About audience segments

As announced on 1 November 2022, Similar Audiences will be transitioned to more durable solutions. Starting 1 August 2023, similar segments will be gradually removed from all ad groups and campaigns in Google Ads and should be completed by the end of the month.

  • Display, Discovery and video action campaigns that are still using similar audience segments after 1 August 2023 will be opted into optimised segments.
  • Video campaigns with 'Product and brand consideration' or 'Brand awareness and reach' objectives will be opted in to audience expansion.
  • If you opted out before 1 August 2023, ad groups and campaigns targeting similar segments will be paused. Make sure that you unpause them and add relevant targeting criteria.

Learn more about the changes to audience segments.

To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your audiences and make audience management and optimisation simpler, you’ll find the following improvements in Google Ads:

  • New audience reporting
    Detailed reporting about audience demographics, segments and exclusions is now consolidated in one place. Click the campaigns icon Campaigns Icon and open the 'Audiences, keywords and content' tab, then click Audiences. You can also easily manage your audiences from this report page. Learn more about audience reporting.
  • New terms
    We’re using new terms on your audience report and throughout Google Ads. For example, 'audience types' (these include similar, custom, in-market and affinity) are now referred to as audience segments and 'remarketing' is now referred to as 'your data'. Learn more about the Updates to Audience terms and phrases.

You can add audience segments to ad groups and reach people based on who they are, their interests and habits, what they’re actively researching or how they've interacted with your business. Audience segments can boost your campaign's performance by reaching people browsing websites, using apps or watching videos. Refer to the personalised advertising policy, formerly known as interest-based advertising, to help improve the experience for users and advertisers alike.

As Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policies come into effect, your data segments (especially website, app and automatically created lists) and Customer Match lists may be impacted on iOS 14 traffic (including the use of these lists for exclusions). Campaigns promoting web-based conversion goals – particularly those using Customer Match and your other data segments – may also see performance fluctuations. During this time, we will be expanding modelled conversions to more iOS 14 traffic.

How audience segments work

For Display, Search, Video, Hotel and Standard Shopping campaigns, audiences are made up of segments, or groups of people with specific interests, intents and demographic information, as estimated by Google. When adding an audience to a campaign or ad group, you can select from a wide range of segments. For example, these segments could include fans of sport and travel, people shopping for cars or specific people that have visited your website or app. Google Ads will show ads to people who are likely in the selected categories.

Audiences are determined by people’s activity using Google products and third-party websites, or estimated based on content that certain groups of people are likely to be interested in. Activity and content on third-party websites are primarily used for audience segments on third-party websites, and activity and content on Google products are primarily used for audience segments on those products.

Note: The data used to generate audience segments, for example, page visit history, past Google searches, may be used to improve the bidding and accuracy of your audience campaigns.

Refer to the below for a brief description of the different audience segment types to use for accuracy in your campaigns:

  • Affinity segments: Reach users based on what they're passionate about and their habits and interests.
  • Custom segments: Custom segments help you reach your ideal audience by entering relevant keywords, URLS and apps.
  • Detailed demographics: Reach users based on long-term life facts.
  • Life events: Reach users when they're in the midst of important life milestones.
  • In-market: Reach users based on their recent purchase intent.
  • Your data segments: Reach users that have interacted with your business.
    • Website and app visitors: Reach people who have visited either your website or your apps.
    • Customer Match: Reach your existing customers based on your CRM data.
    • Similar segments: Reach new users with similar interests to your website visitors or existing customers.

The table below summarises which audience segment type is available for each campaign type:

Campaign Type Affinity segments Custom segments Detailed demographics Life events In-market Your data

Display image ad example

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Search text ad example

Yes No Yes No Yes Yes

Video ad example

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Hotel ads example

No No No No No Yes

Shopping ads | Product listing ads

Standard Shopping
Yes No Yes No Yes Yes
Demand Gen Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Note: For Performance Max campaigns, audience signals indicating which users are most likely to convert can be added to the campaign to help speed up Google AI. However, this isn't a guarantee that ads will be served to only users within these audiences. If it’s determined that other segments of users are converting well, ads will be served outside of users specified in the audience signals. Learn more about how to Build an asset group.

Different audience segment options

After you’ve identified the interests, needs, behaviours and goals of your audience, you can define who your audience will be for a particular campaign or ad group. You can select segments that are preconfigured by Google Ads.

Affinity segments

Reach users based on a holistic picture of their lifestyles, interests and habits.

A video can be assigned an 'Affinity audience' label, e.g. 'motorcycle enthusiasts', based on a combination of both contextual and personalised signals or based on only contextual signals. When an advertiser leverages an affinity audience segment where personalised advertising is not permitted, we would only use contextual signals to place their ads on videos. This includes videos designated as made for kids and ensures that we never personalise ads on 'Made for Kids' videos.

Currently, all Google advertisers can access affinity segments in Search, Display, Standard Shopping, and video campaigns, as well as Gmail and Display & Video 360.

Find a curated segment of affinity categories by downloading this CSV.

Health affinity segments

Google Audiences are made up of segments, or groups of people with specific interests, intents and demographic information, as estimated by Google.

Affinity segments: Allows you to reach users based on what they're passionate about and their habits and interests. You can reach people based on a holistic picture of their lifestyles, passions and habits. Those in the affinity segment have demonstrated a qualified passion in the health segment, allowing you to reach the people that matter most with their products or offerings. 

Below is a representation of affinity health segments. Find a fully curated segment of affinity categories by downloading this CSV.

Affinity segment name

Affinity segment name
/Food and Dining/Vegetarians and Vegans
/Food and Dining/Vegetarians and Vegans/Vegans
/Lifestyles and Hobbies/Green Living Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness
/Sports and Fitness/Health and Fitness Buffs
/Sports and Fitness/Health and Fitness Buffs/Weightlifters
/Sports and Fitness/Health and Fitness Buffs/Yoga Lovers
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Baseball Fans
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Basketball Fans
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Boating and Sailing Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Cricket Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Cycling Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Fans of American Football
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Fans of Australian Football
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Fight and Wrestling Fans
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Golf Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Hockey Fans
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Motor Sports Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Olympics Fans
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Racquetball Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Rugby Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Running Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Skiing Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Soccer Fans
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Swimming Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Tennis Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Water Sports Enthusiasts
/Sports and Fitness/Sports Fans/Winter Sports Enthusiasts


Google will never use sensitive information like health, race, religion or sexual orientation to tailor ads to users.

Based on your inputs or selection of Audience segments, Google AI will choose the right audience to best fit the needs of your campaign. 

(Last updated 28 Apr 2023)

Life events

Engage with viewers on YouTube, Gmail and Display around important life milestones, such as graduating from university, moving home or getting married. By understanding when these moments are taking place, you can tailor your advertising to reach the right users with the right messages.

Like other important milestones, life events are infrequent, and as a result, may reach a smaller segment compared to affinities. However, since life events may correspond with many related purchasing decisions, the segment is often larger than the in-market segment, which corresponds with a single purchasing decision. For example, someone who’s about to move will likely buy new furniture, moving services, mortgages and other moving-related items during the months of their move.

In-market segments

Select from this segment to find customers who are in the market, which means that they're researching products and are actively considering buying a service or product like yours.

In-market segments are designed for advertisers focused on getting conversions from likely buyers. These segments reach consumers who are close to completing a purchase.

Find a curated segment of in-market segments by downloading this CSV.

Health in-market segments

Allows you to reach users based on their recent purchase intent. These users are researching health products, browsing pages more frequently and are actively considering buying a service or product like yours.

Below is a representation of in-market health segments. Find a curated segment of in-market segments by downloading this CSV.

In-market segments

Segment name
/Sports and Fitness
/Sports and Fitness/Fitness Products and Services
/Sports and Fitness/Fitness Products and Services/Nutrition Drinks and Shakes

Google will never use sensitive information like health, race, religion or sexual orientation to tailor ads to users.

Based on your inputs or selection of Audience segments, Google AI will choose the right audience to best fit the needs of your campaign. 

(Last updated 28 Apr 2023)

Custom segments

Custom segments let you decide how you want to reach your ideal segment by entering keywords, URLs and apps.

You can set up a custom segment in your Display, Discovery, Gmail, Standard Shopping and Video campaigns by including specific keywords, URLs and apps related to your product or service. Google Ads will then display ads to people who are likely to be interested in these keywords on pages, apps and videos.

By inferring your campaign goals and bidding strategy, the system will interpret all of those signals and will choose a segment that is focused on one of the following:

  • Reach
  • Consideration
  • Performance

For example, rather than reaching the Sports Fans affinity segment, a running shoe company may want to reach Avid Marathon Runners instead. With a custom segment, the shoe company can define this segment by:

  • Entering interests like '5K in Sydney', 'triathlon athlete' or 'long distance runner'
  • Using URLs of websites with content about running, training schedules, marathon nutrition and other marathon themes
  • Entering apps
Custom intent segments: auto-created (Display)

The auto-created custom intent segment allows you to define and reach the ideal segment for your display campaigns. You can use a custom intent segment to show your ad on a specific vertical or landing page.

For now, auto-created segments are available in English, German, Japanese, Spanish, Russian, Portuguese, French and Italian. Check back for updates. New languages will be added over time.

Your data segments (formerly known as remarketing)

You can also reach people who have already engaged with your company’s products and services, including past visitors to a website, mobile app, videos, or customers who have given you their contact information. Learn more about your data segment. Your data segments include:

  • People who’ve visited your website or apps.
  • Customers who have shared information with you. This online and offline data can help you reach and re-engage your customers across Search, Shopping, Gmail, Standard Shopping, YouTube and Display.
  • People who share similar interests with your customers. Google Ads compares new users to the data and customer segments you provide and automatically updates similar segments for relevancy. To avoid overlap, your original segment is automatically excluded from your similar segment. Learn more about similar segments
Detailed demographics

Demographics commonly refer to age, gender and parental status, but detailed demographic segments are broad segments of the population that share common traits. Detailed demographic segments include university students, homeowners or new parents. Find a curated segment of detailed demographics by downloading this CSV.

Note: Currently, custom segments and segments built from your data aren't supported with Target frequency video campaigns.


How bidding for segments works with multiple campaigns

If you have multiple campaigns relevant to the same traffic, the auction will select the one with the highest effective bid.


Suppose Campaign A and Campaign B are relevant to the same model of shoes in a user locality.

Campaign A has a $2 base bid, with a 100% bid multiplier for an audience segment and Campaign B has a $5 base bid with no multiplier. Campaign B will earn the impression, even though it has no segment bid adjustment.


About dynamic prospecting

Use dynamic prospecting to reach and attract new customers with ads for your highest-performing products.

Note: If you want to use Retail Feeds along with your Smart Display Campaigns, please create a Smart Shopping Campaign or contact your Google Account Representative. Learn more about Smart Shopping Campaigns.

How it works

Dynamic prospecting uses Google AI to predict which feed items prospective buyers are looking for. Using historical feed performance and user behaviour data, dynamic prospecting predicts which new users are most likely to perform well for items in your feed. Once the system finds statistically significant relationships between feed items and user intent, it combines that possible intent with demographics-based information such as age and gender to match the user’s intent with a relevant product in your feed. The products in your feed are evaluated and selected based on performance, relevance and other factors to determine which ones are most likely to lead to conversions.

Smart display campaigns are recommended for dynamic prospecting campaigns since they can simply and easily combine dynamic remarketing users with prospecting users for effective full-funnel setup.


Imagine that you're a hotel provider, and a customer wants to take a vacation in Paris. This customer is researching many topics about Paris, such as its cultural attractions, restaurants, hotels and flight options. Since you have enabled dynamic prospecting, every new bit of relevant information in this user’s journey that indicates their travel intent to Paris helps Google's systems know that showing your Parisian hotels to this customer is more likely to lead to a relevant, assistive-style ad that this user may be more likely to convert from.


About Target frequency

Starting in the second half of 2022, you can use Target frequency as an optimisation solution for shaping your reach and driving higher ad viewing on YouTube in your brand awareness campaigns. It’s a simplified way to drive higher ad viewing to achieve your frequency goals.

Target frequency campaigns do positive targeting to show ads based on an advertiser-defined weekly Target frequency to as many users as possible. It assumes that building frequency is your most important goal. It serves first ad impressions to as many users matching your campaign criteria as possible. After users are served the first impression, they automatically become eligible for the remaining frequencies over a period of seven days, even if their audience profile changes or they are served impressions outside the specified topics and/or dynamic lineups. This increases brand awareness among the target audience. Learn more About target frequency.


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