Adwords has a feature where you can exclude an IP address and your ad will not show to anyone using that IP. A very cool feature but is highly dependent on you being able to actually find which IP is correct to exclude. You would do this to ensure a competitor is not clicking on your ad and wasting your money. A more definite use of it can be used to exclude your own IP address if you have staff who do not know you pay each time an ad is clicked.
Simply go to google and type in “my IP address” it will then give you a number which you can follow the video above with. If at any point you want to check your ad is showing, use the ad preview tool, rather than searching on google itself.
If your aim is to exclude a competitor, sometimes there is an IP address in email communications if you view source code and with smaller businesses you can check the “who is” database with their domain name, but this will not work with larger businesses.
The only other way is by accessing your web logs which your webmaster can help you with, but there is no way to say for certain the IP address you are looking at is your competitor, you would simply have to identify a pattern of low quality repeat visits.
Of course a more direct way is to just call up your competitor and ask for it, but you may have to be tactical in the way that you do it – I would not personally give out my IP address without cause.
In short although it is good to be able to exclude an IP in Adwords, the challenge is to get the competitors number in the first place, not how to go about excluding it. I suspect Google will add to this feature in time, but for now this is all we have.
About the author
Thomas Green is a Certified Adwords Professional and specialises in direct response marketing. He has over 6 years PPC experience and has a straight forward approach to what works and what doesn’t!