3.4K members online now
3.4K members online now
Welcome to the Official Google Partners - North America Community
Read the latest articles and tips from Partners Experts and the Google team on growing your business, managing your agency and getting the most out of your AdWords accounts
Google Employee

Custom Affinities: Do's & Don'ts

Custom affinities (modifiable affinity groups that target specific keyword and URL searches) are an easy way to drive branding efforts and better tailor your targeting. For example, rather than using the “beauty maven” targeting pre-set in the AdWords UI, target an affinity for a specific brand, like “NARs.”


While this tool is extremely useful, there are a few common pitfalls. Here’s a short list of dos and don’ts as you consider your custom affinity strategy:




  • Use placements that previously performed well for your ad as placements in your custom affinity. These will likely help the custom affinity perform as well.


  • Build custom affinities around competitor targeting. If this is a strategy you’re employing, custom affinities can be a major asset.


  • Use a mix of keywords and URLs — a good rule of thumb is about 3-5 KW and 5-7 URLs per affinity.


  • Try different combinations to extend your reach of cookies. As you build your affinity, see how many cookies the KW and URLs yield and choose the combination with a large amount.




  • Overload your custom affinity with a diverse set of KW or URLs. Your custom affinity won’t have good metrics because the targeting net will be too wide.


  • Use only KW or URLs, the best custom affinities leverage a combination.


  • Worry about match types; all keywords are considered broad match for custom affinities.


  • Use social media pages in your custom affinity as they usually require a log in and thus are difficult to access.


Tell us in the comments, have you observed any tips that make your custom affinities especially impactful?

Julia_Muller Top Contributor
February 2017

Hi @Michele N,


I have a logistical follow up on this. This may or may not be obvious to others, but I'd like to clarify.. Custom affinities can only be created in a Display campaign on an account, and then we target them on a Video campaigns?


Michele N Google Employee
February 2017

Hi @Julia_Muller, thanks for bringing that up! That's correct - custom affinities can only be created within display campaigns, but they can be applied and used as targeting strategies for both display and video. 

Julia_Muller Top Contributor
February 2017

Thanks, @Michele N.