About audience expansion


Starting on May 1, 2023, similar audiences (or segments) will be gradually phased out as a targeting feature. Learn more about this latest change to audience targeting

Audience expansion allows you to reach your audience in a simple, goal-based way. With audience expansion, it’s easier to reach more people that matter to your business and achieve your marketing goals with Google Ads.

By enabling audience expansion, we can open up additional inventory by expanding to additional, relevant audiences. Audience expansion is available for Video campaigns that use the "Product and brand consideration" or "Brand awareness and reach" goal.


Audience expansion can:

  • Simplify audience targeting and optimization
  • Work across various networks and audience types
  • Give you the opportunity to expand your reach

How it works

As you select audiences in Google Ads, you’ll see the "Audience expansion" checkbox. Click the checkbox to enable audience expansion for your campaign.

UI screen depicting audience expansion for new Ads campaigns

When your goal is "Product and brand consideration" or "Brand awareness and reach", audience expansion finds more users who look like your selected audience to increase your campaign's reach while maintaining your CPM and CPV bids. Additional reach depends on the available budget and the size of your audience.

Audience expansion respects any content exclusions applied to your campaign, including inventory types, digital content labels, and content types.

What’s the difference between audience expansion and optimized targeting?

Audience expansion looks for additional conversions by expanding to audience segments that look like your manually-selected audience segments. Optimized targeting looks for additional conversions by targeting people most likely to convert (based on real-time campaign conversion data, like what people who convert recently searched for). With optimized targeting, your manually-selected audience segments influence the model by providing an informed starting point.

For example, Jiaying wants to attract people to the upcoming launch of a new running shoe. In the campaign’s targeting, Jiaying uses two audience types: a custom segment based on top performing keywords from her Search campaigns (for example, “running shoe sale”), and the “Athletic Footwear” in-market segment. Here’s how audience expansion and optimized targeting may handle Jiaying’s campaign:

  • Audience expansion: In addition to Jiaying’s manually-selected audience segments, audience expansion includes similar segments like the “trainers sale” custom segment and the “Sporting Goods” in-market segment.
  • Optimized targeting: Optimized targeting expands to users that are likely to convert by creating a profile of what a converter looks like based on real-time conversion data. For example, that data could include Google searches for specific running shoe brands or clicks to a popular sportswear website. While Jiaying’s manually-selected audience segments provide a starting point, optimized targeting looks for conversions outside of her selected segments.
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