If you have read my previous blog post giving advice on how to make your Adwords campaigns more effective, then you know I take issue with the way Google sets up default settings for new display campaigns.
If you haven't read it yet, read my previous article on 5 Ways to Save Money on Adwords.
The gist is this: By default, Google automatically opts Display campaigns into targeting all device inventory, including Mobile Web and Mobile App.
From the data that we've audited on hundreds of accounts I'd estimate that 90% of Mobile App clicks on the Google Display network are fraudulent.
Here's data from an actual account that we recently took over. Oh, you mean the "Free Phone Call" app isn't a conversion rate monster??? Shocker:
Up until now, the good news was that this has consistently been low hanging fruit for our agency to find when auditing accounts. It's an easy quick win and something we can quickly implement to save clients big bucks early on and improve performance.
Well, Google is quietly removing the functionality to exclude Mobile App inventory from Display Campaigns. Read their formal announcement, Prepare for updates to mobile targeting and exclusion.
Soon, the only way to not show ads on Mobile Apps will be to exclude all Mobile traffic.
This is less than ideal because for many of our clients, upwards of 80% of their traffic comes through Mobile.
Bottom line: This is a material change that is going to negatively impact a lot of Google's clients that are running Display Network campaign. It's something we'll be monitoring for our clients and taking action as needed.