Google Ads Display placements in apps can be useful and relevant, however more often than not they can be more of an annoyance. You’ve probably seen these ads in the wild, often appearing where you might expect other content to appear. This can lead to many clicks made in error, driving up campaign spend, but with little to no engagement from this traffic. In this article we’ll discuss how to Exclude Apps from Google Ads

Google Display App Placements

If you’ve been running display campaigns in Google Ads over the past few years you’ve probably noticed there are significantly more apps showing in your placement report than in the past. If the apps in the report seem relevant to your offering, great! However, it’s likely that you’ll find a lot of apps in there that have no relation to what’s being advertised. At all.


Apps in AdWords Placement Report

Not only are there a lot more of these apps showing in the placement report, but each one has the potential to rack up a huge volume of impressions with very few clicks, if any. A few years ago some advertisers learnt this first hand when overnight smash hit game, Flappy Bird accrued hundreds of thousands of ad impressions in the space of a couple of days as its popularity snowballed.

Excluding App Placements in Google Ads

Within your Google Ads placement report you can manually exclude individual apps that you deem irrelevant, just as you would do with any normal placement. This may suit your needs if you’re showing ads in just a few irrelevant apps. However this task can very quickly become time consuming as you’ll continue to show against multiple new apps every day.

A more efficient and long term solution would be to stop showing in all mobile app placements. At the moment, there isn’t a way to directly do this within Google Ads settings. Instead, we need to use a workaround that will achieve this app exclusion.

The Old Solution

Previously, all you needed to do was add the following domain as an excluded placement “”. Once this was been excluded, you would no longer show your ads within any apps. In doing so, helping you to avoid racking up a bunch of irrelevant impressions and clicks across mobile apps. However this method no longer works.

How To Exclude All Apps from Google Ads

Previously, the quickest option to exclude all apps was to manually click the checkboxes alongside each app category, this was a long arduous task that took a long time, especially if it had to be done for multiple Google Ads campaigns. But there is now a faster way, follow the instructions below:

  1. Click on your display campaign in the Google Ads interface
  2. In the left hand grey menu, click on ‘Content’ and then ‘Exclusions’.
  3. Click the pencil icon and ‘Edit ad group targeting’
  4. Click on ‘Placements’ then the pencil icon next to ‘Excluded placements’
  5. On the tab labelled ‘Browse’, click ‘Enter’
  6. Add in mobileappcategory::69500 and click ‘Add Placements’
  7. Click Save

Now your ads will no longer show in any app placements in your Google Display campaigns.

If you’re in need of any advice on your own AdWords campaign, why not get in touch or take a look at the services we offer as a PPC Agency we’re a specialist paid media agency with over 10 years experience managing Google Ads campaigns.