About key-values

Get started with key-values

Define custom targeting

Key-values let you define custom targeting. They are used in the targeting picker and included in ad tags. When an ad request comes in from one of your webpages or app that has key-values in its ad tags, line items that target those key-values are eligible to serve for that ad request.  

Key-values can be used for a variety of purposes. They can:

  • Identify pages on a website
  • Specific parts of a page
  • Other ad inventory 

They can also be based on information you've gathered about people who visit your website or app in order to target ads based on that information.

Key-values, like other targeting, help your advertisers and buyers reach their intended audience or demographic. They add value to your offerings when negotiating campaigns.

Key-value restrictions

Under the terms of your contract, you must not pass any information to Google that Google could use or recognize as personally identifiable information (PII). IP addresses cannot be used as a key-value input.

For ad requests where ads personalization should be disabled, either because of user preferences and/or because of regulatory requirements, you may not:

  • Target using key-values that represent user identifiers ID or user data
  • Record information against user identifiers for the purposes of personalized ads measurement or targeting

To get started with key-values:

Example of set up

Your advertiser might want to reach people who visit your sports page on your website. The advertiser may additionally be interested in targeting males from the age of 18 to 32.

You can define a key like "page" and values such as "sports", "news", and "travel" to identify parts of your website:

  • Key: page
  • Values: sports, news, travel

Additionally, you may be able to understand who's engaging with your website. This information could be gathered, for instance, based on users who signed into your website with a user account. These user accounts could contain information from their user profile, like age, and you could then capture these users via a key-value such as:

  • Key: age
  • Values: 18-32, 33-42, 43-55, 56-plus 

After tagging your webpages, you can then target line items to show ads to users your advertiser is interested to reach. Learn more about best practices in setting up names and display names.

Learn more about key-values:

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