A lot of campaigns I see combine Google search, partner search, and the content network. That’s almost always a bad idea. Here’s why:
1. Different networks require different ads
Ads on the search networks appear on search results pages. Your prospects have actively typed a keyword or phrase into a search engine. They are looking for something, and are doing so intentionally.
By contrast, ads on the content network appear next to web content, like blog posts or newpaper articles. If you want someone to click your ad, you have to interrupt their train of thought, rather than just continue it.
Rarely will the same ad perform optimally in both situations.
2. The content network ads change slower
When you create a new ad or edit an old one, Google assumes that ad is fine and starts showing it within minutes – on its own networks. If the ad doesn’t conform to Google’s editorial policy, it will be disabled later.
On the search partners and content network, however, Google checks the ads before serving them outside of GoogleWorld. That could take up to a week.
So if you mix the content, search partners and Google search networks, the results of split tests will be unclear. You won’t be able to tell when the new or edited ads started showing on which network.