Google has an interesting tightrope to walk with their AdWords platform in that they have two central competing interests:
To date the way they’ve handled this is to offer defaults on the front end that encourage spending, with advanced features that help optimize larger spends available but less accessible (which possibly accounts for their alarmingly high client churn amongst small businesses).
A great example of this push-spend-in-the-front-intelligent-features-in-the-back is the AdWords IP Exclusion Tool. The tool can be a very handy means of limiting unwanted clicks and impressions, but it’s very difficult to find and a bit cumbersome to utilize. This post will walk you through what it does, where to find it, and why you might want to use it.
The AdWords IP Exclusion Tool is basically the place within AdWords where you designate IP addresses you don’t want your AdWords ad to be eligible to show in.
The IP exclusion tool allows you to eliminate clicks from IPs you’ve identified as malicious or irrelevant. This means both hard and soft cost savings:
There are a number of different reasons you might consider using the IP Exclusion Tool. Some of the most popular are:
And I’m sure there are several other reasons you may want to block a specific IP (if you have some interesting reasons/examples, please leave them in the comments).
Here’s where you see that design conflict: the IP exclusion tool is located within the “opportunities” tab.
Before you can get to the IP exclusion tool, you have to navigate through Google’s opportunity tab, which gives you ideas on how to spend more money on things like:
The default driving force for these recommendations is to “increase traffic.” In other words: generate more clicks and increased revenue for Google:
Not unlike their emphasis on click-through rate, the only sure winner in increased traffic to your site is Google.
But that’s a bit of a digression from our topic: to find the IP exclusion tool you simply need to scroll wayyyyy down the page and look at the left hand side of your screen, under your campaign navigation, in the tools section:
Select more tools, and you’ll be taken to a larger list of AdWords tools, including the IP exclusion tool:
Select the IP exclusion tool and you’ll be presented with the option to select a campaign. Unfortunately, there’s no way to exclude an IP address at the account level, which can be extremely cumbersome if you’ve built out several campaigns within your account. Either way you want to select the appropriate campaign and click Go:
Next, copy the IP address you’d like to exclude into the tool and click Exclude IP Addresses:
Finally, you can see a list of the IPs you’ve excluded:
Now, you’re able to exclude IP addresses to limit impressions and clicks you don’t want – while it may not be ideal for Google, IP exclusion can save you money!
Tom Demers is Co-Founder & Managing Partner at Measured SEM and Cornerstone Content.
See other posts by Tom Demers
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