Google this year announced it will remove similar audiences from Google Ads and DV360, starting in May 1, 2023.
According to Google, active campaigns targeting similar audiences will still work until August 1, 2023. But after August 1, similar segments will be removed from all ad groups and campaigns.
Google clarifies that advertisers will continue to have access to historical reporting for similar segments from past campaigns.
Instead of similar audiences, Google is recommending advertisers to use optimized targeting. Optimized targeting is available for Display, Discovery and Video Action campaigns. For For YouTube Awareness and Reach Video or Consideration Video, the option for audience expansion will be available.
Google says optimized targeting respects the brand safety settings, but the main difference between similar audiences and optimized targeting is that all other targeting on top, like contextual, will not be respected anymore when optimized targeting is enabled.
Google says the replacement of similar audiences by optimized targeting is because of the privacy restrictions in common online marketing approaches.
First phase of changes (May 1, 2023)
Advertisers cannot add similar segments to any existing campaign or ad group.
Advertisers cannot create conversion value rules based on similar segments.
Similar segments will not be created automatically.
Final phase of changes (August 1, 2023):
Advertisers cannot use similar segments for targeting and reporting.
Similar segments will be removed from all ad groups and campaigns.
Similar segments will not appear in Google Ads, including in Audience Manager.
Similar segments will not be included in Google Ads insights or reporting.
Conversion value rules using similar segments will not work, and conversion value will not be adjusted based on similar segments.