Published on September 11, 2020
Google is updating its ad policies, removing certain demographic targeting criteria for advertisers operating in the employment, housing, and credit sectors. This change is not too surprising to us or to other housing, employment, and credit advertisers as Facebook created similar policies a little over a year ago when their ad targeting changed for the financial sector.
Although Google hasn’t released any additional details, they have acknowledged that more information will become available in the coming weeks. #TeamCotton will remain abreast of the situation and continue to provide our clients with up-to-date information on how this affects any current and future campaigns. However, there is still a bright side to this update:
While Google’s announcement is short on overly specific detail, here’s what we know:
As the world adjusts to a new normal and just more than a year after Facebook removed certain race, gender, and age parameters from their targeting options for real estate promotion, Google is now also planning to update their targeting options to promote fair housing opportunities and address concerns about potential discrimination. Google will now be excluding the following categories: gender, age, parental status, marital status, and zip code. The existing categories that were already globally disallowed from targeting for these industries include (but aren’t limited to): religion, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, and personal hardships. The announcement simply states it will “affect certain types of ads,” but no specifics are named.
The change will be rolling out in the US and Canada “as soon as possible,” with a commitment for full implementation by end of year. Google goes on to say these changes have been in development for some time, in partnership with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). They will also be working to provide advertisers with information about fair housing practices to help them ensure they’re supporting access to housing opportunities.
Technology evolves so fast, so Cotton & Company is always focused on staying ahead of the curve. One rule of thumb is that real estate development media strategies have to encompass a multi-channel approach; you don’t want to place all your eggs in one basket. When Facebook revised their targeting capabilities last year, we assumed it wouldn’t take long for Google to follow suit, but we needed to ensure our lead generation efforts weren’t negatively impacted, so we began experimenting with location-based marketing and dynamic creative. To date, our clients haven’t seen any negative blowback by the lack of targeting available on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and now Google. Let’s look at how our Social Media Conversion Rates change from 2017 to date:
|July 2017–2018||July 2018- 2019||July 2019– 2020|
This data consists of cumulative clients’ average conversion rates as a result of Social Media Advertising. Conversion rates have steadily increased year-over-year, regardless of targeting rule updates.
For real estate developers, asset managers, and country club marketers facing real estate and marketing challenges, Cotton & Company’s experienced team is ready to develop a program that resonates with the emerging market and takes advantage of the cost-effective and efficient online advertising opportunities available today.
Sign up for the Cotton Compendium to stay updated on news relative to the real estate and private club industries.