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Google: Last call for similar audiences

Paid Search News

Recently, Google shared that it will be sunsetting its Similar Audiences (also known as “similar segments”) feature for Google Ads.

When is this happening?

In less than six months (starting May 1, 2023), Google will no longer generate similar audiences for targeting and reporting. On August 1, similar segments will be removed from all ad groups and campaigns. Users will still have access to historical reporting for similar segments from past campaigns.

Google’s decision is designed to enhance similar audiences, improve the user experience, and provide better targeting options for advertisers.

Quick Recap: Similar Audiences (or similar segments) is a feature that allows advertisers to target users who are like their existing customer base. It uses machine learning algorithms to analyze the browsing and search behavior of a business’s existing customers and generates a list of users who have similar interests and behaviors. This feature has been popular among advertisers as it allows them to reach a larger audience without having to invest in additional data or research.

Why are we saying ‘goodbye?’

We believe Google has decided to sunset this feature due to several reasons:

  1. It’s become less effective. This feature has become less effective over time as consumers have become savvier at blocking tracking cookies and other forms of online tracking.
  2. There is difficulty in identifying similar audiences. This leads to less effective targeting and higher costs for advertisers.
  3. Google wants to release more advanced & new targeting options. They are upgrading to more powerful, automated solutions like optimized targeting, audience expansion, and Smart Bidding.

By shifting to these new automation solutions, Google believes that it will help advertisers leverage first-party data and optimize marketing objectives more easily.

What does our team think?

Aubree Rose, Director of Paid Search, Chacka Marketing

“Don’t be too worried about this announcement. Google’s push toward a cookie-less world is starting – which means we need to lean into these types of changes.  In fact, “optimized targeting” is comparable to similar audiences. The major difference is we won’t see the breakdown of similar vs. actual audience for remarketing. Because we leverage Google’s Smart Bidding and our client’s customer match lists, we anticipate minimal to no impacts for our clients’ accounts.”

– Aubree Rose, Director of Paid Search, Chacka Marketing

    How our search team is preparing

    The best way to come out on top is to be prepared. Our team is planning for the eventual loss of third-party cookies. We suggest to our advertisers that they adopt smart bidding tactics and combine them with customer match lists. Google has laid out a foundation for the eventual changes ahead:

    We’ve further laid out the exact timeline and changes to expect.

    Google’s decision to sunset Similar Audiences is a strategic move that seeks to improve the overall user experience and provide better targeting options for advertisers. By investing in new technologies and features, Google is enabling advertisers to reach their target audience more effectively. There’s no better time than now to get a jump on a cookie-less future and Google’s latest update. Reach out to our team if you have any questions or need help.

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