About targeting types

Learn about targeting types

This article covers details about some more popular targeting types. If you want to learn about how to use the targeting picker, including how to copy and paste values, see Targeting picker.

Targeting restrictions

You may not pass any user-identifiable data (including names, addresses, or user IDs) in targeting. Mask this information using the encoding method of your choice, and ensure traffickers know how to decode values when setting up a line item.

Ad Manager doesn't read your site's cookies and doesn't have connections to your web systems. JavaScript tagging is the only way to pass information to Ad Manager from webpages. You must pass information to Google Ad Manager on every page because the information isn't stored with the user.

Google Ad Manager doesn't share information with other publishers, so there is no built-in pool of demographic data to target.

Key concepts

Some key concepts you might want to familiar yourself with:

Inventory

Inventory defines the structure of your inventory, app, or other digital property. You target specific inventory (ad units and placements) to direct ads to serve to that inventory.

Run-of-network targeting

A "run-of-network" means all inventory in your network is targeted. Ads in a run-of-network campaign can potentially serve anywhere on your website or app. By default, line items (and other items that can target values) are run-of-network. Run-of-network targeting is useful for serving house ads and dynamic allocation line items.

Target more precisely by including and excluding specific inventory.

Include inventory

To include inventory:

  1. Expand Inventory in the targeting picker.

  2. Browse or type to filter items, then click Include next to each ad unit or placement you want to include. The line item can be delivered to the inventory units you select.

You can include inventory even if it hasn't been included as part of a placement.

  1. Click Back in the targeting section.

  2. Click Include next to "Ad units".

Exclude inventory

Whether your line item is targeted to run-of-network or to specific inventory you've included, you can exclude inventory. Excluding inventory is especially useful for targeting a placement but excluding some of its ad units. The line item can't deliver to the inventory units you exclude.

You can exclude inventory even if it hasn't been included as part of a placement.

  1. Expand Inventory in the targeting picker.

  2. Browse or type to filter items, then click the arrow and select Exclude next to the ad unit or placement you want to exclude.

At least one placement or ad unit must be included in targeting.

Custom targeting

Custom targeting allows you to include key-valuesaudience segments, or content metadata if for video line items if Video Solutions is enabled in your network. 

Key-values in particular can be used for purposes not captured by the built-in targeting in Ad Manager. For instance, you define key-values that  identify specific ad inventory on webpages or apps, or they can be used to target ads based in that information you might gather from visitors to your website or app. Key-values, like other targeting, help your advertisers and buyers reach their intended audience or demographic. 

Use commas to add custom targeting values in bulk (e.g., "1,2,3"). You can also use commas to find the exact matches of a value if it doesn't appear in the dropdown. For example, if you're searching for the value "1" but it doesn't appear in the dropdown because of the limit of 200, enter "1,".

Learn more about custom targeting:

Geography

You can target line items to geographical locations such as countries, regions (provinces, prefectures, states, etc.), U.S. Nielsen DMAs (designated market areas), and cities. Either search for a specific place or browse through the list of countries and drill down to the places you want to target.

Example

You can target country=France AND city=Paris to include both the country France and the city Paris.

You can also exclude places. Target country=France AND city!=Paris to target France but exclude Paris.

Device category 

  • Connected TV
    Formerly falling under "desktop inventory", connected TVs can now be targeted as their own value and reported upon separately under the device category dimension. Devices must be associated with a user agent tied to connected TVs to be successfully targeted.
  • Desktop
  • Feature phone
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet

Browser 

The "Browser" targeting type does not apply to WebViews within mobile apps—that is, a browser view imbedded or otherwise integrated inside of a mobile application.

Useful for advertisers who are trying to reach an audience using a specific browser. Here's a list of more popular browsers available:

  • Android
  • Firefox
  • Google Chrome
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer
  • Opera

Other browsers are also included as possible values. Search the targeting selector to find them. Here are some pointers on targeting browsers:

  • To target all versions of a browser: Select browser name followed by "(x.x)". For example, select Google Chrome (x.x) to target all versions of the Google Chrome browser.
  • To target to a range of versions of a browser: Select browser name followed by the version number and ".x". For example, Firefox (40.x) targets all releases of the browser between version 40 and up to, but not including version 41. 
  • To target a browser of an unknown version: Select browser name followed by "Unknown.Unknown". In some cases, there may be browser version that don't fall into any known version. For instance, targeting Safari Unknown.Unknown would target any browser that is deemed Safari but whose version isn't any of the known versions.
  • To target to unknown browsers not listed: select Unknown

Browser language

The "Browser language" targeting type does not apply to WebViews within mobile apps—that is, a browser view imbedded or otherwise integrated inside of a mobile application. For ads targeting mobile apps and their associated WebViews, the language used is based on the language specified by the user in their mobile device settings.

Possible repoting discrepancy

If a browser has more than one language assigned to it, each language generates an impression. In reports, this results in a higher number of impressions attributed to "browser language" than what's shown for total impressions for the line item.

Device capability

Reach users using mobile apps, ad requests resulting from apps built on the MRAID standard, or users on devices that are able to make phone calls—versus devices that aren't able to make phone calls, such as tablets. To reach users on different types of devices, use the device category targeting type instead.

  • Mobile apps

    Targets only ad requests coming from mobile apps, not requests coming from WebViews within mobile apps—that is, a browser view imbedded or otherwise integrated inside of a mobile application.

  • MRAID v1
  • MRAID v2
  • Phone calls

MRAID or “Mobile Rich Media Ad Interface Definitions” is an IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) API standard. The MRAID API supports rich media ads on mobile apps. The standard is built upon HTML5 and JavaScript to help avoid dependencies on specific mobile operating systems.

Device manufacturer

Reach users on devices made by specific brands or companies, such as Acer, Apple, Amazon, BlackBerry, Cricket, DoCoMo, Ericsson, Google, HTC, Xiaomi, and others.

Operating system

Reach users on different gaming, desktop, and mobile operating systems, such as Android, Apple iOS, Linux, Macintosh, Microsoft Windows as well as varieties of xBox and Wii gaming systems.

Bandwidth

Reach uses access the internet via various means of connection, such cable, DSL, Dialup. Can be useful to target campaigns using low-resolution creatives or text ads for users with low bandwidth.

Mobile carrier 

Target to a variety of mobile carriers, such AT&T,  EMOBILE and EMOBILE Japan, LG, or T-mobile. 

User domain

Include or exclude users visiting from an IP address associated with a domains or subdomains you indicate. Add multiple values as a comma-separated list.

User domain targeting works because of standards around how users access the internet. Users access the internet via an Internet Service Provider (ISP). ISPs assign IP addresses (typically dynamically) to devices that access the internet. These IP addresses are, in turn, associated with domain names. As a result of these standards, Ad Manager allows you to target domain names so that you can include or exclude users who access the internet from the domains specified. 

For example, if you target berkeley.edu, users who access the internet with an IP address associated with that domain name can either be included or excluded from targeting.

User domain targeting also allows you to specify top-level domains, such as edu and gov (don't include the dot), or subdomains, such as alumni-friends.berkeley.edu.

Domain names should not include "www" or the protocol (namely, "https://" or "http://"). Top-level domains should not include the dot.

  Use case Invalid entry
Not supported Domain name https://alumni-friends.berkeley.edu
Not supported Domain name www.berkeley.edu
Not supported Top-level domain .edu

Request platform

Target ads to:

  • Auto Ads - Anchor
  • Rewarded
  • Rewarded interstitial

Mobile application

Select mobile applications you've claimed from the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Learn how to claim apps for targeting.

Video

Some video features might not be enabled for your network. Contact your account manager for information.

Out-stream video does not use in-stream targeting options, so out-stream requests are only eligible when those specific targeting options are not included. Examples of targeting which make out-stream requests ineligible include: specific video positions, content targeting, or metadata targeting.

Content targeting

Content owners can target ads to specific video content, allowing them to monetize video content more broadly.

Learn more about video content targeting.

Position targeting

Content owners can target ads to specific video positions (pre-rolls, mid-rolls, post-rolls, or bumpers). If you don't target a line item to specific video positions, the ad server considers that line item eligible to serve in any video positions that your ad rules specify.

Learn more about video position targeting.

Request format targeting

Target video line items to serve to only rewarded ad inventory.

Request platform targeting

Video line items can serve to both traditional video placements (players), and to out-stream placements, including in-article and in-feed video ads, rewarded video ads, and interstitial video ads. While any combination of platforms are targetable, if you don't target a line item to specific platforms, the ad server considers that line item eligible to serve to any platform that your ad rules specify.

Learn more about request platform targeting.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?