Google Rolls Out “Similar Audiences” for Search & Shopping Ads

Similar Audiences for Search Gives Advertisers Powerful New Targeting Capabilities

Google just rolled out Similar Audiences for Search and Customer Match for Shopping Adwords campaigns. This new feature can be extremely powerful for advertisers and produce greater ROIs for campaigns across the board.

The Similar Audiences feature can be built from past website visitors. Similar Audiences looks at data about your existing website audiences and seeks out new and qualified customers whose interests/habits match your audience. By utilizing this new feature, you can reach much larger audiences and drive cheaper clicks and conversions.

Google released internal data from beta tests of this program, and said that by using Similar Audiences, advertisers typically see:

  • 60% more impressions
  • 48% more clicks
  • 41% more conversions

The Similar Audiences feature can be set up to be automated and based off remarketing tags and visitors to your product categories.

There is also an update to the Customer Match targeting for Shopping campaigns. Google allows you to, if you so choose, increase the bids by 25% for people who visited your site in the last month, or show different ads to visitors who have added items to your shopping cart but not purchased.

similar audiences roi

New Google Adwords Label is More Hidden Than Ever

The Line Between Paid & Organic Search Disappears…

Just a couple weeks ago Google made another change to their “Ad” label for paid results in the SERPs. The new label has a thin green border on a white background. To the naked eye, many people will miss this label. It’s almost transparent. These labels are pervasive across mobile and desktop, iOS and Android.

This is yet another expansion in Google’s never-ending quest to own the search engine results pages. In some results, you will not see an organic listing above the fold. Take a look at the image below from Search Engine Land. The image shows the same results across different devices. As you can see, no organic results.

How Long Has This Been Happening?

Well, I’m glad you asked  :). This evolution started in 2005. But take a look at the image below. The ads now look almost identical to organic results.

What Does This Mean For You?

Now more than ever, your paid and organic strategies need to be buttoned up. Ongoing Adwords testing (along with landing page design and CRO) is crucial. And, of course, you need to do SEO the right way.

Speaking of SEO, take a look at the image below from @chrisgreen87 on Twitter. The image shows how much the rankings fluctuate after page one. HINT: It’s a lot.

seo rankings fluctuation google