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Google Testing Demographic AdWords Bidding

Posted on 1.23.2008
Google is ushering in a new era of targeted advertising for the masses, demographic bidding for AdWords users. With the new system, ads can be targeted to only reach certain age groups or specifically men or women, for example. Naturally, certain groups can also be excluded. In addition, you can set your bids higher for certain demographics to make sure your ads appear to the selected group.

Here's how it works: Certain partnerships exist with Google to provide demographic data based on user settings, from sites like social networks. These networks turn over information (said to be non-identifiable) such as age and gender. So, if you have a MySpace account, and you have agreed to the terms and conditions at sign-up, Google has your information and will use it to target ads based on your initial settings. Because of privacy issues, targeting the 18 and under demographic is not available. Some of the sites listed by Google that are available for demographic targeting include MySpace, Friendster, HotOrNot, BlackPlanet and PlentyOfFish.

Bidding is available for both keyword-targeted and placement-targeted campaigns. According to the official AdWords blog, "beta test signups will be accepted soon." And it will essentially work like this:
  • Sign up to create your first campaign
  • Run a demographic report, after campaign is active for one week to test its performance.
  • Modify your campaign based on performance data to better target high-return groups and exclude other segments.
Welcome news all-around. This will give further customization to advertisers and better ads to consumers resulting in, theoretically, better conversions. It also makes you wonder if its time you start collecting some demographic data from your own website visitors and users.
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