Justin Sardi explains how Google removes similar audiences and what this means for your business.
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Video Transcript

Google Ads Policy Changes

Justin Sardi: Google is at it again, they are taking away yet another targeting option. Now in the previous video that we made, we talked about Google removing content targeting. I also showed you the workaround for that. So if you have not checked that video out, I’m going to link to that below this video, because content targeting is still alive and well, you can still use it. So all good there. And what I’m going to be talking about today is that Google is removing similar audiences. So let’s go ahead and dig right in, talk about what’s happening and what that means for you as an advertiser.

Justin started here, CEO and co-founder of tube sif.com and video ad vault.com. Now what we’re talking about today is Google removing similar audiences. Now right here, as you can see, starting May 1st 2023, Google ads is no longer going to generate similar audience. Now, similar audiences, these used to work really well in the past. They’ve been very hit and miss recently. So I am not super bummed about this change, because honestly we haven’t really been using similar audiences that much, because we’ve found that they don’t quite work as well as they used to. They used to be awesome.

I used to be able to run them all day, every day, bring in a ton of customers. But with Google’s changes to their AI and the backend of how they’re finding new customers, it’s kind of become irrelevant, which is why they are removing it. Now, like I said, starting May 1st 2023, they’re going to not generate these audiences for you. Right now what happens is you upload an email list or cookie, a specific page or something like that and Google will make a similar audience for you, but they’re not going to be doing that starting in May and then in August you’re not even going to be able to use them at all.

With this Google udate you can start using optimize targeting for your campaigns. Image by olia danilevich, License under Pexels.
With this Google udate you can start using optimize targeting for your campaigns. Image by olia danilevich, License under Pexels.

Google Removes Similar Audience Targeting

Now like I said, this isn’t a huge deal, because what they’re doing is they’re actually taking similar segments and almost forcing you to use them. Now, this sounds kind of weird, but basically if we kind of read into this a little bit, why is it taking place? It’s taking place, because they are upgrading all of these similar audiences to automated solutions such as optimized targeting and audience expansion. Now, optimized targeting, what it is when you go in here and you set up a new campaign, right? Come over here, let’s go video and go continue. They are, depends on the account currently, but if we scroll down a little bit here, we can see that they are coming in here and they’re doing optimized targeting right here. So we actually don’t have a choice. This is by default on in my account. You can go turn it off later.

Some accounts I’ve seen, they have the option to turn it on. But essentially what this is, it’s helping you get more conversions by using information such as your landing page, your assets. Google’s going to scan all of those things and essentially go out and find you some of the right people for your audience and they’re moving to or for your campaigns. And they’re essentially moving over to optimized targeting. And if we talk about optimized targeting, it’s essentially Google digging into their AI and creating segments of people who are similar to people converting on your campaigns and serving ads to them. So essentially what they’re doing is they’re literally creating similar segments, but kind of forcing you to use them. You can turn them off, but these things happen working pretty well. So give it a run and let that go.

Learn how to use optimized targeting with your YouTube ads in 2023. Image by Karolina Grabowska, license under Pexels.
Learn how to use optimized targeting with your YouTube ads in 2023. Image by Karolina Grabowska, license under Pexels.

How the New Optimized Targeting Works

So essentially what they’re saying is it’s automatically turned on for all campaigns. So I guess mine is automatically turned on. I’ve seen some accounts like I said, where it’s not, but I guess they’re starting to push that now and it looks at information like keywords on your landing page and your assets and it finds audiences that can meet your campaigns goals. If you don’t want to use it, you can turn it on and off in your ad group settings, right? So let’s say one of your ad groups is just targeting a specific custom segment and you don’t want them using their optimized targeting, you can turn that off as well. Now you can kind of read here the audience expansion looks for additional things, addition audience segments, things like, that they already have where optimized targeting looks for additional conversions by targeting people most likely to convert based on real-time campaign conversion data.

People who convert what they recently searched for. So like I said, they’re basically taking the data of all that they have about, hey, so-and-so just converted on your ad campaign. Well three days ago he was searching for whatever this specific keyword and then they’ll go find other people that were also searching for that specific keyword. Obviously kind of cross-referencing that with your page. I’m not exactly sure how it works, because their AI’s crazy. I’m not a computer, but you can kind of read a little bit more about this. I’ll link to this as well. But essentially they’re just using realtime conversion data that they have from realtime converters and being like, hey, you got 10 conversions today. All of those people had these things in common. They’ll start applying that to your campaign without you actually knowing what’s going on. So you won’t actually be able to know, I wish they would tell you and just be like, hey, check this out.

They do have audience insights as you can kind of see. It’ll kind of help you pull some of that unique characteristics. You can pixel specific landing pages, upload lists of customers, things like that, and you can get a little bit of insight into who they’re targeting for you using that optimized targeting. But for the most part it’s kind of behind the scenes and that’s what they’re moving to more so now. And that’s kind of the reason they got rid of the content targeting when it comes to campaigns with a goal, because they’re using this optimized targeting and they’re just saying, hey, we got this, upload your assets, tell us your landing page and we will find you the right people. It kind of takes out the room for error, things like that. And it’s supposed to make a better customer experience even though a lot of people are not very stoked on the removal of these things.

When you make quality ads and landing pages that are aligned to your offer together with optimized targeting, you will be in a strong position to grow your leads and sales.  . Image by Anna Shvets, license under Pexels.
When you make quality ads and landing pages that are aligned to your offer together with optimized targeting, you will be in a strong position to grow your leads and sales.  . Image by Anna Shvets, license under Pexels.

How to Guarantee Successful Ads and Landing Pages

So that being said, you don’t really have to do anything, you just stop using similar audiences and start using optimized targeting. Make sure you are using conversion tracking pixels, all that good stuff. And yeah, it’s just more important than ever for your landing pages and your ads to be hyper relevant to your offer. Really describe your ideal audience in there. Hey, who’s who this is for, things like that, because Google is looking at all of that. So with these new changes, obviously your ads and your landing pages are going to be more important than ever. And that’s why we have Video Ad Vault. Now, Video Ad Vault, depending on the time this is published, we have almost one million unique YouTube ads and landing pages. And when you’re watching this, there actually might be more, we grow this thing all day every day. We have almost a million unique YouTube ads and landing pages.

You can sort them with historical data, see exactly what’s working in any space, any vertical, find the hooks, the angles, the cost to action, and even the landing page copy that’s working in your space or similar spaces. And then you can apply that to your marketing to get better results faster. So definitely check out Video Ad Vault. It’s used by tons and tons of YouTube advertisers and I guarantee that it will help you run more profitable YouTube ad campaigns, especially with all these changes that Google is making. So that’s it for me on this one. Thanks for watching. Bye for now.

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