Google AdWords Launches Demographic Site Targeting

Via Andrew Goodman, news that Google AdWords has updated their control panel interface today to provide demographic targeting of content ads. It comes hot on the heels of the praise MSN adCenter has been receiving about the demographic targeting they offer advertisers. What is demographic site selection? in the AdWords help area explains more about the change.

The new demographic targeting is only available for site targeted campaigns at this time, where advertisers target specific AdSense publisher sites to display ads on. It is US-only, with the demographic data coming from comScore Networks. It is worth noting that the demographics is used simply for selecting the sites that AdWords suggests to run site targeted advertising on, it does not target specific users as they happen to visit the particular site targeted website.

The demographic choices available are surprisingly extensive. They include:

  • Gender
    • Female
    • Male
  • Age
    • 18-24
    • 25-34
    • 35-44
    • 45-54
    • 55-64
    • 65+
  • Annual Household Income (USD)
    • 0-14,999
    • 15,000-24,999
    • 25,000-39,999
    • 40,000-59,999
    • 60,000-74,999
    • 75,000-99,999
    • 100,000+

They also offer advanced options for demographics, which includes:

  • Ethnicity
    • Any
    • White/Caucasian
    • Black/African American
    • Asian/Pacific Islander
    • Hispanic


    • Children in household
    • No children in household.

It is worth noting that the AdWords demographic offerings are much more detailed than what adCenter offers. Presently, adCenter allows demographic targeting by gender and age group, however adCenter splits age between five age groups while AdWords offers six. Both also offer regional targeting, which adCenter has within their demographic options.

It will be interesting to watch Google AdWords dive into targeting through demographics, and to see if advertisers sing the praises of their offering like they are with MSN adCenter.

The timing of this change is certainly interesting, especially with the open signup for MSN adCenter on Monday, where advertisers were able to sign up and start new campaigns without having to wait for an invite.

About the author

Jennifer Slegg began as a freelance writer, and turned to search engine optimization and writing content for the web in 1998. She has created numerous content-rich sites in niche markets and works with many clients on content creation, strategy, and monetization. She writes about many search industry and social media topics on her blog, and is a frequent speaker at search industry conferences on SEO, content marketing and content monetization. Acknowledged as the leading expert on the Google AdSense contextual advertising program, she runs JenSense, a blog dealing exclusively with contextual advertising. She is also the founder and editor of The SEM Post. She is known by many as her handle Jenstar on various webmaster forums.