About audience expansion


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.

Audience expansion allows you to reach your audience in a simple, goal-based way. With audience expansion, it’s easier to reach more people who 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 optimisation
  • 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' tick box. Click the box 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 optimised targeting?

Audience expansion looks for more people similar to your existing audience segment so you may find an increase in impressions, views, clicks and conversions through your campaigns. Optimised 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 optimised 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 2 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 optimised 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.
  • Optimised targeting: Optimised targeting expands to users who 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, optimised targeting looks for conversions outside of her selected segments.
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