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How does AdWords determine device type?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi I'm looking at doing a mobile targeted campaign. I'm wondering how AdWords determines the device type.

Is it by viewport size? Operating system? Device type? Browser version? Etc

I feel like this would be useful information to know.
1 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Mason L
September 2015

Re: How does AdWords determine device type?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks Kushal! Knowing that it was called a "user agent string" helped me dig up some more info. This is what I found on Google Support:

 

"Currently, we use the following HTTP User-Agent header to identify AdWords mobile visits:

AdsBot-Google-Mobile (+http://www.google.com/mobile/adsbot.html) Mozilla (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3 0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile Safari

If you have a distinct, mobile-optimized version of your site, we recommend you configure your server to show the mobile-optimized site when the AdWords mobile User-Agent is detected."

 

So it appears Adwords does use a user-agent string. Which means it takes everything into account. i.e. Platform, Operating System, Web Kit, Web Kit Build, HTML layout, Browser, Browser version, and a few other things. (Source

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Re: How does AdWords determine device type?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi Mason;

I'm not sure I fully understand your question.
Anyway, a mobile device sends "signals" to the network (whether a WiFi or A cellular) - Those are detected by Google. (Similar to a desktop browser sends information about the OS, browser version, language etc...)
Read more:
How ads are matched to geographic locations:
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2453995?hl=en

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: How does AdWords determine device type?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hey Moshe,

Thanks, but I'm actually looking for how Google determines someone's device type, not location. For instance, when you do an enhanced campaign and set "mobile preferred" or "tablet preferred". How does Google determine what type of device someone is on?

I assume it either uses operating system, viewport size, or browser version. Perhaps it can track the mac address. I'm just curious about which method Adwords uses to determine the device is a tablet or a mobile device. The reason I think it would be useful to know is because now with bigger mobile screen resolutions, perhaps the iPhone 6+ would be considered a tablet if it uses viewport size as a determining factor. Hopefully that makes sense. Thanks.

Re: How does AdWords determine device type?

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆

Hey Mason,

 

Not sure if this is correct or not but i have tried to explore the same as the topic raised by you was interesting

 

-- It is done by User Agent is a software (a software agent) that is acting on behalf of a user.

 

When a software agent operates in a network protocol, it often identifies itself, its application type, operating system, software vendor, or software revision, by submitting a characteristic identification string to its operating peer. In HTTP, SIP, and SMTP/NNTP protocols, this identification is transmitted in a header field User-Agent. (Source - Wikipedia)

 

Thanks

Kushal

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Mason L
September 2015

Re: How does AdWords determine device type?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 5
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Thanks Kushal! Knowing that it was called a "user agent string" helped me dig up some more info. This is what I found on Google Support:

 

"Currently, we use the following HTTP User-Agent header to identify AdWords mobile visits:

AdsBot-Google-Mobile (+http://www.google.com/mobile/adsbot.html) Mozilla (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3 0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile Safari

If you have a distinct, mobile-optimized version of your site, we recommend you configure your server to show the mobile-optimized site when the AdWords mobile User-Agent is detected."

 

So it appears Adwords does use a user-agent string. Which means it takes everything into account. i.e. Platform, Operating System, Web Kit, Web Kit Build, HTML layout, Browser, Browser version, and a few other things. (Source

Re: How does AdWords determine device type?

Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆
# 6
Explorer ✭ ☆ ☆

Hi Mason,

 

Thanks and nice topic raised from you, it was nice digging into this topic Smiley Happy

 

Kushal