Officially taking effect on October 19, 2020, Google’s new policy prohibits marketers in the greater housing, employment and credit sectors; including senior living; from targeting and excluding ads based on gender, age, parental status, marital status or ZIP code. These additional restrictions join an already-established list of exclusions of sensitive categories including:
According to Google, these updates are made in part as “… an effort to improve inclusivity for users disproportionately affected by societal biases; housing, employment, and credit products or services can no longer be targeted to audiences based on gender, age, parental status, marital status, or ZIP code.”
Google is not the first social media platform to make changes to its housing ad policies. In 2019, Facebook made massive changes to its ad platform after being accused by HUD of enabling predatory practices within the housing sector.
Senior living marketers who had become accustomed to geo-targeting within their primary and secondary market areas will need to find alternative approaches without the use of personal marketers such as gender, marital status and ZIP code when targeting ads within the Google network.
Any campaigns using the now-eliminated targeting options will automatically be paused by Google. To ensure uninterrupted campaigns, necessary adjustments to remove now-disavowed targeting options should have already been made.
For most senior living marketers, like SA Digital, this new policy was not a complete surprise, with many already adopting a new set of best practices around targeting radii around a specific address. With more focus now on town, city and county targeting strategies, adjustments to ad copy should accompany landing pages designed specifically for these location-specific targets.
If you are looking for more guidance on these changes and how your senior living ad campaigns can be adjusted to adhere to the new Google policy, please feel free to use us as a resource and contact SA Digital for more information.