15/02/2023 • Tom Berridge
These audience lists are curated from remarketing lists built within accounts to target lookalike audiences across Google's network. They allow marketers to maximise their first-party data to target users who match the profiles of their existing customers.
After May next year marketers will only have the option to enable Optimised Targeting or Audience Expansion which aren't as refined and have a much broader reach.
This is in line with changes that Google continues to make to push accounts into more broad targeting, letting their AI do more of the work.
Both will expand on your manually selected audience segments but with some key differences between the two:
Audience Expansion: Google will look to expand your manually selected audiences by including similar segments, introducing these in what seems like an attempt to maximise reach.
This may be best used for brand and top-of-funnel-focused campaigns.
Optimized Targeting: Here Google is trying to find more of your converting users. Creating a profile of what a converting user looks like, based on your existing data, may expand your audience to wider searches or other audience segments.
This is the closest to 'similar audiences' however it relies on a good level of existing data. Not a problem for mature accounts but for those just starting, new product launches or restructures could increase wasted spending early doors.
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