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Is there anyway to override built-in adsense geo-targetting?

country specific pages not receiving relevant ads

     
8:58 pm on Jun 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have country specific pages that are not receiving relevant ads.

By using the geo-targeting option in the Adsense preview tool, I confirmed I receive relevant ads only when the country is set appropriately i.e. to the country the page is concerned with. Otherwise, I received ads that are either not relevant or that are for competing sites!

10:45 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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You will see different ads on your pages to those seen in the appropriate country, as the ads you see are targeted to the country you are looking at the pages from.
11:02 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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yes, this is the behavior I was hoping to avoid.
11:08 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I am in Spain and have a UK website, so I only see ads targeted for Spain.

I don't think there is any way to see ads targeted at the UK, apart from using the preview tool [or looking at the site when in the UK]......sorry :-)

11:18 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I think there might be some confusion about how geotargeting works. It is set up to automatically maximize your site's revenue potential.

Geotargeting is based on the IP address of your users. So, say one page of your site is about Spain, and a user from Japan is viewing it. That user will see AdWords ads targeted to 1) a Japanese audience and 2) the text based content of the site. The advertiser chooses which countries they would like to target. A user in Canada might see a different set of ads.

So, your Japanese readers MAY see ads specifically targeted to 'Spain'. However, they may also see ads for 'Portugal' if these are the highest paying ads available for a Japanese audience that are also relevant to the page content (i.e., travel in Iberia).

Regardless, the highest paying ads available at any given moment for any geographic audience will always appear on your site. And 'highest paying' isn't solely determined based on bid price, but on quality score as well -- meaning how the ads actually perform (see [adsense.blogspot.com...] for more information about ad ranking).

The AdSense algorithm takes all of these factors into account to ensure your site's revenue potential is automatically being maximized.

11:37 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for response ASA. The overall approach should work for most sites.

However, when viewing a travel page for Spain, the Japanese and Canadian visitors would normally want to see, say, ads for hotels in Spain and not their home countries, IMHO.

11:54 pm on June 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Geotargeting is based on the IP address of your users. So, say one page of your site is about Spain, and a user from Japan is viewing it. That user will see AdWords ads targeted to 1) a Japanese audience and 2) the text based content of the site. The advertiser chooses which countries they would like to target. A user in Canada might see a different set of ads.

At least to the extent that IP addresses are used for this purpose, geotargeting is not guaranteed to be reliable. See [webmasterworld.com...] for more info.

4:44 am on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Correct, when viewing a travel page from Spain, the Japanese and Canadian visitors will see ads for hotels in Spain as long as the Spanish advertisers configured their ad to show to users not just from Spain, but from other countries such as Japan and Canada. The advertisers control the targeting in this case.
12:50 pm on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Interesting, I live in Northeastern PA.
I see ads on one of my websites for Landscapers from Boston, NY city, etc. I don't think these landscapers will travel out here to dairy country to provide their services to me.
Oops

I also have ads showing for Landscapers from Dallas, Texas. Guess where my ISP is located Dallas! Pennsylvania!
Oops

So now I have a bunch of miss-Geolocated ads that are displacing ads that do pay. This must happen for site users all over the US!

Adwords advertisers can only set a "National" or country location, but Adsense, clearly trys to Geo-locate ads based on a user's IP and the perceived location of the advertiser, at least in the US. For example the advertiser has the word Dallas in his lawn mowing service ads. My ISP is in Dallas too. The only problem is there is more than one Dallas!

This type of "Local" Geo-location appears to be quite flawed. I have been blocking unfortunate mistargetted Advertisers. The Dallas Texas lawn mower service advertiser does not want people from Dallas, PA. clicking on his ads (Adsense?)! This geo-mis-targetting hurts this advertiser and it would hurt my site's Smart Pricing rating.

I'm an Adwords advertiser as well and this observation implies if you put location information in your Ads they may be misinterpreted and therefore mistargeted, perhaps not even shown! I suspect this may include local phone numbers as well.

1:05 pm on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, there's very little else Google can go on to determine your location, and they're certainly not the only company using IP addresses for geolocation. Short of asking users to voluntarily register their location, there's not much else that can be done, except perhaps to expand the URL filter list to allow advertisers to opt-out of geographically-targeted ads and so on.
1:42 pm on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I was playing with Google personalized search and I was surprised that I could not find a way to at least enter a zip code (just a time zone)! I hope they aren't trying to use the email address for IP localization!

I could see how people would worry about a phone number, but surely they might enter a city or zip code which would help Google's "Local" localization. And many users might even be willing to provide a mileage (km) radius or range to aid in localizing Advertisers.

2:30 pm on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have been blocking unfortunate mistargetted Advertisers.

I had started doing that but got tired of doing Google's job for them.

One of the flaws with Adwords/Adense is that most targeting starts with the advertiser. Many know how to work the program, many don't. I'm looking at a page about New York City barbeque restaurants and seeing ads for Kansas City BBQ joints. Why? Most probably because the advertiser bid on much too general keyword phrases.

Another flaw is that geo-targeting really doesn't work for location specific sites such as destination, city guide or travel-oriented. A site visitor from London planning a trip to NYC and looking at that same New York City restaurant page is likely to see ads for British restaurants. That doesn't work for the site visitor, the advertiser, the publisher or Google -- everybody loses. I've mentioned this to folks on the Adsense team before and, well, I guess they don't think it's much of a problem.

4:31 pm on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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<Adwords advertisers can only set a "National" or country location>

I don't agree. I set all my AdWords campaigns to specific cities or urban geo areas.

10:17 pm on June 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

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unfortunately geotargetting by ip address in the UK isn't that accurate or reliable. Unless its changed very very recently it isn't useful for very targetted campaigns.
12:00 am on June 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Unfortunately, there's very little else Google can go on to determine your location, and they're certainly not the only company using IP addresses for geolocation.

Given the risks involved, I don't understand why any of them use it. Certainly, they can't think that no one would realize the risks involved, and call attention to them.

8:33 pm on June 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As a publisher, I would like to be able to set geotargetting information so that I get the right kinds of ads. For some kinds of sites this isn't vital, but when it's about a specific region, town or city it's important to be able to specify without the Adsense having to guess.

Imagine a site about Boston. Is that Boston, MA or Boston, UK? There are lots of place-names that share several locations in this way. And it would be useful to be able to narrow it down or broaden it out, as appropriate. Being able to do this for each channel or domain would be a real bonus.