Google Ads Search Themes For Performance Max

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Google announced the beta launch of Search themes for Google Ads Performance Max campaigns. Search themes are an optional signal you can use to inform Google AI about your business to expand relevant reach across your Google ad campaigns.

Note, right now it is optional, but in early 2024, Google will automatically upgrade your existing custom segments based on search activity to search themes. With the release of search themes, you will no longer be able to add or edit custom segments based on past search activity in Performance Max. Custom segments based on interests will still be available, Google said.

Performance Max currently looks at your assets, feeds, and landing pages to predict which placements, including search queries, will perform well for your campaign. What search themes do is it “can fill in gaps by adding information about your business that you expect to perform well.” Google said.

On Google Search inventory specifically, search themes in Performance Max campaigns will have the same prioritization as your phrase match and broad match keywords in Search campaigns. Exact match keywords that are identical to the search queries will continue to be prioritized over search themes and other keywords. Keep in mind that search themes are optional. You’ll also have access to tools like brand exclusions to help control the types of search traffic that Performance Max serves on.

Here is a screenshot of this interface:

Google Search Themes

Here is how it works:

  • Search themes let you indicate queries that you know your customers are looking for. They are optional and are additive to what queries Performance Max would match you to using your URLs, assets, and more.
  • You can add up to 25 search themes per asset group.
  • Search themes will respect brand exclusions in Performance Max and account-level negative keywords.
  • Results driven from search themes will bring your customers to the landing pages you’ve indicated via your Final URL expansion, page feeds, and URL contains settings.
  • Search themes will have the same prioritization as your phrase match and broad match keywords in your Search campaigns.
  • You wil be able to see the search categories that your ads matched to in your search terms insights at both the campaign and account levels, and associated conversion performance. You can now view search term insights for custom date ranges, download your data, and access it via the API.

David Kyle got this notice in his account a week ago, he said on X, here is what it offered him:

Google Ads Search Themes

Here are some FAQs Google posts:

Will search themes limit Performance Max traffic?
No. Search themes may help identify new or incremental traffic that drives improved performance when that traffic can’t be found with keywordless AI technology through the final URL expansion feature.

  • How will search themes affect my keywords in Search campaigns? Search themes will have the same prioritization as your phrase match and broad match keywords in your Search campaigns and the one with the highest Ad Rank will be prioritized.
  • How will search themes affect my keywords in Search campaigns? Search themes will have the same prioritization as your phrase match and broad match keywords in your Search campaigns and the one with the highest Ad Rank will be prioritized.
  • Are search themes required for Performance Max? No. Search themes are an optional input you can use to drive better performance.
  • Can I remove search themes after using them? Yes. You can remove the search themes you don’t want to include in your Performance Max asset group at any time.

There is a lot more detail over here.

Here is Ginny Marvin’s Twitter thread on this:

Forum discussion at X.

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