Rescheduled changes to targeting expansion in Display & Video 360 API and Structured Data Files

On March 25, 2023, optimized targeting will gradually begin replacing targeting expansion for all display, video, and audio line items in Display & Video 360. By mid-April, optimized targeting will be live for all partners. These changes will be reflected in Display & Video 360 API and Structured Data Files (SDF), and might impact your existing implementation and the success of your requests.

Similar changes were previously announced and subsequently postponed late last year, but these rescheduled changes have some important differences. Please read this blog post in its entirety if you use the targetingExpansion field in the Display & Video 360 API or the “Audience Targeting - Similar Audiences” column in SDF to configure your Display & Video 360 line items.

Changes in the Display & Video 360 API

Optimized targeting will be configured using the existing targetingExpansion field and TargetingExpansionConfig object in Display & Video 360 API LineItem resources. Once optimized targeting replaces targeting expansion for your partner, these fields will be used to manage optimized targeting in the following ways:

  • The targetingExpansionLevel field will only support two possible values:
    • NO_EXPANSION: optimized targeting is off.
    • LEAST_EXPANSION:optimized targeting is on.
  • Optimized targeting will not automatically be turned on for eligible line items created or updated by the Display & Video 360 API. NO_EXPANSION will be the default value for the targetingExpansionLevel field and will be automatically assigned if you do not set the field.
  • If you set targetingExpansionLevel to one of the following values, it will automatically be reset to LEAST_EXPANSION:
  • excludeFirstPartyAudience will be deprecated. If set to true, it will automatically be reset to false.
  • If you turn on optimized targeting for an ineligible line item, the request will not return an error and the change will persist. However, you must update the line item to be eligible before it will use optimized targeting when serving.

We will also update the configurations of existing line items as follows:

To aid in this migration, we are adding a new LineItemWarningMessage value to Display & Video 360 API v1 and v2. The warning value DEPRECATED_FIRST_PARTY_AUDIENCE_EXCLUSION will be added to the warningMessages field of line items that have excludeFirstPartyAudience set to true.

Changes in the Structured Data Files

Targeting expansion is currently set using the “Audience Targeting - Similar Audiences” column in Line Item and Insertion Order SDF formats. These columns will be deprecated when optimized targeting replaces targeting expansion. When downloading SDFs, this column will always be set to FALSE and when uploading SDFs, the value of this column will be ignored.

Eligible line items created using SDF upload will have optimized targeting turned off by default. You will not be able to manage optimized targeting configurations using existing SDF versions and must instead use the Display & Video 360 UI or API.

Upcoming SDF v6 will support optimized targeting configurations. The SDF v6 launch will be announced on the Google Ads Developer Blog and in the SDF release notes.

Preparing for these changes

To prepare for these changes, we recommend the following:

  • Turn on automated bidding for line items currently using fixed bidding with targeting expansion before March 25, 2023 so that they are eligible for optimized targeting.
  • Update your Display & Video 360 API integration to directly exclude any first-party audiences using audience targeting before March 25, 2023 to account for the deprecation of the excludeFirstPartyAudience field.
  • Update your Structured Data Files integration to no longer use the “Audience Targeting - Similar Audiences” column in Line Item and Insertion Order SDFs before March 25, 2023 to account for the column deprecation.

If you have questions regarding these changes or need help with these new features, please contact us using our support contact form.