Google Focuses Local Ad Targeting

  |  April 15, 2004   |  Comments

UPDATE: The search site creates a wide array of options for tighter local targeting, and promises the addition of ads to its Local site.

Search giant Google will offer its advertisers the chance to more tightly target the geographical areas where their ads will be seen. It's also expected to announce Thursday the upcoming addition of ads to its Google Local site.

Both innovations are aimed at attracting more local ad dollars to the search space. The Kelsey Group expects that local paid search will amount to $2.5 billion in the United States by 2008, and there appears to be plenty of room for growth. The researchers' recent survey of 460 advertisers found only 11 percent currently using pay-per-click advertising.

"The opportunity is to more granularly target local advertising, which benefits both national and local advertisers," said Sukhinder Singh, general manager of local and third party partnerships at Google.

The new features mean that when advertisers from the U.S., Canada, the U.K, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands create ads on Google's AdWords program, they'll have the option of targeting by region or city. Only regional targeting was previously available, and that was only in the U.S.

The new features also let advertisers around the world create "customized targeting." In this case, an advertiser indicates where his business is located -- either with an address or with latitude and longitude information -- and can then specify a radius in miles. The feature is likely to be most helpful to advertisers outside the seven countries with city or regional targeting, because the minimum radius is 20 miles, or 35 kilometers -- in most cases, probably equal to or greater than a city.

"Clearly our hope and our belief is that quality regional targeting by advertisers enhances the user experience," said Singh. "We'll have more focused ads and richer content."

Google infers the searcher's location by looking at the user's IP address, and also by looking at the user's search terms. If someone types in "sushi 10016," the technology surmises the person wants raw fish joints in that ZIP code -- whether or not the person is using a computer in that location. Previously, Google used only IP address data to deliver regionally targeted ads.

It's an incremental improvement in targeting, noted Niki Scevak, an analyst with Jupiter Rto be minimalesearch, which shares a parent company with this site. "It's still very good news for advertisers. Anything that gives them control over how their ad dollars are targeted is a good thing."

The more focused targeting will help advertisers who only want to reach users in a specific area, but it also opens up the possibility of more local ad creative and landing pages. A national restaurant chain might promote and link to local specials or discounts, using a different creative and link URL for each city or region.

The new targeting features are tailor-made for Google's recently launched Local site, still in beta, which allows users to search for businesses within a certain city, ZIP code, or in proximity to a certain address. Though the company didn't specify exactly when ads would begin to appear on Google Local, it said "soon" searchers would see three listings across the top of the search results pages.

Google's main competitor, Yahoo's Overture, is also working on a local search targeting product. It hasn't given an expected release date.

ClickZ Live San Francisco This Year's Premier Digital Marketing Event is #CZLSF
ClickZ Live San Francisco (Aug 11-14) brings together the industry's leading practitioners and marketing strategists to deliver 4 days of educational sessions and training workshops. From Data-Driven Marketing to Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email, this year's comprehensive agenda will help you maximize your marketing efforts and ROI. Register today!


Pamela Parker

Pamela Parker is a former managing editor of ClickZ News, Features, and Experts. She's been covering interactive advertising and marketing since the boom days of 1999, chronicling the dot-com crash and the subsequent rise of the medium. Before working at ClickZ, Parker was associate editor at @NY, a pioneering Web site and e-mail newsletter covering New York new media start-ups. Parker received a master's degree in journalism, with a concentration in new media, from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.



Featured White Papers

BigDoor: The Marketers Guide to Customer Loyalty

The Marketer's Guide to Customer Loyalty
Customer loyalty is imperative to success, but fostering and maintaining loyalty takes a lot of work. This guide is here to help marketers build, execute, and maintain a successful loyalty initiative.

Marin Software: The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising

The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising
Latest research reveals 68% higher revenue per conversion for marketers who integrate their search & social advertising. In addition to the research results, this whitepaper also outlines 5 strategies and 15 tactics you can use to better integrate your search and social campaigns.



    • Interactive Product Manager
      Interactive Product Manager (Western Governors University) - Salt Lake CityWestern Governors University, one of the 20 largest universities...
    • SEO Senior Analyst
      SEO Senior Analyst (University of Phoenix (Apollo Education Group)) - San FranciscoSEO Senior Analyst   Position Summary...
    • SEM & Biddable Media Manager
      SEM & Biddable Media Manager (Kepler Group LLC) - New YorkAs an Optimization & Innovation Manager at Kepler Group, you will be on the bleeding...