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Google rolls out similar audiences for Search and Shopping

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Google announced the long-awaited rollout of similar audiences for Search on Monday. Similar audiences can be built from past site visitors — remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA). The company also officially announced the global availability of Customer Match targeting for Shopping campaigns.
Google first teased the expansion of similar audiences from display to search-based campaigns last May. With similar audiences for search, Google targets users searching for the same things as users recently added to RLSA lists –meaning it takes into consideration the kinds of searches users were performing when they landed — or even converted — on an advertiser’s site.
An example from Google:

Say you’ve created a remarketing list of people who bought running shoes from your sporting goods site. Instead of helping you reach broad groups of people interested in “running,” similar audiences will identify that people on this list tended to search for “triathlon training” and “buy lightweight running shoes” before coming to your site and making a purchase. Based on this, similar audiences will then find other people with similar search behavior, such as people who searched for ‘buy lightweight running shoes’.

Lists are constantly and automatically updated as users change their search activity. And, once a user visits a site, they’ll no longer be included on the similar audiences list.
Amy McNeil, head of digital marketing at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, which beta tested the similar audiences for search, told Google, “In less than two months, similar audiences for search delivered an 11 percent increase in clickthrough rate and 22 percent more conversions across our test campaigns.”
John Deere and GameStop were among the other beta testers.
Remarketing lists will automatically qualify for similar audiences expansion when they meet certain criteria, including having at least 1,000 cookies and enough recent participants who exhibited similar search behaviors. You’ll find them listed under Audiences in the Shared Library. Note that similar audience lists do not apply to sensitive categories.
Advertisers can apply similar audiences to Search and Shopping campaigns and add bid modifiers to the audiences.
Customer Match for Shopping campaigns allows advertisers to target existing customers with Shopping ads — for new styles and so on — in addition to text ads.

About The Author

As Third Door Media’s paid media reporter, Ginny Marvin writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies and can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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