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30 June 2023

New Brand and Audience Signals Announced for Google Search and Performance Max

Google made another announcement on June 29th, declaring that the "Digital Marketing landscape is undergoing transformative changes," as an increasing number of AI-driven options emerge, providing more possibilities than ever before. Let's explore this.
New Brand and Audience Signals Announced for Google Search and Performance Max

On June 29th – Google announced once again that the “Digital Marketing landscape is changing” with more options than ever being powered by AI to deliver better results than we have ever seen in Search and Performance Max Campaigns (Working together to create something called the “Ads power pairing” designed to deliver optimal results for your marketing) but the hot topic with the AI revolution is that marketers have been wary of using AI through the fear of losing control of their marketing campaigns.

With this in mind, Google have just yesterday announced two new features designed to improve how we, as marketeers, guide the Google AI and control where and how our ads appear within Google Search campaigns and Performance Max by introducing brand restrictions for Search and Brand Exclusions in Performance Max campaigns.

What does this mean for Google Paid Search?

Search campaigns have recently been more effective than ever at driving high volumes of traffic by combining Broad Match keywords with “Smart Bidding” (eg Max conversions, target CPA etc). However this has never before been suitable for brand campaigns due to specific brand needs – for example excluding any traffic that is “off-brand” for our businesses.

However, as of next week we can include new brand restrictions within our broad match campaigns to give us the best of both worlds – including the high volumes of traffic from using broad match campaigns whilst still only reaching the brand traffic we specifically want for our websites.

Brand Restrictions will ensure that our ads only serve on brands that we select (the example given was fitbit) or products related specifically to those brands. Beforehand we had to use exact and phrase match keywords to be able to protect our brand, which can in turn choke the potential of a Digital Marketing Campaign – However with brand restrictions our campaigns can reach a much wider audience while still protecting our branding needs.

Whilst Google have not revealed how they provide us with the brands to restrict, they have revealed that this will be a simple drop down menu with the ability to request additional brands for the AI to learn about and add to this list.

Keep in mind that brand restrictions won’t expand keyword matching, but instead restricts broad matches to queries that contain the brands or products related to the brands you select.

What Does Brand Exclusion mean for Performance Max Campaigns?

This is something that has been in the pipeline since back in in February with a beta release running from around the same time so chances are you have already seen Brand Exclusion appear in your Performance Max campaigns (if you are using them, if not you should be as it’s a VERY cost effective way of driving huge volumes of conversions).

Beta testing has now been completed and brand exclusions are rolling out for all advertisers from right now!

Essentially what this means is that you will be able to choose which brands you exclude from your Performance Max campaigns, these exclusions will allow marketers to provide Performance Max with additional information that will help to drive up even higher potential for conversions.

Applying these exclusions allow brands to exclude traffic from misspellings or foreign languages and we will be able to choose from a list of brands to exclude – including our own brand terms and the brand terms of our competition.

This is huge for performance max campaigns with top of page SEO rankings to exclude themselves from the Performance Max bidding and allow marketers to target more people who are not aware of the brand.

This all has phenomenal potential for brands looking to drive up huge levels of conversion for their business whilst remaining in control of how their ads appear online.

 If you would like any help with setting this up – I live and breathe all things paid media, so please do drop me an email at

30 June 2023
Luke Stone
01392 667766
Optix Solutions
1st Floor, Alphin Brook House,
Alphin Brook Road,
Exeter EX2 8RG


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