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Google Ads vs. Amazon Ads

Advertising on Amazon has become more popular within the last couple of months and you may be finding yourself wondering whether you should continue to run ads on Amazon or Google. Let’s get into some of the differences between Google ads vs. Amazon ads and go over which platform will best suit you. 

Google Ads is the most popular platform for running ads on the internet for the past 20 years. Google ads works by running ads based on the keywords that are being searched for. For example, if you were to search for the term “Swimming Gear” a company that has paid to show up for those keywords would pop up in the results. 

This same concept is used by Amazon as well. The only difference between Google ads vs. Amazon ads are: customers using Google tend to use the platform for research purposes, while Amazon is a platform they visit when they are ready to purchase. 

You may be thinking, “If I sell on Amazon, wouldn’t I focus on Amazon?” You could, but you could also be promoting your products to the millions of people who don’t use Amazon to search as well. Below are the type of ads offered by each platform. 

Google Ads

Google Ads offers many different types of ads. Before getting started google will ask you about your campaign goal. Some of the goals include:

  1. Sales

  2. Leads

  3. Website Traffic 

  4. Product & Brand Consideration 

  5. Brand Awareness and Reach

  6. App Promotion

Since this article is focusing on driving traffic to your Amazon products or storefront, it would be best to choose between sales, brand awareness and product consideration. 

After choosing a goal, you need to choose a campaign. 

  1. Search Network Campaign

  2. Display Network Campaign

  3. Shopping Campaign 

  4. Video Campaign 

  5. App Campaign

Google offers 8 different ad formats:


Text ads are words only. These are the most common ads you will  find on google since they will always appear under a search. Some of the main benefits of this type of ad format according to Google include, Maintaining ads quickly and easily. Reach customers when they search on Google. Use Ad extensions to provide additional details and contact information that can make your text ads more relevant to customers.

google ads vs. amazon ads


Responsive ads are ads that show up in different places, in different sizes. These ads automatically adjust their appearance and size. They go back and forth between image ads and text ads. According to google, “In a matter of minutes, create ads that fit just about any ad space available. Plus, responsive ads can show as native ads, which boost your impact by blending into publisher’s websites.”.fusion-gallery-8 .fusion-gallery-image {border:0px solid #f6f6f6;}

google ads vs. amazon ads

google ads vs. amazon ads

These are examples of ‘swim gear’ responsive ads on two different websites. It is essentially the same product, in a different ad format that automatically changed to fit the webpage.


Image ads are ads that include static graphics, interactive graphics or even animated graphics.  According to Google, “Showcase your product or service in a visual way. Reach customers on websites that partner with Google.”

App Promotion Ads

If you have an app you can drive app downloads and engagement with app promotion ads. As you can see on the example, they used the text ‘Get the app’ while also including a phone mockup of what a notification would look like if you downloaded the app.


Video ads are ads that are either standalone on a webpage or inserted in streaming video content. According to Google, “Deliver a rich and engaging experience to customers. Reach customers on websites that partner with Google.”

google ads vs. amazon ads

Product Shopping Ads

Product shopping ads will show you the product, price, store name and any other detail pertaining to the product in the ad. According to Google, “Show an ad featuring your product to people shopping online for that product or related products.”

Showcase Shopping Ads

Showcase shopping ads are similar to product shopping ads, but these ads show more than one product. They show a variation of products. According to Google, “Show a Shopping ad to people who are researching where to buy rather than looking to buy a specific product.You may create Showcase Shopping ads using Google Ads and the Google Ads API (AdWords API). If you want to advertise individual products, check out Product Shopping ads.”

Call Only Ads 

These ads are usually text only ads that are short and simple. They direct customers to give them a call while also directing them to their website. “Drive phone calls to your business with ads that include your phone number. People can click on these ads and then call your business directly. These ads will only appear on devices that can make phone calls, and any field in these ads can be hidden to fit on smaller screens.”

Amazon Ads

Amazon ads are similar, but the biggest difference between Google ads vs. Amazon ads, it will only direct it to your Amazon store or product. You are not allowed to advertise with Amazon and link your ad outside of the Amazon network.

Amazon offers 7 (9 including beta versions) different ad formats:

Sponsored Products 

These ads are ads that will appear in search results and on product pages. If a customer were to search for ‘ring light’, the sponsored product would show up at the top of the search, providing an instant visibility boost.

google ads vs. amazon ads

Sponsored Brands

Sponsored Brands allow you to sell your product as well as your brand. With this ad format, you get to customize your headline in the ads that appear in the search results.

Sponsored Display (Beta) 

Since this ad format is in beta, I wouldn’t really include it but let’s go over it for those who are eligible to use this format. Although we talked about Amazon ads not being able to advertise off of the platform, this one is a little different. It seems like Amazon is actually testing out running ads on other platforms, but to be eligible for this beta you need to have a professional sellers account, enrolled in brand registry, cendors, and agencies with clients who sell products on Amazon. Also, the products must be in or more of the eligible categories in order to advertise, according to Amazon.

An example of sponsored display ads. Photo source here.


You can promote your brand and your products through an Amazon multi-page store. This allows you to create a page solely for your products. Not only do you get to create a page for free, you are also allowed to use your own web address. You can include videos, texts and images.

Display Ads

Display ads on Amazon are ads that will be displayed on as well as other websites. A great thing about this ad is you don’t have to sell a product to use this ad, you can use it to direct the customer to your business page on Amazon. Display ads are sold on a CPM basis.

google ads vs. amazon ads

Photo pulled directly from Amazon’s website.

Video Ads

Video Ads on Amazon are similar to Google’s video ads. Both are showcasing products and directing them to the product. These ads show on Amazon, Amazon sites like IMDb, Fire Stick devices and across the web.

Custom Ads 

Custom Ads give you the option to make any kind of ad you want whether its virtual, a stand alone ad and so much more. Amazon states you can reach your customers online and offline.

Google ads vs. Amazon ads

Amazon DSP

The Amazon DSP is a program offered by Amazon that allows you to advertise on a larger scale. This is a major advantage that will allow you to buy video and display ads using their customer targeting data that is only available through Amazon.

Amazon Attribution (Beta) 

The Amazon Attribution allows you to measure which channels or publishers are most effective and efficient at helping you achieve your media goals on Amazon, it helps optimize your audience strategies, and also helps you discover how efficient your landing pages are.

Now that we went over different ad formats that both platforms use, let’s get into which one you should use.

Based on the information above, you should choose the platform that is based on your goal. People use Google to learn more about a brand, while on Amazon customers are more likely looking to purchase. For example, if one of your goals is to grow brand awareness, it would be best to use Google since you are allowed to link that add back to your own website. If your goal is to gain more sales, Amazon would be the way to go since those looking on Amazon already plan on buying.

Google also offers a better understanding of your analytics as well, while Amazon’s is limited.

If you are still unsure about which platform to use, it doesn’t hurt to try out both. Split testing will help you determine what works the best, no matter what your goal is. For more information about Advertising on Amazon, you can click here to read about a blog post we have about it.

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