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Excluding and Targeting Countries

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭



I am looking to exclude a long list of countries from seeing our ads that our company is not currently targeting so that we can maximize results. There is a list of about 100 that I want to exclude and probably 40 that we are keeping. I went ahead and exluded those 100, but do I also have to ADD the 40 countires? Does this make a difference or will it automatically target these countries because they are not excluded?

2 Expert replyverified_user

Hi cpv84,   I may have misunderstood what your goals are...

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi cpv84,


I may have misunderstood what your goals are but I think you can get away with just targeting the positive countries (The ones you want to target) and you'll be just fine.  I would also caution that targeting multiple countries with a single campaign may not be the best route to take.  Here's a resource regarding location targeting for further information. Also, I'm not sure what your language settings are but you may want to be careful when targeting multiple countries.  Matching languages between keywords, ads and landing pages to correspond with the country you're targeting will be an important step for you, unless of course you're targeting all the same language.


Hope this helps!





Tommy Sands, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Philly Marketing Labs
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Targeting Countries

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi cpv84;

I would like to extend on Tom's answer. Targeting countries is not as easy as it sounds (well a AdWords is not simple - we have said that many times ...Smiley Wink). Even I, who lives in a multilingual region, get some times confused with geo- targeting, as happened a few days ago, with a question on targeting users located in the USA, using Google domain : (for Argentina);


The reason for the complication arises since in a given country, you cannot target only a territory, but must also target the languages spoken. (Google recognizes languages by Google domain, or the user browser interface language.)

Two examples that we lately have had: If you Target South Africa you need to target English and Afrikaans. If you target France you need to target English as well (for those who use


Summarizing: as Tom has already pointed out, When targeting a country where your company has business, G-maps give you territory. However, more important is to know the languages spoken, - not to miss a large part of your customers.



Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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I would think the easiest, most basic way of trying to ac...

Badged Google Partner
# 4
Badged Google Partner

I would think the easiest, most basic way of trying to accomplish this would be through the advanced targeting options.


Target the locations you want to, then exclude by location, and search intent. If a user is in the UK for example, and you do not want to advertise in the UK, if you only excluded by location, a query for (example) Broadway shows New York, may still trigger an ad for the UK user, if New York is a targeted area. If you also exclude by search intent, then no New York queries would show an ad to a user outside of the targeted location.


If you only target the US, no users in the UK should see an ad, unless the intent of the query is related to the US. So, you have to exclude by search intent as well, if you want to be as certain as possible no visitors are seeing your ads from outside of your targeted area.