Updates to Google audiences

As announced on November 1, 2022, similar audiences will be transitioned to more durable solutions. Starting May 1, 2023, there will be changes that will affect the way similar segments are used in Google Ads. Learn more about these Changes to audience targeting.

In 2021, Google Ads announced plans to chart a course towards a more privacy-first web. To help advertisers adjust to an online ecosystem without third-party cookies, we have been developing solutions to deliver relevant ads at scale while protecting user privacy.

Please check this page for updates as we continue to make progress.

Latest updates

[October 2022] Testing durable audience solutions in Google Ads and Display & Video 360

In preparation for a future without third-party cookies and other identifiers, Google Ads and Display Video 360 initiated a second installment of the interest-based advertising (IBA) alpha experiment with a small subset of advertisers this October. The IBA alpha aims to understand the performance of Google audiences and automated solutions such as optimized targeting without relying on third-party cookies. The initial IBA alpha, launched in October of 2021, was intended to be the first of many iterations as Google Ads and Display Video 360 continue to evolve and incorporate new privacy-preserving technologies.

In this second installment, Google Ads and Display Video 360 evolved the set of privacy-preserving signals used to reflect the latest developments in the market. This includes an update to the simulation of Chrome’s publicly available Topics API. In addition, Google Ads and Display Video 360 incorporated a variety of privacy-preserving signals including geo-based, contextual, and new machine learning insights, as well as simulations of Publisher First-Party Identifiers into our audience solutions.

Google audience solutions will continue to evolve alongside ecosystem-and technological developments. We’ll continue to provide updates on our efforts to protect the performance of in-market and affinity Google audience segments as well as optimized targeting on Google Ads and Display & Video 360, while prioritizing user privacy.

[9 May 2022] Preparing site tags for updates to Google audiences

Google Ads and Display & Video 360 will soon begin a test with Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox APIs as a part of Chrome’s Origin trials. In this initial experiment, we will be testing an addition to the global site tag and Floodlight on a small percentage of traffic to ensure technical readiness.

This will not affect any ads and there will be no impact on campaign performance. No action is required for advertisers at this stage.

If websites prefer to opt-out of testing, they can do so via Chrome permission policy. The use of these APIs are subject to Google’s EU User Consent policy requirements.

[19 November 2021] Early experiments to update Google audiences on Display and Display & Video 360

In October 2021, Google Ads and Display & Video 360 initiated a closed interest-based advertising (IBA) alpha experiment to demonstrate the durability of Google audience segments, specifically in-market and affinity audience segments where third-party cookies are no longer available.

Participants compared campaign performance of existing campaign traffic to a "future state" traffic arm that simulated an interest-based audience targeting landscape without third-party cookies. This future state landscape included a variety of privacy-forward signals including, but not limited to, geo-based, contextual, machine learning updates, and a replication of relevant Privacy Sandbox APIs made publicly available by Chrome. Future iterations will include new technologies as they become available, such as Publisher Provided IDs and any new versions of Sandbox APIs announced publicly by Chrome.

Google audience solutions will iterate and evolve alongside ecosystem changes and technological developments. We’ll continue to provide updates on our efforts to ensure performance of in-market and affinity Google audience segments on Google Ads and Display & Video 360 while prioritizing user privacy.

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