About key-value targeting

Define custom targeting criteria

Key-value targeting in Google Ad Manager lets you define custom targeting criteria, such as search terms or specific pages. If a line item targets a key-value, the ad server only serves it to ad tags on your website that include that key-value.

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Get started with key-value targeting

  1. Define keys and values in Ad Manager

    You don't need to define a key and values for ad sizes, since size is targeted elsewhere in a line item.

  2. Add key-value targeting to your Ad Manager line items
  3. Add key-values into your Ad Manager ad requests

If your Ad Manager network is linked to Ad Exchange, use Ad Manager key-values in Ad Exchange targeting.

Use key-value targeting with care
Under the terms of your contract, you must not pass any information to Google that Google could use or recognize as personally identifiable information.

Predefined and free-form key-values

Predefine a key and its values or create a free-form key-value. Free-form key-values use a defined key but take dynamic values based on user attributes or behavior. If your requirements exceed 200 possible values per key and you don't want to define them in advance, use free-form targeting.

Predefined key-values

Use predefined key-values when you know the possible range of values. For example, if you're targeting a line item to users age 18-34, create the predefined key age, and enter ranges as values (such as, "18-34" or "35-49"). When you create the line item, select age as the key and "18-34" as the value. The key-value remains hard-coded in the ad tag.

When you target a line item to a predefined key-value, you choose from a list of values in Ad Manager Inventory. When a value is removed from the Inventory section, it no longer appears as a targeting option.

Free-form key-values

Free-form key-values let you pass targeting values dynamically into an ad tag based on information you collect. For example, you can use free-form key-values to target ads based on a user's search terms on your site. With free-form targeting, you can have thousands of possible targeting values without defining each one ahead of time.

Example: Target line items to specific content and ad slots
If you want to target specific pages on your site, create a free-form key named "pageID". Add pageID=123456 to the page's ad tags and then target your line item to that key-value.

You might also use key-values to target ads to specific ad slot positions. If you sell your ad slots above the fold at a premium, create a pre-defined key called "position" with multiple values, such as "top", "right-box", and "bottom". Add the key and value combination to your ad tags (position=top) and target certain line items to that key-value so they don't appear below the fold.

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