How to Prevent Google Display Network Ads from Showing in Apps

Part of Google AdWords, the Google Display Network is a great way to help build your brand online, and one of the most cost effective ways to get your brand in front of your target audience. On its most basic level, it works by showing image adverts on third-party websites, either local (, national ( or international ( One of the most impressive aspects of the Display Network is the targeting it offers.

One of the most simple, yet very effective, ways to target users is geographically. You can tell Google to only only show your adverts to, for example, people within a 30 mile radius of Worcester, even if the website is a global website like YouTube. You can also show your ads to specific demographics, such as men under 40, or even by interest, such as sports or technology. You can even use specific website placements to show your ads on any particular websites of your choosing, so long as they are opted into the Google Display Network. These criteria can be applied individually or in combination to give you the right level of targeting for whatever campaign you are running.

One of the issues in setting up a campaign like this, however, is that sometimes your ads end up being displayed where you don’t want them to. Generally speaking, Google has a very good filtering and verification system that stops any dodgy websites from being part of their Display Network. However, there are some placements that you probably want to avoid, and the biggest of these is in Mobile Apps. By default, you ads can end up being displayed on mobile apps and games, many of which are predominantly used by children. For whatever reason, these placements have a tendency to generate a lot of clicks that can end up skewing your campaign and using up your precious budget where you don’t want it.

Clearly, there are valid reasons to show your ads on mobile apps under the right circumstances, but certainly from a business-to-business marketing point of view, most of the time this is something you want to avoid. Luckily, there is a simple way to opt-out your Display Network campaigns from showing on mobile apps.

Firstly, you can check to see if your ads are being shown in mobile apps by logging into AdWords, clicking on your Campaign then selecting the Display Network tab. From here, click on Placements, and you’ll see where your ads have been showing. In the search box on the right, type in mobile and you will see a list of any mobile placements for your ads.

If you see a list of mobile placements and you want to remove them going forward, you can add a Placement Exclusion by scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking Campaign Exclusions – choose Placement Exclusion from the drop-down list, and enter

To make things bullet-proof, you can also exclude your ads using the Site Category Options too. In here you should see a list of all the main categories of placement that you are set to show in. Exclude anything that you thing is not applicable (in particular, most business ad campaigns should be opted out of In-game and Gmob mobile app non-interstitial).

That’s about it – just check back in a few days and you should see a much more balanced set of data for your placements.

If you want any more advice or help with Google Adwords and/or the Google Display Network please contact us for further information.