Starting on May 1, 2023, similar audiences (or segments) will be gradually phased out as a targeting feature. Learn more about this latest change to audience targeting
To provide a comprehensive and consolidated view of your Audiences and make audience management and optimization simpler, you’ll find the following improvements in Google Ads:
- New audience reporting
Detailed reporting about audience demographics, segments, and exclusions is now consolidated in one place, the “Audiences” tab within the left page navigation menu. You can also easily manage your Audiences from this report page. Learn more about Audience reporting
- New terms
We’re using new terms on your audience report and throughout Google Ads. For example, “audience types” (these include similar, custom, in-market, and affinity) are now referred to as audience segments and “remarketing” is now referred to as “your data”. Learn more about the updates to Audience terms and phrases
Audience segments is a section in the Audience manager where you can create and manage your your data segments. Your website data campaigns allow you to have control over which audience segments can see your ads across YouTube, Gmail, Google Search, and the Google Display Network. Once you’ve set up an Audience source, you can advertise to an audience segment you’ve created or to a segment that Google Ads created for you.
- See all of your data segments in one place.
- View each segment type, status, and size (reach) on each active network.
- Quickly add your data segments to ad groups and campaigns.
- Adjust where and to whom your ads appear for optimal ad exposure.
- Label your segments to filter and report on the data that interests you.
How Audience segment works
Once the Google tag is added to your site or app, it will collect data and add people to relevant segments. For example, a sandwich shop could make a "Lunch visitors" segment and add users that visit their site during lunch hours to a new data segment. The segment can be used in a "Lunchtime special" campaign to target those users and increase traffic to their site for lunch orders. Learn how to Create a website visitor segment
- Sign in to Google Ads.
- Click the tools icon in the upper right corner.
- Under “Shared library,” select Audience manager.
- You will arrive at the “Segments” page by default.
How data segments are organized
Audience segments display a table of up to 50 data segments at a time. You’ll see the names of your segments, checkboxes for bulk actions, and information at a glance including:
- Type shows which people are included in this data segment and how the segment was created.
- Membership status shows whether a segment is adding more users or not.
- Size columns show how many people on your website data segment could be reached on each network (Search Network, YouTube, Display Network, and Gmail).
- Labels help you organize keywords, ads, ad groups, campaigns, or your data segments into groups so you can filter and report on the data that interests you.
You can click on any one of the above categories to organize the entire table around a single category. For example, you can organize your segments by “Usage status” to quickly see which segments are currently in-use and which are not in-use.
Click on a check box next to a segment name to open the blue toolbelt menu with options to add your segment to an ad group or campaign, edit your segment, or apply a label. You can click on multiple boxes to apply the action to multiple segments. Additionally, you can add optional columns to the table by clicking on the optional columns icon above the table to the right.
Your data segments in the Audience segment table may also provide additional description context like how the segment was created or what source the segment is based from.
Keep in mind that you still have to meet the size requirements.
The requirement to serve your ads varies based on the target network. The accuracy of the estimated segment size will vary depending on your segment settings, the length of time since your tag was installed, your campaign settings, and other factors.
- Google Display Network must have a minimum of 100 active visitors or users within the last 30 days.
- Google Search Network must have a minimum of 1,000 active visitors or users within the last 30 days.
- YouTube must have a minimum of 1,000 active visitors or users within the last 30 days.
- Discovery ads must have a minimum of 1,000 active visitors or users within the last 30 days.
If you have trouble with managing your data segments:
Types of data segments
This is the standard data segment type for a website-based campaign. These segments track user behavior in your website and will add those users according to criteria specified by you or Google Ads, if automatically generated. These criteria can be visits, click-in source, click-out location and the various stages of a conversion. You can create this kind of data segment once the Google tag has been added to your website. Some audience segments that include your website visitors will be automatically created for you, including "All Visitors" and "All Converters." Learn more About automatically created segments
These are segments generated based on the Google Ads Customer Match feature. Customer segments allow you to upload contact information that your customers have shared with you, such as emails or zip codes, to show ads to your customers as they browse across Google properties like Google Search or YouTube. Learn more About Customer Match
These are people who don’t precisely match but share other behaviors with people in your existing data segments. For example, a footwear advertiser may find that their sandal buyers also search for pool accessories so they may want to try creating a Similar segment targeting searchers of pool accessories to show ads for their summer footwear. Similar segments are created automatically for you, once your seed segment is sufficiently sized. Learn more About Similar segments
These are users that view and/or interact with your video ads are added to YouTube segments. These data segments can be created by first linking your YouTube channel to your Google Ads account. Learn more About advertising to YouTube viewers
These are the users that have your app installed on their device and are added to these segments. They become eligible to be shown your ads while using other apps on the Google Display Network. Learn more about Creating an App campaign
This is a type of segment created when you manually combine two or more existing data segments. For example, if you have a segment of high value shoppers and a segment of people who bought electronics from you, then you can target possible buyers of your new high value electronics by combining (ANDing) the two segments. Learn more About Custom combination
This segment keeps track of people who’ve already called your business. You can re-engage with these users by showing follow-up ads, or exclude them from future ads to focus solely on new leads. Additionally, you can target specific ad formats or adjust bids for people on your segment. These segments are automatically generated, and you won’t be able to add or remove individual members. Callers will appear as a website visitors segment.
Ways to act on your segments
You can create your data segments based on the data gathered from your audience sources. Google Ads automatically generates some segments for you that are based on your audience sources.
To add a new segment manually, click on the plus icon and select the type of the segment you’d like to create.
Ad groups. You can associate the segments with one or more ad groups so that the ads in the group will be shown to the people in your segments.
Campaigns. Select one or more campaigns in which to include your segments.
The selected segment(s) will be labeled ‘removed’ and no longer appear in your main Audience segments table as long as they keep that label.
Pausing a segment will suspend it from the ad group or campaign associated with the list. A paused segment will still add users to the segment.
Apply labels to your segments for organizational purposes. Google Ads has its own set of labels, but you can add your own at any time to organize your segments in a way that makes sense to you.
Reasons to improve your segments
Your data segments targeting the Google Display Network must have a minimum of 100 active visitors or users within the last 30 days for your ads to show; segments targeting Google search must have a minimum of 1,000 active visitors or users. Segment targeting using Discovery ads must have a minimum of 1,000 active users or visitors. Based on the number of visitors able to be reached on each network, the segment sizes may vary.
Additionally, a segment with at least 1,000 users will be surfaced in Audience insights to help you find new segments by showing valuable information about the people that make up your segment.