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22 May 2015 @ 05:27 pm
AdWords tech support  
It is surprising how easy it is to learn more about advertisement retargeting than typical AdWords tech support guy knows.

Belowe are couple of examples.

1) Q: Can I retarget ads for individual user?
Initial response from adwordsapi-support@google.com:
There is no specific restriction against doing that, although it is not the intended use case of the feature. It sounds like it might work to do what you're trying to accomplish.

Reading more about retargeting on AdWords showed that Google intentionally prevents ad retargeting for single user:
Number of visitors needed for a remarketing list
A remarketing list must have at least 100 active visitors within the last 30 days before you can show an ad to people on the list when they visit a Display Network site. A remarketing list for Google search ads needs to have a minimum number of 1000 cookies (active visitors) before the list can be used to tailor your search ads. This helps protect the privacy of those who make up your list.

Closing remarks from adwordsapi-support@google.com:
I honestly did think that there would be some restriction to prevent exactly what you're trying to accomplish, but I couldn't find one. AdWords was not designed to allow targeting to individual specific users.

Yes, this restriction does mean that you wouldn't be able to set up criteria to target specific individual users, even through the use of remarketing lists. I'm sorry that I wasn't able to get you this limitation right away, and that you had to find it yourself.

Mike, AdWords API Team

This support case was not actually bad.
At least I got a hint about other restrictions and it helped to get better understanding about what is possible in AdWords.

But sometimes AdWords support is just hopeless. See below.

2) Q: Why "List Size (Google Search)" is different from "List Size (Display Network)"?

AdWords Retargeting Lists

Alex from Bangalore explained to me that these are lists of people who saw my remarketing ads on "Google Search" and "Display Network" correspondingly.

I had to show him column description from the same screen:
List size (Google Search)
This column shows the total number of people on Google Search included in a specific audience. This doesn't represent the number of customers who see your ad.
In response Alex started explaining to me some basics about how AdWords works.

I had to mention to Alex that I did not even advertise anything to users in these lists, so they could not possibly see my ads.

I also mentioned that these lists have less than 100 users on them, so these lists are not eligible to run ads.
After consulting with his manager, Alex suggested me to talk with my AdWords account manager about these numbers.

His excuse for not knowing what these columns mean ... drumroll ... is that Alex is working on AdWords team that is responsible for javascript that fills these remarketing lists.
So remarketing list screen is allegedly irrelevant to the script that fills these lists.

Still, having such support is better than have no support.
All guys try to help to the best of their ability.