How Google's New Campaign Type Expands Your Market Reach

By Jacob Fairclough | @RealSecretJake | Senior Account Analyst at Hanapin Marketing

Earlier this morning, Google announced a new campaign type.  The bad news is it is nothing radically different nor does it take advantage of any special NSA algorithms for super specific targeting. The new campaign is more of a revision on the “search and display” campaign type.

Search Network and Display Select

The new campaign type is titled Search Network with Display Select. After reading that just about everyone asks, “What is so select about it?” Thankfully we have something resembling an answer. Instead of running both search and display full bore, only a selection of the display network is targeted. Thus expanding market reach in a controlled manner, as opposed to launching across the entire display network.

The exact details are not clear but through a combination of signals and metrics the system is able to show ads to users who are more likely to be interested in your products and services, as opposed to the average person visiting sites partnered with the Google Display Network.

All of this sounds great; anyone who has advertised on the display network has probably been disappointed by the initial CTRs. Advertisers new to the display network may also feel overwhelmed with all the new settings and features. Both of these factors lower adoption rates for advertisers who could benefit by expanding outside of search.

With the lack of details is hard to say exactly how this is done but imagine you are advertising for shoes. There are many placements options for pages related to shoes.  Using their algorithms, Google is able to only show your ads on pages related to buying shoes or researching future purchases.

This eliminates the work in excluding placements for users who are interested in something like the history of shoes and thus have a very low probability of being interested in buying shoes. One promising note, Google’s initial testing on the new campaigns resulted in 35% higher CTRs and 35% lower cost per conversions compared to the older Search and Display Networks type.

Who Should Use Search Network with Display Select

The new campaign type has been enabled for all advertisers. That being said it might not be as useful for some as others. Advertisers only using search marketing may want to test the waters with display select. This will allow them to quickly implement a presence in display without the large commitment of fully building out new campaigns.

Advertisers who currently use campaigns with both search and display targeting may see better returns by switching to the new campaign type. As stated earlier the new type functions as an enhanced, ready to go version of Search and Display Networks type. If your campaign is running fine as is and you have put a decent amount of work you might want to stay with what you have.

Best practices usually dictate separating search and display since they can perform very differently. If you fall into this camp, Google appropriately suggests sticking with this strategy, as you will maintain a deeper level of control over targeting and budgets for each network.

How to Get Started

Google is making it very easy to get started with the new campaign targeting. If you are currently targeting both search and display networks with one campaign, you can upgrade from the settings tab of that campaign. On that setting page, a notification will appear allowing you to get started and assist you with the migration process.

If you are adding display targeting to an existing search campaign, you can select the targeting setting and you are done. Keep in mind Google expects your cost may increase by about 15%, so plan accordingly when planning your budget.

If you are creating a new campaign you should see the option to create a campaign with Search Network and Display Select targeting. Eventually, search network and display select will be the default campaign type and replace the older campaign type.


While the Google Blog had a titillating title, the new campaign type won’t be of use for everyone. Despite that it is a great step in accessibility for novice or small advertisers. If it works well, I’d suggest eventually creating a new display campaign for even more control, but for those looking to test the waters, this could be a great first step.