Say Goodbye to Similar Audiences for Google Ads

It is true. Google Ads no longer supports Similar Audiences (aka Similar Segments) in 2023. But there’s still hope. Google’s algorithm, plus some other key features will compensate for us…

The Power of the Google Ads Similar Audience Capability

Released back when digital privacy wasn’t a concept most people cared about, Similar Audiences looked at the data from your existing remarketing audiences and found new individuals with shared interests. That sounds harmless, but to develop these profiles minute tracking is involved, hence the concern for digital privacy. Most advertisers who used this feature increased impressions, clicks, conversions and sales. It was a relatively easy way to create new audiences. And it’s going away.

A Long Goodbye to Similar Audiences

To make the medicine go down easier, Google has adopted a phased approach to removing the Similar Audience capability. Starting May 1st, 2023 Google will no longer generate similar audiences, however, if you are already using them in existing campaigns, you will be allowed to continue until August 1st, 2023. Then, it stops. Not to worry, Google recognized early on that the power of Google Ads is its ability to target. And if advertisers can’t target, they will move on to other channels. Google isn’t the only game in town. And so they developed more privacy-friendly methods to replace Similar Audience.

Google Ads Saves the Day with Optimized Targeting, Audience Expansion and Smart Bidding

Google developed different solutions depending on the type of campaign. All these solutions leverage your first-party data to reach your audience and improve campaign performance.

Optimized Targeting is available for Display, Discovery and Video Action campaigns. Optimized Targeting looks beyond manually selected audience segments and looks at your keywords on your landing pages and ad assets and finds new audiences based on this information. If you haven’t done so already, we suggest you turn this option on in your campaign settings.

Audience Expansion is available for Awareness and Reach video or Consideration video campaigns. Audience Expansion finds more users who look like your selected audience by expanding to audience segments that look like your manually-selected audience segments.

Smart Bidding is for Search and Shopping Campaigns. Smart Bidding uses machine learning to optimize based on all your data from all your campaigns, so even new campaigns can leverage your other campaign data. Advertisers are responsible to comply with all of Google Ad policies and legal requirements.

What Will Be the Impact?

This is the way the world is evolving and regardless of the impact, all digital advertising channels are being forced to respond to these privacy concerns, no matter where you advertise. However, Google Advertising raked in about $54.5 billion dollars in Q3 of 2022, so we think Google will do everything it can not to jeopardize its main source of revenue. It also has enough money lying around to continue to improve and create new ways to overcome the new challenge of people’s privacy concerns, so we’re not worried. At the end of the day, we think the impact of this change will be minimal.

Delegate the digital marketing details to us. That’s why we’re here. Contact us today.