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Google’s Important Update on Display Campaigns and Targeting Expansion

Google recently announced that it will be introducing optimised targeting, which helps to reach relevant audiences while meeting performance goals in Google Ads. This brings the benefits of Smart Display campaigns to standard Display campaigns and replaces the optional targeting expansion option on standard Display campaigns.

This new unified Display campaign will consolidate Smart display and Standard display campaigns. Advertisers will still be able to use manual or automated solutions, but the option will now be available within one campaign type. At the time of campaign creation, advertisers will be able to choose between an automatic or customised experience.

In June 2021, Google rolled out “Optimised Targeting, a sister to the “Targeting Expansion” option within display. Both are features that help Google Ads advertisers expand their reach within display but the difference is nuanced.

Targeting expansion would only expand upon the audiences given in any campaign, while respecting the bounds of targeting settings.

Optimised targeting goes one step further and isn’t relegated to expanding only upon the specific targeted audiences but rather can expand fluidly in any area of targeting, such as demographics to drive more of the intended action. For example, if you were specifically targeting 25-35 year-olds but the system identified that there were other age ranges likely to take the intended action, with optimised targeting turned on, the campaign could begin delivering to those audiences.

Starting in January 2022 standard Display campaigns using targeting expansion will be updated to use optimised targeting. If you don’t want these campaigns to use optimised targeting, targeting expansion should be turned off in the campaigns before January 2022.

Google has explained this consolidation being due to there now being so many automated features available within display campaigns, there’s enough overlap between Smart and Standard ones that it made sense to streamline the campaign creation process by pulling both options under one roof.

You can read more about Changes to Display campaign creation here

If you want to know more about display campaign best practices in Google Ads, please get in touch.