Why Avoid Google Search Partners

by Apr 19, 2022Blog

What are Google Search Partners?

Google Search Partners are websites that have partnered with Google to show ads, which extends the available ad space that Google can use for search ads to include other websites, instead of only the Google search results pages (SERPs).

By default, new campaigns will have Google Search Partners enabled. This will allow Google Search Partners to receive a share of the advertising profits. Ads that show beyond the SERP can stand out from the crowd and gain additional traffic and conversions. But these benefits come with drawbacks, which is why many advertisers disable it.

Main Drawbacks

Before deciding whether to turn Google Search Partners off, let’s look at the main drawbacks:

  • Lack of control. You can’t prevent ads from being placed on sites with controversial content, and there is limited data about where your ads are displayed.
  • Limited control over ad auctions since bid modifiers cannot be used. This means that all keyword bids must be the exact same bids as the main campaign.
  • Budget drain. The Search Partners network includes parked domains that never see real users. This means you could be spending without any results.
  • Lack of transparency. Google does not provide a list of its Search Partners and does not show you where the clicks are coming from.

For instance, let’s look at chicken.com, a Google Search Partner site. The website itself is not very strong, it only features an image of a cooked chicken, and links to click on recipes. Ads for brands such as Hidden Valley and Betty Crocker are being shown on this site, which looks like a fifth-grader coded it. Would you really want your brand to advertise on a site like this? What customers do you really think you would be attracting with this site?

image source: Author’s Screenshot

How to Opt Out?

On the bright side, it is relatively simple to opt-out of showing Ads on Google Search Partners.

If you are just starting a campaign, make sure you deselect the search partner box.

If you already have a campaign that has search partners turned on, then go to your campaign settings and deselect the search partners.

That’s it! Afterward, it is common to see improvements in campaign metrics because your budget will be purely spent on a better-performing platform that you have more control over.

image source: Author’s Screenshot


When you switch off Google Search Partners, you can expect to see an increase in click-through rates, simply because the extra impressions you receive through the Partners have a lower click-through rate.

Focusing your marketing efforts to optimize for Google SERPs will ensure that you are competing for the highest-valued ad placements. Need more guidance on Google Search Partners? Book a discovery call with us today.