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Google is extending in-market audience targeting to Search campaigns

Google is continuing to extend its audience targeting capabilities into Search. Google announced Tuesday that In-market audiences, currently only available for Display Network and YouTube campaigns, will be coming to Search campaigns.

Google shared the news in a blog post released ahead of its annual live-streamed event, now called Google Marketing Next, Tuesday.

First introduced in 2013 under the name In-market buyers, the targeting is aimed at reaching consumers who are getting ready to make a purchase, based on an analysis of intent signals such as recent search queries and website browsing activity. From today’s blog post:

For example, if you’re a car dealership, you can increase your reach among users who have already searched for “SUVs with best gas mileage” and “spacious SUVs.”

There are currently more than a dozen In-market audiences available in AdWords to target users looking to buy things such as apparel, baby products, event tickets or real estate.

Along with similar audiences for Search and Shopping, the addition of these targeting options marks Google’s shift to tapping user search history for targeting in Search campaigns. It does so in an aggregated, anonymized way, but the company had long resisted incorporating that data in Search targeting for privacy reasons. Then Facebook came along and advertiser expectations — and some would say consumer acceptance — of targeting capabilities changed with it.

It’s not clear what the timing will be on the rollout. It took roughly a year for similar audiences for Search and Shopping to roll out generally after Google first announced it at last year’s live-streamed event.

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