Google AdWords is making some critical changes and updates. Location criteria, first introduced in v201109 in particular, is being revised for the v201206 release.
The location criteria object has a new field, targetingStatus, which can be one of active, obsolete or phasing out.
Here’s what Google had to say on their Ads Development Blog:
* ACTIVE Locations can be targeted as normal.
* OBSOLETE Location targets have been retired and cannot be targeted.
* PHASING_OUT Locations will shortly become obsolete and should not be targeted.
Locations can be phased out for a number of reasons: the location may be re-structured into smaller (or larger areas), geo-political changes, etc. The AdWords UI reflects these changes and now the AdWords API will make these changes visible to developers. We will publish a blog post 4 weeks in advance of a location moving to PHASING_OUT.
As of the launch of v201206, Location criteria that are PHASING_OUT will still be accepted. Starting 4 weeks later (week of 7/23), adding these targets will cause a CriterionError.Reason.CANNOT_TARGET_CRITERION error message. Please make sure before adding a Location target that it is ACTIVE. Choose a different target if it is labeled OBSOLETE or PHASING_OUT.
Google provides a number of resources to help you through the changes and to tell you which specific location will be gone after July 23rd. They will also be adding a couple of new targets including one for Serbia and one for Montenegro, happening in the next few weeks. It may take some time to get used to the changes, but it should make performance better in the end.