How to Exclude Apps from Google Performance Max Campaigns

Tired of seeing your Performance Max budget wasted due to clicks from unrelated spammy apps (often in foreign languages)?

Good news, there is a way to optimize Performance Max campaigns by blocking out apps, which I’ll describe below. One thing to note is that there is no way currently to exclude these specifically on a Performance Max campaigns, but these steps will remove them from your entire account, which I find is often for the best anyways.

The steps to accomplish this has changed, and will continue to do so. I’ll try to keep this page updated but please let me know in the comments if it helped.

How It Used to Work

I’m including this because some help docs will still describe this method and the options still appear to be there in the interface, so hopefully this avoids you the frustration of thinking you’re doing something incorrectly, you’re not.

Previously to accomplish this, you would click on your performance max campaign, then the ‘content’ button on the left hand side, then ‘Edit exclusions’ and make the changes there. That was logical, and the button still exists, but it no longer works for some reason. If you click that ‘Edit exclusions’ button now you’ll see that all of the options are grayed out.

Why they removed this intuitive easy way to limit wasteful spend? well…

content exclusions page

How to Remove App Placements from Performance Max Now

Now, the process to do this is to:

  1. Log into Google ads and your account
  2. Click ‘Tools and Settings’ top right
  3. Under ‘Setup’ Click ‘Content Suitability’ (just what you’d expect it to be titled right?)performance max app exclusion
  4. On the Content Suitability page, expand the “Excluded placements” section
  5. Under Browse click on “App Categories”
  6. In here you’ll see all of the available app categories split up into Google play store apps and Apple App store apps. Expand each section and select as many categories you’d like to exclude as you want.
  7. Click Save in the bottom right.

It’s that easy. In just 200 or so clicks you can stop blatently spammy apps from wasting your Performance Max budget.

I hope this has helped. If you have any other tips or tricks, please add them in the comments below.

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