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AdWords Demographics One-Ups AdCenter

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Google recently made demographic targeting for AdWords campaigns available for its marketers, who can use the feature to narrow the types of sites that display its advertising.

The data used for Google’s demographic targeting comes from comScore Networks, Jennifer Slegg posted at Search Engine Watch. Those demographics help advertisers winnow the potential field of AdSense publishers in Google’s network to those sites with a particular audience based on comScore’s data.

Importantly for Google, it tempers some of the enthusiasm advertisers have for Microsoft’s forthcoming adCenter. The demographic targeting touted by Microsoft gave the company some early buzz when it was announced, as neither Google nor Yahoo had an answer for it.

Slegg noted how the demographic choices in AdWords are more extensive than those currently offered by adCenter. Advertisers can select options within categories of age, gender, and household income. Advanced targeting options like ethnicity and households with children were given as examples of extra choices for advertisers.

Google cited in its documentation about demographic targeting how advertisers can select preferences in up to three demographic categories. Then the AdWords site tool suggests sites with audiences that tend to match the selections. Only campaigns geo-targeted for the United States can use the demographic options.

This should help with ad placement on large sites with a lot of measurable traffic. But Andrew Goodman noted the program probably won’t have a lot of data for smaller sites, which comprise the majority of selections in the AdWords site suggestion tool.

For advertisers unfamiliar with demographic targeting, Google provides a description of how demographic site selection works:

A demographic group is an audience that shares a particular trait or characteristic. This trait might be age, gender, income, or some other factor. If your product appeals to young women, for instance, you might want to target sites popular with the female demographic, the 18-24 age demographic, or both.

Please remember that demographic site selection cannot guarantee that your ad will reach only the exact audience you select. Most public websites get a variety of visitors. However, demographic site selection will help you choose sites where you’re very likely to find the people you want to reach.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

AdWords Demographics One-Ups AdCenter
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