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Problems with radius targeting

How accurate is this?



2:29 pm on Sep 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

I've run a few campaigns with radius targeting and I've usually found it very useful. However I'm having issues with a campaign and wondered if anyone could share their experiences.

It's a 30 mile radius from an EC postcode right in the heart of London. I'm way way outside this area.

The CPC is incredibly low (.05% to nothing on 14,500 impressions so far), yet ads
- with the same wordings
- on the same terms with 'london' on the end
- in another UK wide campaign
are doing better.

I got two people in London who are 15 miles out (one in the South and one in the North) to search for me, having checked that they are geo-located via IP to where they actually are.

They both confirmed that the ads are nowhere on page one, despite Google reporting average position of 2.4

A Google rep in India is telling me that ads are being shown in London and that I need to widen the radius. But I don't want clicks from outside 30 miles!

Are there other factors that might stop them showing the ad? The Quality Score is low on lots of these terms (3s and 4s), but the pages generate a lot of phone calls.


7:30 pm on Sep 27, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Try this:
In your AdWords account, go to
Tools and Analysis > Ad Preview and Diagnosis
There you can test different Locations.

I found the tool to be quite precise. However the radius in miles will never be exact, since google can not know the exact location for a pc, only the ip-number, which is related to a provider in most cases.


6:36 am on Sep 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

instand1, thanks. I've tried that and it says the ads are being displayed. No doubt an internal version of this is what Google are using to tell me I'm wrong.

But two people that aren't idiots who *really *are *there say they can't see the ads when Google says they are running. I believe them.

Unless it's a bug, there's only three things I can think of.

1) The low QS
Make new pages and a new campaign pointing to them and re-launch when the ads are scored 7 or more

2) Budget
This is being exhausted nearly every day and AdWords data lags by a few hours; maybe the budget was already exhausted when my testers checked for me. Maybe Google has some feature that disadvantages people who always hit target spend.

3) Some new attention-grabbing Google feature
Say a new partner/affiliate price comparison widget for this vertical (although I would have thought this would affect my national ads too).


2:42 pm on Sep 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

seems to be the budget: You could limit the time to start for example at 8 a.am and ask your friends to check at that time.

Create a new campaign for only one keyword which is not so much in competition, with enough budget. Just for testing for a day or two...


7:37 pm on Sep 28, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Phones are better geo-located than desktops, ask them to check their phones.

For the desktop, widen the area a bunch, then ask them again - see if their assigned IP is just throwing off the local targeting.


12:42 pm on Sep 29, 2013 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Thanks for suggestions. Neither me nor my testers have smartphones (we get all the internet we need at our desks!)

I will see if I can get some smartphone testing done, and early in the morning too.

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