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Why is my Custom Affinity reach so large? How does adding the same keyword change this?

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# 1
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Hi.  I just started a Custom Affinity campaign that targets people who want to learn Mandarin/Chinese online. I believe I setup my Custom Affinity Audience properly but the weekly available impressions is 100M to 500M online.  I have other search and display campaigns setup in Adwords and Bing and I can say that 100M to 500M is not a realistic number for weekly impressions.  First, take a look at the interest keywords and URLs I entered for my Custom Affinity Audience (the URLs are darkened out for confidentiality reasons - they are other online Mandarin/Chinese tutor websites):

 

cust_affin_terms.png

 

You can see that I am clearly entering interest keywords such as "mandarin," "chinese," and more interest keywords to define my Custom Affinity Audience.  I entered quite a few keywords and quite a few URLs to give Adwords a very good idea of the audience I am looking for.  I also excluded quite a few site categories such all Sensitive Content, Error Pages, Parked Domains, G-Mobile App, etc.  I kept about 11 reasonable site categories and excluded the rest.  So why is Adwords returning 100M to 500M weekly impressions?  I'm pretty sure the market for people looking for an online Mandarin/Chinese tutor is nowhere near 100M to 500M weekly impressions:

 

 

no_keywords.png

 

Also, remember that I already entered "mandarin" and "chinese" for my interest keywords in defining my Custom Affinity Audience already?  So now I enter "mandarin" and "chinese" as keywords again, to see if the weekly impressions comes down to a more realistic number.  After I enter "mandarin" and "chinese" for my keywords, the number of weekly impressions comes down to a more reasonable number of 500K to 1M weekly impressions:

 

 keywords_added.png

 

 Why did adding "mandarin" and "chinese" as keywords make such a huge difference in lowering the weekly impressions even though I already added "mandarin" and "chinese" as interest keywords when I defined my Custom Affinity audience?

 

I get the feeling that I'm not setting up my Custom Affinity campaign properly.  I want to target people looking for an online Mandarin/Chinese tutor.  I was hoping that because I entered enough interest keywords and URLs, that I could give Adwords a really accurate idea of the audience I am looking for but it's returning 100M to 500M weekly impressions and I'm doubting Adwords has defined my audience accurately (there's no way I can get good conversions if the audience is that broad).  In addition, it doesn't make any sense that when I enter "mandarin" and "chinese" as keywords, it has leads to such a drastic decrease in the weekly impressions (500K to 1M impressions) even though I already added "mandarin" and "chinese" in the interest keywords when I defined my Custom Affinity audience.

 

Any help would be appreciated.  Thanks!

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Why is my Custom Affinity reach so large? How does adding the same keyword change this?

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# 2
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I think that you re using keywords which are too broad, Genarally speaking, custom affinity is quite broad targeting method.
Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Why is my Custom Affinity reach so large? How does adding the same keyword change this?

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# 3
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Thanks MosheTLV.  I stopped my Custom Affinity campaign.  I checked some of the placements where my ads ended up in this campaign and based on the placements, I doubt my ads were reaching the right audience.  I think you're right that Custom Affinity is a broad targeting method in general.  I can eliminate the keywords which are too broad and use keywords which are more specific but I don't think the Adword's Custom Affinity algorithm is really capable of determining the correct "audience" that I want to target. 

 

This is a shame because based on all the articles I was reading about Custom Affinity, those articles seemed to imply that Custom Affinity was a good way to target a specific audience. For example, I refer to this article from the Google Adword's team (https://adwords.googleblog.com/2014/10/introducing-custom-affinity-audiences.html):

 

"It gives you the flexibility to reach exactly the audience you're looking for, because you decide who to reach ...Custom affinity audiences lets advertisers define who they want to reach across the web, on any screen. By factoring in consumers’ most recent passions and ongoing interests, your message always reaches the right people."

 

Well, I'm skeptical of the above statement since in practice and what I am seeing so far, I don't think I'm able to target "exactly the audience (I'm) looking for" in my Custom Affinity campaign.  Instead, I agree with you that "custom affinity is quite broad targeting method."  If there is a way to achieve what the Adwords team claims above in their blog with Custom Affinity, I'd be interested to know what I can do to fix my campaign.  If not, that's cool, I can stop my Custom Affinity campaign and fall back to my other campaigns that are working for me.