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Troubleshoot audience segments

This article is specific to DFP Audience.
This feature might not be enabled in your DFP environment.

Why isn’t my segment collecting members?

There aren't any identifiers (cookies, mobile advertising IDs (AdID or IDFA), or PPIDs) in the segment. Follow the steps below to find out why:

  1. Sign in to DoubleClick for Publishers.
  2. Click Inventory and then Audience and then Audience segments.
  3. Select the troublesome segment. Is the segment active?
  4. Check the "Behavior" section. Is the segment associated with at least one ad unit or placement? If the segment is targeting key-values, it must also target an ad unit or placement.
  5. Have the page views/app activities and recency goals been met yet?
  6. Are memberships expiring too quickly? Try setting a looser expiration period.
  7. Is this segment targeted exclusively to mobile applications? If so, see Is your segment targeted to mobile app users? below.

Have changes been applied to my segment?

To view the change history for audience segments, see View the change history. The history will show you what changed, who made the change, and the date and time the change was made. Only changes made in the last 3 weeks will appear in the change history.

Is the segment targeted to mobile app users?

Mobile apps do not use cookies, so you will need to use publisher provided identifiers (PPID) or a device specific identifier for audience ad serving. PPIDs and device specific identifiers can be bulk uploaded to segments the same way cookies can.

If you are you using the Google Mobile Ads SDK for DFP, a mobile application user’s advertising ID (called “AdID” for Android and “IDFA” for iOS) will automatically be passed in ad requests. There is no additional action required from the publisher.

If you are trying to build first-party segments based on mobile device IDs using pixel tags, be sure you are correctly passing the mobile device ID. The mobile device ID can be passed in two ways:

  1. The DFP Conversion Tracking SDK
  2. Manually pass the device ID

How do I know which segment is responsible for a line item?

See Why you're being billed for a particular segment.

A line item that's targeting an audience segment isn't delivering

Please review the following troubleshooting tips.

Confirm that your line item is active

Review the line item status to confirm it's active. If it’s a third party segment, confirm it's been approved by one of your network administrators.

Use delivery diagnostics

Use the delivery diagnostics page feature of the Google Publisher Console, and choose to include the audience segment that the line item targets. This allows you to test delivery of the line item, even if you are not a member of that segment. It also checks for line item eligibility even if the audience segment has fewer than 100 members.

Is your line item expected to serve to mobile apps?

Mobile apps do not use cookies, so you will need to use publisher provided identifiers (PPID) or a device specific identifier for audience ad serving. PPIDs and device specific identifiers can be bulk uploaded to segments the same way cookies can.

When do changes take effect?

Segment population

  • If a segment is populated using ad-serving tags or audience pixels, it gets populated in real-time. The ad request following any updates uses that data.
  • Pre-populating a segment can take up to two hours before changes are reflected in ad serving.
  • A provided segment can take up to 24 hours before it's reflected in targeting.

Segment targeting

If you target a segment that is not currently used in targeting for any running line items, that segment might not serve impressions for up to 5 hours.  Segments that are not targeted by any running line items are temporarily unloaded from our systems for performance reasons.

A segment must have at least 100 members that have been active in the last 30 days before it’s targetable by ad servers. For smaller lists, the threshold to show ads might be as high as 150 users because our systems use statistical modeling to estimate the number of active users associated with a cookie list. The smaller the list, the higher the variance in our estimates; we therefore need to accumulate more data before meeting the desired statistical threshold.

To determine segment size:

  1. Sign in to DoubleClick for Publishers.
  2. Click Inventory and then Audience.
  3. Use filters to find your audience segment in the table, and ensure the Total size column value is at least 100.

Forecasting

An initial forecast is available 7 days after the segments is created, but the most accurate forecasting data takes 28 days to populate.

Audience explorer data is refreshed roughly once per day. Depending on when the segments are pushed to DFP, it could take 12-48 hours before they appear in Audience Explorer.
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