If you have never heard or used Site Options before, they are primarily used within the Display Network, Remarketing within the Google Adwords (old interface), and Google Ads (new interface) platforms. With many big changes happening to the Google Ads platform, Google has taken a lot of advertisers’ control away little by little. In some cases, Google has literally just made a hard stop to some of the most important and campaign saving functions that we rely on to target and spend our advertising dollars smarter and wiser. A lot of us longstanding Google paid advertisers have been trying to figure out just why Google has been making so many big changes lately. We cannot seem to put our finger on the reason, the mind set, nor the objective behind Google’s disruption to many of our strategies and campaigns that we have worked years on getting to great campaign health. While we continue to try and figure out this new Google Ads experience, (along with trying to find new things that Google has taken away), we do stumble upon some of the functions that will literally destroy our campaigns such as the Site Options. The Site Options feature is not what it use to be, and Site Options in Google Ads has altered in abig way. Site Options has actually had its name changed as well, similar to the change from ‘Google Adwords’ to ‘Google Ads’. Now, the previous named ‘Site Options’ is referred to as ‘Content Exclusions’.
What Is Different Now That ‘Site Options’ Has Changed To ‘Content Exclusions’?
The Site Options (now Content Exclusions) had a very important role when it came to controlling where your Display Ads (now called Image Ads) were displayed on Google’s Display Network. So, now Google has made it impossible to fully control which websites, mobile apps, etc. that we want to allow our ads to be shown and advertising dollars to be spent on . First, we can go ahead and state the most obvious change which is the actual location of where to find the Content Exclusions within the new Google Ads interface. The old Site Options use to be located exactly in the section where it was used at, which is the Display and Audience portions of the old Google Adwords interface. Because it was only useful in the Display and Remarketing campaigns, it used to be clearly and easily located within those sections. In addition, it possessed the full capability of controlling lots of sites that you wanted to allow your image ads to show on. Now, in the new Google Ads experience (interface) when you are inside your Display Network campaigns or Remarketing campaigns, the Content Exclusions section is nowhere to be found. Why Google would make such a drastic and odd change as to taking it out of the exact section that it is most useful, doesn’t make sense to anybody. Well, believe it or not, the new location of the old Site Options, (which are now called the Content Exclusions), is now located over in the Campaign Settings of your Display or Remarketing campaign. If that is not odd enough for you, not only is it located over in the settings of your campaign, there is another section of the setting that you have to open up,(which is called the Advanced Settings), that is not so obvious to find or locate. To get to the Advanced Settings, you will need to scroll all the way down to the section that is below your regular settings until you see the small link that says Advanced Settings. When you click the link that says Advanced Settings, you will immediately see an additional drop down section which contains the Content Exclusions that you are looking for. While you are in this Advanced Settings section, it would probably be a very good idea to peek around at some of the functions in there to see if any of your old functions may have been relocated to that section.
So, when you finally get to the Content Exclusions section, you will see a drop down arrow to the very right. You will want to go ahead, and click that drop down to see what you can then control. Once the link is clicked, you will then see a series of check boxes that were previously found in the Site Options. You can check them on or off. There is one check box that stands out from the rest of the check boxes, and it is unable to be checked now with Google’s new interface and function changes. Just under the “Below the fold” check box, you will find the check box that is labeled “G-mob mobile app non interstitial”. When you do finally locate this checkbox, you will also see that just underneath the text of the box it says “Inactive”. Why Google would take that check box and text completely out of this section does not make any sense whatsoever. This G-mob check box and option used to allow us advertisers to limit our image ads in showing and spending unnecessary dollars by our ads showing on Mobile Apps, gaming apps, and mobile sites where our ads had no business being advertised on . But Google’s recent changes have taken this very important control function away from us. Furthermore, it does not benefit the advertiser one little bit. Obviously, the only one that these unnecessary change benefits is Google itself by FORCING our ads to show on unnecessary mobile apps, gaming apps, and mobile sites that we as advertisers literally would never want our ads to show on. This all but ensures that Google will absolutely continue to put more money in their pocket by showing our ads on sites or apps that have no relevance to what we are either selling or service we are providing. This change literally changes the game, and hurts the results that we as advertisers work so hard to get either for ourselves or our all-important clients. And to make things even more one-sided, Google has also taken away the ability to exclude our ads from showing on mobile apps altogether for us advertisers . Google also recently took away the Placement Exclusion “”adsenseformobileapps com” that advertisers would add to make sure that their hard-earned advertising dollars were not spent on impressions and clicks on mobile apps, gaming apps, and unnecessary apps that we would not want our ads to show up on. To us, this seems very unfair as we are the customers of Google, and Google is all but sweeping the carpet out from under our feet by taking important functions and settings away from us. As a result, it forces us to have our ads show in places in which we would never advertise.
In closing, this is not the only important change that Google has made to their paid advertising platform. If you have used the Google paid ads platform for some time now, you may want to go ahead and take a deeper dive into what there is to use and what is not there to use any longer. You may be very surprised and even upset like so many of us long time Google paid ads users are.
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Google Adwords Certified, Senior PPC Consultant ,That! Company