Google has announced that it is launching demographic bidding on Adwords.

In essence, the new functionality will allow advertisers to target specific demographic groups, based on the profiles supplied by the content network website owners.

This sounds very promising and will of course be of great interest to online marketers, but we would suggest that it is not going to be totally reliable and may not represent the marketing utopia that we would all love to see.

The most significant drawback is that it is only available on the content network, which restricts your reach as an advertiser. You cannot use this feature on ‘normal’ Google searches.

Secondly, you will be relying on the content sites providing accurate demographic data regarding their users. Only time will tell how accurate this will be and how many sites actually provide such information.

One of the greatest strengths of search engine marketing is that users identify a need, through the use of keywords. If you have products or services that will be of interest to such users, it doesn’t strictly matter what their demographic profile is and you should aim to promote your brand to all those looking for your services.

This is, of course, not universally true, but as with bid management strategies such as day-parting or geo-targeting, we are always hesitant to restrict exposure based on data that is not always 100% reliable.

Certainly one to watch – visit the demographic bidding adwords page for more information and apply to be involved in the beta testing.