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Why You Are Getting Clicks from Regions You Are Not Targeting

Yamil Amed Abud

5 years ago



Do you ever wonder why you are getting clicks from India or Germany when you sell pizzas in New York?


This is one of the most common mistakes new advertisers make when running a new PPC Campaign: unwanted traffic. New campaigns are set, by default, to target a general audience. It is Google’s most significant interest to have a broad reach at first, so you get more traffic, which is not necessarily good for your wallet. In fact, a broad targeting at first is a good strategy for accounts with large budgets, so they acquire more data and it is easier to improve and optimize in a short period of time. However, if you have a limited budget, aiming for about six to 10 clicks per day, it is often quite expensive and ineffective.

If you have a local business, in particular, you have to make sure you only target people nearby. You need to adjust the settings manually. First, let’s understand what you need to change and why.

Here are three reasons why you are getting clicks from places you are not targeting:

Default Settings

Google’s default settings target people who are interested in your product or service even though they are not physically located in your targeted regions.

If you launch a new campaign, it will run under the following targeting rule:

Notice that it claims the following: People who show interest in your targeted locations. What does that even mean? For instance, let’s assume that you sell pizzas in Brooklyn, NY. If I’m in India and I type “Pizzas in Brooklyn,” I will be able to see your ad. I’m showing interest in your location by searching for it. Do you want me to look at your ad in India? Of course not.

Before fixing this issue, I’ll like to point out another closely-related problem.

Google Domains

Usually, advertisers may add additional languages to their campaigns for a broader reach. When you think of “Languages” in a Google PPC Campaign, think of Google domains such as .com, .fr, .es, .ca, etc. For instance, if you were to add the languages English and French to a campaign that contains the keyword “Cheap dentist in New York,” the ads will still appear in English only, but on two different domains:

Consequently, your reports will show clicks from France even though you are not specifically targeting that region.


You can easily fix these two problems by changing your targeting options to “people in my targeted location”, which means users have to be physically located in your targeted regions to see your ads. People in India won’t be able to see your Ad and, at the same time, you will still be able to target two Google domains

VPN & IP Address

A VPN is a connection method that allows you to host a private network, such as your IP Address, from a public source in a different location. For instance, if you live in New York, you could use a VPN to watch videos from a server in France, meaning that YouTube will identify you as a user located in France. All the content would be in French and, if you were to search for a “local dentist,” you will see ads a few miles away from the server location in Paris. 

Unfortunately, as an advertiser, there’s nothing much you can do about it with your campaigns, except placing the name of your city or region in your ads to let users know you are far away from them. But, if they deliberately intend to use a VPN to search for ads and click on them, they will undoubtedly be able to do it. You could exclude specific well-known IP Addresses from these servers, but this won’t do much for all the effort it will take. That will be quite exhaustive and ineffective, and you probably won’t be able to identify most of them.

Don’t worry, there are various techniques and best practices we follow to avoid unwanted clicks for our clients. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact us!