Changes To AdWords Geo-Targeting Coming Soon

If you’re accustomed to geo-targeting your AdWords campaign by drawing multi-point shapes around your targeted area, you’re out of luck after July 8, when Google is rolling out some changes to its geographical targeting capabilities. After that point, you’ll still be able to edit and delete existing shapes through 2011, but you won’t be able to create new ones.

Existing polygon targets will be changed automatically to a map point with a radius after the end of the year.

Google will also be eliminating the ability to target certain regions — metro areas in Denmark and provinces in Finland, for example — because of changes in real-life geography, and also because of overlapping areas it’s identified. In some cases, this appears to be leaving advertisers with less precise targeting capabilities. For example, Google currently supports targeting of Montrose, California, a town near Los Angeles, but, now, advertisers seeking to target that area will need to choose Los Angeles. That said, local advertisers can still choose to target a radius around a certain map point. Advertisers targeting the eliminated regions will be migrated automatically to Google’s suggested alternatives after July 8.

Additionally, Google is eliminating a leftover alternative to Location Extensions. In some places, advertisers currently have the option to show an address for campaigns that target an area around a map point. After July 8, the “Allow address to show in my ad” option will be removed.

Google announced these changes back in late May, and they’re beginning to take effect two weeks from tomorrow. In February, Google rolled out more granular geo-targeting options for 17 countries.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Google: AdWords


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  • David Burdon

    Two points drawn from the above.

    1. Some densely populated areas do have some strange shapes that don’t fit the radius model. Take the south of England. The population tends to follow motorway or other transport based corridors.
    2. The “address in the ad” helps local suppliers.

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