[GA4] Why your audiences may not be populating in Google Ads

If the audiences you're exporting to Google Ads are not populating, try some of the following diagnostic methods to uncover problems.

Verify that you have enabled Google Ads remarketing


Check the audience-source card in Google Ads

In Google Ads > Audience Manager > Audience Sources, check the card for Google Analytics (GA4) and Firebase to make sure that the users you've identified for your audience are triggering events on your site or app. If users who fit the definition of your audience are not triggering events, then they won't be added to the audience in Google Ads.

Check the Audiences report in Analytics

In Analytics, click Audiences on the left, and in the list that appears, click the audience in question to see whether the users who match your audience definition are engaging with your site or app in sufficient numbers. If not, review the audience definition as described in the next section.

Review the audience definition in Analytics

If you've defined your audience too narrowly, you might not be getting the numbers of users you want. For example, if you've defined the audience to include only users whose In-market interest ID = Media & Entertainment/Books, you might revise that to the broader ID Media & Entertainment. Or you could expand the geographic parameters from City ID = City A to City ID = City A or City B.

See whether you've excluded events or user properties from ads personalization

If you've excluded events or user properties from ads personalization, then audiences based on that data won't be exported from Analytics to your ad platforms, including Google Ads.

See whether you've excluded geographic regions from ads personalization

If you've disabled ads personalization for a specific region, then users from that region who would be added to your audience in Analytics will not be added to your remarketing lists in the ad platforms to which you export audiences, including Google Ads.

If you're using Google Marketing Platform ad products on your site, make sure your webpages are setting the remarketing cookie

If your audience is configured to use demographics and interests data, then your webpage needs to set the DoubleClick cookie so Analytics can retrieve that data about users.

To verify that the page is setting the cookie, use your browser's developer tools to make sure the page is making network calls to https://stats.g.doubleclick.net. The following example shows you how to use the Chrome developer tools.

  1. In Chrome, open the webpage (e.g., www.example.com).
  2. Open the Chrome developer tools (click More > More Tools > Developer Tools).
  3. Open the Network tab, and select Preserve log so you can capture the network calls.
  4. Refresh the webpage.
  5. In the Network tab, search for instances of network calls to https://stats.g.doubleclick.net that include /collect with either of the following parameters:
    • t=dc (doubleclick.net for display ads)
    • t=ga-audience (google.com for search ads)

If these calls are present, then your audience should be populating as expected.

Learn more about how Google Marketing Platform advertising products use cookies.

If you create extraordinarily complex audiences (e.g., audiences with unusually complex conditions or large sets of complex conditions), then you run the risk of exceeding your per-property storage limit for audience definitions. If you try to create an audience that would cause you to exceed the storage limit, the audience creation will fail. To avoid this problem, you can remove existing audiences that have extraordinarily complex definitions.

Related resources

Create, edit and archive audiences

[GA4] Troubleshoot importing Google Analytics 4 or Firebase audiences into Google Ads

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