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Adwords IP address exclusion – why it’s important

Assuming you’re using A1WebStats to track all your visitors from PPC advert clicks, you’ll often be gaining extra information about those PPC visitors that’s useful:

The name of the company/organisation that clicked on your PPC advert.

But I don’t want universities/colleges/something else

Many types of businesses have used A1WebStats to identify types of visitors that they really don’t want to be wasting PPC budget on.  Typically, these are visitors from educational establishments such as:

  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Universities

For example, you offer £5 per click for a phrase such as ‘office designers” and you see numerous clicks from educational establishments (most likely, students researching the subject, blissfully unaware they’ve spent your budget, and 100% not going to become enquiries for you).

Blocking IP addresses from Adwords visibility

It’s surprising how few businesses are aware that you can set up your Google Adwords so that it stops your adverts being made visible when searched from certain IP addresses.  Take this example below:


It shows someone from South Essex College had searched for ‘future workspace designers’ and they clicked on the PPC advert.   While there’s a very tiny chance that it’s someone at the college who is a potential buyer, the reality is 99.9% that it’ll be a student doing research for a project.  Therefore, it’s useless for the business that got that click and so it probably makes sense to exclude such visiting IP addresses.

Google allows you to exclude up to 500 IP addresses per campaign.  That’s not really enough allowance but it does allow you to focus on the most significant problems.

Steps to excluding adwords visibility

  • Using A1WebStats you can run a report that shows you (over a period of time) all visitors who came from PPC and were also from an identifiable company/organisation.
  • Export that data to Excel and filter the list so that it shows only those from the types of organisation you don’t want to be getting clicks from (e.g. universities).
  • Having selected your kill list, refer to the IP address column and copy up to 500 of those IP addresses into your Adwords campaign using the instructions at For information, you can use a wildcard for the last 3 digits of blocks of IP addresses.
  • Your PPC adverts will now not be visible to people searching from those IP addresses.
  • Unfortunately, you’ll sometimes find that undesired visitors from an organisation have more than one IP address, which raises an interesting point about the ethics of Google …

Google’s lack of care

Do you recall ever going into your Adwords account and seeing a message from Google saying “hey, look at our guide to blocking IP addresses”?

Of course not – if they did that, then you’d be spending less money with them.

That, of course, is not ethical.  Supposedly the friend of business, if Google really cared then they’d allow businesses to have a much higher allowance of IP addresses they could block, and would publicise the availability of that feature.

This is just another example of how stupid Google are.  They think it’s clever/good business to allow people to have wasted clicks budget (it IS good business for Google of course) but if people aren’t getting good results from their PPC clicks then they’re either going to spend less or will give it up altogether.

We’ve lost count of the amount of people we’ve spoken to who say “Adwords doesn’t work”, when the reality is that it does work but it has to be used effectively.  Could some of those people have been ‘saved’ if they’d not wasted budget on clicks that would never become anything useful?  Probably.  Would those advertisers be more likely to spread positive news about Adwords? Probably.  Are Google going to carry on the way they are, actively holding back the success of businesses?  Absolutely!

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