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Display Placement Exclusions For All Campaigns

According to Google, the Display Network reaches over 90% of global internet users expanding across 2 million web sites. However, it’s also said that near 50% of all ad impressions on the GDN are never seen. A marketer can reduce the amount of wasteful spend by monitoring the site placements of the display ads. Excluding placements within the Google Display Network is an on-going necessity for any AdWords marketer. Essentially, placement exclusion is telling Google where you do NOT want ads to show.

Typically, Google AdWords placement exclusion can be done at the campaign level. As you monitor performance from campaigns, you’ll see placements that look, at best “suspicious”.

Display Placement Menu

Display Placement Menu

The exclusions can be easily missed if you are not careful. Underneath, placement performance is “Campaign placement exclusions” and “Site category options”. Marketers can manually add sites to exclude per campaign.

Campaign Placement Exclusions

Campaign Placement Exclusions

That’s the standard way to add placement exclusions. However, once you begin adding exclusions to campaigns, you’ll notice the same sites seem to appear again in other campaigns. This is where the Shared Library becomes very effective.

Shared Library Campaign placement exclusions

Within Shared Library, open Campaign placement exclusions

From there, it’s a few simple steps in creating an account-wide placement exclusion list.

  1. Click +List – To create a new list
  2. List Name – Give the list a name
  3. Placements – Enter multiple domains that you would like to exclude from display placement
  4. Click Save – You now have a list of placement to exclude. However, that list is currently not applied to any campaigns.
  5. Select list and Apply to Campaigns
Apply Exclusions to Campaigns

Apply Exclusions to Campaigns

“Apply to campaigns” will allow you to select the display campaigns that you would like to apply to the list. Keep in mind, when new campaigns are created you’ll probably want to apply this same list again. Making changes within Shared Library is still much easier to manage than at the campaign-level.

Need a good starting list of placements to exclude?

Recently, the teams at Seer, Hanapin Marketing, Distilled, and Wistia built a list of over 400 placements to exclude on the Google Display Network. These 3 companies combined their historical data of poorly performing sites. You can download the list and learn more about their formula for exclusion.

Keep in mind, this is just a starting point for you. As more impressions are delivered and more data arrives, you will find your own list. The list of placement exclusions is never done. It’s a constant work in progress, but using Shared Library should make the process a lot easier.

Google Display Network Targeting: Loss of “Other Interests”

Google Display Network-Other InterestsInteresting category marketing has been used  by advertisers since 2009 to interact with people across the Google Display Network. However, the options will change soon. The ability to add the “Other Interests” options disappears on January 15, 2015 for both new and existing audience campaigns.

So why is Google making this change? According to Google, other more sophisticated options have been added. The newer solutions will provide better performance and reach than “Other Interests” because they will be more targeted. Besides, “Other Interests” overlap them.

What Solutions Does That Leave?

Google will continue to provide a portfolio of audience targeting solutions:

  • Affinity Audiences – Drive brand awareness by reaching TV-like segments at scale. Extend your television campaign to an online audience. Mazda Canada used them to advertise Mazda 6 to the “technophile” segment and reached 10X more users than with previous campaigns.
  • Custom Affinity Audiences – Get niche audiences to consider buying your product or service. Unlike Affinity, you can better tailor your audience to those interested in your product or service. Electronic Arts used them to engage fans of specific NFL teams with real-time display ads related to field action in its Madden GIFERATOR campaign.
  • In-Market Audiences – Grab shoppers’ attention while they are actively shopping and researching. This audience is made for converting people most likely to make a purchase. Wayfair used them to increase ad response rates by 20% and power short-term behavior by 10-30%.

These three audience solutions cover the entire sales funnel from brand awareness to consideration to conversion. (You will still get to use remarketing, which is favored by Crescent Interactive.)

What Does This Mean for My Current Campaigns?

Here’s a quick recap of what will happen:

  • Starting January 15, 2015, you will no longer be able to add “Other Interests” to your new or current campaigns.
  • Current campaigns that use “Other Interests” will continue to run until June 2015 when they will automatically be upgraded to the new audience solutions. You can upgrade them yourself starting January 15, 2015.
  • You will still be able to pause and restart criteria in your existing campaigns.
  • You will not lose any performance data on campaigns targeting “Other Interests” but will notice the addition of data on new criteria. 

Google will provide more information to advertisers via the Inside Adwords blog and email so you will likely get all of your questions answered.

What to do now? If you have been using “Other Interests” to target, now is the time to start focusing on using affinity audiences, custom audiences and in-market audiences on your new campaigns. For existing campaigns, consider how you want to change the audience and make those changes ahead of the automatic upgrade to maximize results.