Q&A: Does the content network follow location targeting rules?

12:33 pm in Contextual Advertising, Google AdWords, PPC Marketing Blog by brad

I’m trying something new to see your reaction. I receive a lot of questions via email about PPC; in fact more than I can ever hope to answer. Some of them are much more popular than others – so I thought I’d try blogging the answers to various questions.

If you have a question, feel free to contact us with the ‘PPC Question’ subject.

Today’s question comes from an AdWords seminar attendee (don’t worry, I’m keeping the questioners anonymous) and concerns how location targeting and the content network work together on AdWords.

Location Targeting Overview

First a quick word about location targeting. When you choose a region, Google shows ads based upon someone being in that region or using geographic keywords which would show the intent to find information within that region.

For example, if you were targeting Chicago with the keyword hotel. Your ad could show in two situations. First, someone searched for hotel within the Chicago metro. The second way is someone searched for Chicago hotel.

In the first instance, the user being located inside the metro, this is an easy decision – location targeting equals user’s location and the ad is shown.

In the second instance, the assumption being made is that if someone is explicitly looking for information within a metro, then their location does not matter as their intent is to find information within that metro.

Hopefully that makes sense. If not, please comment or contact me and I’ll do a full post on the two location targeting options.

Content Network & Location Targeting

The content network follows all the rules set at the campaign level, and one of those is location targeting. So, in that instance the quick answer to the question is ‘yes, the content network displays ads based upon location targeting settings’.

However, there is also a slightly more ambiguous answer. The content network scans a page to find what the page is about to best serve ads. Therefore, if you consider the second instance above – someone looking for information within a geography, then it stands to reason that sometimes that may come into play in showing ads on the content network.

Therefore, if someone is reading a geographically based article, say about Chicago hotels, they may still see ads for Chicago hotels even though they are outside of that region.

If someone is reading an article about hotels in general, and they aren’t located in our example city Chicago, then they would not see the advertiser’s Chicago location targeted ad.

The Quick Answer

Don’t you love this is at the bottom of the post?

The content network follows all campaign setting rules.

Location targeting is a campaign setting rule.

If someone is within your target geography reading an article that corresponds to your AdGroup theme, then your ads can be shown.

If someone is outside your target geography reading an article that corresponds to your AdGroup theme and the article is about the geography your are targeting, your ads can show.

If someone is outside your geography and the article does not include your geography, then your ads will not show.

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