How do I differentiate ads from the Display Network and the Google Search Network?


You have probably read on our blog about the display network and the Google Ads search network, but do you know the difference between the two?

How do I differentiate ads from the Display Network and the Google Search Network?
Display Network and the Google Search Network?

They are quite different from each other and end up playing different roles in the process of interacting with your customer, but you may not know the differences just by name. Therefore, we are here to analyze the specific differences between the two and the possible ways they use to reach their audience and benefit their business.

Display Network

If you’ve ever opened a website, you’ve seen an ad for the display network. An example: you are on a website searching for airfare prices, and on the right of the screen you see an ad for a hotel chain. This ad is part of the display network and can be done to redirect potential clients to your website.

The “job” of the display network is to promote your company, product, or service when a potential customer is browsing internet sites, whether reading news on a portal or watching videos on YouTube. Even at these times, you can reach internet users on these pages with the display network.

Image ads can be done more effectively, targeting special people or sites for the ad. These ads also focus on targeting based on public and content. Audience segmentation can be defined at the following levels:

Demographic – target audiences based on age, gender, the location that make the most sense for your product or service.

In the market – this group of users wants to make a purchase related to your business and products.

Affinity – users who are interested in the subjects and products that your company offers, or who research on activities related to your company, fall into this segmentation.

Remarketing – To reach somebody who has visited but left your site, remarketing will display an ad on your site to trigger them to return.

Similar audience – collects information from users similar to those who were targeted on your remarketing lists and shows your ad to them because of their related interests.

You can also segment your audience by content:

Keywords – Based on your user’s searches, your ad will appear if it has the same or similar keywords.

Placement – This allows you to choose which websites or web pages you want your ad to appear on.

Topics – A broader targeting option for placing ads on pages that focus on a topic related to your ad.

Search Network

You can think of Google Search Network ads as a direct response to a user’s search, and these ads are based on the immediate need for a product or service.

When a user is searching specifically on Google, a search ad will appear in their Google results based on their keywords. This ad is a direct answer to the survey the user was performing.

It is essential to know, however, that these are not common search results on Google. Search ads will appear above organic search results and will be identified by a small “Ad” box located next to the page’s URL. They have no images, unlike the display network. What they do have, however, are ad extensions.

Setting up sources for this advertising option allows your interest to appear before the organic search results that a user normally interacts with. The user needs to continue to scroll through the page to give these results, where search ads at the top of the page no longer need scrolling by the user.

Search ads tend to have more immediate results precisely because of their nature: they appear when someone is actively looking for a specific product or service.


We know that it is easy to feel bogged down in the midst of so many strange words and terms in marketing, which is why we are here: to help you differentiate two very important terms for the day to day of a marketer or someone who is interested in this topic and is thinking about using these strategies in your company.

Advertising for your business is essential, especially on Google, even if you are a small business. Therefore, gathering and implementing this information in your company’s ads will give you a perspective on what are the best ways to get in there and adequately reach your company’s potential audience. Our tip is to use both!

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