Google will soon discontinue its current demographic targeting tool, most likely in favor of a new method bolstered by the company's own social data and new privacy policy.

A report from Search Engine Land reveals that Google is nixing support for its demographic bidding tool as part of PPC campaigns. According to the company, the feature will be available only until March 21, when Google will begin phasing it out. This move suggests paid search marketers will soon have other options for targeting, which points to Google’s continued search and social cross-platform focus.

The demographic tool has traditionally allowed marketers to bid for placement across the Google Content Network based on specific ages and genders. Naturally, this is an ideal targeting practice for businesses using PPC campaigns.

As Google shifts the way it uses data in line with its new privacy policy, it’s likely that the company will refine its audience targeting capability for PPC ads and other marketing tools.

Currently, many of the sites in Google’s network provide data to Google, which is the basis for many of these ads. However, the launch of Google+, its integration with search and the updated privacy policy will allow Google to use its own rapidly growing user data to serve ads most likely attract clicks.

Google has been aggressive in making PPC a more user-friendly experience, while also working to ensure marketers see benefits from paid search campaigns. As part of this effort, Google has reminded marketers using PPC that they must ensure they have content marketing strategy in place to achieve good Quality Scores. The need for relevant landing page content is even more pressing due to a new feature Google rolled out last month. Brafton reported in February that users can now block ads from companies they bounce back to a SERP from.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.