So it looks like Google is at it again with machine learning. They have updated the location target options and now a previous option has been replaced with a technically better targeting method. The change is instead of just only targeting based on the location the person is actually at, ads will be served to that particular person no matter where they are as long as they are at the location “or regularly” there. I have never really thought how many different meanings the phrase “or regularly” can have, until now.

What exactly is this update about?

Pretty much the change is that using that particular target option is no longer only based on the where the person searching is currently located. It’s based on whether the person spends time at the location instead of just being physically being there.

The concept of it sounds really good, here’s a simple scenario for someone who is at work eight hours of the day. They use their phone all day long while at work (hopefully not and they’re actually working) but then they’re at home for hours as well. Let’s say they have to move and need an apartment near their job and in concept, you all will be able to reach them while they’re at home regardless of the search location.

When will this take effect?

Google tested this option with display ads at first and as of now its available for all campaign types as far as shopping, search and display.

Machine learning and automation is the direction

This is definitely non-negotiable when it comes to Google as far as I’ve noticed these kinds of changes are the trend and I would assume more applications of machine learning are in the works. The smarter Google can display ads to users the more relevant things become the better the experience is for the user. The only downside is that it might cost you more money for the overall benefit of the Internet.

Whats “or regularly” really mean?

It would be nice to know in this data-driven world, what “or regularly” means in terms of data. Does it mean that the person spends 40% of their time there or is it 15%? This can make the world of a difference when you’re trying to target specific zip codes and your ads are being served to someone that’s there an hour a week for some random purpose.

Granted this all depends on what kind of vertical your businesses in or what kind of product or service you’re advertising. Exclusions options are going to possibly be more important as this moves forward, review your location settings and stay optimized.