Google has recently updated the default setting for new campaigns so that excluded locations are automatically set to “People in your excluded locations”.

This is something that seems minor and could easily be dismissed, but I urge you to pay some attention. Previously the default setting for excluded locations was “People in, or who show interest in, your excluded locations”.

Let’s look at an example:

Say, for example, you run Google Ads for an online shop and you don’t want to target people in Western Australia because perhaps shipping rates from where you operate from are too high. You would naturally set Western Australia as an excluded location so that your ads don’t show to people who are ordering from that region.

Previously by default Google would prevent ads from showing to anyone it can tell is located in Western Australia, and additionally would prevent ads from showing to people who show an indication that they are interested in this location (for instance their query includes the world ‘perth’). Of course this makes sense because perhaps someone is in Sydney but ordering an item to be sent to Western Australia, or is on holiday in Brisbane but actually lives in Western Australia.

Of course, as usual, it is in Google’s best interests to change this default setting to be in their favour since it will now mean that unless you change to the “non recommended” setting they’ll show your ad to a wider audience, which will probably mean more clicks for you, but you may not be reaching the people you want.

Going forward you’ll still be able to change the setting so that you exclude people who also show an interest in your excluded location, but it won’t happen by default.

So next time you’re setting up a campaign from scratch pay close attention and make sure the setting you choose makes sense to your situation.


Above is the notification you may or may not have seen in your account.


In existing campaigns under settings (hidden under an expandable link) you’ll find the option to adjust this setting.

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