to select Exclude for ad group, but these are rare. This URL is completely irrelevant to our entire campaign, so we chose Exclude for campaign. Simply repeat this process for websites and webpages that you want to include or exclude from your managed placements. How often you will want to review your automatic placements depends on your specific account.

Weaknesses of Automatic Placements
Automatic places are valuable for finding relevant websites on which to show your display ads (which can be added to managed placements). However, automatic placements have some weaknesses. One particular weakness can be demonstrated with, a mobility company that sells and rents handicap vans and other vehicle-related mobility products. When we searched for mobility scooters in Fort Lauderdale, ads appeared on unrelated websites, like those selling gas scooters and mopeds not used for mobility.

Automatic Placement Weaknesses
Google Search Network
With the Display Network, you also have the option to use Google Remarketing and YouTube advertising. Need help? Call us today at (954) 606-5359 and we’ll be happy to explain.