PMG Digital Made for Humans

The Lowdown on Search Partners: Opting out of Poor Performers

3 MINUTE READ | October 11, 2017

The Lowdown on Search Partners: Opting out of Poor Performers

Author's headshot

Emily Denney

Emily Denney has written this article. More details coming soon.

What if 5% of your yearly spend was being wasted on low-quality Search Partner traffic, spending more than enough to drive several conversions without a single purchase? That’d be awful, right? Now, what if you could do something about it?

First (for those less familiar with Search Partners), a bit of background information:

Google defines Search Partners as sites “that partner with Google to show ads… [on] hundreds of non-Google websites… [such as] search results pages, site directory pages, or other pages related to a person’s search.” According to Bing, “Search Partners are all of the search websites outside of Bing and Yahoo! Search… [including] big publisher sites or smaller vertical sites… [most of which] are focused around specific verticals.”

In short: Search Partners extend an advertiser’s reach, widening the potential customer pool and deepening ad coverage.

In theory, the concept is great: Search Partners allow a brand to get its name in front of potential customers who might otherwise be unreached. That’s all well and good, but most of us probably want to see some kind of ROI in addition to exposure. So…

In Google, Search Partners are either enabled or disabled at the campaign level. New campaigns are opted into Search Partners by default, but the settings are easily changed.

In the UI:

Or in the desktop editor:

Bing, on the other hand, has more specific customization options, as advertisers can opt out of specific Search Partners. Let me say that again: In Bing, advertisers can see performance metrics for EACH. INDIVIDUAL. URL. via the website URL (publisher) report and choose to not direct traffic to specific Search Partners.

On a case-by-case basis, URLs that drive a lot of impressions with few clicks may be relatively harmless. But what about sites that do drive clicks? If conversions follow, the former likely applies here as well. There’s a chance, though, that those clicks will bring nothing more than additional cost. And that’s a case for which opting out of individual URLs is the answer.

In the UI, exclusions are applied in the campaign settings tab:

In the desktop editor, they’re applied under the advanced options menu:

Stay in touch

Bringing news to you

Subscribe to our newsletter

By clicking and subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

Search Partners don’t always perform as desired. Whereas Google’s customization options are limited to the ‘all in or all out’ button at the campaign level, Bing allows advertisers to apply specific URLs as negatives. Or in their own words, “The beauty is that you can actually see where your search ads are showing and if those sites are driving you business or not. The control is in your hands, or mouse and keyboard as it may be.”

Related Content

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingData & TechnologyB2B MarketingPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

Google Performance Max Campaigns Now Available to All Advertisers

4 MINUTES READ | November 2, 2021

thumbnail image

Consumer TrendsSocial MediaSEO & Paid SearchPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

Third Quarter Big Tech Earnings Shed Light on Privacy Impact

5 MINUTES READ | October 28, 2021

thumbnail image

Campaigns & Client WorkSocial MediaProgrammatic AdvertisingCreative DesignStreaming & VideoStrategyDigital MarketingCompany News

PMG Partners with Old Navy to Create a Fully Inclusive Shopping Experience with BODEQUALITY

4 MINUTES READ | August 20, 2021

thumbnail image

Consumer TrendsSEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingData & TechnologyPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

Google Doubles Down on Automation, Consumer Privacy at Google Marketing Live

5 MINUTES READ | June 4, 2021

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingData & TechnologyB2B MarketingPlatforms & Media

Google Simplifies Smart Bid Strategies

2 MINUTES READ | April 23, 2021

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingData & TechnologyB2B MarketingPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

Google Paves the Road Ahead for Responsive Search Ads

3 MINUTES READ | February 18, 2021

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchAI & MarketingB2B MarketingPlatforms & Media

Google Phases Out Broad Match Modifiers

4 MINUTES READ | February 4, 2021

thumbnail image

Consumer Trends

The Road to Recovery for the Travel Industry

5 MINUTES READ | November 19, 2020

thumbnail image

Company NewsDigital Marketing

Price Glomski Talks to Hospitality Technology

1 MINUTE READ | October 28, 2020

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchPlatforms & MediaDigital Marketing

The United States of America v. Google & What Comes Next

5 MINUTES READ | October 22, 2020

thumbnail image

Social MediaSEO & Paid SearchStreaming & VideoData & TechnologyPlatforms & Media

A Closer Look at the Congressional Big Tech Market Power Report

6 MINUTES READ | October 19, 2020

thumbnail image

SEO & Paid SearchData & TechnologyPlatforms & Media

Auction Time versus Intraday tROAS Bidding Strategies

4 MINUTES READ | October 5, 2020