The long-awaited rollout of similar audiences for Search has been announced by Google on Monday.  Similar audiences are able to be built from past site visitors, aka remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA).  Google even announced the global available of Customer Match targeting for Shopping campaigns.

The expansion of similar audiences from display to search-based campaigns was first teased by Google last May.  With this expansion, Google targets users searching for the same things as users recently added to RLSA lists.  This means that it takes the kinds of searches users into consideration who were performing when they landed, or converted, on an advertiser’s site.

An example from Google:

Say you’ve created a remarketing list of people who bought running shoes from your sporting goods site. Instead of helping you reach broad groups of people interested in “running,” similar audiences will identify that people on this list tended to search for “triathlon training” and “buy lightweight running shoes” before coming to your site and making a purchase. Based on this, similar audiences will then find other people with similar search behavior, such as people who searched for ‘buy lightweight running shoes’.

Lists are always going to be updated automatically as users change their search activity.  Once the user visits a site, they will disappear from the similar audiences list.

Amy McNeil, head of digital marketing at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles US, which beta tested the similar audiences for search, told Google, “In less than two months, similar audiences for search delivered an 11 percent increase in clickthrough rate and 22 percent more conversions across our test campaigns.”

Some of the beta testers included GameStop and John Deere.

Once they meet certain criteria, remarketing lists will automatically qualify for similar audiences expansion.  This includes having at least 1000 cookies and enough recent participants exhibiting similar search behaviors.  This can e found under Audiences in the Shared Library.  It’s important to note that similar audience lists don’t apply to sensitive categories.

similar audiences can be applied to Search and Shopping campaigns and add bid modifiers to the audiences.

Customer Match for Shopping campaigns will allow advertisers to target existing customers with Shopping ads in addition to text ads, such as with new styles and the like.

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