TIL (Today I Learned) that the phrase “it’s a small world” originated at the 1964 New York World Fair. It was the name of the song played at the UNICEF pavilion and commissioned by Walt Disney. He later went onto to use the song on the popular ride of the same name. It’s argued that this song is the most translated piece of music on the planet!

You don’t have to have visited Disneyland to know it’s a small world though: The World Wide Web has taken it down a whole new level and with Google Glass; technology would lower your horizons to about 5cm from your retina. Imagine an advertising network that could deliver a virtual Time Square as you stroll down your village high-street… who needs jet planes?

So yes, essentially Google is helping shrink the world for the sake of advertising.

We’re not quite in the iRobot age, but in the UK, you can now target an individual postcode and even if you have GPS and your Network Provider turned off, Google will use nearby wireless hotspots to pinpoint your mobiles’ location… The idea is that the more specific their advertising network is, the more targeted you can make your advert.

I suppose this system is supposed to mimic nature so that when you narrow your campaigns parameters, you are adapting/evolving your strategy so that you can target a niche market. The more unique your adaptations, the more unique and competitive you are right? By having less competition, you should find it easier (read cheaper) to target these niche markets.

Google isn’t perfect though and at the moment there is a flaw in the algorithm dictating this system.

I first noticed it when I was attempting to implement UK postcode based targeting on one of my clients’ campaigns. They served a large proportion of North London but wanted to split the targeting as they opened a new office and wanted to share the leads between the two locations. I followed Google’s suggestions and created the new campaigns needed; expecting that as nothing else had changed except the locations targeted, the clicks and calls would roll in as normal.

Strangely though, the cost per click rocketed and the number of impressions dropped drastically, even when all the campaigns were combined to cover the same geographical area.

I went on a fact finding mission to discover why and discovered a presentation from Marta Turek. The essence is that when your parameters are refined as such, Google seems to charge a premium rate for the privilege. http://searchengineland.com/adwords-geo-targeting-have-we-all-been-doing-it-wrong-169049

To get around this problem, she recommended targeting a larger area and instead of positively targeting specific locations, try excluding the places you don’t want to target. This ensures that you avoid paying the premium toll, and keeps your advertising reach high!

Essentially, you don’t want to take the recommended tourist trail – you’ll get ripped off, and you’ll see less than you could. Instead; aim for India but take a tactical detour and discover the Americas.