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About similar audiences for Search

Remarketing allows you to reach people who have already visited your site and connect with an audience that's already interested in your products or services. You probably also want to find new visitors for your site, and which you can do by finding people who have similar search behavior to your existing remarketing list members.


Similar audiences helps you find people who share characteristics with your site visitors. By adding "Similar audiences" to your campaign or ad group targeting, you can show your ads to people whose search behavior is similar to those of your site visitors. These people are more likely to be potential customers.

Simplified audience targeting

Similar audiences targeting takes the guesswork out of discovering new audiences by automatically finding potential customers who are similar to people are your existing remarketing lists for search ads.

Getting new potential customers

With similar audiences, you can boost the reach of existing remarketing campaigns, and drive to your site new, more qualified users who have an increased likelihood of performing actions that are important to you.

Even if these new visitors don't immediately make a purchase from your site, if you've added the remarketing tag to your site, they'll be added to your remarketing list. This way, you can get more high-quality members on your remarketing list in a way that is intuitive and easy to manage.


People on your original remarketing list are automatically excluded from the corresponding similar audience list. So, if visitors who are in a similar audience list get added to your remarketing list because they match your list definition, they'll be removed from the similar audiences list.

How it works

AdWords looks at the search activity in a short time frame around when visitors are added to your remarketing list to understand aggregate search behavior of visitors in your list. Based on this information, the system automatically finds new potential customers whose search behavior is similar to that of people in your remarketing list.


Say you've created a remarketing list of people who bought running shoes from your sporting goods site. Instead of helping you reach broad groups of people interested in "running," similar audiences will identify that people on this list tended to search for "triathlon training" and "buy lightweight running shoes" before coming to your site and making a purchase. Based on this, similar audiences will then find other people with similar search behavior, such as people who searched for 'buy lightweight running shoes'.

Your similar audiences lists will automatically get updated as the original list evolves and people change their search activity. So, you don't need to update the similar audience list after it gets created.

Qualifying for similar audiences

To find similar audiences, AdWords looks at the millions of people searching on Google. The system will automatically identify which of your remarketing lists qualify for similar audiences based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the following factors:

  • The number of visitors on the original list
  • How recently these people joined the original list
  • The similarity of these visitors’ search behavior
  • As your remarketing list changes, your similar audience will adjust

A similar audiences list is created from a remarketing list with at least 1,000 cookies with enough similarity in search behavior to create a corresponding similar audience.

Similar audiences can't be created based on the behavior of individual users, and AdWords can only define a similar audience for your own remarketing lists.

People who don't want to be included in similar audiences can opt out through their Ads Settings.


Only website tag and rule-based remarketing lists can be used to generate similar audiences. In some cases, there isn't enough information to generate a similar audience list. In these cases, the list may appear as “Unavailable” in the Shared Library.

Keep in mind

Models for similar audiences exclude search activity related to sensitive categories, such as those based on race, religion, sexual orientation or health.

We don't support finding a similar audience for lists based on any of the sensitive categories listed in our policy. All use of similar audiences is subject to our Personalized advertising policy.

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