About advanced location options

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Location targeting based on household income is being automatically migrated from location targeting into demographic targeting. To make household income targeting changes or view your reports, go to the 'Demographics' section of your Google Ads account.

Location options let you include or exclude people based on:

  • Where they're likely to be located or regularly located
  • The places that they’ve shown interest in

By default, location targeting includes both physical locations and locations of interest, but advanced advertisers can use these options to limit their targeting to a subset of these categories. This article goes over the advanced options for location targeting and location exclusion. Note that advanced location options only apply to ads on the Search and Display Networks.

Broad geo targeting

Before you set up your location targeting, consider how specific you’d like your settings to be. Broad geo targeting ('Presence or Interest') can help you reach people who not only exist in your targeted locations, but have shown interest in your targeted locations.

With broad geo targeting, you’ll find the following benefits:

  • Access to a variety of targeting locations, ranging from entire countries, areas within a country like cities or territories, or a radius around a location.
  • Ability to capture more conversions, clicks and impressions of users who are interested in your product or service.
Best practice: Advertisers who switched location targeting from 'Presence' to 'Presence or Interest' in the Travel, Real Estate and Education verticals see +5% more conversions on Search campaigns. (Source: Google internal data, Global, 5/21/2022 - 6/1/2022).

While broad geo targeting is recommended as a best practice on Search, it’s important to know when targeting for 'Presence' makes sense. You should consider 'Presence' targeting in instances when:

  • Your business falls within a sensitive vertical with strict targeting limitations
  • You only want to target users in specific locations and not users who may be in other locations but are still interested in your product or service

Compare location targeting options

By default, you'll be able to reach people who are likely to be in or regularly present in your targeted areas, as well as those who show interest in your targeted geographic areas. People can show interest through terms used in their searches, if they were recently in a location, or through content that they view related to the location (such as pages or sites).

Areas that people show interest in are also known as locations of interest, which we identify regardless of the Google search domain that the person searches on. Find out more about how we determine geographic location and locations of interest.

You have the option to switch to a different form of targeting. Let's review the available targeting options below.

Reach people in, regularly in or who’ve shown interest in, your targeted locations (Presence or Interest)

This default and recommended option lets you reach people who are likely to be in or regularly present in your targeted location, as well as people who have shown interest in your targeted locations.

For example, if you own a bakery in Paris and choose Paris as a targeted location, your ads can show to people located or regularly in Paris, or to people who have expressed interest in Paris bakeries (now or in the past). Alternatively, you can use other location options to limit the location types that you target.

Most campaigns will notice a decrease in impressions when switching away from the default targeting option. We suggest that you change your targeting option only if you want to refine your campaign’s traffic.

Reach people in or regularly in your targeted locations (Presence)

This option lets you show your ads to people who are likely to be located or regularly located in the locations you've targeted. Note that Hotel campaigns use only 'Presence' targeting.


Compare location exclusion options

By default, you'll exclude people likely to be located in your excluded locations.

You have the option to change your default setting to exclude people who are likely to be located in, regularly in or who've shown interest in, your excluded locations. Let's review our available exclusion options, and examine how they work with some example campaigns.

Don’t show ads to people in your excluded locations (Presence)

This option keeps your ads from appearing to people who are likely to be located in the areas that you've excluded. People who are located outside these areas may still receive your ads.

Keep in mind
Location targeting is based on a variety of signals, including users' settings, devices and behaviour on our platform, and is Google’s best effort to serve ads to users who meet your location settings. Because these signals vary, 100% accuracy is not guaranteed in every situation.

As always, you should check your overall performance metrics to help ensure that your settings are meeting your advertising goals and change them accordingly.


FAQs

Are there any benefits to migrating to broad targeting?

Yes. Advertisers who switched location targeting from 'Presence' to 'Presence or interest' in the Travel, Real Estate and Education verticals see +5% more conversions on Search campaigns. (Source: Google internal data, Global, 5/21/2022 to 6/1/2022).

Can I opt out of the migration to 'Presence or interest' targeting or 'Presence' exclusion?

No. This change will occur across Google Ads, Google Ads API and Google Ads Editor. Starting March 2023, you’ll receive an error notification* if you try to set your location targeting settings to any of the values listed below.
Campaign.geo_target_type_setting fields
positive_geo_target_type can no longer be set to SEARCH_INTEREST for Search, Display or Shopping campaigns. The default value is PRESENCE_OR_INTEREST.
negative_geo_target_type can no longer be set to PRESENCE_OR_INTEREST for Search, Display, Performance Max and Shopping campaigns. The default value is PRESENCE.

*The error returned if these values are used is SettingError. SETTING_VALUE_NOT_COMPATIBLE_WITH_CAMPAIGN.

How do I confirm in the Google Ads API that my campaign targeting has migrated correctly?

You can confirm that migration is complete for your Google Ads account by checking that these two queries return zero rows.

  • SELECT campaign.id, campaign.geo_target_type_setting.positive_geo_target_type, campaign.advertising_channel_type FROM campaign WHERE campaign.advertising_channel_type IN ('SEARCH') AND campaign.geo_target_type_setting.positive_geo_target_type = 'SEARCH_INTEREST' LIMIT 1
  • SELECT campaign.id, campaign.advertising_channel_type, campaign.geo_target_type_setting.negative_geo_target_type FROM campaign WHERE campaign.geo_target_type_setting.negative_geo_target_type = 'PRESENCE_OR_INTEREST' AND campaign.advertising_channel_type IN ('DISPLAY', 'PERFORMANCE_MAX', 'SEARCH', 'SHOPPING') LIMIT 1

How do I set up location exclusions?

You can use 'Presence' exclusion to exclude individual areas or to exclude areas in bulk.

How do I set up location targeting?

You can use 'Presence or interest' targeting to:
  • Reach audiences in entire countries
  • Reach audiences in areas within a country
  • Set location targeting for multiple campaigns at once
  • Target a radius around a location
  • Add multiple location targets in bulk
  • Target multiple locations across campaigns

How will my metrics change after my 'Presence or Interest' exclusions are migrated?

After you’ve migrated to 'Presence or interest' targeting and 'Presence' exclusion, you should experience slightly more reach on affected campaigns.

Will this migration impact all of my campaigns?

No. As of March 2023, you’ll only notice location targeting and exclusion changes in your Search, Display, Performance Max, Shopping and Hotel campaigns. Learn how to Choose the right campaign type.

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