Measuring reach and frequency

Unique reach and frequency metrics now account for co-viewing, which occurs when multiple people watch ads together on connected TV devices.

By analyzing reach and frequency data for Display, Demand Gen, and Video campaigns, you can better understand how many people were shown your ads and how frequently the same people were shown them over a certain time period. Whether you’d like to focus on reinforcing a message or on reaching new people, this information can help you get a clearer picture of how you’re meeting your reach goals.

Unique reach and frequency metrics

Unique reach and frequency metrics measure the total number of people who were shown an ad and the frequency at which they were shown an ad. These metrics go beyond basic cookie measurements to help you understand how many times people were shown your ad across different devices, formats, and networks.

These days, people are often on the go and use multiple devices throughout the day. Our unique reach models measure the total reach of an ad by accounting for cases when people may see the same ad on different devices or when multiple people are co-viewing: watching ads together on connected TV devices.

Unique reach and frequency metrics include:

  • Unique users
  • Avg. impr. freq. per user
  • Avg. impr. freq. per user (7 days)
  • Avg. impr. freq. per user (30 days)
  • Frequency distribution 1+, 2+, 3+, 4+, 5+, 10+
Note: Avg.imp. freq. per user (7 days) and Target frequency distribution 1+, 2+, 3+, 4+, 5+, 10+ are the preferred metrics to measure frequency campaign’s performance.

See reach and frequency data

You can view reach and frequency data by adding the columns for these metrics to your statistics table, and selecting a specific time period in the dropdown menu. These columns, found under "Reach and frequency metrics," are only available when you’re on the Campaigns page and are scoped to only see video campaigns.

Learn how to add or remove columns in your statistics table

How Google calculates reach

How unique reach is calculated

To calculate unique reach, Google Ads uses statistical models that account for user behavior across many browsers and devices. These models are created by observing aggregated user behavior across Google products to determine cross-device usage patterns. Google Ads combines behavior observations with other signals and local inputs (such as census and probability surveys) to deduplicate an audience across sessions, formats, networks, and devices. The result is the number of unique users (not cookies) who saw an ad.

Reach and user privacy

Our methodology aggregates all users and requires that a minimum number of users is reached before any data is reported to advertisers. Personally identifiable information is never used.

In January 2022, we improved our underlying reach and demographic model. Because of this update, you may notice changes in unique reach metrics from this period. Starting April 2022, we updated our unique reach models to account for co-viewing. Unique reach models now provide insights on additional impressions and reach gained from co-viewing, when multiple people watch ads together on connected TV devices. Learn more about how Google accounts for co-viewing in unique reach metrics

Why you may not see reach and frequency metrics

Most reach and frequency metrics can only be reported for a date range of 92 days or less. You may not see reach data in your table if you’ve selected a date range that’s longer than 92 days.

If you’re looking at the frequency distribution of a campaign, you can only see data in your table if the date range is 31 days or less.

Reach and frequency metrics may not immediately show data for some campaigns and reporting segments, depending on a few factors, including the availability of data by country and whether your ad has reached a minimum threshold of impressions and unique users. This is because unique reach models don’t support every country and also need to meet certain impression minimums.

Accounting for reporting delay

Due to the modeling involved in our calculations, it typically takes up to 3 days for reach and frequency metrics to be available in your account. Keep this delay in mind if your date range includes the last few days.

For example, if your date range is set to “Last 7 days,” consider that data from the last 3 days may not be complete. So the numbers shown for the last 7 days may not include the most recent 3 days of the last 7 days.

About reach and location targeting

Unique reach and frequency metrics use statistical models based on observing aggregated user behavior at the country level. Because the models are calculated at the country level, in a small percentage of cases the metrics may appear inconsistent, particularly for campaigns that target small geographical areas, such as a single city or zip code.

In other cases, a large volume of temporary visitors to a particular location may make unique reach appear inflated. We provide our best estimates of unique reach for these cases and we’re continuously working to improve our models to provide more detailed location estimates.

Frequency capping and viewable impressions

For Display campaigns, only impressions that were viewable count towards frequency caps. Other frequency reporting data may look higher than your frequency caps, because it is counting both viewable and unviewable impressions.

In August 2020, unique reach metrics replaced cookie-based metrics as the primary method for reach measurement. Cookie-based reach metrics are no longer available in Google Ads.

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