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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Attention Citizens of Punxsutawney: Google AdWords Beefs Up Regional Targeting Capabilities

Today Google announced an improved regional targeting option for its advertisers, making it possible for locally-focused companies in eight countries to show ads only to Internet users in their region.

The countries now included are Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, the UK, and the US, which already had access to the program.

Advertisers may choose to show ads to any number of metropolitan areas (according to anonymous Google spokesman "AdWords Advisor," the limit of five per campaign has now been dropped). But a new wrinkle is the "latitude and longitude" feature. An advertiser can set up a "shape" by setting various points of latitude and longitude, and advertise to everyone within that area. So if you're partial to the rhombus, you're golden.

Although the IP-based targeting is far from perfectly accurate, as this technology evolves it achieves an efficiency bordering on elegance. Imagine the shape of an advertiser's target area expanding and contracting in different economic conditions. Want to advertise a concert or restaurant to the surrounding area within an hour's driving distance? Having trouble filling seats? Double the radius.

In the future, could you show your ad only to a tony neighborhood, or decrease your bids for areas that don't suit your target demographic? The possibilities are endless.

Direct mail marketers have enjoyed some of these advantages for many years. But the difference is: with search, the user may be actively looking for you and prepared to transact on the spot.

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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