Tuesday, May 24, 2011 | 9:00 AM
One of the main benefits of online advertising is the ability to target campaigns to specific locations, such as cities, regions, or countries. For example, to reach users looking for rental cars in San Francisco, a car rental company could target a campaign to San Francisco and include only San Francisco-specific discounts in the ads.
In February, we launched city targeting in an additional 17 countries, and our goal is to make location targeting more accurate, easier to use, and more flexible. As part of planning for future improvements, we’re making several changes to our AdWords location targeting capabilities. These changes will start occurring after July 8, 2011, and include:
Changes to existing available locations: Due to changes in real-world geography or the existence of duplicate or overlapping location targets, we’re removing certain location targets in countries such as Japan, Denmark, Spain, and the Netherlands, among others. For example, in 2010, six provinces were abolished in Finland, and while you’ll no longer be able to target these provinces, you can continue targeting cities in Finland. You won’t be able to target these provinces in AdWords, but you’ll be able to continue targeting cities in Finland. After the changes take effect, you won't be able to add the locations that are listed here to new campaigns. If you're currently targeting any of these locations in your existing campaigns, you should migrate them to the recommended targets in the list. Otherwise, we'll migrate them automatically. Please review the list carefully since some of these changes will result in migration to larger locations.
Sunset of custom shapes (multi-point or polygon targets): You’ll no longer be able to add multi-point targets in AdWords. You’ll still be able to view and delete existing shapes in your current campaigns, and we’ll continue to use them until the end of 2011. After that, all polygon targets that are still present in your AdWords campaigns will be migrated to available locations such as a nearby city or a map point with a radius. We encourage you to replace your polygon targets with these alternatives or we’ll migrate them automatically at end of 2011.
Removal of ‘Show address in the ad’ feature: In some countries, you currently have the option to show an address with your ads by checking the “Allow address to show in my ad” option for campaigns that target an area around a map point. This option will no longer be available. If you want to display your business address or phone number, you’ll need to use AdWords location extensions.
If you’re using these features with the AdWords API, check out the AdWords API Blog for more information on the changes being made.
These changes will take place after July 8, 2011. We recommend that you adjust the location targeting settings of your campaigns immediately with the available alternatives.