Ad group Display Network settings

Each ad group has three Display Network settings: flexible reach, Display Network custom bid type, and targeting optimization. To view or change an ad group's Display Network settings, visit the Ad groups tab.

Flexible reach

This setting specifies how broadly the ad group runs on the Display Network. To view or edit the flexible reach options for one or more ad groups, select Ad groups in the type list, select your ad group(s), then click the Flexible reach tab.

In the Flexible reach panel, you can choose among the following options for each Display Network targeting: Placements, Topics, Audiences, Gender, Age, Parental status, and Household incomes.

For each option, there are two settings:

  • Targeting: Your ads will be targeted based on the method you selected. For example, if you select "Targeting" for placements, your ad will only show if one of the placements you've added is matched.
  • Observation: If you select this setting, your ads can show based on other targeting methods that you've added, but you can set bids to increase your chances of showing.

Learn more about what these settings mean in the Google Ads Help Center.

For each targeting option (Placements, Topics, Audiences, Gender, Age, Parental status, and Household incomes), you can click on the pop-out arrows in the "Flexible reach" panel to edit the targeting option.

Display Network custom bid type

If your ad group contains different types of bids (keywords, placements, topics, audiences, gender, or age), the Display Network custom bid type setting determines which bids to use on the Display Network.

If you don't choose a bid type, or if the bid type doesn't apply to the ad group (for example, if you've chosen "Topics" but the ad group doesn't have any topic bids), the ad group default bids are used.

You can still specify other kinds of bids, even if you specify a bid type. For example, if you've chosen "Topics" for your bid type, you can also specify placement and keyword bids. Those bids aren't used for ad serving, but they can be used if you choose a different custom bid type.

Targeting optimization

On the Ad groups tab, use the Targeting optimization setting to choose Aggressive targeting, Conservative targeting, or disable the Display Campaign Optimizer for ad groups.

Content vs. audience keywords

In the edit panel for Display campaigns, you can choose to enable or disable content keywords. If you enable content keywords, your ads will show to audiences based on the content of the page they’re viewing, whereas audience keywords will show to audiences based on their recent browsing history.  The recommended setting is for audience keywords. Learn more about keywords for Display campaigns

Note
Starting in January 2017, display and video ad groups that don’t have a targeting method will be eligible to show ads on the Google Display Network and YouTube. As a one-time exception, existing ad groups without targeting will be automatically paused starting Jan 18 to ensure they don't run ads you don't intend to show. Going forward, manually pause ad groups that aren’t ready to show ads. Learn how to Pause or resume your ad groups.

All three of the ad group Display Network settings are included in HTML, AES, and AEA export files. Flexible reach, targeting optimization, and Display Network custom bid type settings are included in CSV export and import files.

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