Glossary: Affinity Audiences

Glossary: Affinity Audiences


Affinity Audience targeting leans on Google’s enormous cookie database to target users who have an interest with a particular subject matter. Different to being ‘In Market’ (where a user may be actively researching an item intensely for a period before purchasing, then dropping out), Affinities more identify with who people are and their general lifestyle which likely doesn’t change a lot over time – eg. interested in Fashion, or Technology, or Finance, or News and Politics.  

Regular Affinity Audiences are pre-defined by Google and cannot be altered.


Custom Affinity Audiences

Custom Affinity Audiences are a relatively new feature where Advertisers can define the interests they would like their target market to have an ‘Affinity’ for. This can be done by supplying URLs of such interests and/or specific keywords related to said interests.


Intentional Tips
  • We call this kind of targeting “following the cookie” (In other words, we are targeting the user – no matter which page they are on). When following the cookie, there is no point attempting to improve results by negativing Display placements because it is not the placement we are targeting. Similar to Remarketing, as long as you are targeting the right person, you are not concerned with what website they visit (the clear exception here being Content Exclusions).
  • When defining Custom Affinity audiences, supply at least 10 keywords and/or URLs to the Google algorithm so that it is clear about the intention you have behind your targeting. Supplying too few keywords gives too much free license to the Google algorithm to broad match your keywords/URLs to an intention you may not have thought about.
  • Affinity and Custom Affinity audiences typically represent the top of the Display Network funnel
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