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Ad Clicks from Iran?

     
2:19 pm on Jun 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Been seeing an increase in visits from Iran in Google Analytics, when I investigated, it's coming from my AdWords Campaigns. My campaigns target the USA and people that show interest in USA. AdWords ads do not show in Iran, so why am i getting clicks in Iran. AdWords uses Geo tracking rather than IP address tracking, so why am I seeing clicks in my AdWords Campaigns from Iran. Over 6K clicks YTD?
3:11 pm on June 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Lot of USA based VPNs available ( specifically targeted ) to Iranians ( and other "middle eastern areas"<= overly broad term I know ) advertised on the Arabic/ Persian etc speaking web..possibly they are searching via those for things that are triggering your adwords to show..
3:11 pm on June 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Okay, further investigation shows the traffic (Ad Clicks) are coming from Mobile Apps (mainly VPN apps). My ads are showing on Mobile apps and people in Iran are downloading VPN apps.

So, what should I do? Does Google catch this?
3:15 pm on June 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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I wouldn't know..you'll have to wait for rhinofish , or some else ( unlikely ) that knows adwords as well as he does to get anything like an informed opinion.
5:26 pm on June 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Hello Jebernier,

You might want to look into this article and make the appropriate tweaks to your account.
The biggest tweak being: add a Placement Exclusion for “adsenseformobileapps.com.”

[wordstream.com...]
6:21 pm on June 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Yup, adsenseformobileapps.com blocker.

Check out your category exclusions too, turn off anything that smells yucky to you.

Most of the time, on Display, when it's not Remarketing (where you are targeting the person, not the content), you should hand pick Placements.
Or, have a low bid feeder Campaign that let's them flow in, them you pluck out the good Placements and run them as Targeted Placements in a HiValue Campaign with higher bids.

Also, the "people that show interest", ditch that, use "people in" only.

I assume you're aware that you can run Search, Display, and a hybrid ("Select", but they keep changing the name).
Don't run them together, ever, no exceptions, they are very different beasts.
It'd be like wiring your car's cruise control up to simultaneously control the throttle on your boat, your moped and your blender, it's nonsense.
8:57 pm on June 14, 2018 (gmt 0)

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So, it's legit that Google is charging me for these clicks?
8:55 pm on June 16, 2018 (gmt 0)

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You chose the settings, so it's completely legit. This is only my opinion, and I'm sure you can find people who differ.
It could be quite possible that a different advertiser would want to reach these exact people, using the same settings you used.
While it may seem undesired at the moment, having the ability to make so many choices in targeting and bidding, gives us really great flexibility to chase our particular case.
3:57 pm on June 19, 2018 (gmt 0)

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Thanks all and RhinoFish for the advice.
12:58 pm on Aug 17, 2018 (gmt 0)

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After reading this post I assuming that you are talking about a Remarketing campaign or a Display Campaign because everyone is commenting on setting adsenseformobileapps as an exclusion. Display campaigns are the only campaign types that you would use this as an exclusion for. If you are using a search or search w/display select, my advice would be that you have your settings set up wrong. With "...target the USA and people that show interest in USA" set up as your location targeting options you are opening yourself up to all traffic outside of your excluded locations that are showing an interest in your product/service. For example... if someone in Iran searches for "Blue Widgets For Sale In Florida"... your ad will show to them unless you have them setup as an excluded location. The answer for this is to setup your Location Targeting Options as "People in my targeted location". By using this you will only be showing to traffic within your targeted areas. So unless you have Iran listed as a targeted area... you won't show there. This will work for Display Campaigns as well, but you will still gain mobile app traffic in your targeted area unless you have the adsenseformobileapps setup as an exclusion in your Targeting Options. I've tested this throughout my career and found it to work flawlessly. I'd like to say that RhinoFish will agree, but I'm not one to put words into other peoples mouths... Hope this helps...L8r!
2:33 pm on Sept 5, 2018 (gmt 0)

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That adsenseformobileapps exclusion, is set to go away soon... caveat emptor!

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