In 2021, Google announced that it would be sunsetting Similar Audiences, a targeting tool that uses machine learning to create targeted audiences, in 2023. Similar Audiences was first introduced in 2016 and has been a valuable tool for many marketers, allowing them to reach more people with more accuracy. However, with the sunset of this feature, Google is giving marketers a two–year timeline to plan for the transition away from Similar Audiences.
The decision to sunset Similar Audiences came as part of Google’s larger effort to simplify its advertising tools and reduce complexity. As part of this effort, Google has been making changes to its Ad Manager interface, making it easier for marketers to navigate and understand. In addition, Google has been consolidating various ad products and features, and Similar Audiences was part of this effort.
Though the sunsetting of Similar Audiences is no doubt a disappointment to many marketers, Google has provided a few alternatives. For example, Google’s Customer Match feature allows marketers to upload their own customer lists to target those individuals with ads. Additionally, Google is launching new features like Interest–Based Audiences, which allows advertisers to target people based on their interests, and Custom Intent Audiences, which allows them to target people with ads based on their search queries.
Though it was a useful tool, the sunsetting of Similar Audiences is not all bad news. Marketers that have been relying on Similar Audiences can take advantage of the two–year timeline to transition to these alternatives. Additionally, Google has promised that it will continue to invest in new features, such as its new audience targeting capabilities, to give marketers more control and flexibility in their ad targeting.
Though the sunsetting of Similar Audiences is an unfortunate change, it is a necessary part of Google’s larger effort to simplify its advertising tools and reduce complexity. Marketers that have been relying on Similar Audiences have time to transition to other options, and Google has promised to continue investing in new features to give marketers more control and flexibility in their ad targeting. With the two–year timeline, Google is giving marketers plenty of time to adjust and prepare for the change.