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Google lets you choose audiences based on their intent, their interests and their past interactions with your business.
The way that this all happens behind the scenes is fascinating, especially when you comprehend the sheer number of searches and volume of data that Google captures and works with every day.
Basically, users are categorized into a variety of different pre-defined categories, and Google can even work with custom categories that you create yourself.
As the Google Ads blog points out, “Our system looks at the types of pages a user visits, taking into account how recently and frequently those pages have been visited, and then associates their browser with relevant interest categories. Using these categories, you can show ads to the people most likely to purchase your products or services, and you can reach them across all types of sites in the Google Display Network in addition to contextually relevant sites.”
Targeting can be applied to Search and Shopping ads as well, but the range of options are most broad for Display.
You don’t actually need to apply targeting if you use Google Ads’ artificial intelligence algorithms (although applying targeting gets better results for typical budgets in my opinion). If you select a bidding algorithm like “Maximize conversion value” then Google will automatically search for the audiences it thinks will work best and bid on your behalf for them. This artificial intelligence is based on data you provide to Google about conversions and revenue from your users who originated from Google Ads. Google also has data about how likely a user is to transact or convert online due to those users interactions with other websites around the web.
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