Google is getting rid of similar audiences segments
Starting in May 2023, similar audiences segments will stop being generated, and existing similar audiences segments will no longer be added to campaigns and ad groups on Google Ads and Display & Video 360.
In August 2023, similar audiences segments will be removed from all ad groups and campaigns.
What this means. More automation. Google says that similar audiences segments will transition to "more powerful, tested, privacy-centric automated solutions. These solutions help advertisers connect with relevant audiences, all while meeting people's expectations for privacy."
"We are committed to creating durable, resilient solutions for our advertisers to help them reach an engaged and relevant audience, even as fewer third-party cookies are available. Automation is a big part of this commitment."
Enter Optimized Targeting and Audience Expansion
Replacing similar audiences segments is Optimized Targeting (for video, display discovery and performance campaigns) and Audience Expansion (for brand campaigns).
Optimized Targeting. For Discovery, Display and Video action campaigns on Google Ads and Display & Video 360, optimized targeting will help businesses find new and relevant audiences that are likely to convert without relying on third-party cookies.
Google says. Advertisers who use optimized targeting on Display and Video 360 can see, on average, 55% improvement while using first-party audiences.
Audience Expansion. For Awareness and Reach video or Consideration video campaigns, audience expansion makes it easier for businesses to reach more people likely to convert.
Availability. This solution is already available in Google Ads and will be launched for Display & Video 360 in the first half of 2023.
Things to know. Keep in mind the following features and best practices when creating or updating your Smart Bidding and Optimized Targeting settings.
Advertisers can still use Customer Match lists for Smart Bidding or Optimized Targeting.
Use Smart Bidding for store sales and offline conversions.
You can (and should) adjust Smart Bidding conversion values.
Dig deeper. To understand how these automated solutions work towards advertisers' marketing objectives, they can use Audience Insights - a new feature on the Insights Page that helps businesses learn more about their customers' interests and how they engage with their ads.
You can read more info about these changes on the Google Help Center post.
Why we care. Similar Audiences segments will be available for (at least) the next 6 months. If your campaigns are using these segments, you can continue to do so until after the holiday season. However, you should still plan and test your transition to Smart Bidding and Optimized Targeting so the impact will be less harmful.