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Advertisers on Google Adwords, have been using contextual ad placement targeting for a long time now. Google has now added a new way for them to do so.

Until now, ad targeting was done by adding specific target sites to a list of Managed Placements or with the help of keywords. Whenever a keyword appeared on a webpage, ads from advertisers targeting that keyword or related keywords were displayed. But now, it will be possible to target ads not only in relation to particular sites or  keyword themes, but also in relation to a much broader topic or category.

The new AdWords targeting option will look at all the words on the web page in order to decide what the topic is about, rather than depending on a single keyword. Ads will now be displayed more often and will reach a wider audience.

Google already provides a list of 1,750 topics and sub-topics for advertisers to choose from.

Google AdWords choice of topics for ad targeting

Even if ads displayed in relation to a broad topic do not result in a direct sale, they can build awareness of the product being advertised, which is the first step towards making a sale. This display advertising option makes it a lot easier for advertisers to target wide audiences for branding, rather than having to list thousands of placements or rely on contextual keyword targeting.

Advertisers can use both the keyword and topic-based targeting methods. They can also specifically exclude certain topics or sub-topics from their campaigns.

This method of targeting is available for all ad formats including text ads, banner ads and video ads. Advertisers will also be able to decide, whether they wants to pay on a cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) or cost-per-acquisition (CPA) basis.