Lee Odden

Demographic Targeting with Google AdWords

On the heels of MSN AdCenter’s demographic profiling aspirations, Google AdWords now offers demographic site selection with gender, age, and household income as the demographic categories available. The demographic information comes from ComScore. h/t Andy

Additional info from:

JenStar: “It will be interesting to see if advertisers find that the profiles are matching the resulting traffic from those sites. And I am sure some publishers will reverse engineer an AdWords campaign to see what demographic profile their own site is, and if it matches what they believe their traffic to be.”

Traffick: “Essentially what this means is an improved functionality for the site selection tool, only applicable to content targeting of the “site targeting” variety. It’s not a major foray into targeting search ads by demographics, then (yet).”

Does this take some wind out of MSN AdCenter’s sails? Well, that’s the power of Google. Once the demographic site selection gets significant usage along with MSN AdCenter, there will be some interesting feedback I’m sure. Seems like a good session idea for SES San Jose.

PoorSo SoOKGoodAwesome (3 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)

Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Thanks or the tips Brent although estimating organic efforts to estimate traffic and target audience is a bit of kentucky windage I think.

  2. Avatar Brent Franson says

    The demographic site targeting tool is a step in the rght direction but the real value lies in making this available for keyword-targeted ad campaigns. The new tool is just a fancy way of broadly categorizing an entire sites demographics rather than a specific searchers. I have a few tips for those diving head first into the use of demographic targeting.

    1. Make sure to check the site before adding it to your site-targeted campaign.
    2. Understand that the predicted impressions per day refers site impressions not ad impressions. It is interesting to note that the estimated number of impressions per day for cnn.com and match.com is 0-10k but bookofmatches.com is at 100-500k and plentyoffish.com at 500k+
    3. Review organic and PPC efforts of prospective sites to better estimate traffic and target audience.

  3. OK, I’m game. Exactly how are you gathering accurate demographic data from the organic and PPC efforts of prospective sites? Outside of using Hitwise, this is something I’d like to see.

  4. Avatar Brent Franson says

    I disagree. Organic rankings are directly related to the type and volume of searchers that will be coming into the prospective site. Calling this type of demographic estimation a “kentucky windage” is short-sighted. Don’t mean to offend – I really enjoy your blog and read it daily. Keep up the solid work.