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AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

[ Edited ]
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I run several AdWords accounts, make regular changes and enhancements, and have been doing so now for more than two years.  Without exception, each time I try to do anything new, I end up frustrated and fairly annoyed by the opaque, non-orthogonal, and sometimes downright flakiness of the AdWords Editor interface.  This is a kajillion dollar product and google could [censored] well afford to get the interface right (maybe ask Apple for some help) (just kidding). 

 

My latest foray -- documented elsewhere in this forum by unanswered cries for help -- was an attempt to utilize gender targeting, something that AdWords has been selling as a valuable new feature.  I first tried to figure it out intuitively.  That was a mistake.  I could see no fewer than three ways that seemed to promise a way to implement gender targeting, all dead ends.  I have no idea what those three different paths through the hierarchy are really supposed to do, but they don't do it.  Next I consulted the help page and was directed to https://support.google.com/adwords/editor/answer/71813?hl=en, which instructed me to "1. Select Keywords and Targeting > Genders in the type list."  There is nothing called type list on any of my dashboard pages, so I had to look up "type list" in the help page and realized that vague term applies to the lower left hand corner of the dashboard, something that definitely does not have a list of types in it; I can't imagine who dreamed up the name. 

 

My type list doesn't have Keywords and Targeting in it so I thought, well, there's no way around it, I'll have to call the AdWords Help number.  AdWords Help used to be staffed by articulate, well informed young people who were pleasant to deal with and always knew how to help without putting me on hold to ask their supervisors for advice.  Then Google transferred the whole Help operation to India and each Help call was its own frustration as someone who didn't understand the question tried to convey an answer he/she didn't understand either -- all this after an age on hold.  But now the Help number has disappeared from Help page.  I guess that's a small loss.

 

Next I plowed back into an exhaustive descent through the various ill-named tabs and finally found (not by following the Targeting button) a way to target by gender.  I turned off Male, closed and hit Save only to be told Your account is not eligible to target by that criterion type followed by Negative product targets are not supported.  (Anybody got an idea what a negative product target is?) 

 

Now I've been told that the whole problem is that gender targeting is not implemented for search.  News to me, since there is no mention of this in anything I found on the Help pages about gender targeting.  In fact, the Help page entitled About demographic targeting explicitly states that:

   Demographic targeting for Search, Display or Video campaigns can include:

  • Age: "18-24," "25-34," "35-44," "45-54," "55-64," "65 or more," and "Unknown"
  • Gender: "Female," "Male," and "Unknown"

 

 Finally I discovered that although I can't seem to get gender targeting to work, there is a way to do an exclusion based on gender.  So I can't target Female, but I can exclude Male. Naive me, I might have thought that sounds like gender targeting.    I tried it and it got accepted.  But did it do what it promised to do?  I have no idea. 

 

This is just not good enough.

1 Expert replyverified_user

AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

Google Employee
# 2
Google Employee

It would appear that you are trying to navigate AdWords online interface by consulting the documentation of AdWords Editor, a desktop application. The two are developed by different teams (mine is Editor's) at different times, under different constraints, targeting different audiences, and offer substantially different approaches. Any similarities between the two are largely coincidental.

 

The documentation for AdWords online interface is here: https://support.google.com/adwords/

Gender targeting in particular: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2580282

 

The documentation for Editor is here: https://support.google.com/adwords/editor/

Gender targeting in particular: https://support.google.com/adwords/editor/answer/71813

 

Shameless plug: try AdWords Editor today, download it at https://adwords.google.com/home/tools/adwords-editor/ . See if you find it more intuitive than the online interface.

AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 3
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

Thanks for your note.  I will follow the links you've provided.  But I think your reply makes my case again that the whole on-line interface so shoddily thought out.  The distinction you make between AdWords Editor and AdWords online interface is completely lost.  When I went on-line to on-line AdWords Help, I naturally assumed I was asking for help with the on-line interface.  If I was getting something else, whose fault is that?  

 

When a change is made to an interface -- now this might just be my Apple background speaking -- maybe the Help page ought to be updated too. I know that seems radical, but it would help.  

AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

Follower ✭ ☆ ☆
# 4
Follower ✭ ☆ ☆

By the way, the link you provided, https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2580282, explicitly says that gender targeting is implemented for Search.  If this isn't true, why hasn't the page been updated?

AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

Google Employee
# 5
Google Employee

How did you get to Editor's help pages? Is there a link somewhere in the online interface that points there? That would be a problem and should be fixed; please let me know, and I'll bring it to the attention of responsible parties.

AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

Google Employee
# 6
Google Employee

It is true, to the best of my knowledge; gender targeting is in fact available for search campaigns. The page provides instructions accordingly. I'm not quite sure what you feel is the problem in this regard.

AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 7
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I never got to the Editor's help page.  I was guided only by the online interface. AdWordsEng-Igor seems to have assumed that some of the information I was following must have come from there but it didn't.  My entire original post was based on use of the online AdWords dashboard and the online AdWords Help pages.

AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

Google Employee
# 8
Google Employee

You mentioned in your post a link to a page that is, in fact, part of Editor help center: https://support.google.com/adwords/editor/answer/71813?hl=en (note the /editor/ part of the URL, and also "AdWords Editor Help" across the top of that page). You said you "consulted the help page and [were] directed to" that link. Do you, by any chance, recall how and from where you were directed there?

Re: AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

@AdWordsEng-Igor wrote:

You mentioned in your post a link to a page that is, in fact, part of Editor help center: https://support.google.com/adwords/editor/answer/71813?hl=en (note the /editor/ part of the URL, and also "AdWords Editor Help" across the top of that page). You said you "consulted the help page and [were] directed to" that link. Do you, by any chance, recall how and from where you were directed there?


I went to the AdWords Help page and entered "gender targeting" in the Search box.  It was the first item up.

 

I'm sorry to be critical -- I love AdWords for what it enables us to do -- but the combined interface of dashboard + Help pages is fairly un-navigable.  The naming is anti-intuitive.  E.G., the distinction between the dashboard that one uses to edit a campaign and the AdWords Editor is not at all evident.  I for one didn't realize the latter even existed.  That the Help page refers me to a page that only applies to one class of user and makes no sense to any other is not helpful.  I now see that the page is titled AdWords Editor Help, but that's not going to be a huge clue to anyone who thinks the AdWords Editor refers to the dashboard's edit features.

AdWords Interface: Am I the only one who is frustrated?

Google Employee
# 10
Google Employee

It does appear that search looks across both AdWords and Editor help centers. That's perhaps unwise and misleading: someone searching for help with AdWords proper is unlikely to be well served, and likely to be confused, by an article about Editor. I'll raise the issue - perhaps it might be possible to separate the two help centers more strictly, especially for search.