What Are Google Partner Sites? A Detailed Look

Neil Andrew | November 15th, 2019

google partner sites cover pic

If you’ve been working with Google AdWords for long enough, then you’ve probably come across the term Google partner sites. This term is often misunderstood by marketers and leaves them scratching their heads.

Are these sites officially related to Google? In which way are they partners? Should I become a partner? How does someone become a Google partner in the first place?

With so many confusing questions out there, we thought we’d help settle some of those once and for all. Today we’re taking an in-depth look at Google partner sites and how they work.

We’ll look at what relation these sites have to Google, how people register in the first place, and how Google uses these partners. By the end of this article you’ll have a solid grasp of Google partner sites and how they fit in with the big picture.

To get things started, let’s begin our journey with understanding the Google display network.

The Google Display Network

electronic device displays

The Google display network is one of Google’s earliest creations that helped transform their AdWords platform into the success it is today. Back in 2003, 3 years after the launch of the Google AdWords, Google launched its new platform known as Google AdSense.

If you’ve used both of the platforms then you should know the main differences between the two. However, if you didn’t, here’s a quick recap. The first major difference is that Google AdWords is for advertisers who want to show their ads to users using the search network.

Unlike Google AdWords, Google AdSense is for publishers who want to earn money from their websites by display adverts for Google.

In order to become part of the AdSense network, websites must apply via Google to see if they meet specific criteria in order to become a partner. If they are successful, then they’ll be able to start displaying ads on their website while being paid a commission.

By introducing this third-party display network, Google has managed to increase its network reach which in turn has attracted lots of advertisers.

What Are Google Partner Sites?

adsense ad

A Google partner site is simply a website that has been successfully approved by Google to run AdSense adverts on their site. Not to be confused with Google partner certificates that certain PPC agencies and advertisers display on their sites, Google partner sites are solely to do with the display network.

These partner sites display adverts on behalf of Google and receive money every time someone clicks on them. How much they earn per click will depend on a number of factors such as the industry, keyword and advert itself. Some clicks can yield a few cents in revenue like others can generate several dollars.

How Do You Become A Google Partner Site?

apply for an adsense account

To become a Google partner site, websites must apply with Google and undergo a manual review to see if they are suitable. Any website can apply to become a Google partner site, but not everyone is accepted.

Unlike Google partner certificates that agencies have, you don’t receive any fancy symbol or icon to put on your website. Becoming a site partner just means you’re simply allowed to display adverts on behalf of Google.

Should You Become A Partner Site?

Now you know what a Google site partner is and how someone becomes one, should you become one? Although we’re not here to decide for you, we do have some important things you should consider if you are planning on signing up.

The first thing is to assess what type of website you are. If you are a professional corporate website that sells products and services, then you probably don’t want to become a partner.

Professional websites for large companies and businesses don’t display 3rd party ads on their website and neither should you. What if one of your competitors started displaying ads on your site, imagine how many customers you would lose!

If you look at the sites that are Google partners, then you’ll notice that they are mostly news websites and blogs. They won’t necessarily be selling any service or product, but instead they’ll be promoting other people’s.

If you own a second website on the side and want a simple way to monetize it, then becoming a Google partner might be for you. However, you should check how much traffic you are getting beforehand to make sure it’s worth your time.

Since you get paid every time a user clicks an ad on your website, it’s obvious that you require a decent amount of traffic to make good money.

Getting a few thousand visitors a month is probably not worth it. If you want it to be worth your while then we’d suggest a minimum of 5,000 unique monthly visitors. The more you get the better chance you have of making a nice income.

Should You Advertise on Google Partner Sites?

If you’re an advertiser, then you’re probably faced with the constant question of if you should use 3rd party advertising. By default, ads on the AdWords network are displayed on the Google search platform.

This means users have to search via Google to see the ads. However, advertisers can choose to use Google partner sites or the display network for their campaigns. This means their ads will be shown on 3rd party websites that will significantly increase the chances of people seeing them.
As good as this might sound, there is a rather big problem with it.

Beware Of Using The Google Display Network

The main problem with the Google display network is that it experiences a much higher fraud rate than the search platform. This means the lower costs and higher click rate might sound good, but in the long run it will only cost you more money. This is primarily down to the fact that people have more of an incentive to fraudulently click ads on the display network compared to the search network.

If an advertiser owns a website and wants to increase their commission, then they’re likely to click their own ads. This makes them earn more money while advertisers lose out. If you want to protect your ads on the display network, then you need the right kind of protection.

Lunio is an all in one click fraud prevention tool that blocks fraudsters before they click on your ads. By utilising our huge database of blacklisted IP addresses, you can be sure your display ads are protected from fraudulent webmasters. To see how much you can save on your AdWords campaign, sign up for our free 14-day trial below.


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