Parental Status Targeting Now Available in Google AdWords

Max Braglia - June 26, 2014

Late last week, Google rolled out “parental status” targeting to its AdWords advertising platform, allowing advertisers to reach users who are likely to be parents with children across the Google Display Network.

This new demographic subset has three settings: “parent,” “not a parent,” and “unknown,” and it gives advertisers the opportunity to either exclude or adjust bids for these demographics, just as they would for the other available demographics (age, gender, and interests).

It goes without saying that for any type of business that targets babies, young children, and/or their parents (for example, baby clothing retailers), the AdWords new targeting feature could be incredibly valuable.

Currently, according to a Google representative, the new targeting feature is available to 5 percent of advertisers and later in June, it will be launched to 100 percent in the U.S. Here at MoreVisibility, we have spotted the new feature and, where appropriate, immediately put it to the test across several accounts we manage.
Parental Status Targeting in Google Adwords
So, how does parental targeting work? Google used surveys to find hundreds of thousands of respondents who are self-declared parents with children in their household, then used that data to find other users across the Google network who have similar content consumption patterns and characteristics.

The AdWords new targeting feature has drawn some criticism among marketers, and some even said that Google has gone too far. But if you think about it, interest-based ads on the Google Display Network, including parental interests, have been around for a long time, so in the eyes of Google, this new feature is just an improvement of the AdWords interface for display campaigns.

Regardless of different opinions on the subject, smart marketers should recognize the enormous potential of the new parental status targeting capability that AdWords offers and take advantage of it.

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