When you use keywords in your ad groups to contextually target your ads, we match them to relevant pages across the hundreds of thousands of sites on the Google content network. But have you ever wanted to bid more (or less) for a specific content network site you're contextually targeting? Or write customized ad text for a precise group of pages, such as news articles or relevant discussions on social networks? Now you can.

We've combined keyword-targeted and placement-targeted campaigns into a single online campaign type. Starting today, you can target keywords and placements together in the same ad group. By doing so, you combine the benefits of contextual targeting with placement targeting: use keywords to show your ads only on contextually relevant pages, then use placements to set specific bids for, or restrict your targeting to, sites you value differently from the rest of the content network.

Here are two ways you might use these new content network controls:
  1. Set custom bids for specific placements. Let's say you're selling laptops, and you're using the content network to advertise on pages relevant to the keywords 'laptops,' 'laptop computers,' and 'laptop accessories.' After checking your Placement Performance report, you see that you're getting sales at a great ROI from three technology review sites. You also see a few sites where you're getting sales, but your costs are too high to advertise effectively on them.

    If you currently have a $1.00 bid for the content network as a whole in this ad group, you can now add the high- and low-performing sites as placements into your ad group with custom bids. For example, you might set a $2.00 Max CPC for the three high-performing sites, and a $0.50 Max CPC for the low-performing ones. Meanwhile, you're still using the keywords in your ad group to target relevant pages across the content network, but now you've adjusting bids for the sites in the network that perform better or worse than average.

  2. Show your ad only when both keywords and placements match. Suppose you check your Placement Performance report again and see that your laptop ads are showing often on sites that discuss how to make laptops more energy efficient. You know that you sell some of the most energy efficient laptops available, and you'd like to write an ad that highlights the power-saving benefits of your products. But you don't want to show this ad on pages whose readers aren't as concerned about energy conservation.

    Now you can create an ad group containing the same 'laptop' keywords you've been using and add each of the energy efficiency sites as placements. Next, change your campaign settings so that your ads show only on the sites you've added, and only when their pages are relevant to your keywords. This gives you the freedom to write an ad highlighting the energy-saving benefits of your laptops to this unique audience, since you know that your ad will appear only on relevant pages on the placements you've selected.

This new feature affects your ads on the content network only, and it's entirely optional. You can do nothing and your existing campaigns will continue running just as they have. But by using keywords and placements together, you can get better control over ad placement and pricing on the content network to help you meet your ROI objectives.

To learn the ins and outs of the feature and and get started, please visit our Help Center.