Google Updates Location Targeting for AdWords

Linc Wonham
by Linc Wonham 29 May, 2011

According to a recent post at Google's Inside AdWords blog, the company is striving "to make location targeting more accurate, easier to use and more flexible" for Web marketers. To that end, writes Nathania Lozada, Google is making the following changes that will go into effect after July 8, 2011:

Changes to existing available locations
Due to changes in real-world geography or the existence of duplicate or overlapping location targets, Google is removing certain location targets in countries such as Japan, Denmark, Spain and the Netherlands, among others. For example, in 2010, six provinces were abolished in Finland, and while AdWords users will no longer be able to target these provinces, they can continue targeting cities in Finland. If you are currently targeting any of these locations in your existing campaigns, you should migrate them to the recommended targets in the list. Otherwise, Google will migrate them automatically. Please review the list carefully since some of these changes will result in migration to larger locations.

Sunset of custom shapes (multi-point or polygon targets)
AdWords users will no longer be able to add multi-point targets. You will still be able to view and delete existing shapes in your current campaigns, and Google will continue to use them until the end of 2011. After that, all polygon targets that are still present in AdWords campaigns will be migrated to available locations such as a nearby city or a map point with a radius. Google encourages users to replace their polygon targets with these alternatives or they will migrate them automatically at end of 2011.

Removal of Show Address in the Ad feature
In some countries, AdWords users currently have the option to show an address with their ads by checking the "Allow address to show in my ad" option for campaigns that target an area around a map point. This option will no longer be available. To display a business address or phone number, users will need to use AdWords location extensions.

These changes will take place after July 8, 2011, and Google recommends that users immediately adjust the location targeting settings of their campaigns with the available alternatives.