You may have noticed when creating a new AdWords campaign that we sometimes suggest targeting multiple languages based on the location that you’ve targeted. To help you understand why we make those recommendations, here’s a refresher in how language targeting works today.
Campaigns that target a language are targeting the interface language that a user has set as the language in which they’d like the Google interface to be displayed. A Spanish-speaker living in the United States, for instance, may want to perform searches on www.google.com but change the interface language setting to Spanish. Alternatively, an English-speaker living in Japan may want to perform searches on www.google.co.jp but see an English interface.
Currently, your ad appears only when the user's interface language matches the targeted language. This means that your ad won't necessarily appear when a user searches for a keyword in the language that you're targeting, if the user’s interface is in another language.
For example, if you sell motorcycles in the United States using the keyword motorcycles, and you target only the English language, your ads won’t appear to bilingual users who search for motorcycles but do so within a Spanish interface. Especially when targeting a geographic area with bilingual residents, targeting multiple interface languages can help your ad appear in front of as many potential customers as possible.
Determining the language of the search from the query itself can sometimes be difficult, since some words are common to more than one language. However, there are five languages in AdWords that can be uniquely identified by their characters: Greek, Hebrew, portions of Japanese, Korean, and Thai. Therefore, starting in late April, if you're targeting any of these five languages, your ad will be eligible to show for all queries in that language that match your keywords, regardless of the user's interface language (your location targeting settings will still apply).
For example, if you have the keyword λουλούδια (Greek for flowers) in a campaign that targets the Greek language, your ad will be eligible to appear whenever a user searches for λουλούδια, even if the user’s interface is in English.
While targeting multiple interface languages will continue to be the best way for many of you to maximize the amount of traffic that your campaigns receive, we’ll continue to look for new opportunities to improve our language targeting offering.
To learn more about targeting interface languages, please read this FAQ.