A few weeks ago Google unveiled yet another AdWords change for advertisers to consider. Until November 4, advertisers had the option of running ads on the Search network, the Display network, or both. It’s been the accepted wisdom for quite some time that you should create a wall in your accounts. Search campaigns on one side, Display campaigns on the other, and never the twain shall meet. This makes sense because you’re targeting two different types of users with those networks. One strategy applies to people who are directly searching for information, another applies to those who might passively come across your ad on a site while reading an article or checking the weather.

Enhancing the Display Network

A common problem with display ads is that they offer higher volume than search ads but often generate poor results. They’re more difficult to target and much less precise than search ads can be. Many advertisers simply opt out of the display network because of the effort involved with maintaining display-enabled campaigns.

In a seeming effort to address this problem, Google has offered a new campaign type: “Search Network with Display Select”.

Search Network with Display Select
This option is now available to most customers when creating new campaigns.

Display Select, they say, is more discerning when determining when to show ads in the display network. If their messaging is to be believed, advertisers who upgrade to this new campaign type could see a 35% increase in click-throughs with an equal percentage decrease in costs and a better ROI.

Is It For Me?

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell if Display Select is a good idea for advertisers. It seems telling that there isn’t a separate “Display Select only” option available. After all, who better to test out the new options than savvy advertisers who have already dedicated time to creating customized display network campaigns? For now, Google suggests that those advertisers stick with their current strategy.

Display Select is an option targeted towards advertisers who either only run search ads or buck conventional wisdom by running combined search and display campaigns. If you fit into one of those categories it might be worth setting up some split testing to see if this new display network lives up to the hype. Otherwise, it might be best to wait and see if Google moves Display Select into its own offering.