About Discovery campaigns

Discovery campaigns are designed to help you reach customers across several popular Google properties, in order to achieve performance goals in Google Ads.

By combining Google's rich audience and customer intent signals, this campaign type helps you deliver highly visual, engaging personalized ad experiences to people who are ready to discover and engage with your brand—all through a single Google Ads campaign.

This article gives you an overview of Discovery campaigns. To get started, go to Create and manage Discovery campaigns.


Reach your ideal customer at scale with a single campaign. You enter the building blocks for your ads—like headlines, images, and logos—and we'll show your ads to highly interested customers using the Cost Per Action (CPA) bid and budget you set.

The Discovery campaign includes the following features: 

  • Exclusive reach across more of Google with a single ad campaign. With the ability to reach more than 1 billion monthly active users1 each on the YouTube Home feed, Gmail, and Discover, you can now reach more potential customers as they browse for everything from the latest fashion trends to new cooking recipe videos on popular Google properties.
  • High-quality conversions with richer audience signals. Thanks to intent signals across Google, you'll now be able to show highly relevant, personalized ads to customers when they're most interested and ready to connect with your brand. 
  • Visually rich native ads delivered at scale. Designed for discovery as consumers browse, our ad formats rely on machine learning to build and showcase your assets seamlessly across devices on our included properties—helping you win customer attention and action with less effort and time.
  • Bidding options to meet your media performance goals. You can also optimize your campaign with automated bidding to meet your media marketing objectives.

When to use

Discovery campaigns may be a good choice for you if:

  • You want to drive performance with your media at scale (through a supported marketing objective).
  • You want to acquire new customers: By sharing your story through highly engaging, personalized ads across popular Google-only properties, Discovery campaigns can help you drive fresh interest from potential customers when they're most open to trying new brands. 
  • You want to re-connect with your most valuable customers: As consumers return over time to find content on the Google properties they enjoy, Discovery campaigns give you more opportunities to drive conversions with the people who know your brand best and are most likely to engage with it again--whether they've previously visited your website or previously made a purchase. 

To be eligible to set up a Discovery campaign, you will need to meet the following requirements:

Campaign settings

Several campaign settings, like bidding and targeting, are automated for Discovery campaigns to save you time and help your campaign deliver optimal performance based on the marketing objective, bid, and budget you choose. In addition, there are some features that are not supported by this campaign type. When using Discovery campaigns, you will not be able to adjust the following settings:

  • Manual bid strategies
  • Delivery method
  • Device targeting
  • Placement targeting (including exclusions)
  • Frequency capping 
  • Ad rotation
  • Contextual targeting
  • Manual ad creation

Learn more

1Source: Google Q4 2015 Earnings Call

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