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How To Restrict Your Ad Position In AdWords

There is a cool feature in AdWords that allows you to restrict your ad to specific positions. This comes in handy if you know that a certain position, say position #3, has had the best performance historically. Here is how to set up Ad Positioning:

Step 1

In the Campaign Settings, under Position Preference you can turn on the ability to mange your position preference and have AdWords automatically manage maximum CPC bids to target a preferred position range.

Step 2

When you edit keywords in the Keywords tab, you will now have the option to select positions you’d like to restrict your ad to. It will let you select one position (i.e. #3) or a range of positions (i.e. #1 – #4).

Google AdWords Position Preference Selection

Bottom Line

Keep in mind that if according to Google’s algorithm your ad should show up in position #4 and you set your ads to display in position #3, your ad will not display at all. Use it when you have the data to back it up, when you know that any clicks from other positions will not bring enough conversions.

6 Comments to "How To Restrict Your Ad Position In AdWords"

  1. Reply
    Jeremy Brown
    October 15, 2009 at 12:13 AM

    I haven’t been wowed by ad positioning when I’ve used it. Have you seen any case studies where folks have used it effectively?

    • Menachem Ani
      Michael J. Kaye
      October 15, 2009 at 9:40 AM

      Hi Jeremy,

      I have had very specific campaigns that performed very well in specific positions (i.e. #1-#3) and I would only suggest to use keyword positioning when you know the results you get will be better in that spot.

      Another good use case is for A/B testing purposes, let your ad run in two different positions for a few weeks each and see how they perform so that you can target your CPCs accordingly.

      • Reply
        Jeremy Brown
        October 15, 2009 at 10:46 PM

        I can see there might be cases where it’s more effective, but in my experience you are better off using bidding to achieve position.

        I don’t see Google punishing for using position preference, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they didn’t exactly reward it either. After all, it does complicate things on their end.

        Thanks for the article and I’ll keep my eyes peeled for any other case studies highlighting position preference.

        • Menachem Ani
          Michael J. Kaye
          October 15, 2009 at 11:53 PM

          In most cases you are right. For extreme cases where you don’t want the ad to show in any other position, this would be helpful.

          Thanks for reading!

  2. Reply
    Jeremy Brown
    October 16, 2009 at 11:17 AM

    Here is another perspective I ran across:

    Still, position preference may have its time and place (say avoiding position #1 for a good reason).

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