Blast Analytics and Marketing

Analytics Blog

Supporting Leaders to EVOLVE

Google Adwords Demographic Bidding Returns

October 25, 2012

Back in 2008, Google announced their demographic bidding beta test feature in Adwords, only to be retired in March of this year.  But just 6 months later, Google announced the return of demographics for Adwords, now found under the Display tab in the Adwords user interface (UI), if you have yet to take notice.

What is it?

Google Adwords Demographics gives advertisers the ability to target both gender and age on Google’s Display Network.  It was designed to help advertiser’s reach the following list of goals:

  • Reach the right audience
    • Demo-target the gender or age group you desire
  • Customize your ads and bids
    • Create age or gender-specific ad copy and bid differently on the desired demo
  • Refine your targeting
    • Exclude the ages or gender that are not best aligned with your business goals

What has changed?

  1. Demographics settings, bidding and reporting are now found in the Display tab (see Age & Gender)
  2. Ad group level settings vs. campaign level
  3. Available in 39 countries

How to use it?

To access Demographic targeting you must go to the Display tab within the Google User Interface (not currently supported in Adwords Editor).  Under the Display tab, select ‘+Change display targeting.’

Next you will need to choose an existing ad group that you are looking to edit.  Lastly, click on the demographic (Age or Gender) you wish to edit, make your selections and save.

As for bidding on demographics, you will have access to this on the Display tab after you have set up your first ad group.  The UI will then show you each demo you setup as a separate line item with the opportunity to bid up or down.

Reporting access and downloadable reports can also be found on the Display tab.  All you will need to do is choose Age or Gender, the time range of data you wish to view, and the UI will populate the data you requested.  You may also customize the columns and download using the download icon

How does Google determine demographic information?

When someone visits a website that is in the Google Display Network, Google cookies the user and then compares the types of sites visited with information from aggregated survey data on site visitation.  In addition, some publishers are providing Google with demo information that users have shared on social sites.  Lastly, Google is likely using the data gathered on their own social site, Google+.

Tip, don’t exclude the “Unknown” demographic category as this will likely prevent a substantial number of people from seeing your ads.  Unless, you are in a situation where you have an extremely tight budget and a very specific demographic that you are targeting.

If you are interested in more specifics regarding how Google determines demographic info check out this Adwords help article.


By utilizing Google’s demographic targeting/bidding, particularly in conjunction with the wide range of display targeting already made available, you can increase the likelihood that your advertising dollars are reaching your business’ target audience.

Let us know if you have any questions, by commenting below.

Brian Wensel
About the Author

Brian is the Director of Search Marketing at Blast Analytics & Marketing. He has been leading teams of Search Marketers throughout the country for over 6 years. His client experience includes SMBs, Health Care, Hospitality, Finance/Insurance, B2B Software, eCommerce and Education.

Brian Wensel has written on the Blast Digital Analytics Blog.

HIPAA and Analytics White Paper CTA

Featured White Paper

Healthcare Analytics and HIPAA: Ways to Minimize Risk and Ensure Compliance

The rise in digital data and analytics adds complexity and risk for healthcare organizations. Those that don’t comply with data privacy requirements, including Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), could face heavy fines, civil action lawsuits, and even criminal charges. Not to mention loss of patient trust.

Download the White Paper

Ready To Do More With Your Data?

If you have questions or you’re ready to discuss how Blast can help you EVOLVE your organization, talk to an Analytics Consultant today.

Call 1 (888) 252-7866 or contact us below.