Audience list targeting

In Display & Video 360, you can use audience list targeting to target the following:

Users are allocated into audience categories for targeting on third-party websites and apps based primarily on their activity on third-party websites and apps. Users are allocated into audience categories for targeting on Google’s own products based primarily on their activity on these products.

Audience lists targeting in Bid Manager

For third-party audience lists, Display & Video 360 shows the CPM that the third party charges. Both first-party audience lists and Display & Video 360 Audiences interests lists are available for free.

For combined audiences, you can add up to 5 combined audiences that you’ve created in the Audiences module to expand your targeting reach. Use combined audiences to ‘AND’ first/third-party audiences with Google audiences. Note that exclusions for combined audiences will only apply to combined audiences. Learn more about combined audiences

You can also use optimized targeting to find relevant people beyond your manually targeted audiences. Learn more about optimized targeting.

Inventory availability data can be delayed for a few days, causing recently created or shared audience lists to temporarily appear to have no users. However, Display & Video 360 is able to deliver ads to the audience lists as soon as they are available in targeting.

Limitations of audience list targeting
  • Any audience lists created in Display & Video 360 will have a maximum lifespan of 540 days.
  • The lifespan of any audience list created in Campaign Manager 360 is controlled within Campaign Manager 360, but can be up to 540 days as well.
  • Audience list recency is not considered in reach estimates shown in the Display & Video 360 interface.
  • Due to differences in cookie and device ID settings, advertisers may see fluctuations in delivery and performance when cookies and device ID are unavailable. By expanding your targeting, you can reach more potential customers (even in environments without cookies or device IDs) who are likely to engage, click, or convert with your ads. Learn more about targeting expansion
Restricted categories and products

You can't use audience list targeting if your line item is advertising products based on:

  • Being a child under the age of 13
  • Divorce or marital status
  • Employment or trade union membership
  • Financial or legal status
  • Healthcare and medicines
  • Political affiliation
  • Race and ethnic information
  • Religious affiliation
  • Sexual behavior or orientation

Limitations of audience summary information

The audience summary pane estimates reach using historical campaign data. It can use historical data with a maximum 30 days flight. 

The following are not supported in the audience summary:

  • Frequency cap
  • Creative sets
  • Budget and pacing
  • Bid strategy
  • Completed flights
  • Similar audience expansion
  • Custom lists

Audience list recency

Note: Audience list recency is not supported on YouTube & partners line items

When you target or exclude a first-party audience list, you can also more granularly configure your audience targeting based on how recently a cookie was added to your audience list. This is sometimes called audience list recency.

As an example, if you have a pixel that corresponds to your advertiser's homepage, and you want to target an ad to people who have visited the advertiser's landing page in the past two days, you should target the "Landing page" list and set the list's recency to "2 Days".

Isolate specific timeframes

As an advanced technique, you can target and exclude the same list, but with different recency timeframes. This would be useful if you're trying to reach people who have expressed an interest in your business after some time has passed, but still within a shorter amount of time than the pixel's maximum timeframe (as set by the pixel's conversion window).

As an example, if you wanted to target people who have visited your landing page between 2 and 7 days ago, you should:

  • Target (or "Include") your "Landing page" list with a recency of "7 Days", and
  • Exclude your "Landing page" list with a recency of "1 Day".

How to target mobile web and mobile app inventory separately

  • Target mobile web inventory with first- and third-party audience lists using mobile web cookies.
  • Target app inventory with first- and third-party audience lists using devices IDs (IDFA and AdID).

Same mobile device targeting

Target both mobile web and mobile app inventory with first- and third-party audience lists using mobile web cookies. Display & Video 360 will extend cookie reach into web browsers (like Google Chrome) and applications (like games or messaging apps) on the same mobile device.

Same device targeting also allows frequency caps to be set across both mobile web and mobile app environments for line items that use the same audience lists.

Same device targeting is only compatible with Ad Manager inventory.

Best practices for targeting web and apps on the same mobile device

  • Create individual line items for each environment. To have the maximum reach possible, create separate line items that target only mobile app and only mobile app interstitial environments and positions and your first- and third-party audience lists.
  • Set a frequency cap at the insertion order level. - If you set up separate Line Items by Environment (for example, 1 for web, 1 for app), you can limit impression waste by frequency capping at the IO level
  • Include third-party lists, if possible. Third-party lists with good mWeb coverage work well with same-device in-app targeting
    Don’t use with lists of allowed domains - Site URLs don’t apply to Apps, and will limit bidding on Apps where you may have matched the user
  • Use mobile-friendly creatives. For display inventory, use 320x50, 300x250 and interstitial sizes. For video, ensure your VAST creatives support mobile formats.
  • Measure cross-environment conversions with the Cross device conversion report. App-to-Web conversion paths are measured within Cross device conversion reporting

Revoked or closed segments

Third-party audience lists may be revoked or closed due to change in permissions, the audience list is closed or deleted, or policy issues. This means that the segment(s) is no longer available for targeting.

If a line item is targeting a revoked or closed segment together with other active segments, the line item will continue serving, only targeting active segments. However, if a line item is only targeting a revoked or closed segment, no new users will be added to the segment and the line item will eventually stop serving.

If an excluded list is revoked or removed, the line item will stop serving. Even if other excluded lists in the targeting are not removed.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How long does it take to reach users who have been recently added to a first-party list (Floodlight activity)?

You can reach users on a first-party list immediately after they've been added to the list.
If I use Campaign Manager 360, how long do I have to wait until I can target a new Floodlight activity?

If you've linked your Floodlight configuration to your advertiser, you can target new audience lists in Display & Video 360 as soon as they've been created as Floodlight activities in Campaign Manager 360. Occasionally, it may take up to an hour for a newly created Floodlight activity to appear in Display & Video 360.

However, note that your line items won't be able to serve to any targeted Floodlight activities if the activity has fewer than 100 unique cookies.

If I use a third-party data management platform (DMP), how long do I have to wait until I can target any new third-party audience lists?

Generally, you can expect to see any new lists from a third-party DMP within 2–3 hours of when they were added to the third-party DMP.

Why is my audience list a different size in a different Google or Display & Video 360 product?

It's normal for the size of an audience list to be different when a list created in one product is shared with another product.

For example, say you've built a remarketing list in Campaign Manager 360 that you want to target in Display & Video 360:

  Campaign Manager 360 Display & Video 360
How size is calculated Total number of cookies added to the list in the list's membership lifespan. (This is usually 30–90 days, but can be up to 540 days.) Number of matching cookies added to the list in the list's membership (up to 540 days).
Size of list Full size Full size

What audiences work with connected TV?

First and third-party audience lists, select affinity and in-market audiences, and Google demographic targeting are compatible with CTV inventory (U.S. with limited global availability). Use Audience list filters against third-party audiences in Marketplace to find inventory packages that fit your targeting needs.


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