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    Exclamation Geotarget Off-Target


    I posit the question, does geo-targeting in Adwords often miss? I had someone approach me the other day and ask me if I knew of other people having problems with their Adwords account, saying that people outside of his selected geotargets were often finding their way to his website through Adwords, and costing him money on his campaign. Does anyone know anything about this? Is this a big problem?
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    Geo-targeting is not an exact science. There is a central database used for this and it can contain errors. It goes by the ISP's address and that could be far away from your actual location. An example would be if you live in Hoboken, NJ which is across the river from New York. If your ISP is in NY, that's where you'd show as being located. Many such things including the whole Canadian province of Quebec showing in Ontario if their provider was Rogers. May not be the case anymore but used to be.

    Once you go smaller than a large metro area, that's where you can have problems. Although they are doing away with it soon, you can customize your geo-target. I've known some targeting a 5-mile radius of their location and getting no impressions. I guess there was actually no ISPs in that area.

    Your question however is more related to the fact that Google will show ads outside your geo-target if it meets certain criteria. Suppose your keyword is "used cars chicago" (broad match) and you obviously geo-target only the Chicago area. It's possible someone in New York will be moving to Chicago and searches on "used cars lots in chicago" and be shown your ad.

    There's an explanation on Google's site as well as conditions that would show your ad in this case. I wish I had bookmarked it now. If I find it again, I'll post it.

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