The Great Rollover – Google Pushes Display Network Campaigns onto Mobile Apps

Google to haul advertiser’s option to prohibit their display campaigns from appearing on mobile apps

When people want to watch something, go somewhere or buy things, they reach for their mobile devices to get valuable information. And often a mobile application delivers what they want – from reading eBooks to playing games, listening to music, booking air tickets, or buying a new pair of shoes. This is a lucrative opportunity for marketers to leverage and Google says they will “pave” the way for the same.

Two years ago, the company launched Universal App Campaigns (UAC) to make it easier for app businesses to grow. Today, they are envisioning advanced mobile app experience by ‘simplifying’ targeting and excluding advertisers’ control over display network ads being shown on mobile apps. They say this step is crucial to make it easier for Google’s display advertisers to target a fast-growing base of mobile users globally.

The following is a glimpse of Google’s email to Google Ads advertisers:

Google Ads advertisers

Only time will tell whether Google’s upcoming rollover will simplify tasks or make it complex for advertisers.

Google’s Forthcoming Changes to Display Network Targeting

The first change that Google will implement from September 2024 onwards is removing exclusion from Google Ads settings. This feature was handy in 100% stopping display ads from showing on mobile apps.

Many PPC advertisers say they have not seen good results from ads displaying on mobile apps. Rather, the quality of traffic from such sources is poor and misleading. So, they have valid reasons to block showing ads on mobile devices. Until the rollover coming in September, an easy way to do this was to exclude “” But that trick will work no longer.

The second big change that Google plans to roll out is removing GMob mobile app non-interstitial exclusion from Google Ads. Currently, the feature is available in your display campaigns Settings option under Content type.

Google Ads

From September onwards, advertisers will no longer be able to block mobile interstitial or mobile apps from display ad targeting. Advertisers have to either opt all in or all out on mobile device once the change comes in place.

Another aspect of Google’s upcoming changes is consolidation of device settings into computer, tablet and mobile phone only.

What’s in the Future for Google Ads Advertisers?

With Google Ad changes knocking at the door, let’s see what is in store for the advertisers.

The rollover means that display network campaigns will now have ads on mobile devices and in apps. If you thought you would uncheck mobile app in the device settings, you are wrong. Google Ads is bidding adieu to those options. The changes might sound small, but they can be troublesome for many marketers.

Despite what Google has to say, display ad performance on mobile apps is different from mobile web. This poses a challenge for advertisers. They have to cope with poor-quality traffic coming from different situations as discussed herewith:

  • Mobile apps that have ads placed close to ‘clickable’ points – The user may not be interested in seeing the ad, but it gets clicked unknowingly as it is strategically placed in areas that have high click potential. The user may immediately bounce back, but the advertiser has to pay for the click despite that the lead was irrelevant.
  • Children playing with their parents’ mobile phones – This is another common scenario that online advertisers face. Suppose a child is using his parent’s phone and suddenly, based on the app’s usage behaviour and demographic, your display ad pops up. It would not make any sense to you if the child clicks on the ad.

So, this would make the entire thing messy for many advertisers.

On the flip side, Google expects the changes to make mobile user targeting simpler for marketers. If your ads start appearing on mobile devices and apps, it would result in ‘significant increase’ in mobile traffic, helping you leverage the opportunity to earn higher revenues.

How to Overcome the Challenge?

One way to cope with this challenge is to turn off mobile devices altogether. However, that will not be a prudent decision at all. In fact, smartly optimising the challenge may be your best bet.

Here are some ideas on how you can make Google’s forthcomingchange a lucrative opportunity for you:

  • You will not have the option to exclude mobile devices and mobile apps altogether. But you can certainly exclude apps that do not perform. The task is time-consuming but can help you get some quality conversions by targeting the ads at right place. For instance, if you are remarketing for B2B sites, make sure your ads do not appear on gaming apps. You can use tools such as Optmyzr to identify and block poor performing ad placements.
  • You can also refine ad targeting with the option to exclude by Topics, App Category, Content exclusions and individual placement. See the image below:

How to Overcome the Challenge


Suppose, there is a topic named Games with several sub-topics as shown in the image above. You can easily target the ones where you want your ad to be positioned or exclude those that are irrelevant to your campaign. This way you can at least expect quality traffic to flow in via your display ads.


Google’s impending rollover will be a major challenge for a lot of advertisers and they will see different results for their ad campaigns. However, there are also many advertisers who will optimistically face the challenge, making bigger earnings for days to come.

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