Google Ads: What You Should Do About Housing Advertising Changes

Advertisers who position advertisements for jobs, housing, or credit services are no longer allowed to target or exclude ads based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP code, according to Google Ads. On October 19th, 2020, these amendments will take effect.

What’s Gone in Google Ads for Housing Targeting

Google Ads, unlike some other ad platforms, has never allowed advertisers to target users based on race, ethnicity, religion, or disability. Ad targeting by sex/gender, age, zip code, and familial status was possible with Google Ads. In October, the following targeting options will no longer be available:

Gender Targeting: Women play a disproportionately large role in home purchases. In Google Ads for accommodation, targeting a female-skewing audience is no longer a choice. This effect, according to the SimpSocial team, will be most noticeable in community event marketing where Display Ads are used. Google’s sensitive display ad programs, on the other hand, are AI-driven, so the effect would be minor.

Age Targeting: In Google Ads campaigns for accommodation, age targeting will no longer be allowed. The effect is most noticeable in Active Adult 55+ marketing that includes Age-Targeting or Age-Restriction. This will have an effect on certain builders or developers who concentrate on specific life stages, such as First Time Homebuyers, so your agency needs to be aware of this limitation. Our Google Ads team has traditionally used match lists (IDFA or hashed data targeted lists) to avoid this, so we have a strategy in place, do you?

Although ZIP code targeting is not expressly prohibited by FHA guidelines, since certain zip codes are heavily segregated, it can easily be used to target other categories indirectly, such as race or ethnicity. As a result, Google Ads is removing this option, just as Facebook did in 2019. We will continue to aim based on a radius, so figuring out the best conversion zones and creating campaigns around them will be crucial.

Parental Status: Despite the removal of parental status, Google continues to use Life Events, which for all intents and purposes approximates this category. Parental Status was not previously a significant predictor of outcomes, so we do not expect a significant effect here.


In Regards to Targeting, There’s Good News

We will continue to goal based on the following criteria:

Radius targeting can be used to locate locations within a one-mile radius.

Household Earnings

Home ownership is a dream for many people. current situation

Jobs and Education

Remarketing and Customer Match

Life’s Happenings

In-Market Audiences (home buyers or renters) are also present.

Targeting Based on Context

Smart Bidding is unaffected (except demographic)

Google is not eliminating Household Income (HHI) targeting, which is a crucial contrast between Facebook and Google’s policies. Advertisers that successfully use HHI would be less affected by the elimination of ZIP code targeting because HHI uses location-based data as a deciding predictor.

How Does This Affect You?

Although the removal of age and other demographic data points may seem troubling, thanks to the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, the effect should be negligible as long as you or your organization is properly using Google’s AI and machine learning capabilities.

With a technology called “signals,” Google uses AI and machine learning to optimize campaigns. Every Google search, like a digital signature, has an identifying signal associated with it. Age, position, gender, and other factors are among these signals.

Because of these signs, if the Google Ads campaigns are built on a strong basis and follow best practices, they will not reach people who, based on their historical data, are unlikely to convert. Smart Bidding in Google Ads guarantees this by automatically bidding lower on specific users.

If you’re a custom home builder with prices in the $800s, for example, the 18-24 age group won’t turn into leads. Google will actually stop bidding on such individuals after a learning duration of about 7 days.

On the other hand, Google understands that if marketers stop getting results as a result of the move, they will stop investing money — something Google cannot afford to risk considering that advertising accounts for 71% of its revenue. While Google Ads does not allow you to target specific segments directly, its AI and machine learning will continue to use all available data points to provide the best results for its advertisers so that they continue to invest.

final thoughts

While these targeting choices can seem to be a major loss for housing advertisers, bear in mind what distinguishes Google Ads from other platforms: keywords. The phrases that people search on Google are highly accurate indicators of intent, which makes Google Paid Search such a successful digital marketing channel.

It doesn’t matter how old anyone is when searching for “master-planned societies.” The majority will be of the generation that is consciously looking for a master-planned city. Of course, there will be a few younger people looking for their parents that we want to contact as well. There aren’t so many teenagers looking for “master-planned neighborhoods.”

No leads were lost. reduced overhead.
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