Choose the campaign type that's right for you

  • Learn about the different campaign types and networks
  • Determine which campaign type best suits your business goals
  • Discover features for the different campaign sub-types
  • Find out when you can change campaign types

About campaign types

As you get started with your campaign setup, you'll be asked to pick a campaign type and campaign sub-type. The campaign type (“Search Network only”, “Display Network only” or “Search Network with Display Select”) determines where customers will be able to see your ads. The campaign sub-type (for example, “Standard” or “All features”) determines which settings and options are available, such as the types of ads that you can design. These options let you tailor your campaign to match your business goals and focus on the features most relevant to you.

Campaign types are centered around Google’s advertising networks: the Google Search Network and the Google Display Network. These networks make up all of the places where your ads can appear, including Google sites, websites that show relevant Google ads and other placements like mobile apps. You’ll choose a network setting by selecting a campaign type for your campaign.

You can choose from the following campaign types targeting these networks:

  • “Search Network only”
  • “Display Network only”
  • “Search Network with Display Select” (a combination of both networks)

Note about the "Shopping" campaign type

If you have a Google Merchant Center account and want to use Product Listing Ads to promote your products on the Google Search Network and Google Shopping (in select countries), choose the “Shopping” campaign type. Learn more about Shopping campaigns.

Here’s a comparison of each campaign type to help you choose the right one for you:

  Search Network only Display Network only Search Network with Display Select (Recommended for newer advertisers)
  Search Network only campaign type Display Network only campaign Search Network with Display Select
Where your ads appear

Ads can show next to search results throughout Google’s Search Network, which includes:

  • Google Search
  • Shopping
  • Maps
  • Images
  • Groups
  • Non-Google search sites (like AOL) that partner with Google to show search ads, called search partners. This option is selected by default, but you can deselect it in your campaign settings.

Ads can show throughout Google’s Display Network, made up of more than a million different possible placements, including:

  • Websites that show relevant Google ads
  • Videos
  • Apps
  • Google Mail
  • YouTube
  • Blogger
  • Google Finance

Ads can show with:

  • Search results on the Search Network
  • Relevant placements within the Display Network, including:
    • Websites that show relevant Google ads
    • Videos
    • Apps
    • Google Mail
    • YouTube
    • Blogger
    • Google Finance
How it works

Ads are matched to search results pages based on the terms or phrases that someone searches.

For example, a search on Google for "home plumbing repair" might show an ad that uses that phrase as a keyword.

Your ads are matched to websites and other placements, like mobile apps, when your keywords are related to a site’s content or the interests of a user browsing a site.

You can also choose to target specific sites, pages about specific topics, demographic groups and more.

If you select this option, your budget will be shared across both networks. However, compared to Display Network only campaigns, your ads are shown more selectively on the Display Network. They’ll be shown to customers who are browsing sites related to your keywords and who are most likely to make a purchase.

More about this campaign type.

Available ad formats Text ads Text, image, rich media and video ads Text, image, rich media and video ads
When to choose it
  • You want your ads to appear next to Google search results
  • You only want to reach customers searching for your specific product or service
  • Recommended for more experienced AdWords advertisers
  • You want to reach customers while they’re browsing online
  • You’re interested in building awareness for your brand across a large audience
  • Recommended for newer AdWords advertisers
  • You want to continue advertising on Google Search and also branch out to reach customers as they browse the web
  • You'd like to apply your remaining Search Network budget to advertising on the Display Network
Example

You have a small, but busy, home repair business that earns the most revenue from plumbing repairs.

A "Search Network only" campaign type with “Standard” settings lets you skip all of the advanced settings and just target your text ads towards high potential customers searching for home plumbing services.

You work for a record label and want to increase exposure for a new band or get more ticket sales.

A “Display Network only” campaign lets you reach people visiting music-themed sites, such as blogs about live shows or sites that review new music.

You run a car repair service.

You choose a "Search Network with Display Select" campaign so that your ads can reach people in more places who are seeking out your services, whether they’re looking on Google Search or taking a look at a car service review site.

Choosing a campaign sub-type

Next, you'll choose a more specific campaign sub-type, such as “Standard” or “All features”. Here we explain these sub-types, along with a side-by-side comparison of features.

Tip

Not sure which sub-type to choose?

If you prefer a simpler overview of your campaign and feature options, consider using the “Standard” campaign sub-type. Use “All features” if you want to see everything about your campaign and feature options.

“Search Network only” campaigns

Campaign sub-type (“Standard” or “All features”) Description Available features Unavailable features
Search Network only – Standard Keyword-targeted text ads showing on the Google Search Network.
  • Basic location targeting
  • Basic bidding and budget settings
  • Common ad extensions to include a phone number, URL, location or social link.
  • Language targeting
  • Advanced social and experimental settings
  • Ad scheduling and ad delivery method options
  • Advanced location options
  • Mobile app extensions
  • Advanced keyword matching
  • IP exclusions
  • Dynamic tracking URLs
Search Network only – All features Keyword-targeted text ads showing on the Google Search Network.
  • All the standard settings, plus ad delivery methods, and all ad extensions
  • None

“Display Network only” campaigns

Campaign sub-type Description Available features Unavailable features
Display Network only – All features (Standard not available) Text, image, rich media and video ads showing on the Google Display Network.
  • Basic location targeting
  • Basic bidding and budget settings
  • Common ad extensions to include a phone number, URL, location or social link
  • Language targeting
  • Option to target by operating systems, device models, operators and wireless networks
  • Ad delivery methods, and all ad extensions
  • None

“Search Network with Display Select” campaigns

Campaign sub-type (“Standard” or “All features”) Description Available features Unavailable features
Search Network with Display Select – Standard Keyword-targeted text ads showing on the Google Search Network and Google Display Network
  • Basic location targeting
  • Basic bidding and budget settings
  • Common ad extensions to include a phone number, URL, location or social link.
  • Language targeting
  • The Display Network tab, which includes targeting methods such as managed placements, topics, remarketing, interest categories, demographics and site category options
  • Advanced social and experimental settings
  • Ad scheduling and ad delivery method options
  • Advanced location options
  • Mobile app extensions
  • Advanced keyword matching
  • IP exclusions
  • Dynamic tracking URLs
Search Network with Display Select – All features Keyword-targeted text ads showing on the Google Search Network. Also includes text, image, rich media and video ads showing on the Google Display Network.
  • All the standard settings, plus ad delivery methods, and all ad extensions
  • The Display Network tab, which includes targeting methods such as managed placements, topics, remarketing, interest categories, demographics and site category options.
  • None

Specialised campaign types

Here are some additional campaign sub-types that can provide more ways to help you reach your potential customers:

Campaign sub-type Description Available with campaign types

Product Listing Ads*

*We recommend using the Shopping campaign type for your Product Listing Ads, rather than selecting Product Listing Ads as a campaign sub-type. Shopping campaigns offer a simple and flexible way to organise your Google Merchant Center product inventory within AdWords so that you can easily create customised campaigns.

Ads show in a box on the Google Search Network, separate from text ads, and in Google Shopping (in selected countries). Ads include specific product information from your Google Merchant Center account, such as an image, title and price.

Learn more about Product Listing Ads.

  • Search Network only
Dynamic Search Ads

Ads use the content of your website – not keywords – to target searches. Dynamic Search Ads look like text ads, but headlines are dynamically generated from the search phrase and your website content, and landing pages are dynamically selected from pages on your website.

Learn more about Dynamic Search Ads.

  • Search Network only
Mobile apps

Image and text ads show on the Google Display Network and AdMob network in mobile applications on Android and iOS devices.

Learn more about showing ads in mobile apps.

  • Display Network only
Remarketing

Text, image or video ads show to people who have already visited your website when they browse other sites on the Google Display Network.

Learn more about remarketing campaigns.

  • Display Network only
Engagement

Engagement ads are a suite of interactive, rich media ad formats that show on the Google Display Network.

Examples of engagement ads:

  • Lightbox ads
  • Hover-to-Play ads

Learn more about engagement ads.

  • Display Network only

Changing campaign types

Changing campaign types can affect your campaign's performance and ad serving, or hide and deactivate certain features. We've disabled the option to change between some kinds of campaign types to help you avoid these issues:

Change in campaign type Allowed
“Display Network only” to “Search & Display Networks” Not allowed
“Display Network only” to “Search Network only” Not allowed
“Search Network only” to “Search & Display Networks” Allowed
“Search Network only” to “Display Network only” Not allowed
“Search & Display Networks” to “Search Network only” Allowed
“Search & Display Networks” to “Display Network only” Not allowed

Bear in mind

While you’re able to switch your campaign sub-type from your campaign settings, we don’t recommend doing so as you may inadvertently hide some features and reports that you're currently using.

For campaign types you can change, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your AdWords account at https://adwords.google.com.au.
  2. Click the Campaigns tab.
  3. Under All online campaigns, click the name of the campaign you'd like to edit.
  4. Click the Settings tab.
  5. Click Edit next to "Type", under "General".blank
  6. Choose a campaign type to switch to, then click Save. blank

Tip

Want to use a feature that isn’t available with your campaign’s current type? Consider creating a new campaign with the appropriate type and then importing your existing ad groups into that new campaign with AdWords Editor. Learn more about using AdWords Editor.

Next steps