Search Ads vs. Display Ads: Which is Better for Maximizing Profit

search vs. display ads

For advertisers, deciding between search ads and display ads can be challenging. While they may seem similar, they differ significantly in campaigns, budgets, and pricing. This article explores which type of advertisement is better for maximizing profit, increasing ROI, and enhancing brand presence.

What are Search Ads?

Search ads are advertisements that appear when users actively search for something online. These ads show up in search engine results, typically at the top or bottom of the Google SERP, featuring a headline, description, and display URL. 

Search ads are popular for their ability to reach potential customers and improve conversion rates. They often include extensions like buttons, product pricing, and features, making them a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website.

What are Display Ads?

Display ads, like Google Ads, reach customers through multiple channels, including websites, Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. They promote brand awareness, recognition, and identity by showcasing ads in various formats:

  • Banner ads on websites
  • Video ads on YouTube and social media
  • Interactive text ads

Display ads captivate customers with compelling visuals, making them more effective than search ads in certain contexts.


Imagine you’re browsing an e-commerce site, and you see a smartphone ad with an attractive image and price. Clicking the ad takes you to the official website to learn more about the product. This example shows how display ads entice customers to engage with the brand and explore its offerings.

Google Ads Search Network vs. Display Network

Google uses two primary networks for ads: the search network and the display network. Understanding their differences can help you choose the best strategy for your marketing goals.

Google Ads Search Network

The search network targets users actively searching online. Search ads appear on Google search results pages and relevant Google sites, driven by keywords to attract traffic. These text ads appear at the SERP’s top, side, or bottom.

Google Ads Display Network

The display network enhances brand awareness by reaching audiences on over 2 million websites, apps, and Google-owned properties. Display ads appear as visuals, such as videos, images, and multimedia formats, targeting users who may not be actively searching but are browsing online.

Key Differences Between Google Search Ads & Google Display Ads

Search Ads: Target customers with high purchase intent and appear in text form on search result pages.

Display Ads: Reach a wider audience with visual formats and appear on various websites and platforms.

Which is Better: Search or Display Ads?

The effectiveness of search or display ads depends on your marketing goals, target audience, and stage in the buying process.

Search Ads Benefits

  • High Intent: Target customers ready to purchase.
  • Relevance: Highly relevant to users’ searches.
  • Performance Tracking: Easy to measure success.
  • Competitive Edge: Stand out in search results.
  • Drawbacks: High cost and limited reach.

Display Ads Benefits

  • Wide Audience: Reach a broad audience.
  • Visually Appealing: Capture attention with visuals.
  • Direct Target Response: Engage users effectively.
  • Drawbacks: Complex measurement of success.

How, can we Help?

For expert digital marketing consultation and to introduce your business to a wide audience, book a consultation with Meta Future. Effective digital marketing is more impactful than traditional physical advertisements.

Final Thoughts

Choosing between Google display ads and search ads depends on your specific needs. Display ads are effective for reaching a wide audience and building brand awareness quickly. In contrast, search ads target customers with high purchase intent, appearing only when users actively search online.

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