AdCenter is removing over 10,000 cities from its targeting options. The policy will go into force in May. AdCenter advises advertisers to identify any non-supported cities and replace them with cities relevant each campaign or ad group. Refer to this spreadsheet for more details.
"If you’re one of the unlucky souls with a campaign targeted to Shawnee Mound, Missouri (and only Shawnee Mound, Missouri) and you don’t update to one of the supported cities beforehand, you’ll notice a campaign or ad group paused where it wasn’t paused before," writes Sean Quadlin at PPC Hero. "All you need to do is add one of the supported cities to your target list and then unpause your campaign."
AdCenter maintains that the removal of these cities will have no impact on campaign performance. That is because the cities that are being removed have seen no measurable traffic.
The Growth of Local
News that there is at least 10,000 cities that have made no impact on Internet traffic might come as a surprise to digital marketers that have embraced the premise that local targeting is more effective. Just to cite a few recent studies supporting this notion: 15% of local business searchers used social networks to find local business information in 2011, representing a 67% increase from 9% a year earlier, and up from just 4% in 2008, according to a February 2012 report from Localeze and 15miles, conducted by comScore.
And those using social networks for local search appeared to conduct searches frequently: 35% did so daily, while an additional 34% did so on a weekly basis.
Also from that study: roughly two-thirds of tablet owners use their device at least once a week to conduct an online local business search. This makes tablet owners more frequent local business searchers than mobile phone users, 45% of whom search at least weekly, and PC/laptop users, 49% of whom search at least once a week.
In another study, 52% of mobile-local search ads on the xAd network yielded calls to local businesses following the initial click in Q4 2011, compared to 30% for display ads, according to a report released in February 2012 by xAd.