in Data & Insights

Break Down Your Audiences Into Hierarchies

Quantcast audience segments can break down your audiences in ways that are useful to you and appealing to potential advertisers. This entirely free feature also enables you to create hierarchies of segments. These hierarchies are very flexible and allow you to group and package relevant audiences in any way you want.

In an earlier post, we mentioned the do-it-yourself website Instructables. They break down audiences by broad interests, but go a step further via hierarchies. For example, visitors interested in food constitute a top level segment, but there are sub-segments within “food” such as cakes, recipes, bread, dessert, vegetarian-and-vegan, etc. Each of these audiences appear in a complete audience profile on for free (see example).

How did Instructables do it? Their audience segments follow the structure of their website (a top level of content is “food”). On an Instructable page dedicated to bread, the Quantcast tag should look like this:

<!-- Quantcast Tag -->  
 <script type="text/javascript"> 
 var _qevents = _qevents || []; 

 (function() { 
 var elem = document.createElement('script'); 

 elem.src = (document.location.protocol == "https:" ? "https://secure" : "http://edge") + ""; 
 elem.async = true; 
 elem.type = "text/javascript"; 
 var scpt = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; 
 scpt.parentNode.insertBefore(elem, scpt);   
 })(); </script>
<script type="text/javascript">  

 <div style="display:none;">  
 <img  src="//"  border="0" height="1" width="1" alt="Quantcast"/>  
 <!-- End Quantcast tag -->


Note the code: labels:food.bread. This is where Instructables specifies a hierarchy. This page is in the food segment and the bread sub-segment. As long as they use a consistent structure throughout their pages, similar minor tweaks to the Quantcast tag are all it takes to create audience segment hierarchies.

Instructables created its audience segment hierarchies based on interest. However, you can also create hierarchies which display rollups of your entire network and properties. You even can assign a piece of media to a multiple independent audience segments. In these cases, an audience members is counted only once for a given time period and can be in multiple audience segments.

The best way to start in with your own audience segments is to read our Audience Segment Implementation Guide. You can also see examples and additional background here.