Why is Google running out of lookalike audiences in Google Ads?

Why is Google running out of lookalike audiences in Google Ads?

Who better than someone with similar characteristics to your regular customers to become your next customer? Based on this principle, Google allows advertisers to add through its Google Ads platform targeting “similar audiences” to their campaigns. This type of targeting, available on YouTube, Gmail, Discovery or the Display Network and the Search Network, allows advertisers who want toGrow your remarketing lists by showing your ads to like-minded people with people already registered.

And while Lookalike Audience targeting is particularly promising on paper, the facts are different. In fact, similar audiences are mostly based on the collection and use of data. It’s in front of the evolution of marketing approaches it’s at new privacy issues and data protection, targeting similar audiences tends to lose its effectiveness.

The end of Similar Audiences in Google Ads

In a declaration dated November 1 and appeared on its help support, Google announces its intention to do so stop targeting lookalike audiences on its Google Ads platform. The search engine indicates that from 2023 it will impose a smooth transition of this type of targeting towards more automated alternative solutions, considered “more efficient and more sustainable”. “They will help you reach relevant audiences and drive growth, while meeting user expectations for privacy”says Google.

A smooth transition until August 2023

Advertisers using similar audience targeting in Google Ads are starting to take the necessary steps to anticipate the transition imposed, because if you intend to be gradual with different phases, it should arrive relatively soon.

Since May 2023, Google prevent advertisers from generating new similar audiences for their Google Ads campaigns. Existing Lookalike Audiences will continue to exist, but can no longer be added to campaigns and ad groups.

And it is in the following August that the last stage of this transition will take place. Indeed, then there will be similar audiences permanently removed from ad groups and campaigns. Advertisers may, however, have access to data collected in the past through this targeting.

The steps for transitioning similar audiences to automated alternatives in Google Ads.  Source: Google.
The steps for transitioning similar audiences to automated alternatives in Google Ads. Source: Google.

Steps to take on Google Ads

Faced with the announced updates, advertisers using Similar Audiences in Google Ads will be forced to adapt in the next months. And in order not to experience a drop in campaign performance linked to too sudden changes, it is advisable to anticipate this update. To do this, Google recommends three steps to take on its Google Ads platform, depending on the type of campaign the advertiser is using Similar Audiences on.

    • For display, discovery or action video campaigns, Google recommends enabling optimized targeting which allows “reach additional and extended relevant audiences and optimize conversion goals. ยป
    • For “Brand Awareness and Reach” and “Consideration” video campaigns, Google says they include first-party data segments in your ad groups and enable audience expansion.
    • Finally, for Search Network campaigns or Shopping campaigns, the search engine recommends its advertisers to use smart bidding strategies or favor the new type of Performance Max campaign which automatically takes advantage of first-party data signals.
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