Google: Demographic Bidding Being Eliminated To Clear Way For New AdWords Features

Mar 14, 2012 at 12:21pm ET by

Though it hasn’t been announced, a few eagle-eyed folks have noticed a change to Google’s Help pagesthat says demographic bidding will be phased out on March 21. We spoke to Google about it, and received confirmation that this is the case.

“This is a feature that we have to retire to introduce additional features down the line,” a Google spokesperson told me.

She wouldn’t elaborate on the product road map, but simply reiterated that introducing new features to AdWords often involves sunsetting current ones. Demographic exclusion will continue to be offered, for now, and demographic data will still be available.

Demographic bidding is a feature that allowed advertisers to apply different bids to gender or age groups on a select number of sites in the Google Content Network. Those included non-Google-owned sites like BlackPlanet.com, Friendster.com, MySpace.com, and OK Cupid, along with some Google properties such as YouTube and Orkut. The targeting was based on data provided by the sites.

Now that Google has a single privacy policy and a wealth of additional information via its Google+ social network, the company could potentially be preparing to offer a more robust demographic bidding solution, based on its own data rather than site-provided data. In his post on the subject, Traffick’s Andrew Goodman said he was eager for such targeting to be available both on the content network and on search ads. Only time will tell if his wish — shared by many other marketers — will come to pass.

About The Author: is a contributing editor for Search Engine Land and Executive Features Editor at Marketing Land. She’s a well-respected authority on digital marketing, having reported and written on the subject since 1998, including a stint as managing editor of ClickZ. She’s also worked to help monetize independent publishers’ sites at Federated Media Publishing. She blogs about media and marketing at The River and about cooking, gardening and parenthood at Free Range. She can be found on Twitter as @pamelaparker.