Build and manage audiences

Audiences overview

You can use Ads Data Hub to build and manage audiences, which can then be shared with your linked Google Ads and Display & Video 360 accounts. Data from your linked Google Ads, Display & Video 360, and Campaign Manager 360 accounts can be used to create audiences, but the final lists can only be used for remarketing within Google Ads and Display & Video 360.

Ads Data Hub allows you to create two primary types of audience lists:

  • Engaged audience lists show your campaigns or line items to users who have previously:
    • Clicked on your ad
    • Watched your ad (engaged views on TrueView ads only)
    • Converted
  • Frequency capping lists limit the number of times that your campaigns or line items can be shown to potential customers. (Only available for use in Display & Video 360.)

Example use cases:

  • Reduce overlap across Google Ads and Display & Video 360 by using frequency-capped audiences
  • Churn mitigation strategies
  • Lifetime value (LTV) strategies for high-value users

Engaged audiences

Engaged audience lists are event-level remarketing lists that allow you to strategically target users who have previously interacted with your ads. Optimizing your media buys based on a user's previous activities with your ads can lead to better engagement and increased brand loyalty. Additionally, Ads Data Hub allows you to aggregate data from multiple accounts and include first-party data to further enrich your audiences.

Engaged audiences allow you to:

  • Create audience lists of ad events from signed-in users across YouTube, Gmail, and other Google inventory.
  • Join your 1PD with ad events (clicks and conversions) to create custom audience segments for the purposes of remarketing.
  • Use your first-party data and YouTube event-level data to decide which users and segments to reach. You can compile and store lists and target them with focused ads. Targeting can be done by selecting specific users, specific segments, or by seeding users and finding a lookalike audience.

In order to protect end-user privacy, not all events are available to be used in audience queries. In Ads Data Hub, for the purposes of remarketing, you can only build audiences of users who have had follow-up events, such as clicks or conversions, with one of your ads or users who are matched based on the 1PD you have brought in via BigQuery.

Events not meeting this criteria will automatically be filtered. Additionally, events may be filtered if there's a risk that they could reveal sensitive information about users.

Create an engaged audience


  • You must be familiar with how to write SQL queries in Ads Data Hub.
  • In order to bring in PII, you must be fully onboarded onto user-provided data matching. To learn more, reach out to your Google representative.

Access the new UI experience, which includes updated query templates and audience query scheduling by logging into your account at Ads Data Hub for Marketers.

  1. Click Audiences > Remarketing > + Create audience.
  2. For Audience name, enter a name for the audience list.
  3. For Description, enter a description of the audience list. This is helpful to other users on your account who will work with the audience list.
  4. For Data Source, Select the Ads Data Hub account that contains the campaign data to be used.
  5. Under Destinations, select at least one linked destination account to which the list should be shared:
    1. To select Google Ads accounts: Click Choose customers.
    2. To select Display & Video 360 accounts: Click Choose advertisers & partners.
  6. Click + Create audience query, and then do one of the following:
    1. Write your own query using BigQuery compatible SQL. Learn about available schema.
    2. Use one of the sample audience queries by copying it and pasting it into the query editor.
  7. Click Done.
  8. Click Create.
  9. Optional: To make changes to the list, click More.
    1. In the menu that pops up, select Edit, Re-run or Delete.
  10. To activate the audience in your linked Google Ads or Display & Video 360 account, see Activate audiences.

After writing your audience query, you'll need to run the query to populate the audience list.

Run an engaged audience query

Audience queries can be run either to populate a newly-created audience list, or to add users to an existing list. Both of these actions have similar steps. There is a 1:1 relationship between audience queries and audience lists.

  1. Click Audiences > Remarketing.
    1. Optional: Filter by audience name.
  2. Click the name of the audience query you want to run.
  3. Click Run.
    1. If applicable, specify an account to use for matching in the "Match table from" field.
  4. Enter a date range and time zone.
  5. Click Run.


You can use these tables in engaged audience queries, depending on the type of users you are trying to find:

The following fields from Ads Data Hub tables can't be used in engaged audience queries:

  • matching_targeted_keywords
  • site_id
  • placement_id
  • dv360_url
  • dv360_site_id
  • publisher_domain
  • content_url

Sample queries

Create an audience of all users that have clicked or converted on an ad for a particular set of campaigns:

/* Parameter configuration:
conversion_types: array<int64>
customer_ids: array<int64>
campaign_ids: array<int64> */

  -- or from adh.google_ads_clicks_audience
  joined_impression.customer_id IN unnest (@customer_ids)
  joined_impression.campaign_id IN unnest (@campaign_ids)
    /* Optional: Use desired conversion types from the Google Ads UI as a filter.
    AND conversion_type IN unnest (@conversion_types) */

Create an audience of all users that have interacted with particular campaign and match customer data using a match table:

  joined_impression.campaign_id IN (@campaign_ids)
  external_cookie IN (@match_ids)

Create an audience of all users that have interacted with a Display & Video 360 campaign with a particular u_value:

  event.u_value IN (@uvalue_ids)
  vent.dv360_line_item_id IN (@line_item_ids)

Create an audience of all users that are related to specific floodlight activities:

  event.floodlight_config_id IN (@floodlight_ids)

Create an engaged audience joined with first-party data:

  adh.google_ads_conversions_audience_match a
  -- or from adh.google_ads_clicks_audience_match
  lower(to_hex(a.external_cookie)) = audience.USER_ID_FIELD

Measure engaged audiences and performance

To measure the performance of your audiences:

  • In Display & Video 360, use the Audience Performance report. The Audience Performance report looks at all the users you reached, and groups your impressions, clicks, and conversions by the audience lists those users were in.
  • In Google Ads, use Audience reporting. Audience reporting shows you how audiences are performing, and includes ad group, campaign, and account-level performance metrics on demographics, audience segments, and exclusions.

Frequency capping

Frequency capping audiences give you better control over user exposure to your campaigns, by negatively retargeting users based on how many times they've been exposed to your ads. Here's how it works: you specify a list of campaigns or line items where you want to compute frequency, along with an impression threshold. Once a user has reached the impression threshold and you've run a frequency capping query, they are added to the frequency capping audience.

Since users are added to frequency capping lists actively (via you running queries), users may see your ads more than your threshold allows. Ensure that you're regularly running frequency capping queries in order to maintain the accuracy of your lists.

See the API samples for examples of how to use the API to create a frequency capping audience.

You can use source data from Google Ads, Campaign Manager 360, or Display & Video 360, but your frequency capping audiences can only be used in Display & Video 360.

ID space eligibility

Currently, audience activation is limited to ad events tracked via cookies; that is events occurring on the Google Display Network or Google Video Partner sites.

Create a frequency capping audience

  1. Navigate to the Audiences tab in Ads Data Hub.
  2. Click the Frequency capping tab in the upper navigation.
  3. Click + Create audience.
  4. Audience details:
    1. Add a name and (optionally) a description.
  5. Configuration:
    1. Enter the maximum number of ad impressions a given user can have before the campaign or line item stops serving to them.
    2. Enter the window (in days) over which a user's ad impressions are counted. This lookback window, called "Duration", also indicates how long a user will remain on the audience list.
  6. Data:
    1. Select the Ads Data Hub account in which you'd like the audience list to be added.
    2. Under "Sources", select the campaigns, insertion orders, or line item IDs to be used to populate the audience list.
    3. Under "Destinations", select the accounts to which the list should be shared.
  7. Click Save.

Update a frequency capping audience

You can add additional campaigns, line items, or insertion orders to an existing frequency capping audience.

  1. Navigate to the Audiences tab in Ads Data Hub.
  2. Click the Frequency capping tab in the upper navigation.
  3. Click on the list you want to update.
  4. Under "Data > Sources", select the campaigns, insertion order or line item IDs to be used to populate the audience list. You can't remove sources which have already populated in the list.
  5. Click Run to apply the changes.
  6. Click Save.

Activate audiences

By default, the audiences you create won't be shared to your linked accounts. In order to use lists that you've populated using Ads Data Hub, you must selectively share those lists with your linked accounts.

To share an audience list:

  1. Navigate to the list you want to share.
  2. Google Ads:
    1. Click Choose customers under "Destinations".
    2. Click the checkbox next to the advertiser or partner you want to share the list with.
    3. Click Done.
  3. Display & Video 360:
    1. Click Choose advertisers & partners under "Destinations".
    2. Click the checkbox next to the advertiser or partner you want to share the list with.
    3. Click Done.
  4. Click Save.

You can also stop sharing a user list with an specific account. To update your sharing configuration:

  1. Navigate to the list you want to update the sharing settings.
  2. Google Ads:
    1. Click Choose customers under "Destinations".
    2. Click the checkbox next to the advertiser or partner you want to share or stop sharing the list with.
    3. Click Done.
  3. Display & Video 360:
    1. Click Choose advertisers & partners under "Destinations".
    2. Click the checkbox next to the advertiser or partner you want to share or stop sharing the list with.
    3. Click Done.
  4. Click Save.

Restrictions and privacy considerations

In addition to the requirements listed below, the lists that you create must comply with the eligibility and targeting policies of the platform in which the list is used, as well as Ads Data Hub's policies.

Aggregation requirements

Audience lists must contain 100 or more 30-day active users to serve on network inventory, and 1,000 or more 30-day active YouTube users to serve on YouTube. This means that the audience lists you create won't be eligible for targeting in Google Ads and Display & Video 360 while fewer than the required number of users on the list were active in the last 30 days.

First-party data

Data that you've uploaded into your BigQuery account can be used to augment ad event data, but it can't be used as the source of user IDs used for targeting. First party data can be joined using cookie matching or custom floodlight variables.


The list membership for engaged audiences and frequency-based audiences on non-Google owned and operated properties is 7 days (as of May 15, 2023).

You can refresh this lifespan by re-adding user IDs to the audience:

  • Frequency capping lists created in Ads Data Hub after August 31, 2021 will automatically update every 24 hours to add or cap users.
  • Frequency capping lists created before August 31, 2021 must be manually updated by running queries.
  • Engaged audience lists must be updated by running queries manually.

API samples

Audience activation API samples are available in Java only. Download the sample API code.