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Re: Advanced Targeting Glitch

Level 3 kb
Reply to pankaj1782
| ‎06-04-2012 10:51 AM



     I appreciate your idealistic views on Adwords' filtering system, but if you've seen what I've seen over the past three years, you would quickly reverse your views.


     Here's a quick example:  Yesterday I got charged $70 for four clicks from the same IP address within a two minute time frame for the searches "towing in charlotte", "towing in charlotte nc", "towing charlotte nc", and "emergency towing in charlotte".


     I have three independent tracking services for my website and I am the person that vigorously lobbied for increasing Adwords' IP exclusion list from 100 to 500.


     And, just to put it in perspective, due to the use of dynamic IP's, I exclude 500 different IP addresses every 3 months.  90% of the clicks that I pay for, are from competitors.  


     In fact, I've had to hire someone whose full-time job is to exclude IP's and send Google "invalid click forms" with logs from my three tracking services.


     That said, Adwords credits me roughly 10% of what any rational person would deem as "fraudulent click activity". 


     Everything gets reported and there has been little change in three years.


     Nothing personal against you, Pankaj.  I'm just giving you feedback and insight to a problem whose magnitude is not fully grasped by Google and/or their Members.



Message 11 of 23 (498 Views)

Re: Advanced Targeting Glitch

| ‎06-04-2012 11:14 AM

Kb, you may want to try this:


- Target US

- exclude every state except Arizona

- Exclude several big cities and a radius around them, in such a way as to be left with Phoenix and something around it.


Then target by location and search intent and exlcude by location or search intent.


This should exclude every city name present in the excluded locations.


Of course, you can try to target World and then exclude every country, and make sure your ad does not appear for "towing in Shanghai, China", either Smiley Happy.


However, your competition can exhaust your budget by searching for towing in Phoenix, too ... so I don't know how you'll deal with that.


Ideally you should have a script on your website which should alert you every time you get three clicks from the same IP in ... 2-3 minutes, and then exclude that IP immediately.


My 2 cents.

Message 12 of 23 (494 Views)

Re: Excluding geo-targeting by search intent

Reply to AdWiser
| ‎06-04-2012 04:51 PM


Have you tried to implement Calin's technique?


Keep us posted.

Message 13 of 23 (485 Views)

Re: Excluding geo-targeting by search intent

Level 3 kb
Reply to MosheTLV
| ‎07-04-2012 11:46 PM

Moshe and Calin,


I'm pretty sure that both of your ideas would work.


Calin's should be more efficient because theoretically any location that you do not target, should be considered excluded.  In fact, according to Adwords:


  • Tip

    Remember, there's no need to exclude areas that you haven't already targeted -- we won't show your ads in places unless you explicitly target them.


    I interpret this as meaning that a non-targeted location is an excluded location, and if it were true then my problem would be solved.

  • The exception is if you target an area by search intent, and exclude other areas by your customers' physical location. This gets a little more complicated -- check out our article on for more information.

  • This exception doesn't apply to my situation.
  • Your location exclusion method allows you to:
    • Exclude by physical location only: Exclude customers who are likely to be physically located in your excluded geographic areas.
    • Exclude by physical location and search intent: Exclude customers who are likely to be physically located in your excluded geographic areas OR searching for keywords related to your excluded geographic locations.
    • This would suit me fine if a non-targeted location was the equivalent of an excluded location.

    • You guys already know all this stuff.

    • My point is that I have 13 companies, most of which need to be target audiences using physical location only and not show to anyone who includes a non-targeted location in their search query, no matter where they're physically located.
    • Even though Calin's idea is good and I appreciate all of your feedback, that would entail excluding 49 states and at least 30 cities with their surrounding areas.  And there would still be areas left unaccounted for.
    • That would take far too much time, taking into account the research to find all the metropolitan areas for the all the states that I operate in, in order to exclude them.
    • Thanks anyway, but until Adwords develops a simple method for not showing my ads to people who are putting locations in their search queries that I haven't targeted (and I believe that Adwords adopting such a method is necessary and long overdue), I will just have to put up with the problem.
    • kb
Message 14 of 23 (467 Views)

Re: Advanced Targeting Glitch

Level 3 kb
Reply to AdWiser
| ‎07-04-2012 11:50 PM



I posted a long message to you and Moshe but I didn't address your question about competitors exhausting my budget by using Phoenix in their query.


It's true that they can do that, but in that case, at least I can get credit for an exact match click, which would work positively towards my quality scores and ultimately lower my click costs.



Message 15 of 23 (466 Views)

Re: Advanced Targeting Glitch

| ‎08-04-2012 01:06 AM

Hello, kb.


I'm pretty sure the AdWords Editor could help a lot here. You could create a "template campaign" which excludes 49 states and then just copy exclusions to all your campaigns, only making sure not to exclude the targeted area as well.


Copy paste should work fast. I'm also sure that there are, per state, lists with major cities as well, which could somehow end up being semi-automatically added to your campaign exclusion list.


And then you could mine your query data, periodically, and exclude locations which are unrelated and appear more frequently.


Sure, in the end it's all a question of costs versus benefits.


Good luck!

Message 16 of 23 (461 Views)

Targeting by US zip code

Reply to AdWiser
| ‎08-04-2012 05:26 AM


Good news : NEW! As of two days ago - a new feature in AdWords location targeting : You can geo-target by US zip codes. That should let you target zip codes only in areas you operate, and in surrounding areas (around these Zip codes).



Message 17 of 23 (452 Views)

Re: Targeting by US zip code

Level 3 kb
Reply to MosheTLV
| ‎08-04-2012 11:25 AM



This is a good thing but it doesn't help me.


Besides, Adwords used to have a zip code targeting method years ago.


I don't know why they removed it, but obviously enough people complained (myself included), so they brought it back.


Maybe in my lifetime, they'll agree that non-targeted locations should be the same as excluded locations, and then I can die a happy man.



Message 18 of 23 (445 Views)

Re: Targeting by US zip code

| ‎08-04-2012 01:22 PM

Hi all


Kb, you are right and it also sounds super logical that every location out of your targeted location is an "excluded location" !


To avoid getting irrelevant clicks for regions outside a targeted business region one has to first exclude the unwanted locations ( In my case, I generated a search term report to see from which unwanted locations I was getting most unwanted clicks and impressions) and then opt for "exclude by physical location and search intent ".




Message 19 of 23 (443 Views)

Re: Targeting by US zip code

Reply to Mudit
| ‎08-04-2012 04:13 PM


Calin, Pankaj and I, did try had and our best, along this thread, to find a solution, but that's the most we can do....

Eventually, this has been helpful knowledge. However, from your prospect, it hasn't been practical, the way your campaigns are set ...(so, no stars this time Smiley Sad)




Message 20 of 23 (437 Views)

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