Google Discovery Ads: Explained with Examples

What if your paid advertising could reach audiences in the moments when they’re ready to discover new products and services? Google Discovery ads may be the answer. 

The new ad type allows you to capture the audience’s attention just before they search, when you have a competitive advantage.

Let’s have a look at what Google Discovery ads are, the benefits of using them, and a few examples to help you visualize what’s possible.

What Are Google Discovery Ads?

Google Discovery ads are visually rich ads that appear on the YouTube app, the Google app, and the Gmail app. They can display as a single image or a carousel of images, helping advertisers get products and services discovered by potential audiences.


This ad type leverages machine learning to better focus on a user’s intent, helping Google serve your ad at the best moment based on user signals.

The Benefits of Google Discovery Ads

When you activate a Discovery campaign, you enable your brand or business to expand its reach to larger audiences and achieve performance goals. According to Google, here are a few of the important benefits you’ll experience with Discovery ads:

  • Reach more of Google with a single ad campaign
  • Drive engagement with richer, more relevant ads
  • Visually rich ads rendered natively across Google properties at scale
  • Automated bidding options to meet your media performance goals

Now that you understand what Google Discovery ads are and what they have to offer, you can see if they align with your paid advertising objectives. Discovery ads are best positioned for these performance goals:

  • Brand awareness – Drive interest from new customers when they’re open to trying new brands
  • Drive conversions – Increase website visits, newsletter signups, or sales
  • Remarketing – Reconnect with customers who already know and trust your brand

Examples of Google Discovery Ads

You’ve got an idea of what these ads do, but what do they look like out in the wild? Let’s explore the visuals across the Gmail, YouTube, and Google app feeds.

Gmail Feed

Within the Gmail feed, Discovery ads can show up in the Social or Promotions tabs.


If you click on the ad, it will open like an email and display the brand’s message or offer:


YouTube Home Feed

In addition to the Gmail feed, your ads can also display on the home page feed of the YouTube app (indicated by the small yellow ad box in the left corner):



Google App Feed

Finally, Discovery ads can also show up in the Google App feed. You’ll identify it as such by the small “Ad” text in the lower corner:


What’s Important to Know About Google Discovery Ads

While this new ad type presents marketers with yet another exciting tool, it also comes with a few differentiating qualities that are important to note:

  • Discovery ads are targeted by audiences, not keywords. Google gives you the opportunity to choose which audiences you want, including remarketing, detailed demographics, in-market audiences, life events, and affinity and custom intent.
  • Google Discovery ads have limited campaign settings. You cannot adjust manual bid strategies, contextual targeting, placement targeting, device targeting, ad rotation, frequency capping, or delivery method.
  • The Discover feed in the Google App is unavailable to consumers in Germany, Australia, and France. So, if you plan to target those countries, your ads will be limited to the YouTube home feed and the Gmail feed.

Get transformed into an industry-ready paid marketing professional with our Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Training Course. Enroll now!

Learn More About Paid Advertising Strategies

Become an industry-ready paid marketing specialist when you sign up for Simplilearn’s Advanced Pay Per Click (PPC) Certification Training. You’ll learn how to manage paid advertising initiatives to optimize your digital strategies and apply your knowledge of what Google Discovery ads are.

Recommended For You

Leave a Reply