Google recently announced a few changes to its location targeting capabilities for AdWords ads. Location targeting, or geo-targeting, allows advertisers to select specific locations for their ads to be shown and find the right customers. Location targeting can be done by country, areas or states within a country or even a radius around a location.
The search engine has deprecated location targeting by custom shape targeting, which previously allowed advertisers to create multi-point targeting on geography maps. As of September 15th, all custom shapes were deleted and if no change was made to the campaign, leaving no location targets, the campaign was automatically paused. It is recommended that advertisers delete custom shape targets and update the location targets.
In addition, Google recently changed their U.S. metro targeting areas to Nielsen DMA (Designated Market Areas) regions to more precisely match TV-based audience data and campaigns. Google says this update will have a small impact for most advertisers as there will only be slight increases or decreases in traffic in the new regions.
The third change to location targeting within Google AdWords is fitting for an election year as Google has enabled a solution to allow political campaigns to reach voters within a specific Congressional District. All AdWords campaigns that have congressional district location targeting enabled — search, display, mobile and video — are shown solely within the selected district’s boundary lines.