Google has removed one of its original audience targeting methods on the Google Display Network in favor of more sophisticated options.
One of the common ways to target audiences in AdWords on the Google Display Network (GDN) is by users’ interest. Google has segmented users into qualified lists based on their online behavior.
But recently, Google announced that one of the original audience targeting methods, "other interests," will be discontinued as of February 17, 2015. Existing campaigns using other interests will continue to run until May 15, 2015.
Google explains that the new targeting methods are more sophisticated and also overlap with other interests.
Advertisers are encouraged to upgrade any "other interest" campaigns to one of the newer, improved audience targeting methods. Performance data on the new targeting will be added to the old performance data.
Marketers can upgrade the old targeting method targeting to a new method, based on the current campaign goals:
- Brand awareness: Affinity audiences have broad reach
- Brand consideration: Custom Affinity Audiences drill down to a specific product area
- Conversions: In-market segments are ready to make a purchase
It’s best to become familiar with the new targeting methods, as there are subtle differences between them.
This is broad-reaching targeting that Google compares to TV advertising. Top-level themes are identified and the goal is to reach mass audiences.
Custom Affinity Audiences
Last October, Google AdWords released a more detailed way to target audiences on the GDN. Advertisers drill down into Affinity audiences. Keywords and URLs can be can also be used as directional themes to further define audiences beyond Affinity audiences.
As the audiences are selected for targeting, AdWords will show insights on the audience such as estimate reach, demographics, and top interests.
In-Market Segments connect with consumers who are ready to buy as indicated by actively researching or comparing products and services across GDN. For in-market, Google will consider clicks on related ads and subsequent conversions, content of the sites, visited and recency/frequency of the visits. In this way, Google tries to accurately categorize users as buyers. In-market audiences are also available for TrueView in-stream and in-display campaigns in AdWords for video.
What type of information does Google look at to create these lists of users?
- Main topics and themes from the page visited
- Third-party information
- Recency and frequency of the visits
- Clicks on related ads
- Recent conversions
- Information that people provide to partner websites about their gender, age, and other demographic or interest information
- Demographics based on the user’s profile when logged in
- Content like consumer reviews
- Content like price comparison sites
Ads using these targeting methods are served to the user based on their behavior, regardless of the site they’re currently visiting.