Building more durable and effective audience strategies in Google’s ads platforms

November 1, 2022

The ongoing uncertainty we see today challenges us as an advertising industry to reevaluate established formulas for success and find more immediate ways to drive business growth. Moreover, as common online marketing approaches evolve and new privacy-preserving alternatives develop, growing your business requires new, more durable strategies. 

That’s why, starting in 2023, we’ll gradually transition similar audiences to more powerful and durable automated solutions, to help you connect with relevant audiences and unlock growth—while meeting people’s expectations for privacy. 

To make this update as simple as possible, you can continue using similar audiences for the next six months while exploring the benefits of automated solutions. After that, similar audiences will gradually transition as follows:

  • Starting May 2023, new similar audiences segments will stop being generated, and existing similar audiences segments will no longer be added to campaigns and ad groups on Google Ads and Display & Video 360. Ad groups and campaigns that already have similar audiences segments attached will continue to function as expected.
  • Starting August 2023, similar audiences segments will be removed from all ad groups and campaigns. You will continue to have access to historical reporting data for similar audiences segments from past campaigns.

Gif showing the timeline for the similar audiences upgrade

Here is how automation can help you connect with relevant audiences, measure results and unlock growth based on the types of campaigns you might be using today:

  • For Discovery, Display and Video action campaigns on Google Ads and Display & Video 360, optimized targeting can help you find new and relevant audiences that are likely to convert without relying on third-party cookies. In fact, advertisers who use optimized targeting on Display & Video 360 can see, on average, a 55% improvement when using first-party audiences.1 
  • For Video reach or consideration campaigns, audience expansion makes it easier to reach more people that matter to your business. By leveraging machine learning, audience expansion helps you incrementally grow your reach with new relevant audiences. This solution is already available in Google Ads and will be launched for Display & Video 360 in the first half of 2023.
  • For Search and Shopping campaigns, you can reach your most valuable customers using the predictive power of Smart Bidding that automatically leverages signals from your first party data. More than 80% of Google advertisers are already using automated bidding.2 So even as observable data may become less available, you can trust that automation can help you drive strong results.
  • To understand how these automated solutions work towards your marketing objectives, you can use audience insights—a new feature on the insights page that helps you learn more about your customers’ interests and how they engage with your ads—at an aggregated level—so that you can connect with them in more meaningful ways.

An audience strategy anchored in automation will make it easier for you to market at the speed of consumers. And in an ever-evolving privacy environment, it will bring you one step closer to meeting people’s expectations and multiplying your results.

To help set you up for success, we will continue to provide you with guidance along the way. In the meantime, you can read more about this update in this detailed overview.

Posted by Eduardo Indacochea, Sr. Product Management Director, Google Ads Platform Solutions



1. Google Internal Data, Global, 2022
2. Google Internal Data, Global, 2021

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