AdWords Aimed at MySpace Users

    January 25, 2008

This is an exciting development . Google is testing a new feature to allow you to target ads to specific demographics on MySpace and other web sites. So it your web site sells NY Yankee tickets and your main demographic is men aged 30-45. Your ads can show up just on profiles of men who are in that age group.

You can then adjust your bids accordingly. The ads will be filtered by age and gender demographics and you can get reports to further refine your results.

Many people are blind to ads on social networking sites, but assuming you’re great at capturing your audience’s attention, this could be huge. People spend a lot more time on MySpace than a regular web sites. Recent data put the average time people spend on MySpace as a whopping 29:36 minutes. Plus they return to the site more frequently.

This feature is for Google’s content network. That means your ads can be targeted to display on other’s web sites – this feature isn’t available for the ads that show up next to a Google search. The feature will apply to contextual or placement-targeted campaigns (with CPC or CPM bidding). Only certain sites in the Google content network will participate (see below).

Here’s where it gets interesting. Advertising on social networking sites. Why? Because people give you their age and gender when they sign up. Sites provide this information to Google (if they have the user’s permission) in bulk. Note: you can’t target people under 18.

Here is the initial list of social networking sites that advertisers will be able to target (I can’t wait until blogs are added to this list. It’s interesting that dating site Plenty of Fish is on the list.):

Not only can you target specific groups but you can exclude them also. As Google’s AdWords blog notes: “…you can modify your bids for a particular audience segment, such as increasing your bid for 25-34 year-old males by 230%. Second, you can ask that your ads not be shown to certain demographic groups if they aren’t meeting your ROI goals.”

You’ll know if certain demographics work because of detailed Google reports. You can see how your campaign performances (impressions, clicks, CTR, and conversion data). based on gender and age. I wonder how long until this feature is open to everyone. No word on that yet.

Google will test the feature over the next few weeks with selected advertisers in the U.S. and U.K. Want to be a tester? Sign up here.