Google announced recently that they will be changing several parameters in the Location Targeting feature available in the Adwords interface (see “Location targeting updates in AdWords“). These changes will begin rolling out after July 8, 2011, and will become mandatory at the end of 2011.

In brief, the changes are:

  • Some available locations changed or removed: Some geographic designations worldwide have changed, and so may no longer be targeted. (List is here.)
  • Elimination of custom geographic shapes (multi-point or polygon targets): All geographic targeting must be changed to available regions or cities with a radius designation.
  • Removal of “Show address in this ad” feature: You will no longer be able to designate specific ads to have an address extension. You may still use the Location Extensions feature, found in the Ad Extensions tab. Location Extensions can only be set at the Campaign level, and will affect all ads in that campaign.

Although transition to these new policies will be gradual, Google recommends that advertisers begin changing over their existing ads to conform as soon as possible to avoid any problems down the line. After the end of 2011, any non-conforming settings will automatically be converted to whatever Google thinks is the best approximation of your original settings.