Google Discovery Campaigns: What’s New in 2020

Google’s Discovery Ads have been around since 2019, but they’ve more recently become available internationally. This has led marketing teams to reassess their toolbox—is it worth pivoting toward Discovery Campaigns? Read on to find out.


What is the Google Discover Feed?

When the plug was pulled on Google+, some commentators thought Google had decided not to directly pursue media placement throughout the web. However, since the introduction of the Discover Feed, we can safely say that’s not the case.

Rather than push ads through a separate social media platform without the pull to make it worth it, Google’s Discovery ads are pushed through its already existing platforms that already have a solid user-base. The Discover Feed is one element of this; placing ads on the Google app homepage. Discovery ads are also significantly circulated within YouTube and Gmail.

These ads are highly flexible based on the product being marketed and which platform they are placed on, but they tend to be large, highly-visual pieces.


How do Discovery Campaigns work?

Unlike conventional Google ads, Discovery Campaigns are mobile-first, and they target audiences using custom intent, affinity, interests, etc., rather than keywords.

This approach has traditionally been the domain of social media marketing, while Google has focused much more on serving search intent, rather than targeting audiences based on general interests.

Discovery Campaigns are also highly automated—much more so than other campaigns. A range of options that marketers are already used to customising is now left up to Google. The algorithm works to make the ads as effective as possible behind the scenes.


Are Discovery Campaigns worth it?

The lack of a track-record combined with less control has made many feel a little apprehensive about investing. However, we’ve seen performance for these campaigns really pay off since they’ve been in operation. 

Leonardo Cunha, head of Pure SEO’s Google Ads team, said: “This is a new type of campaign, so competition is still low. Discovery Campaigns are a great way to boost brand awareness and consideration, and at this stage, it’s cheap. We’ve also been seeing great results for lead generation campaigns.”

The general consensus is that these campaigns are worth it, and by getting on board now, a business can get ahead of the competition. 

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Sam Mannell

Sam Mannell has been a writer for the Pure SEO content team since August '18, and is now Lead Editor. He quickly found his place in the company as resident Dungeon Master and coffee expert. Sam holds a BA from University of Auckland, where he double-majored in Linguistics and English.

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