Google unveils major SPN update as it removes opt-out option

by | Feb 27, 2024 | Digital Marketing, Google, Paid social, PPC

Google is making significant changes to give advertisers more control over ad placement within the Search Partner Network. Starting March 4, advertisers using Performance Max will now have access to impression-level placement reporting of Search Partner Network sites. In addition, if advertisers exclude certain ad placements at the account level, those exclusions will now apply to the Search Partner Network, YouTube, and display ads as well.

These changes are in response to an Adalytics report that accused Google of placing search ads on inappropriate non-Google websites through the Search Partner Network, including sites containing pornographic, sanctioned, and pirated content. Google denied these claims, stating that Adalytics has a history of publishing inaccurate reports.

Before the Adalytics report, all Performance Max campaigns were automatically opted into the Search Partner Network and could not be opted out. For other campaigns, being opted into search partners was the default setting, but advertisers had the option to opt out. Following the report, Google temporarily allowed Performance Max users to opt out of search partner inventory until March 1, after which this option will be removed.

By providing advertisers with more insights and control over ad placement within the Search Partner Network, Google aims to address concerns about ads being displayed near inappropriate content, thus safeguarding advertisers’ brand reputation. The Search Partner Network includes websites and apps that collaborate with Google to display search ads, extending beyond traditional search platforms to encompass major Google properties like YouTube and Google Discover, as well as other websites not directly associated with typical search activities.

Google states that campaigns are added to the Search Partner Network because there is a measurable improvement in clicks and conversions when reaching these sites. Adalytics, the platform that brought attention to this issue, is a crowd-sourced advertising performance optimization platform aimed at improving the digital advertising landscape.

Overall, these changes give advertisers more control and insights into their ad placements within the Search Partner Network, allowing them to better manage where their ads are displayed and protecting their brand image.

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