How to use combined segments

As announced on November 1, 2022, similar audiences will be transitioned to more durable solutions. Starting August 1, 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 August 1, 2023 will be opted into optimized 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 August 1, 2023, ad groups and campaigns targeting similar segments will be paused. Make sure to 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 optimization 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.

You can create combined segments to target your ads to a wide range of audience segments based on who might be interested in your products or services. Once you create combined segments, you can use them throughout your ad groups or campaigns, including Display and Search campaigns.

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

Read the instructions below to learn how to create new combined segments, add audience segments, exclude audience segments, or reuse existing combined audience segments.

Create a new combined segment

In the scope of a campaign/ad group:

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Select an existing campaign or create a new one.
  3. Click on Audiences in the page menu.
  4. Click Edit audience segments.
  5. Then select
    • Targeting: To narrow the reach of your campaign to the selected segments, with the option to adjust the bids
    • Observations (recommended): To view reports on additional criteria without further narrowing your targeting to only show ads for the selected criteria.
  6. Select Browse.
  7. Click on Your combined audience segments, then plus New combined segment. A new window will appear.
  8. Under “Audience name”, enter a name for your new combined segment.
  9. Under “Include people who match the following conditions”, add the audiences that you want to target your ads to. You may enter a term or phrase, or browse based on: Who they're, what their interests and habits are, what they're researching or planning, or how they’ve interacted with your business.
  10. To intersect another audience segment into your target audience, click Narrow your segment(AND).
  11. In the section that appears, similar to Step 10 above, add audiences from another segment that you want to include in your targeting.
  12. If you want to exclude few audience segments from your combined segment, click Exclude segments (NOT) and then, enter the audience segments that you want to exclude from your targeting.
    Note: At least one audience segment must be included before an exclusion is allowed. The exclusions only affect the combined segment and does not impact other audience segments targeted in the campaign or ad group
  13. Click Create.

To protect our user’s privacy, Google Ads will not serve a combined segment with <= 1,000 members. Google will automatically pause the Campaigns or Ad groups that are being targeted to a combined segment with fewer members.

Use an existing combined segment

Once you create a combined segment, you can reuse it for your other campaigns or ad groups. You can access, edit, or remove your existing combined segments from the targeting picker using the pencil icon Edit setting, pencil icon next to that audience segment.

If you edit an existing audience segment from the picker for a particular campaign, this will affect all campaigns or ad groups using it.

Reach estimates

Reach estimates will show you an estimated number of impressions of your audience for the combined audience segment being created. These estimates are in context of the audience segment creation and don’t consider campaign specific settings. You may select a specific country, language, or channel to get more specific estimates. The reach estimates indicate the effect on reach for each component audience segment of the combined segment.

Note: Intersecting 2 or more audience criteria with a logical AND can substantially limit your audience reach.

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