Show your ads in mobile apps

Starting in September 2018, we are significantly simplifying targeting and exclusion controls for mobile Display to make it easier to reach the growing base of mobile users.

The following targeting settings will be replaced by simplified device targeting options of computer, tablet, and mobile:

Following these changes, you can control which publishers or types of content your ads appear on using:

  • Topics
  • Device targeting: computer, tablet, mobile
  • App category
  • Individual app exclusions via placement exclusions for mobile apps, and individual website exclusion
  • Content exclusions

Learn more about how to prepare for updates to mobile targeting and exclusion.

Reach a growing audience of people using mobile phones and tablets by showing your ads in mobile apps. Display Network campaigns are designed to show your ads in apps by default if the placement (the destination for your ad) matches the targeting you've set for your campaign.

This article covers how to show your ads in apps on the Display Network. To promote your app, learn about Universal App campaigns. To avoid showing ads on certain placements, read about how to exclude specific webpages, videos, and apps.

Target mobile apps using a Display campaign

Important: The targeting settings for mobile apps described below will be changing in September 2018. Click here to learn how the settings will change and what you can do to prepare.

If you’re already using a Display campaign to show your ads in apps, and those ads are performing well, you may want to create a campaign that targets apps exclusively. 

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Campaigns in the page menu, click the plus button , then select New campaign.
  3. Choose a goal for your campaign, select Display as a campaign type, then click Continue.
  4. Click Additional settings.
  5. Click Devices, then select Set specific targeting for devices
  6. Uncheck the boxes next to “Computers,” “Mobile web,” and “Tablet web."
  7. Apply additional settings to your campaign as needed.
  8. Click Create Campaign.

Target mobile app categories and specific apps

If you would like your ads to appear only in specific mobile apps, you can indicate that in your targeting settings.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. Click Display campaigns in the navigation panel.
  3. From the navigation panel on the left, click Placements.
  4. Select the ad group that you want to modify.
  5. To target specific categories, expand the app stores under “Mobile app categories” and choose the categories you want. These categories match the category names in each store.
  6. To target specific apps, click Apps, then search for the apps by name. 
  7. If you know the IDs of the apps you want to target, enter them in these formats:
    • Google Play apps: mobileapp::2-<your package name, found in the Google Play store>
      For example, mobileapp::2-com.example.app
    • iOS apps: mobileapp::1-<9-digit numeric app ID>
      For example, mobileapp::1-123456789
  8. Click Save.
To see which apps are showing your ads currently, go to the Display campaigns in the navigation panel, then click Placements in the page menu.

Stop targeting mobile apps

Important: The targeting settings for mobile apps described below will be changing in September 2018. Click here to learn how the settings will change and what you can do to prepare.

If you don’t want your ads to show in apps, you can target the web exclusively.

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. From the navigation panel, click Display campaigns, then select the campaign you want to edit.
  3. From the page menu, click Settings.
  4. Click Additional settings.
  5. Click Devices, then select Set specific targeting for devices
  6. Uncheck the boxes next to “Mobile app”, “Mobile app interstitial”, “Tablet app”, and “Tablet app interstitial”. 
  7. Click Save and Continue.
If you want to exclude individual mobile apps rather than all mobile apps, you can use placement exclusions for mobile apps.
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