Google Ads Adjusting Mobile App Exclusion – Again

Google Ads Hand In Pocket
It’s that time of year again … On August 1st of last year we reported a change in how one went about excluding mobile apps from display campaigns. Where we’d used a domain exclusion prior to that, suddenly that was being discontinued. Admittedly, the new system was superior for the average user but I couldn’t help but think they were removing support for the domain-based system in hopes of grabbing a few extra dollars from folks who didn’t know to migrate. At least the new system was pretty straight forward.  In the device setting you’d find a screen that looks like:
Google Ads Device Exclusion Settings
I’m not sure specifically when this changed, and didn’t receive an email notice as I did last time, but when you visit the device section now you’ll find: Google Ads Device Selection And when I went back to older campaigns that I know I’d selected to not include apps … Wouldn’t you know it … they’re now included.

What Do They Mean By “Simplify”?

So when they say “simplify device targeting” what they mean is “make it harder to exclude apps”. If you want to exclude mobile apps now you need to select your campaign and choose “Placements” from the options. Add exclusions After that you now need to click “Exclude Placements” and then “App Categories”.  There are 141. In the new “simplified” system you’ll be presented with: Excluding apps category by category. You now need to click them one-by-one to exclude them all. Simple right?

Pro Tip

If you have multiple campaigns that you need to apply this to fear not, you don’t have to do it for every one.  You can use the copy-and-paste feature in the Google Ads interface or the Google Ads Editor to apply it rapidly across all applicable campaign or, if you’re an account manager, you can use the editor to apply it across different accounts.