Google release Demographic for Search Ads (DFSA) from BETA.


The day cometh!



Demographic for Search?

For those advertisers that don’t have their account managed through a Premier Google Partner (such as ourselves), you may not be aware that Google have had a BETA program running that allows bid changes based on the sex and age group of the user.

Mabo Media were given the opportunity to have early access to the demographic for search ads BETA for a number of our clients. This feature has been available through display campaigns for some time now however, demographic bidding for search campaigns changes things and is another step towards Google’s audience centric future.

We all now have multiple data segments which are set at adgroup level. These include 7 different age groups (18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, 65 or more and unknown), and 3 different sexes (male, female and unknown).

Google analytics (once enabled) will and has tracked this data for as long as the display version has been around but it was only great for analytical purposes if you only run standard search campaigns, until now.

Demographics Overview

How does Google populate this data?

It’s important to note that this data is not 100% accurate, (of course it’s not, how could it be when you don’t have to be signed in to a Google account to use Google), around 10-15% of users are logged in to a Google account when performing a search so Google does have some demographic info on these users. The rest is calculated using Google algorithm, which to be honest is probably quite clever at guessing. It’s also important to note that you should be managing bids based on statistics, these are simply segments of data and so the data pooled into these you manage individually anyhow, so trust them.

How does this help me?

Having trialed multiple accounts with demographic bidding, we’ve found it to be a big positive but only for the right account. Much like location based bidding, there are distinct advantages to being able to manipulate bidding for specific audiences. If you are a business or industry that is looking to target a specific demographic then great, this will certainly help refine where your spend goes and will improve performance.

A basic example, let’s say you sell luxury (more expensive) furniture that appeals to an older generation, decreasing bids for 18-24 years olds (that generally have less disposable income) and reinvesting this into the 45-54 or 55-64 segments would be a good move and could be performed account wide (of course, analysing this through analytics to make sure this is correct is a must).

It becomes increasingly more complicated when you are a more general business appealing to the masses, e.g. you sell jewellery. Your strength demographic can vary greatly from product to product, this style of account would need each adgroup analysing for optimal bid changes on a regular basis. If this resonates with you then you may feel a little ‘meh’ after investing time in DFSA optimisation as this is now an ongoing task.

Age Demographics

How do I implement Demographic for Search Ads in Adwords?

You don’t! It’s automatic and is already available in most accounts.

Where do I find the data?

For PPC management we recommend using adwords as your go to for data as this will more than likely be where you make changes too.


  1. ‘Campaigns’ tab from top navigation when logged in
  2. ‘Audiences’ tab from main navigation
  3. ‘Demographics’ next to the +targeting button
  4. Select either ‘Gender’ or ‘Age’ to view statistics on demographic

Audience Demographics


  1. ‘Reporting’ from top navigation
  2. ‘Audience’ from left navigation
  3. ‘Demographics’ then select ‘overview’ from the drop down
  4. You will now notice a blue ‘Enable’ box in the middle of the screen, selecting this will begin to populate the data within analytics.

Demographics and interests reports

Is it worth it?

The Proof is in the bidding. Really, you need to commit to find out if this new feature is worth the time and effort. As with anything PPC related, it’s not a case of making a change and that is that. You should invest sufficient time (we recommend 3 months but it will depend on traffic levels) worth of data changes to see it’s true impact and track it’s effectiveness.


Remember, this is a data layer and will combine with other data layers such as location, device, time of day, day of week etc.

Do you feel you miss the latest Google Ads updates and feature releases? If so, then contact Mabo today to see how your PPC advertising could benefit from working with our team of PPC management specialists.

[contact-form-7 404 "Not Found"]