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Concerned about Geo-Targeting by city

10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3443856 posted 9:18 am on Sep 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

We currently have our adwords activity outsourced (are bringing it in-house shortly).

However when checking analytics reports I am concerned that our city targeting is wildly inaccurate. I can appreciate that Adwords may not pick up all users in our targeted area, but should it being showing ads for cities many miles away? We are in South East England and analytics is telling us people are clicking on paid ads from Scotland etc.

Unfortunately I cannot see our service partner's adwords account (only the analytics account), but the service is supposed to be setup by postcode with quite a limited radius.

My concern isn't for a few random clicks, but in excess 47% of our Adwords spend is coming from cities nowhere near us (so adwords tells me).

Any help greatly appreciated!



5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3443856 posted 11:17 am on Sep 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't put much faith in geo-targeting in the UK, it's not very reliable. Also, I would call up your PPC agency and demand access to the AdWords account. It's your money they're spending, you should be able to see how it's being done.


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3443856 posted 12:03 pm on Sep 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

Thanks. I was aware it wasn't amazingly reliable in sofar as not covering users in a certain area. But a didnt realise it could show ads to people in other areas to such a massive degree. 47% shown to the wrong area is just ridiculous!


WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Msg#: 3443856 posted 3:15 pm on Sep 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

there are two ways a geo targeted ad can get triggered, the searchers location or geo indicators a searcher specifies.

so if someone in London searches for hotels, your London geo targeting for "hotels" will roll into the possible PPC results.

and if someone in Scotland searches for "London hotels", your London geo targeting for "hotels" will roll as well.

it's possible you're seeing the latter case for those folks you say aren't located in the target geo zone.

so you need to decide if remote searchers are desirable targets if they include geo/location indicators in their query. these searchers might be something you want, in that case, now you know why you're getting remote searchers. if you don't want them, the problem is harder to solve. to avoid them, you'd need to add negative keywords or switch to exact match, both cases will also eliminate searchers in the targeted local area, as well as the remotes (add london as a negative, for instance, local and remote searchers with london in their query are blocked). so consider your choices carefully.

i'm going to request that G offer the option to NOT include remote traffic that has searches containing geo-indicators - so adwords users can choose, in a geo targeted campaign, to not also snag up potential searchers outside the target area via search term geo-indicators. i'll post it in the features I'd like to see thread here, but G gets to decide what to do with my request.

G knows ip locating isn't perfect, so they've assumed we'd want geo-indicated remote traffic - I'd like to have the choice when configuring any geo-targeted campaign (even if G chooses to make it the default to include remote-geo-indicated traffic).


10+ Year Member

Msg#: 3443856 posted 7:33 pm on Sep 7, 2007 (gmt 0)

I do a lot of local search and I find that Google's geotargeting is WILDY inaccurate.

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