Preparing for Upcoming Google Audience Changes

The media landscape is constantly changing every single day. Several platforms are having to re-evaluate targeting capabilities, due to the phasing out of third-party cookies and the on-going need to increase user privacy. At the end of 2022, Google announced that by Mid 2023 “similar” audience segments will no longer be supported.

So what are “similar” segments?

Similar segments are targeting functions in Google that allows advertisers to expand their campaign reach to new potential customers who have similar characteristics to existing users who have, for example, visited a client’s website/ used their app/ or converted on the client’s landing page. These audiences will no longer be available to be added to any new campaigns beginning May 1, 2023, however current campaigns utilizing these audiences will be to keep the audience active until August 1, 2023.

So what happens after August 1?

Similar segments will be fully removed from all a groups and campaigns indefinitely, while historical campaign data will remain. Display, discovery, and video action campaigns will automatically be opted into optimized targeting, while other campaigns like video with “product & brand consideration,” and “brand awareness & reach” objectives will be opted into audience expansion. If an advertiser decides to opt out of these automatic options, other targeting must be implemented otherwise the campaigns will remain paused. Alternative audience targeting is an option for advertisers, which can include first- party data segments or customer lists.

Written by VP Search & Innovation, Halley Firestone

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