Prepare for updates to mobile targeting and exclusion

Starting in September 2018, Google is simplifying targeting and exclusion controls for Google Display Network ads on mobile devices in order to make it easier to reach the growing base of mobile users. As a result of these changes, you may see a significant increase in mobile apps or mobile web traffic (depending on your current settings). 

Upcoming changes

  • Deprecation of adsenseformobileapps.com placement exclusion: The “adsenseformobileapps.com” placement exclusion, which allows blanket targeting and exclusion of app inventory, will be removed. After this exclusion is removed, campaigns will start to see app traffic. Going forward, you’ll be able to use device settings to manage which channel your ads appear on. To see your exclusions, click Placements in the page menu, then click the Exclusions tab. 
  • Deprecation of “G-mob mobile app non interstitial” content exclusion: The “G-mob mobile app non interstitial” content exclusion will be removed and you will start seeing app traffic from this category. Learn how to set content exclusions and site category options for Display campaigns.
  • Simplified device targeting: Device targeting will be consolidated to 3 device types: computer, mobile and tablet. If you previously targeted by certain mobile categories, such as Mobile app, Mobile app interstitial, or Mobile web, all mobile placements will now be targeted. Similarly, if you previously targeted by Tablet app, Tablet app interstitial, or Tablet web, all tablet placements will now be targeted. Learn how to set up mobile device targeting

How to transition

If you’d like to transition your campaigns before the change in September, follow the below steps.

Step 1: Remove blanket app placements and exclusions

Remove the  “adsenseformobileapps.com” placement exclusion and see Step 2 to update your device settings. To see your exclusions, click Placements in the page menu, then click the Exclusions tab. 

Step 2: Update your device targeting

For campaigns that targeted different kinds of mobile and tablet traffic, you can update your device targeting by following these steps: 

  1. Visit your campaign settings.
  2. Click Additional settings.
  3. Click Devices.
  4. Click Set specific targeting for devices.
  5.  Select the device settings that apply to you:
    1. To target mobile traffic, check all of Mobile app, Mobile app interstitial and Mobile web. If you don't want to target mobile traffic, uncheck all these options. (Starting in September 2018, these three mobile controls will be consolidated into a single "Mobile" control to opt into or out of mobile traffic.)
    2. To target tablet traffic, check all of Tablet app, Tablet app interstitial and Tablet web. If you don't want to target tablet traffic, uncheck all these options. (Starting in September 2018, these three tablet controls will be consolidated into a single "Tablet" control to opt into or out of tablet traffic.)

Step 3: Check that your granular controls are up to date

Review and update your topic targeting to make sure that you target and exclude categories of content across both web and apps. In addition to the topics, review your placement controls to verify that you’re targeting and excluding all the individual websites and apps that you need. Review your app category placements for targeting and exclusion across app categories.

Step 4: Review your brand safety controls

Go to the content exclusions setting to review your brand safety controls. The “G-mob mobile app non interstitial” checkbox will be deprecated and your ads will now serve on this inventory but other existing controls there will be updated and enhanced. Make sure your selections are consistent with your brand safety goals.

Other recommended actions

To prepare well for the upcoming changes, we suggest that you:

  • Check your campaign device and targeting settings to ensure that your campaign is set to use only geographies, languages, and devices that you wish to receive traffic for after these updates are implemented.
  • Check all your brand safety settings including account-level placement exclusions, campaign-level placement exclusions, topic exclusions, and content exclusions. All these controls will apply to both web and app in order to ensure your ads only appear in places that you want to.
  • Consider shifting to higher-performing bid strategies. Target CPA and Target ROAS are the best bid strategies to use if you have very specific performance goals in mind.
  • If you’re currently using manual bidding:
    • consider upgrading to Enhanced CPC
    • consider applying mobile bid modifiers based on the quality of mobile traffic
  • If you’re currently using Enhanced CPC:
    • consider upgrading to Target CPA
    • consider applying mobile bid modifiers based on the quality of mobile traffic
  • Ensure you’re passing back only conversions that matter to your business. Most of Google’s auto-optimization models rely on your conversion data to deliver the best performance possible. Passing back higher quality conversions ensures a strong correlation between the ROI you see in Google Ads and the ROI to your business.

 

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