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Guide's and How To's

Google Adwords Device Targeting

Google Adwords has several options for targeting specific devices upon which users can search on Google. The devices available at present are tablets, laptop and desktop PCs and mobiles with full web browsers (smartphones).

The options are available as a campaign-level setting and can be accessed on the settings tab under ‘Networks and Devices’:

Adwords Campaign Settings For Device Targeting

For best practice running of Adwords campaign, it is recommended that each campaign only targets one type of device – so each campaign that you want to advertise across all 3 device types will need to be replicated and individually target desktops/laptops, mobiles and tablets. Some of the reasons for targeting separately are listed in this post about tablet targeting.

Both mobiles and tablets elicit additional options to target specific operating systems and carriers. The options here will differ by country and is therefore dependent on your location targeting settings (also available on the campaign settings page). For example, the above picture shows the carrier options for Canada and the US, these will change where the campaign targets the UK for example to include ‘O2’ and ‘Vodafone’ but exclude ‘Verizon’ and ‘AT&T’ etc. Furthermore, carrier targeting is not available for all countries and the full list where these extended options are available can be found here. These options are specific to your needs as an advertiser – you may want to target specific networks or OS’s due to the nature of your product/service/availability etc.
If you especially want to target iPads it is actually possible by selecting tablets and then iOS as the operating system as that would then narrow to tablets running Apple’s operating system, hence only iPads.



3 thoughts on “Google Adwords Device Targeting

  1. Do you think they’re ever let us target pc users by what browser they are on?

    There’s been quite a bit of research into the kind of people that use the different browsers. EG.( I’ve lost the link,) It was recently found that people using IE6 have, on average, a lower IQ than people who use Chrome or Firefox.


    Posted by Whiteclick - Adwords Campaign management | August 26, 2011, 2:57 am
    • Hi
      I read that story too, turned out it was some kind of a hoax – www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/internet/8674678/Internet-Explorer-users-have-below-average-IQ.html

      Nevertheless, you make an important point. When looking at web analytics data, there can be marked differences in browser usage. Since this data is available in Google Analytics, it cannot be that integration of browsers as a targeting option in Adwords is impossible from a technical perspective.

      No doubt the uses of browser targeting would be endless, especially for browser providers, add on makers etc. I’m sure Google have not skipped over this accidentally, the mere fact that we already have mobile OS targeting suggests otherwise. I wonder if this is actually not available on purpose – desktop search is Google bread and butter so why would they give advertisers the opportunity to refine where they spend their money by browser? This would only lessen their revenue stream and potentially decrease advertisers on chrome if that were a poor performing browser and increase that of their competitor Bing if IE were to perform well – surely too much of a can of worms for Google.

      Browser targeting is something I definitely would love to see, it will allow even more granular data and targeting, if an ever-growing list of campaigns with one targeting option only selected for best practice. I hope Google do bring this out at some point.

      Posted by jk73 | August 30, 2011, 10:57 pm


  1. Pingback: Google Announces AdWords Enhanced Campaigns: The Redefinition of Mobile « Big PPC Geek - February 9, 2013

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