About Exclusions: exclude specific audience segments from your targeting

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 into 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 and 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.

In addition to reaching specific segments with your ads, you can exclude unrelated, and therefore unprofitable, segments. By reaching only the segments that are relevant to your business, you can help reduce your costs and increase the likelihood that your ad will attract clicks and conversions.

This article shows you how to exclude specific segments if they're not a good match for what you're advertising.

As Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policies go 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'll be expanding modelled conversions to more iOS 14 traffic.

How it works

Just as you can improve your keyword segment by excluding specific keywords, you can remove specific types of segments (for example, affinity or your data) from your campaign or ad group if they're not a good match for what you're advertising. You can exclude specific segments from Search, Display, Discovery and Video campaigns.

Note: While you can also exclude segments from App campaigns, you’ll need to create an exclusion segment first. Exclusions for App campaigns can only be done at the campaign-level. Learn more about excluding segments from App campaigns


Note: The instructions below are part of a new Google Ads user experience that will launch for all advertisers in 2024. If you’re still using the previous version of Google Ads, review the Quick reference map or use the search bar in the top navigation panel of Google Ads to find the page that you’re searching for.
  1. In your Google Ads account, click the Campaigns icon Campaigns Icon.
  2. Click the Audiences, keywords and content drop-down in the section menu.
  3. Click Audiences.
  4. In the 'Exclusions' module, you’ll see a list of excluded segments, with type, where the segment is excluded from, and the level of the exclusion.
  5. To remove exclusions, select the tick box Blue tick box. to the right of the excluded segment and then click Remove in the blue menu bar.
  6. To edit exclusions, click Edit Exclusions.
    1. Select Campaign or Ad group in the drop-down menu under 'Exclude from'.
    2. Select the tick box Blue tick box. next to any segments that you want to exclude. Remove any connected segments that you want to exclude by clicking the red x mark beside them.
    3. Click Save audience segment exclusions.

Learn more about Audiences reporting

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