How does geographical targeting work?

geo targeting2 Targeting ads by specific viewing locations can be very powerful. The ad is relevant to the viewers and the publisher can show more ads within the same ad placement.


Say you have an online magazine with different ads for different states. There are dedicated ad sales staff in California, New York, and Texas to target the local advertisers in these states. There is also a general/national ad sales team for other states/countries. When visitors are from California, you only want them to see California ads. The same policy applies to New York and Texas. On the other hand, if the visitor is from other places, you want to display the generic/default ad(s).


Here is an example to show how you would set it up in our ad server:
  • Zone "Top_728x90" with these ads: "California_728x90", "NewYork_728x90", "Texas_728x90". This zone also has a secondary zone called "Default_728x90".
  • Zone "Default_728x90" with ad: "DefaultAd" with no restriction. The zone chain will ensure that when there is no ad available from the primary zone, the ad server will look for an ad in this zone.
  • Apply a state restriction for the first 3 ads accordingly. For example: "California_728x90" gets a restriction to show only to California visitors. "NewYork_728x90" gets a restriction to show only to New York visitors. "Texas_728x90" gets a restriction to show only to Texas visitors.

Ad Selection Process

When zone "Top_728x90" is served, our system will select an ad. If this ad passes all its restrictions, it will be shown. Otherwise, another ad is selected instead. For example: if a visitor is from California, only the California ad(s) passes the restrictions. If a visitor is from Canada, none of the 3 ads in the primary zone can be shown. In this case, the ad server will look into the secondary zone "Default_728x90" and find the default ad to display.
January 04, 2023 (first published December 2010)


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