About targeting geographic locations

Target your ads to people in, regularly in, or who've shown interest in geographic locations relevant to where you do business. You can select whether you’d like your ad to appear for someone’s physical location, locations of interest or both. Location targeting can help you make sure that your ads are relevant to the people who see them – which can help to boost your campaign value.

Where your users are located or regularly located (physical location)

The Google Ads system uses a number of factors to determine someone’s physical location and whether to show your ad. Whenever possible, we determine physical location based on someone's computer or mobile device location, or other methods.

  • IP address:

    Location is typically based on the Internet Protocol (IP) address, which is a unique number assigned by Internet Service Providers to each computer connected to the Internet.

    If a device is connected to a Wi-Fi network, we may detect the Wi-Fi network's IP address to determine physical location. If a mobile device is connected to a mobile carrier's proxy server, we may use the carrier IP to determine the device's location.

  • Device location:

    Depending on a user's location settings, we may be able to use a precise location for advertising, based on one of these sources of location data:

    • GPS: Accuracy varies depending on GPS signal and connection.
    • Wi-Fi: Accuracy should be similar to the access range of a typical Wi-Fi router.
    • Bluetooth: If Bluetooth and/or Bluetooth scanning are enabled on a device, a publicly broadcast Bluetooth signal can provide an accurate indication of location
    • Google's mobile ID (mobile phone mast) location database: Used in the absence of Wi-Fi or GPS. Accuracy is dependent on how many mobile phone masts are located within an area and available data, and some devices don't support mobile ID location.
Locations that your users have shown interest in (location of interest)

If the Google Ads system detects geographic areas that someone has shown interest in, we may show appropriate ads targeted to that area or surrounding areas (known as "location of interest").

Some of the ways that we might detect a location of interest are based on:

  • Terms used in searches that indicate a location.
  • Past searches that indicated a location of interest.
  • A person’s past physical locations.
  • The content and context of a website where an ad is displayed. Bear in mind that the mention of a location on a page doesn't always indicate an interest in that location.
  • Searches on Google Maps or Google Maps for Mobile.
  • If someone sets a custom location for Google search results.

On the Google Display Network, we may infer a location associated with a page or site when we believe that it will be useful for targeting your ads. A location mentioned on a page may not always indicate an interest in that location. For example, someone who is reading news about Birmingham isn’t necessarily interested in ads for Birmingham florists. Similarly, we might infer an interest in a location, even if that location isn't specifically mentioned on a page, but the context of the entire site indicates an interest in that place.

Location of interest isn't restricted to either a person's country or to the Google search domain that the person is searching on. For example, if someone in Paris, France searches for Los Angeles taxi on google.fr (France), we may still identify Los Angeles as a location they're interested in.

Advanced location options

The default advanced location option in Google Ads will use both physical location (where a user is located or is regularly located) and / or location of interest to determine where ads can appear. You can update your advanced location options at any time.

Related areas

When you target an area, we may also show your ad to customers in nearby, closely related areas that normally couldn't be targeted because of low population, insufficient data about the geographic area or because that level of targeting isn't available. For example, if you target the city of Manchester, we may also show your ads to people in the suburbs of Manchester.

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.

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