If you have at least one active campaign using a Google Ads Similar Audiences user list within the last 60 days, then you might have gotten the “Similar Audiences Update” email. Say good bye to similar audiences and hello to optimized targeting, audience expansion, and smart bidding.
What is changing for similar audiences?
Google has announced that starting in May 2023, similar audience segments will no longer be generated for both targeting and reporting. You can no longer add similar audience segments to any campaigns or ad groups for Google Ads or Display & 360. But don’t get scared just yet. If you already have similar audience segments in an active campaign, Google will continue to serve them through August 1, 2023! Then, they will be removed from campaigns and ad groups after that time.
Why are they changing similar audiences?
Directly from Google is that they “want to focus on more powerful solutions like optimized targeting, audience expansion, and Smart Bidding, that will leverage your first-party data signals and optimize directly for your business goals. This change comes after third-party cookies are phased out, and they need a solution to transition to new strategies that will help grow businesses. So Google is looking for more ways to reach relevant audiences and results in measurements in a “privacy-centric way.” Essentially Google wants to focus more on automation.
What to do next for similar audiences?
Google has provided various steps you can take for your next steps for similar audiences.
“If you are currently using similar audiences for Display, Discover, or Video campaigns, and haven’t opted into optimized targeting or audience expansion, you should opt those ad groups or campaigns into these solutions to reach relevant, expanded audiences.
If you have been using similar audiences on Search or Shopping campaigns, and haven’t yet opted into Smart Bidding, you should opt those campaigns into Smart Bidding. If you are using Smart Bidding already, or running a Performance Max campaign, you do not need to take any action.
If you are a Display & Video 360 customer and have been using similar audiences on YouTube video action campaigns, and you haven’t yet opted into optimized targeting, you should opt these line items into this solution. For other types of YouTube line items, you can use audience expansion when it becomes available ahead of the sunset in 2023.
For a more detailed overview of recommended actions, please see the Help Center.”