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Google Discovery Ads - A Facebook Ads Alternative

By: David Green

Example of Discovery ad

Example Gmail Ad

Huge Network

In addition to ads shown on the Discovery network, which Google indicates has over 800 million users per month, they’re also displayed in mobile YouTube feeds and in the social/promotions tabs of Gmail, giving advertisers ample opportunity to get in front of their audience.

Example of YouTube ad

Example YouTube Ad

Example of Gmail ad 

Gmail Ad Example

Audience Targeting

Again, similar to Facebook ads, you’re given the ability to target an audience based on their expressed interests and likes.  Google is able to utilize its vast network and a user’s past search history and sites visited, to determine that a user might be in-market or has an affinity for your product/service.  Google also utilizes machine learning to identify where your user is spending the most time and determine the best combination of text and images to show to them based on geography, time of day, and variety of other indicators.  This gives Google a lot of flexibility to use their highly sophisticated algorithms to determine how to best target your audience.

Example of Gmail ads targeted because searches on personal grooming & home services were recently done

Targeted Gmail Ad Example 


While it’s difficult to get accurate numbers of CPC across industries in the U.S. & Canada, a cross-reference of sources we found put CPC in the range of $0.80 - 1.20 for Facebook ads.  For Discovery ads, which advertises via the Google Display Network, the avg. CPC we found is considerably lower ranging from $0.50 - 0.70.  This isn’t only Discovery ads though as it includes Google’s standard display ads and some shopping ads as well, but overall in accounts we’ve managed, this CPC is within the normal range we see.  

Top of Funnel Traffic

The ability to inexpensively find a new, yet captive top of funnel audience to a product/service is one of the major selling features of Discovery ads.  Facebook/Instagram has had a near monopoly on the market for allowing advertisers to infuse visual ads to passive browsers in hopes of luring many new clicks and customers.  Google is now flexing its muscle to do the same. 

If you’re looking for a new way to enter paid ads, Discovery ads is a very viable and maybe even preferred alternative to Facebook ads to consider.


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