Build first-party segments based on pixel tags

Collect users into a segment without serving ads
This article is specific to Audience Solutions.
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Build first-party audience segments without serving any ads by adding a 1x1 transparent Audience pixel tag to your site or mobile app. You can use the pixel tag at no extra cost, without being charged for serving an Ad Manager impression. For example, you could use pixel tags to track who goes to your checkout page but not to your purchase confirmation page.

How to use Audience pixels

  • Collect users on a page of your site or app section where you have no ad tags.
  • Collect users from a third-party site or app (for example, a landing page of your advertiser).
  • Collect users who view a particular creative (by embedding the pixel in the creative code).
Do not use Audience pixels to collect users also collected using your own inventory.
We recommend populating a segment either using your own inventory or with a pixel, but not both. If you do need to collect users according to your inventory and an Audience pixel, you can create a third segment that includes the other two segments in the Behavior targeting.

Collecting users on web and mobile apps

You can use the same pixel tag process to build first-party segments for both web and mobile apps. However, there may be a difference in the way cookies and mobile advertising IDs (AdID or IDFA) are added:

  • Cookies will automatically be added to the segments that match the ad unit and key-values specific in the pixel tag.
  • Mobile advertising IDs will automatically be added only if the mobile app developer uses the Conversion Tracking SDK. Learn how to pass mobile ad IDs without the SDK

It's possible to use a publisher provided identifier (PPID) for audience segmentation in place of a cookie or mobile advertising ID. Using a PPID allows you to have a consistent identifier across devices. Learn more

Collect members who have seen a specific ad

You can include a customized Audience pixel tag in a custom or third-party creative code snippet to add users who see that creative to an Audience segment.

<img src="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/activity;dc_iu=/{ad-manager-network-code}/DFPAudiencePixel;ord=1;dc_seg={segment_ID}?" width=1 height=1 border=0/>

Create an Audience pixel segment

To use audience pixel tags, create a first-party segment in Ad Manager. Since each Audience pixel is tracking a specific user activity, you should create a separate segment for each Audience pixel tag so you can report on each activity separately.

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Inventory and then Audience.
  3. Click New audience segment.
  4. Enter a name for the segment.
  5. Select Active as the status of the segment.
  6. (Optional, but recommended) Assign categories to the segment.
  7. Select the Audience pixel segment option.

    Selecting this option generates a new top-level ad unit named "DFPAudiencePixel" (if this ad unit does not already exist) and populates the "Behavior" section with the required inventory and key-value targeting. We recommend you not remove these default targeting values, but you can add additional targeting. The segment ID value is assigned when you save the segment.

    If your network uses Teams, your Team must be associated with the "DFPAudiencePixel" ad unit before the Audience pixel segment can be created targeting this ad unit.
  8. Define the membership criteria.

    To ensure that users are added to the segment after viewing a page or app section, we recommend populating the segment based on a single page view or app activity. To achieve this, the membership criteria values will be automatically populated as shown below. These values can be changed, depending on your needs.

         Page views: 1

         Recency: 1 day (not relevant, since only a single page view is required for membership)

         Membership expiration: 30 days (the default; however, you may choose other values)

  9. Click Save and populate.
  10. Click Get audience pixel tag that appears in the message at the top of your screen. Copy and add the Audience pixel tag to your site or app.

Generate an Audience pixel tag

  1. Sign in to Google Ad Manager.
  2. Click Inventory and then Audience and then Audience segments.
  3. Click the name of the segment into which you want to collect users with your Audience pixel tag.
  4. Click Generate tag.
  5. In the pop-up that appears, click Continue since "Audience pixel tag" is already selected.
  6. Click Continue since no additional options are available for this tag type.
  7. Copy the generated code snippet and work with your developers to implement the Audience pixel tag in your content where you want to collect users. Make sure you include the dc_iu= and dc_seg= parameters in the tag.

Related topics

Add a publisher provided identifier (PPID)

If you have opted to use a publisher provided identifier (PPID) for audience segmentation in place of a Google Marketing Platform cookie or mobile advertising ID, manually append the ppid parameter. It should look like:

<script type='text/javascript'>
var axel = Math.random() + ";
var a = axel * 10000000000000;
document.write('<img 
src="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/activity;dc_iu=/network_ID/DFPAudiencePixel;o rd=' + a + ';dc_seg=segment_ID;ppid=your_ID" width=1 height=1 border=0/>');
</script>
<noscript>
<img 
src="http://pubads.g.doubleclick.net/activity;dc_iu=/network_ID/DFPAudiencePixel;ord=1;dc_seg=segment_ID;ppid=your_ID" width=1 height=1 border=0/>
</noscript>

Forecasting for Audience pixels

As with any ad tag, Audience pixel tags take 28 days to collect enough data to generate a full inventory forecast. There is no cookie or mobile advertising ID pool size requirement to be able to generate a forecast.

To report on forecasting data as soon as a campaign starts, put the Audience pixels on your site or app at least 28 days before the campaign launches and be sure to create an audience segment that targets the ad unit called in the pixel tag.

If you are putting Audience pixels onto a third-party website, it’s expected that forecasting results will initially be incomplete and inaccurate since the segment memberships are being collected on a website that’s outside of your network. However, as the deployment time of the third-party pixel tag and the audience segment approaches 30 days and the amount of available data increases, these features will approach their normal levels of accuracy. Accordingly, a best practice is to deploy any third-party pixel tags and associated audience segments as soon as possible.

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