Hey, how are you?
I hope you're performing amazingly on your Internet Marketing Adventures!
Recently, I put out a detailed analysis of how Google Ads was broken and basically burning our advertising dollars.
So using some simple web development and security knowledge, I decided to figure out WHO these Search Partners are.
Table of Contents
- Google Ads Search Partners Call Conversions Part 1
- Google Ads Search Partners List
- Google Ads Display Network List
- Microsoft Ads Syndicated Search Partners List
- Google Ads Search Partners Call Conversions Part 2
The Google Ads Complete Search Partners List BlackBox
Below you can see a small campaign that I am currently running.
The campaign is a ‘Call-Only' Campaign (now called Call Ads)
For a few days, I completely forgot to disable ‘search partners', and saw really poor conversion rates.
After segmenting the campaign into ‘Networks', I noticed the mistake.
Interestingly enough, Search Partners still managed to bring in conversions, although at twice the cost per conversion, although this specific campaign did not break even.
So I decided to find these infamously secret ‘Search Partners'. Some of them are already revealed by Google such as Google Maps, YouTube, and Gmail.
I did a quick search and found this Click-bait Article on a Google Search Partners List. While the article itself is a good primer into what Search partners are, it ultimately didn't provide an ACTUAL list of Google Search Partners or Microsoft Ads Syndicated Search Partners.
But one example they DID provide was ‘The Guardian Newspaper‘. By clicking the Search button, you can see they have “Powered by Google Custom Search“.
Doing a simple right-click + inspect on Google Chrome on the Search box itself revealed the source code:
We then take any of those GSC-whatever, and plug it into a source-code search engine such as Publicwww.com. (Make sure to add “quotes” around the word for phrase-match.
And we get a list of ALL of Googles Search partner sites (at least the ones that don't block crawlers such as Publicwww):
You can purchase a membership on Publicwww.com to download the entire list, or just find another source-code search engine (there are a couple out there).
Using c-sharpcorner.com Google Search Partner as an example, we can see how the search ads are displayed when I typed in “Home Insurance”.
The Google Display Network (GDN) is EXTREMELY hard to convert. I've only had very minimal success running ads on the GDN, and they were always strictly remarketing campaigns.
As I'm sure you already know, GDN ads look like this:
For the Google Display network, we can type in the following piece of code into publicwww:
This results in more than a million Google Display Search Partners:
Luckily, Google allows you to be VERY granular in your targeting on the GDN, but honestly, you are better off just using it strictly for remarketing to those who've already interacted with your ads.
Microsoft Ads is slow to implement features compared to Google Ads such as proper call-only ads and proper call-tracking. Furthermore, their network is absolutely filled with Bot / Fraud traffic clicking on your ads.
But they also have a bunch of fake trash websites using their search engine such as:
- kol.com (the following 3 all look the exact same)
These sites are somehow gaming the Microsoft Ads system, and sending fraudulent generic search query clicks such as “car insurance near me”, to get free money from unsuspecting advertisers.
I've reported this to Microsoft, but they are slow to react, unfortunately. They could probably use some Google reCaptcha to prevent Bot Traffic.
You can look through the Microsoft Ads Syndicated Search Partner Networks by using the following queries in Publicwww.com
- Results by Microsoft
- Powered by Bing
A lot of these fraudulent clicks extend into the Microsoft Ads Syndicated Partners Shopping Campaigns as well.
I didn't realize I was just getting fraudulent clicks until it was too late:
But it's not all bad news.
With respect to Call Ads on search partners, I enabled the “Phone Calls” column to see how many clicks actually converted into calls, and these were the results for the Google Search vs. Google Search Network:
Search Partners had a zero % (PTR) phone-through-rate, YET, when I ran this on another campaign, there were still conversions, so the PTR metric for search partners simply doesn't work at the moment.
There is no way I could optimize or segment the search partners in this campaign to figure out how to increase conversions here. But nonetheless, this was interesting to see.
For years, I've been recommending disabling search partners in my Pay Per Call Training and Video Tutorials. It's not different now.
With no transparency from Google Ads with Search Partners, you are fighting an uphill battle for conversion optimization. As stated, there isn't even a way to segment regular Google vs. Search Partners.
So this territory is only for the already successful, and advanced Internet Marketers.
Microsoft Ads Syndicated Partners are mostly a joke, with only a few good search engines (like Ecosia and Duckduckgo). But in order to get to these networks, you need to pre-build a website exclusion list to exclude the rest of the garbage search partners on the Microsoft network.
And finally, with respect to Pay Per Call, as you can see, it's a hit and miss. There is potential there, but once again, conversion optimization is almost impossible.
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Quote of the Day:
“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence” – Albert Einstein