Brennon Gagnon

Brennon Gagnon

Paid Search Specialist

An Overview of Google’s Cross-Exchange Buying and Similar Audiences

As part of its annual Performance Summit, Google revealed many new product features. Two of the updates that Google talked about, Cross-Exchange Buying on the Google Display Network, and Similar Audiences for Search, are discussed in the post below.

Cross-Exchange Buying on GDN

Google is now extending the reach of remarketing campaigns by giving advertisers access to cross-exchange inventory, which expands Google Display Network to access more websites and apps, globally, as well as continuing to deliver on high-quality traffic. This new expanded network means that remarketing campaigns will have more reach, with the same precision, which could help fix the issue of the lack of reach that remarketing campaigns have seen in the past. But, what makes up the cross – exchange network? We reached out to our Google rep to get a little more insight. In addition to the DoubleClick Ad Exchange, Google is adding to their network from other exchanges like The Rubicon Project, OpenX, and Index Exchange. Our Google rep also noted that these partners are available only specific to GDN remarketing campaigns.

During the Google Summit conference, Brad Bender had this to say about the cross – exchange inventory, “This inventory lets you reach additional apps and websites around the world. We also take steps to ensure that this additional inventory delivers the same high quality traffic you’ve come to expect from Google’s network.” Google is stressing to advertisers that quality control will be in place for running remarketing campaigns on the cross – exchange network. SAS, a European airline,

Through the use of remarketing with Google’s Display Network, advertisers are able to find consumers who are searching for the same products or services they have already shown interest in and are ready to purchase. This new buying in GDN will allow advertisers to maintain CPAs and broaden the reach of their ads.

Similar Audiences for Search

In addition to extending the reach of retargeting with Cross-Exhange Buying, discussed above, Google also announced further refinements to Similar Audiences, a targeting method often paired together with remarketing. The new rollout of Google’s Similar Audiences now allows, advertisers to target more consumers that have similar intent and interests to those that are already on your remarketing lists, but who have not yet visited the advertiser’s site or clicked on an ad. This new profiling ability provides an excellent opportunity to capture a broader, but equally qualified group of potential customers. This new offering is very similar to Facebook’s Lookalike Audiences, which gives brands the ability to service ads and target people similar to those who like the brand’s page or visit the brand’s site. Google will now allow advertisers to target new users that share similar characteristics to their better converting, more frequently returning visitors. Companies that ran tests using Similar Audiences saw increased CTRs and lower CPAs.

Similar Audiences is driven by user intent and the context of their queries to deliver relevant ads to qualified consumers. Making use of current remarketing lists to grow reach while maintaining the quality of the leads is a no- brainer for most brands to test. This holds true for any brand that is actively running on GDN and is looking to expand their current remarketing campaigns. Similar Audiences is in Beta now and Google plans on a full launch by the end of 2016. Any advertiser that uses remarketing lists would be wise to adopt the use of Similar Audiences. Using this untapped resource of potential consumers should lead to more traffic from equally qualified searchers.

Implications for Advertisers

While remarketing can be incredibly efficient, the ability to scale to high volumes of traffic has always been an issue. Google is attempting to address this issue by 1) expanding the number of sites that remarketing ads can show on and 2) creating a new profile under the Similar Audiences umbrella. This presents a terrific potential opportunity for advertisers; however, as with all new products, advertisers are well advised to test, test, test. The new targeting capabilities and the quality of traffic coming from new partner sites will likely vary somewhat between verticals, with some potential for variations in performance based on inventory, size of remarketing pools, and industries.

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