We were setting up an AdWords campaign today for a new client that targets the KC Metro area when we noticed something odd. We were entering KC-area zip codes and having some trouble with Google accepting a few of them. We had to enter some city names instead of the zip codes to fill in all the holes… all except one; Mission Hills.
If you aren’t familiar with the Kansas City area, Mission Hills is the most affluent area in town and is on the Kansas side. It’s located fairly central to the metro. According to Forbes Magazine, Mission Hills, Kansas is the third wealthiest municipality in the country. Think about that for a moment… of all the glitzy and glamorous cities in the United States, little old Mission Hills is the third wealthiest. It’s hard to imagine that much money crammed into such a small area. Right now, the cheapest house you can get in the area is a 2,100 sq ft three bedroom house for $600,000. Sure, that’s cheap by California standards, but this is Kansas. That’s almost three times what that house would cost just a few blocks away.
Anyway, back to the AdWords thing… We tried the zip code and the city name and nothing worked. Does Mission Hills have enough clout with Google to keep their city in the dark? I’m sure many ads get through because geo-ip isn’t precise (especially on mobile), but as of the writing of this post, it’s impossible to select Mission Hills as a geographical target for you Google AdWords campaign. In my opinion, there’s no reasonable explanation for this exclusion due to an error.
The city’s been around since the 1920s, so it’s not like it’s new. The excluded area precisely follows the city’s boundaries. The city cannot be selected by zip code or by city name. No other surrounding city covers this area. It’s too odd to be an accident.