Working with geo codes for Google and Bing

July 17, 2019

Have you ever launched a Bing or Google campaign where you clearly set correct geo target(s) then later realized that some of your geo-targeting selections ended up geographically nowhere near what you set out to target?

There are sometimes geographic targets in both Google and Microsoft advertising platforms that have this issue and it’s not a feature, it’s a bug.

The way to fix that is first and foremost to QA your work after the campaigns have been uploaded to the account so that you can identify the error. Secondly, the way to fix that is to use what is called a unique and persistent assigned ID to identify your location of choice.

Unique and persistent assigned IDs provide a single view of location across numerous mediums.

One of the challenges with the unique persistent IDs is the fact that, unlike the cookie ID which is universally accepted, there is no standardization for persistent location IDs recognized by many ad servers and publishers, but luckily Bing and Google do have set lists that they use.

Google Ads recognizes this list.

Location type Google recognizes are the following Target Type Allowable values:

  • Airport
  • Autonomous Community *
  • Borough
  • Canton *
  • City *
  • City Region
  • Congressional District *
  • Country *
  • County *
  • Department *
  • District
  • Governorate *
  • Municipality *
  • National Park
  • Neighborhood
  • Okrug
  • Postal Code
  • Prefecture *
  • Province *
  • Region *
  • State *
  • Territory *
  • TV Region *
  • Union Territory *
  • University

* Supported in TargetingIdeaService.

As to Microsoft (Bing) Ads, the platform recognizes the following list.

Have you experienced this issue before? Double-check your accounts to confirm that you are targeting the locations you want to target and let us know in the comments below!

Bonus: Remember that Some countries or territories are not targetable in Google Ads but may appear in reports based on the user’s location of interest or physical location!