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Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

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# 1
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Hi,

 

I saw a problem with geolocation with Google Search.

If you use the advanced option in Google search and you choose a city, and if your IP didn't correspond to where you are (for example, you are in Toulouse, France but the IP geolocates you in Paris, France):

 

- if you select Toulouse, France in the advanced options for the city geolocation and you search something, the ads will be located on PAris, France (the IP's geolocation) and the organic results will be on the specific city you asked for, in our case, Toulouse, France.

 

I already reported this problem some months ago to the Adwords team, but nothing happened. Sill the same problem.

 

It's critical for local businesses, especially when there is geolocation problem due to the IP (mobile or computer, same problem).

 

How to have a Google reply on this problem ?

 

Thanks 

 

Bastien

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi @Sunnyreports;

This is correct. With locations in which the telecom infrastructure is an ISP based, the IPs are assigned by ISP rather than by location.

Google uses other signals to determine a user's location (e.g. If the user is signed into his Google account and his cell phone shows a different location, it makes sense that the user is physically where the phone is.) - Yet, in some countries desktop location targeting is not perfect.

Please note that as users switch more and more to mobile searches (where location is GPS or Cell based) advertisers are more focused on mobile Geo targeting than on "desktop" Geo targeting.

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

Follower ✭ ✭ ☆
# 3
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Hi Moshe,

Thanks for reply,

In France, desktop location targeting is very bad. The internet providers provide very bad IPS.

The problem is the same on mobile. 15 clients and myself included have tested geolocation with mobile (3G/4G) in different cities. All the time, the targeting was bad.

The problem I talk about is that, on mobile, even if you specify the location in the Google Search, the ads will not be the good ones fot the location, but he organic results will be ok.

You can see a screenshot describing the problem here : https://twitter.com/bastien31/status/617343274660012033

That's very bad for Adwords advertisers because they can't show their ads to the right people.

All the Google methods presented in the Adwords help for Geolocation didn't work in my case when me and my clients have tested. The screen capture is from the desktop, but results were the same with mobile.

Re: Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

@Sunnyreports;

The  screenshot is very  "blur".

Can you upload the picture here and not through twitter?

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

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# 5
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@MosheTLV Here is a link to the original screenshot : http://www.jabiroo.fr/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/geolocation.jpg

 

I was in a french city called Carcassonne. The geolocation by IP was wrong and located me in Paris.

I specified Carcassonne in the Google Search:

  • organic results and map results are ok
  • adwords ads are still geolocated in Paris.

Many of my clients have reproduced this error. Same on mobile. It's not new.

Re: Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor

@Sunnyreports;

These are different systems;

 AdWords Geo  targeting set your physical location in Paris (BTW, how do you know?...).

Your "organic request" (to show results in Carcassonne) applied only to  organic, while AdWords ads continue to be shown based on your physical location (recognized by the system as Paris).

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

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# 7
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@MosheTLV Thanks for the clarification. I understand the behaviour but I don't understand why Google chooses to act this way.

 

Indeed, if the user specifies manually to show the search results on a specific location, the user wants all results to be targeted on this location, not only the organic.

 

For a basic user, the difference between organic and adwords is not so clear. It's a search results. So why make a difference between the two ?

 

About my physical location, that's simple. I am in Carcassonne. I ask my ip (with this website for example : http://whatismyipaddress.com/fr/mon-ip). I test the geolocation of this IP with different websites. In my case, I always have been geolocated in Paris by all the websites I tried.

 

I also try Google Maps with the "my current position" to geolocate my position. Sometimes Google failed to find it ("Your position can not be found").

 

For the IP geolocation problem, Google can't do anything. That's the internet provider who are responsible. But in the case, the user specifies manually an address, it could be great all the links (organic and ads) will be targeted on the specified location.

Re: Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

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# 8
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A quick reply to add content to my latest reply. About the Adwords geo targeting, targeting me in Paris, I know this because the Ads are one of my client who is in Paris, for who I only target Paris in the geolocation criteria in his campaign, and the other ads are from Paris too (phone number from Paris area, "IDF" = "Ile de France in the ads in the right column, ...)

Re: Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

Top Contributor
# 9
Top Contributor

@Sunnyreports;

A corner stone of Google's advertising system is that is a separate, independent  system, totally unlinked to organic.

You could argue about this concept -  in place since AdWords (in its current format)  was established - and advocate a change, however, I don't see Google changing it in the foreseeable future... Smiley Surprised

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Geolocation differences between adwords and search results

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# 10
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@MosheTLV Thanks a lot for the discussion Smiley Happy, very rewarding.

 

I know organic and adwords are totally unlinked. But I am thinking about the user of Google, the basic user, the one who wants to find the answer to his question.

 

This one doesn't care about how Google works. And I understood that what is important for Google is to give the right answers to their users. In this case, when this user selects specifically a city, he doesn't care about the different algorithms of geolocation with Adwords and organic results, he just want the best answers geolocated on the city he specified.

 

Moreover, my clients and any Adwords advertisers lose money with this problem. Why ? because their ads could be seen by people who aren't the right people (because the geolocation failed) but even when a user specifies a city, their ads still won't be shown to this user, who is a potential prospect.

 

So for a user with a geolocation problem who specifies a city, he can only find his answer on organic results. The advertisers will loose all these potential prospects.

 

For Google, two consequences:

  • the users will not have the best answers because all the ads will be irrelevant
  • their local advertisers will loose clicks, so Google will loose money

From a user place, not the advertiser or the adwords campaign manager (!), I will love that Google let me see ads on the city I specified.

 

If I'm looking for a restaurant, I want that all the results on the search page are related to the place where I am or which I specified, not a place where an algorithm thinks I should be Smiley Happy