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Targeting and Observation Settings in Google Ads

Targeting and Observation audience strategies are different and if you will not use them correctly your performance can be affected negatively.

Before creating your campaigns you have to get it what is the difference of Targeting and Observation settings.

Let’s pick the right one for your strategy! 

Targeting and Observation Differences

When you use targeting settings your ad will only be shown to audience segments that you selected.

You can use this setting on Search, Display, Youtube and Discovery campaings.

Using Observation will not affect the reach of your campaigns or ad groups. Google gathers data and you can see and analyze the performance of pre-defined audience segments.

You can use this setting on Search and Display.

Observation option is not available on Youtube and Discovery campaigns.

When Should You Use the Targeting Setting?

When you want to show your ads to audiences only that you choose you can use the Targeting setting.

Examples of Audience Targeting Strategies

  • Creating a remarketing campaign you have to target specific audiences.
  • When you have a limited budget and you want to reach certain users.
  • You can especially use targeting on Display, Youtube and Discovery campaigns. You don’t want to spend money on irrelevant users.

When Should You Use the Observation Setting?

If you want to monitor the performance of certain audience segments and don’t want to narrow your campaign’s reach volume you can use the Observation setting.

Examples of Audience Observation Strategies

  • Monitor the performance of different audience segments and use bid adjustment for best performers.
  • You can use audience bid adjustment on search ads too. Use Remarketing list for search ads (RLSA) and increase the bids on that audience.

How You Can Find Targeting and Observation Settings on Google Ads?

In the Google Ads interface, navigate to the Audiences tab on the left-hand side.

targetting and observation - audience segment

Click on Edit Audience Segments to the right.

targetting and observation edit audience segment in google ads interface

Don’t forget to select level for editing audience segments: Campaign or Ad Group

targetting and observation level selecting settings in google ads interface

At the top on screen, you’ll have the option to choose the setting of Targeting and Observation.

targetting and observation settings in google ads interface


By understanding differences of Targeting and Observation, you can improve your strategy to reach your digital marketing goals.

Just don’t forget, there is no one correct structure. You can create, manage and change your audience settings for your brand’s goals.

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