Why Your Google Ad Campaign Shows 'Restricted Targeting' on Location, Age & Gender

You thought you had your Google Ad Campaign setup properly but it doesn't seem to be generating many impressions or clicks. As you dig in further, you see your location targeting, which is set to target on the zip code level, is showing a "restricted targeting" warning. You also notice the same thing on Age and Gender dimensions when you make bid adjustments or exclude a certain age or gender group.

What is this all about and what can you do to remove the "restricted targeting" warning?

This most often happens when your business is related to housing or if Google just thinks it's related to housing. Google has to obey the laws of the land like the Fair Housing Act and restricting zip codes, age or gender for your real estate or home rental business is going to trigger Google's housing policy. Obviously, this is to avoid discrimination against certain demographics.

For location targeting, this means you can't target on a zip code level. Which means you have to switch it to target based on city or county instead.

For the Age and Gender demographics, this means you can't make any positive or negative bid adjustments or exclude any specific age group or gender.

"But My Product Has Nothing To Do With Home Ownership or Home Rentals!"

Sometimes certain copy in your ad or website can falsely trigger this housing policy, even if your business is home renovations for example. This is just an automated response based on certain keywords you may be using in your ad copy. If you appeal this decision in Google Ads, it typically gets sorted out within a week or so as the case is reviewed by a real human.

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