Google Search Ads Are Now in YouTube Search Results

Emily Lutz
March 6, 2019

Beginning in mid-November 2018, YouTube started showing some Google Search text ads in their search results for campaigns that were opted into showing on Search Partners. At SMX West, Google announced this change officially. In other words, YouTube is now incorporated into the Search Partners ad network for Google Search ads. Get answers to the most common questions about YouTube search ads!

Where will I see ads in YouTube search?

Google text ads will show up on searches on YouTube when users search for keywords that you are bidding on in your campaigns. They are eligible to show up for any campaigns where the Search Partners network is enabled. The ads are marked with an “Ad” identifier to set them apart from organic search results.

What do YouTube Search Ads look like?

When a user searches for a video on YouTube, these ads show up above video results. Here are some examples from Google:


Screenshot showing Search text ads showing up on mobile YouTube searches above video results.

How do these ads perform?

For many of our clients, text ads on YouTube performed comparably to other Google Search ads in the Search Partner network in cost per conversion and conversion rate.

Why are YouTube Search Ads important?

YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, with more than 3 billion searches a month, more than Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and AOL combined. YouTube has 1 billion unique monthly visitors and mobile makes up 25% of YouTube’s global watch time.

The YouTube platform can considerably widen the audience for your search campaigns and keywords.  If these ads do perform comparably to Google Search in your industry, this could represent a big opportunity for your business to reach a larger audience.

Obviously, people search for some products and services more widely on YouTube than others. Therefore, these ads may be more useful to some industries than others. You can research keywords on YouTube and their monthly volume using this free tool from Ahrefs.

What about video campaigns on YouTube?

YouTube video campaigns on the Google Ads platform will continue to be an important part of any advertising plan. These campaigns specifically target people on YouTube with video content, which is often more engaging than text, and will show to people while they are watching their favorite videos. The text ads in the search results will not take away from the importance of video ad campaigns. Read our Guide to YouTube Advertising for more tips on how to specifically target your audience on YouTube with video ads.

How do I opt in to search ads on YouTube?

Closely monitor any campaigns that have Search Partners enabled for performance and impression volume. You are not required to opt-in or opt-out of YouTube placements of Search ads. There is also no option to bid up or bid down directly on YouTube Search ads.

Google does recommend taking advantage of automated bidding options that will factor in the performance and audience details across different placements when optimizing bids for campaigns.

For more insights about what’s happening in the advertising world, take a look at our blog!

Interested in getting more help with your Paid Search, YouTube Ads, & Social Advertising? Contact us, we’d love to work with you!

Emily Lutz
Director of Strategy

Emily Lutz is from Kalispell, Montana and has been camping more times than she can count. She geeks out over musicals and the TV show Firefly (yes, she’s on some chat sites). Before joining Perfect Search, Emily was a zookeeper for ten years.

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