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Coming Soon! Expanded broad matching for greater ad coverage.
I think this is new....

 2:37 am on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just saw this on my account manager...

Is this something new or something that I missed? I ran the sample matches on the 30 search terms in my campaign and showed only a couple of dozen search terms that would trigger my ads. Most of them were the kind of terms that I would like to add. In addition, I saw about 40 other terms that were suggested. I think this would be a good tool. Comments?



 3:21 am on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just saw this tonight for the first time. With my keywords, about the same as you describe, loanuniverse. Mixed feelings here. Yes, there are a few KW's that I hadn't thought of (which I would like to be shown for). But on the other hand, the value of KW research is negated. So if you had already thought of some high ROI KW's that none (or few) were using, all your other competitors now get all the benefits too. Without any investment. Kind of disappointing.


 3:39 am on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

You are right about that, I am only going after the key phrases that I thought would not be in such a high demand that I could not compete with someone that had an actual budget :) Now my ads will be pushed down even further down the line with the expanded matching available to competitors.

Adwords are such a small percentage of my visitors, it does not really matter much in my case, but for someone else it might affect their visits considerably. Imagine you have been able to find a dozen key phrases that while not very competitive still have about 2,000 impressions a month each. Now the big boys get to use them and push you out of the first page. Bad news for some, good news for others.


 4:07 am on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

The fact that Google DIDN'T mess around with uninvited matching was one of their big advantages compared to Overture. I hate to see them go down that path. This will definitely favour big players with big budgets, at the expense of folks whose strength was keyword research. I don't welcome the thought of being pushed down in the results by someone who didn't do the same homework.

For some things the automatic matching could be downright dangerous, because differences in vocabulary (even singular vs plural) can reflect significant differences in the searcher's mindset and demographics, which in turn can seriously affect ROI. It's going to take a lot of work to sort out the effects of this ... sigh ...


 4:19 am on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Yeah, Buckworks, it never gets boring for too long, does it? I agree with everything you said. Plus, It seems this may negatively affect your CTR, thus increasing your effective CPC, or even disabling your KW. Getting harder to find homework that pays.


 7:09 am on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree with your remarks sofar but this broad matching could also potentially bring CTR's down for broadmatched terms (e.g because they will lack a highlighted title). I would say that this should also increases the chance of broadmatched terms falling under 0.5% and being disabled.

If Google would raise the 0.5% to 1% this chance would even increase, or am I missing something here?


 11:22 am on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

This is terrible for me. The extra matches they are showing are irrelevant for me. My CTR will fall through the floor.

I'll have to go with phrase matching and add lots of permutations.


 3:11 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

On the surface it seems to favour those with more cash over those with small budgets and better research. Will there be a shift in the balance of maximum CPC vs CTR to compensate for possibly decreased relevance?

One thing is certain, if there are cracks in the system or new subtleties to it's use, our members will probably be the first to find them :)

[edited by: mgrebert at 3:34 pm (utc) on Oct. 2, 2003]


 3:26 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

So as far as I can tell, there's no way to recreate the old match style.

Buying "foo bar" used to mean that your ad would show up for "foo sna bar", but not "foo bars". With the introduction of "Broad match" it means you'll also show up for "foo bars" (apparently).

Allowing multiple quoted (exact) terms on a single line would allow ads to display for exact words in any order (like it used to be).

Suggested new syntax to re-create old match style:
"foo" "bar"

I understand why Google made this change (and I think they deserve every extra dollar it will bring them), but I wish they'd allow us old timers the tools to preserve our carefully prepared keywords. This could actually save their computers some load, by making it unecessary for existing advertisiers to enter in hundreds of exact match permutations.

Is this something others would like to see? Is there a chance you could pass this suggesting on AWA?


 3:34 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google is not displaying your ad to a broader number search enquiries

Check again; that's exactly what it proposes to do.

It might depend on the sample keywords you checked, but I just checked a phrase that's of interest to my client, and there were some phrases shown that were not just advice (that was lower down the page), the statement was that the ad may be shown automatically on those searches.

A couple of them were acceptable synonyms, but of *extreme* interest was the fact that one of those alternative phrases was the name of a major competitor. So if someone searched for "competitor's store name", my client's ad for "product title" would be shown unless I block the competitor's name! I haven't talked this over with my client yet, but if I were the competitor I'd be outraged at Google.


 3:45 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I'm growing more frustrated the more I look at this ... some of the proposed matches (not just advice) showing up are so far off target that it wouldn't be too strong to call them sabotage.

If I bid for "blue widget" it already changes the landscape to be shown for "blue widgets" but there's no way on earth I want my ad showing for "blue crayons" ... and at what price?

Grrrr.... AdwordsAdvisor, please tell your engineers to give us a way to opt out of this with one click, not make us have to hand-check thousands of listings to check for booby traps!


 4:06 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I have just reviewed a single key phrase in a single ad group and had to add over 60 negative keywords to stop it from matching all sorts of completely irrelevant searches.

If this is in anyway typical it will also have the effect of drastically reducing the relevancy of results for users, both at Google and at partner sites, with a consequent reduction in CTR for those running adsense also I would guess.


 4:11 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Here's a fun trick:

An overactive lawyer from a company who's products my company sells sent a nastygram to Google asking that our ads not be displayed for their company name followed by the type of product they make. Since their company name is that of an animal, I can use the plural form followed by the type of product they make.

Example (names changed):

Disapproved: eagle computer
OK: eagles computer


 4:16 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

One more minor (probably obvious) note:

Negative matches are still exact.

-car!= -cars


 4:39 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

"If you prefer not to have your keywords automatically expanded at all, you can change from broad matching to phrase or exact matching."

red widget = expanded
"red widget" = not expanded
[red widget] = not expanded

The only thing changing is the broad match, which already shows on all results unless you use negative keywords.

They are just adding plurals and synonyms to the broad match (which could be good or bad). Just use negative keywords (ie. -widgets or -synowidget) or use phrase/exact matching if you do not like what you see.



 4:43 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Disapproved: eagle computer
OK: eagles computer

That example could be predicted because of commonality in wording. In the example I mentioned about my client's product ad being shown for a competitor's store name, it's some sort of concept matching, and there's no overlap in wording at all.

Gosh, companies fight court cases to protect themselves against other companies abusing their trademarks to promote themselves, and here's Google purposefully expanding that very thing! What's wrong with this picture?


 5:28 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

The expanded broad matching *only* affects broad matching. If you currently use "phrase matching" or [exact matching], nothing changes.

The expanded broad matching option is fantastic for those that 1)have large budgets, 2)only use broad match, 3)are too lazy to do keyword research.

I agree that you'll need to spend far greater time on negative keywords if you use the broad match option. However, most experienced PPC users primarily use phrase & exact match.

There is a "change your keyword matching options" function that can be used to turn ALL your broad matches into phrase or exact matches. Although this is a welcome feature, unfortunately it appears to be a global all-or-nothing function. It really needs to be Ad Group specific to be of most benefit.


 6:23 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Roitracker, I'd say that even for AdWords veterans the previous broad match was a usefull tool to have in the toolbox.

Though I can think of ways to use phrase matches for each of the 500+ products I advertise for, the current broad match does a great job of snagging people who search for "buy widget" or "widget price blue".

In the new system, there's no way to re-create the flexibility with consistency that the old broad match had.


 6:33 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Even for AdWords veterans the previous broad match was a useful tool to have in the toolbox.

In the new system, there's no way to re-create the flexibility with consistency that the old broad match had.

Slud, I agree on both counts. :)

Let me clarify my previous statement a bit: To maximise ROI most experienced PPC users will primarily use phrase & exact match.


 6:36 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I just read through the stuff on their site. This is the same greedy stupidity that we accuse of Overture. Just because it's Google doesn't make it less wrong-headed.

Brett called it right not too long ago when he said that the end of the dance was the defining moment for Google.

Tropical Island

 8:07 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Being in the tourism industry we broad match for many regional terms including mispellings and plurals as we have no idea what a potential visitor is searching for and we want to reach most of them. For those we don't we use negative keywords. These keywords run to almost 100 for many terms when you count all the sex industry and searches for things like maps, weather and specific hotel names.

In many cases we were the only ones there escaping the presence of the "big 2" and smaller competitors. It has been discussed here in other threads that AdWords had started to show mispellings for terms which really annoyed me as my uninformed (or lazy)competitor started showing up for many search terms that he would never have figured out on his own. I suppose that it will only get worse.

When AdWords got into "content impressions" you could tell that the search engine changes were just a short flicking of the switch away.

The question now is will the changes keep our ROI at the same level which at the moment we are very happy with. Our budget can't grow too much larger as we have a maximum potential.

It's very nice of Over and Google to keep introducing new ways to get us to spend more however there is a limit. We have cut back on our Over spending because of practices we felt were not straight forward and honest. Their arbitrary Word Matching without showing us the phrases for which we are paying is the strongest objection I have. It is downright dishonest.

If the list that Google is providing is complete then we can negative out those terms we don't want. If it's only a general summary and there will be terms that we show up for that we can't track then I disagree strongly.


 8:29 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google's goal of democratizing advertising is a good one.

Many experienced AdWords advertisers must feel now how banner ad marketers felt when AdWords caught on.

I don't mind being assisted by a machine when it's suggestions can be over-ridden (Google spellcheck is a perfect example), but it's bothersome when control is removed from experienced advertisers.


 8:57 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

I agree, this could cost alot of people a lot of money - and dont forget the time it takes to add thousands of negative keywords.

I belive you can opt out of this, but for how long before they make it compulsory and you have to take all these extra irrelivent matches and make them negative.

Tropical Island

 10:17 pm on Oct 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Opting out is not an option if you are trying to reach all the potential clients that may be searching.

In the case of regional searches related to tourism it's hard to know what they are looking for. It's in fact much easier to figure out the searchers you don't want.

If Google's list is accurate then , yes it will take time to enter the negative words, but at least we'll know what impressions we are being shown for.

I somehow doubt that their list is anywhere near complete.

<edit added>
The bottom line is how many impressions increase are we talking about here. If it's only, say, a 5% increase it's not going to have much of an impact. If it's a lot more then we'll have to spend the time to monitor it.


 12:20 am on Oct 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

The bottom line is how many impressions increase are we talking about here. If it's only, say, a 5% increase it's not going to have much of an impact.

In theory.

However, there could equally be a *major* impact.

Here's a "what if" scenario (taking expanded matches for "gold" as silver, jewelry, platinum, jewellery, goldmine)...

What if you currently broad match "gold", have a max bid of $1, & are in position 1. Normally you'd only show for searches that contain the phrase "gold".

Along comes expanded broad matching. Turns out that silver is worth more than gold, & all these bidders have a higher CTR than you, & they're also bidding $1. In addition, 'Golds Accounting Co.' is bidding 1.50 on the term "golds".

Since G "automatically displays ads for related terms, including plurals", where will you be listed?

Will you still be on the first page? Will you have to increase your max CPC to remain in your top position? Will it lead to a bidding scenario nightmare?

Only time will tell.

Note: All this is purely hypothetical, so don't panic (yet).


 5:56 am on Oct 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

This seems to me to be a major problem and I don't think google had thought it through properly.

Just checked a keyword phrase which is fairly targeted right now. On broad match all sorts of irrelevant untargeted phrases come up. This will, definitely, push the CTR below 0.5%.

For me personally it may mean that I have to go through all my campaigns and replace broad matched terms with phrase match terms. A lot more work is required because if your keyword is abc widget using phrase match, your ad will not show up for the phrase - abc best widget, so you will have to create several dozen or even hundreds of phrase matched terms for every broad match term. I know for me personally, if there is no simple one click opt-out of broad match it will take me about 100 hours of work to edit all the Adwords campaigns ... very annoying.


 6:18 am on Oct 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Ya gotta admit, G has class. One week's notice... nice. A lot better than an OV "down for the weekend - see what we did to your Monday."


 6:23 am on Oct 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just found this in the email that they sent to us

Which CTR does Google use to evaluate ads?
We evaluate quality based on the CTR of your ad on Google. Note that this CTR is different from what you see in your reports, which includes ads shown on matches as well as ads distributed across the Google ad network. The CTRs from expanded broad matching and ads on our ad network do not affect the CTR we use to rank your ads or determine whether or not to show your ads.

This has relieved some of my tension, because it means that we don't have to worry so much, the extra ads will show up and if they have a decreased CTR Google with stop showing them. If they don't have a decreased CTR google will keep showing them, but they won't affect the ctr that google measures to determine the positioning of your ad, and it won't effect whether your ad will show or not.


 8:20 am on Oct 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

It's good in some ways, but in others it is terrible:

If I bid on: 'Pens', Google also matches 'Pencils'. The advert may at first look like I sell pens and pencils, so people click. And maybe I only sell pens?

Relevancy? Would it not be better for Google to use words that are matched against their list AND in the Google cache of your website? Because if non of my pages mention 'Pencils', then Google won't show a non-relevant, user-confidence-destroying advert.


 9:55 am on Oct 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

PCInk I won't worry about that much as long as there are negative (keyword) match option.

I think the whole idea of broad matching is great! Overture is doing this since ages for treating "widget" and "widgets" as same...Google has gone one step ahead.

This 57 message thread spans 2 pages: 57 ( [1] 2 > >
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