Google has announced additional targeting capabilities for ads appearing on its Display Network, allowing advertisers to choose categories, rather than keywords, to trigger their ad’s appearance.
Given AdWords’ genesis as a search-oriented advertising system, keywords have always been the main mechanism for targeting ads, though additional refinements and options have long been available. Now, Google seems to be acknowledging that there are other good ways of contextually, especially for advertisers looking for awareness, rather than for immediate sales.
The new targeting capabilities will give advertisers the ability to select 1,750 topics and sub-topics that are mapped to the pages upon which Display Network ads appear. Google says its system looks at all the words on a page to determine the topic of the page, rather than being reliant on particular keywords. Advertisers can also exclude topics or sub-topics to refine targeting.
Contextual targeting by topic can be done with all ad formats and works with all bidding variations, such as CPC, CPM or CPA.