31st October 2023

Google Search Themes beta: a quick guide

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Kieran Hadfield
PPC Executive
Read time: 3min
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Google have released a new Beta feature called “Search Themes”. Here’s a quick summary of what they are and how to use them.

What are Search Themes?

The “Search Theme” feature will be an additional audience signal advertisers can add into Performance Max targeting to increase reach, especially on paid search. This feature will complement the existing PMAX targeting features (assets, feeds, landing pages), which predict the types of queries that will perform well for your PMAX campaigns. The roll out of Search Themes will allow you to add up to 25 broad themes per asset group, related to your business. 

What should be considered when testing this new feature? 

The key caveat here is that, like the other audience signals used in PMAX, the themes are just suggestions rather than actual targeting selections.

These themes are also not specific queries, but broad themes that help steer the algorithm.

This introduction, whilst positive, still reinforces how important it is for advertisers to have good targeting hygiene in their PMAX campaigns. This means placement exclusions, negative keyword lists, brand exclusions (if excluding brand from PMAX) and first party (1P) targeting segments.

What is the future for Search Themes? 

PMAX search themes will be here to stay, with PMAX custom segments being upgraded automatically into search themes early next year, so it’s good to start testing now!

If you’d like to test this beta, get help refining your PMAX campaigns, or ensure your paid search is ready for the cookie-less future, please get in touchWe’d love to help.











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Author Kieran Hadfield
Channel SEM