In this video interview, PPC expert Andrew Goodman explains the difference between Google AdWord's "display network" and their ads on search engine results pages. He explains what's available, how user intent differs, how to reduce bids on these ads, and tips on selcting the right venue for your ads.
Google's "display network" consists of text ads on partner sites all over the Web. The name of the program for siteowners is "Google AdSense," for advertisers it is called the Google AdWords "display network" (formerly known as the "content network").
Ads on the display network have changed. They're no longer limited to text ads, but can include display ads, animation, different sizes, etc. All of the standard IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) ad sizes or ad units are available -- Leaderboard, Skyscraper, Banner Ads, etc.
Google's acquisition of DoubleClick explains some of there considerable interest in display advertising.
There are differences between ads in search results and ads on the display network. For example, the click-through rate on display and non-search text ads is much lower than text ads in search results. The lower CTR is due to the intent of the user -- they're reading content rather than searching for something actively. Ads on the display network must be contextually relevant, however, since they're interrupting the user in some way.
The display network is much larger than search, so these ads can increase the volume of click-throughs to your site. Ad prices on the display network have risen gradually over the years as Google's ability to show ads in relevant context has increased. You might start by bidding half as much as you would on search ads.
Very "niche" or expensive products may not do well on the display network, since the audience for the products is so specific. It's often best to separate your search ads from your display network ads, so you're writing different ads entirely.
Andrew Goodman is the founder and president of Page Zero Media, which manages paid search and display ad campaigns, and does landing page optimization for clients with a monthly ad spend of $5,000 and up. This video interview was recorded on August 16, 2011 at the SES Conference in San Francisco.