“Cannot Target And Exclude The Same Criterion At Once” Error Message

What Is The Issue?

When creating a new campaign and then attempting to exclude a location via the targeting settings, you may encounter one or both of the following errors:

Error Cannot target and exclude the same criterion at once.


GOOGLE, INVALID_CHARACTER_FOR_URL, operations[14].operand.ad.displayUrl,These characters are not allowed: [space], en_GB


What Causes The Issue?

These errors occur due to a conflict of targeting settings.

When creating the campaigns, they are often created with default geo-targets, such as the US, US and Canada, etc. However, if you didn't set these targets in the platform specifically, they may not appear within the platform. This can lead to the error messages above appearing.

How To Fix The Issue

To resolve this, follow these steps:

  1. Log into the Google Ads interface.
  2. Remove any of the default targets which are interfering with the ability to push exclusions.
  3. Once the default locations are removed, exclusions can be pushed successfully.

Written by Marketing @ Marin Software

Last published at: May 2nd, 2023