Do you remember the good old days of the Google Display planner? It was the perfect tool to estimate the number of people who would see one of your campaigns. Display planner allowed you to experiment with a number of keywords to see the impressions your ad would get. It gave advertisers the option to spend hundreds, no, thousands—no, endless hours just tweaking these keywords to your heart’s content to experiment and see what would work best. 

Well, the option has sadly been gone for a while and we miss it. 

Adwords Display Planner, RIP.

All we have gotten is a message from Google (which you can check out above) telling us that even though the Display planner is no longer available its best features “have been incorporated throughout campaign creation and targeting in the new Google Ads experience.” 

As they made the Display planner unavailable, Google says the benefits of it were integrated into the new program to simplify users’ experience. It eliminates the need for jumping between Google Ads and Display planner, and supposedly leads to “better forecasts.”

The key difference is that they have now created an interface in which you can play with two different types of targeting. There are two general categories: custom affinity audiences and custom intent audiences. 

Custom intent audiences are useful for targeting people who are interested in purchasing a specific good or service. Custom affinity audiences are useful for targeting people who have an interest in a general topic, say, luxury cars. 

Google lists the benefits of this new experience. The first one is that you can get starting ideas to help you plan your campaign in order to find better targeting methods for affinity audiences, in-market audiences, and more. They also use past performance to forecast the results for your new ideas. They also boast “a plan you can share,” which allows you to easily download and share your plan with clients.

While Google justifies the untimely death of the Display planner by saying that it has been replaced by the tools that “guesstimate” the market size that you use in-line while creating the targeting. The replacement hasn’t really been fulfilling. It’s comparable to your dog passing away, and then your mom gets you a stuffed animal that looks like the dog to make you feel better. It’s just not the same. 

The features of the old Display planner gave users a level of granularity that the new experience simply lacks. Advertisers used to be able to estimate traffic in a specific way that the newer tool doesn’t allow. 

I know I can’t be the only one that, when creating a display campaign and trying to estimate the traffic, gets either one billion weekly impressions or just one-hundred thousand weekly impressions. The former is too broad to be useful, and the latter just too tiny to be helpful. 

Do you know what is needed to solve these issues? Someone who can give us such granularity, especially on a per-site basis. If only someone could build the perfect placement site…

Oh, wait—that’s right! That’s why we’re here.