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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, which you can do by finding people who have similar search behaviour to your existing remarketing list members.


  • Find and target people similar to your site’s visitors
  • Simplify finding audiences to target
  • Get new potential customers

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 behaviour of visitors in your list. Based on this information, the system automatically finds new potential customers whose search behaviour is similar to that of people in your remarketing list.

Say that 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 behaviour, 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. This means that you don't need to update the similar audience list after it has been 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:

  • The number of visitors on the original list
  • How recently these people joined the original list
  • The similarity of these visitors’ search behaviour
  • Any adjustments made to the original list

A similar audiences list is created from a remarketing list with at least 1,000 cookies with enough similarity in search behaviour to create a corresponding similar audience. Learn more about how AdWords collects user information here.

Only website tag and rule-based remarketing lists can be used to generate similar audiences. If these sources don't have enough information, you may have to wait for more interactions and search activities. In these cases, the list may appear as 'Incompatible' in the Shared Library's Audience manager.

Bear in mind

Similar audiences don't use sensitive information, such as search activities based on race, religion, sexual orientation or health. Learn more about our Personalised advertising policy.

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

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