Personalized and non-personalized ads

The Privacy & messaging tool in Ad Manager provides a variety of options for enabling personalized and non-personalized ads. This article details the differences between the two types of ads. Learn more about ads personalization settings in Google's publisher ad tags.

Personalized ads

Personalized advertising (formerly known as interest-based advertising) is a powerful tool that improves advertising relevance for users and increases ROI for advertisers. In all our publisher products, we make inferences about a user’s interests based on the sites they visit or the apps they use. This allows advertisers to target their campaigns according to these interests, providing an improved experience for users and advertisers alike. Learn more about our advertiser policies for personalized ads.

Google considers ads to be personalized when they are based on previously collected or historical data to determine or influence ad selection, including activity like previous search queries, visits to sites or apps, location, or demographic information. For example, this could include: demographic targeting, interest category targeting, remarketing, targeting Customer Match lists, and targeting audience lists uploaded in Display & Video 360 or Campaign Manager 360.

Non-personalized ads (NPA)

Non-personalized ads are not based on a user’s past behavior. Instead, they use contextual information, including coarse geo-targeting (such as city-level) based on current location, content on the current site or app, or current query terms. When serving non-personalized ads, Google Ad Manager disallows all data used for personalization, including demographic targeting and user list targeting.

Although non-personalized ads don’t use cookies or mobile ad identifiers for ad targeting, they do still use cookies or mobile ad identifiers for frequency capping and aggregated ad reporting.

You must obtain consent to use cookies or mobile ad identifiers for those purposes where legally required, such as in the UK and certain countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) per the ePrivacy Directive. Learn more about Publisher integration with the IAB TCF v2.2.

When a signed-in Google user has directly provided Google with age information, and is under the age of consent, Google will only serve non-personalized ads to that user, regardless of the publisher's EU user consent settings within Ad Manager Privacy & messaging or whether the publisher passes a non-personalized ads signal in the ad tag.

Note that ads personalization settings can be managed in any region globally, not just in the EEA or the UK. Publishers interested in providing users with enhanced privacy treatments can learn more about ads personalization settings and the Publisher Privacy Treatment API.

Non-personalized ads for programmatic

When Google serves non-personalized ads, the following happens for programmatic transactions:

"Programmatic transactions" are transactions from Open Auctions, Private Auctions, First Look, Preferred Deals, and Programmatic Guaranteed.
  • Ads that serve do not use information based on the user’s past behavior.
  • Google does not record information against user identifiers for the purposes of personalized ads measurement or targeting.
  • No ads serve using personalization (including demographic targeting and remarketing list targeting).
  • Ads served via GDN and Display & Video 360 will only use contextual and placement targeting. These ads may use IP address for very coarse level geo-targeting (city-level) and to prevent invalid activity. These ads also use cookies and/or IDFA and AdIDs for frequency capping and aggregated ad reporting.
  • Third-party buyers are eligible to bid on non-personalized ad traffic; however, these buyers should ensure that they are not personalizing ads when it is disallowed.

Non-personalized ads for non-programmatic

When Google serves non-personalized ads, the following happens for non-programmatic line items:

"Non-programmatic line items" are line items that aren't a part of Programmatic Guaranteed or Programmatic Deals in Ad Manager, Ad Exchange, and AdSense.
  • No ads serve using personalization (including demographic targeting and remarketing list targeting).
  • Google does not record information against user identifiers for the purposes of personalized ads measurement or targeting.
  • In order for a creative to be eligible for NPA requests when "Check reservation creatives for consent" is selected, the creative cannot contain any ad technology providers, either declared or detected.

Common features impacted by non-personalized ads serving:

  • Audience Solutions targeting will not be available for NPA requests.
  • Ad Manager mobile carrier targeting will not be available for NPA requests.
  • Ad Manager bandwidth targeting will not be available for NPA requests.
  • Certain Data Transfer fields, such as UserId, will be unavailable.
  • Deals with non-Display & Video 360 buyers will not be able to transact for NPA requests.
  • Deals with Display & Video 360 buyers may be impacted if they use third-party pixels or audience targeting for NPA requests.

Non-personalized ads changes in reporting

  • For non-personalized ad traffic, certain Ad Manager Data Transfer fields will be blank, including UserId, AudienceSegmentIds, Bandwidth, and MobileCarrier.
  • Accuracy of Ad Manager Reach Reporting may be impacted.

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