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Broad match huts relevancy?
johnnydequino




msg:1145668
 4:51 pm on Nov 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Now I know exactly what the problem is with google - it's broad match. I can't believe how many advertisers are using this function, and it's making most, if not all adword results irrelevant.

For google.com, since adwords are like banners, I guess this works. But for text links, such as the partner sites, irrelevancy is not good at all.

I think google should adopt a new policy that makes sense. If you own the exact match keyword, you should be placed higher than phrase or broad match.

Placement: Exact match, phrase, broad

Use CTR rates to mix/match.

I just refuse to compete with irrelevant advertisers. I was looking to increase my spending on google, but until the relevancy improves there is no way I try it.

Comments? Anyone else notice this?

jd

 

martinibuster




msg:1145698
 4:25 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

PPC was a great way for small business to build a web presence and make sales.

It still is, especially with the new ge-targetting features. AdWords remains the friendliest PPC out there for the small business.

I would never ever recommend Overture or any other PPC program to a small business (body shop, small manufacturing company, etc).

Furmanov




msg:1145699
 8:00 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Just click on the keyword tool button and you'll see what you're getting broad matched for.

cline, this is what I consider to be the problem, I'm quite confident to say that the tool shows only a small percentage of what you're getting broad matched for. I know this from my log files

for example, you're bidding on

pizza delivery budapest (broad match)

and your ad pops up for "songs about budapest" search, and the keyword tool doesn't show this "songs about budapest" thing as a possible broad match

I know providing real examples is against the TOS so don't waste your time searching google for 'pizza delivery in budapest' :) but this imaginable example describes the problem very well, there are many strings like that in my log file, and those are only the searches that converted into clicks...

Yes, the search string and the add usually have something in common (like 'budapest' in my example... sometimes even less than that), but the "logic" is often really weird... I know how to use negatives, I use them a lot for broad and phrase match, the problem is that I do not know what negatives to use now

Is this just me or someone else is having the same problem?

ps: sometimes... in my dreams... I see google giving us possibility to choose between "old-style broad match" and the "expanded broad match".... ok, with the expanded broad match being default of course... AdWordsAdvisor, is there a little chance my dreams will come true? ;)

markus007




msg:1145700
 8:58 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

I don't know what everyones complaining about. I'm in the largest online industry where people are willing to pay for content. Since broad matching came in my ads have become more relevant in the users eyes, my CTR have stayed the same and my earnings have gone up from adsense. Now instead of displaying hundreds of ads for small irrelevant sites the first 2 or 3 ads are from big companies people know and trust.

skibum




msg:1145701
 9:04 pm on Nov 8, 2003 (gmt 0)

Phrase match you need thousands of negative keywords, but it can be done.

If a campaign was previously working with broad match and then switched to phrase in response to the expanded broad match, presumably it woulnd't be necessary to add any more negative keywords than were running before, yes?

The ads would have a lot more competition but woudn't need more negative keywords would they?

the Adwords algo automatically weeds out the poorly performing match phrases, so an advertiser that is substantially misusing broad match is going to find their ads are gone from the SERPs.

Seems like that would depend on the definition of "poorly performing", click-through or ROI. If broad match shows ads for irrelevant terms that don't generate any clicks, advertisers probably aren't going to be to upset but if they get displayed for expanded matches that do generate lots of clicks but aren't relevant to the website it would be a whole different story.

Good for companies who manage AdWords campaigns, yea:)

Blue_Fin




msg:1145702
 4:58 am on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Since a portion of my 11/2 post above has now been featured on the WebmasterWorld home page (attributed to johnnydequino), I think it's appropriate that I follow up here with how Google has chosen to address this. I'll also say that my earnings are now down significantly more than the 14% I indicated for the last half of October.

From my post on the AdSense forum dated 11/6 at [webmasterworld.com...]

I first wrote to Google on 10/24, providing examples from several pages with ads targetted to the theme of my site but completely mistargeted for the pages in which they appear. This has resulted in a decline in CTR and a huge decline in EPC. I've commented about this on several other threads over the past two weeks.

Subsequent to 10/24, I've provided additional examples on two more occasions, always responding to their email to keep all relevant discussion within easy reference. Each time they've responded that they are looking into it and thanking me for my patience.

Earlier this evening, I received what I suspect they want to be an end to this discussion which said that they are constantly refining their search algorithm to increase relevancy and while it works very well in most cases, there are a small number of pages where poorly targeted ads may appear. And then they said the "page" I sent them fits into this group. Page? I sent them URLs to 11 pages which isn't nearly as many pages where the mistargeted ads appear.

So they think they are doing a better job targeting overall. Funny how we've seen so many more comments about mistargeted ads and PSAs over the past 3 weeks than we did prior to that time. And while I specifically commented on broad matching which began on 10/16, they never acknowledged that in their responses. I'm very disappointed in the fact that the program has deteriorated.


crisscross




msg:1145703
 5:45 am on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I gave up on adwords a long time ago due to the cut off for poor-performance on ads.

I wanted the broad term for my site (a single word), as my main site is a portal for that keyword. In a million page views or so, the CTR was over 5%. In 3000 page views it was less that 5%, so they cut me off automatically.

I then tried to use the negative keywords and exact match keywords suggested by Google, but the search was so narrow that although the CTR went up, the total number of clicks went way down, ten times less, if I remeber correctly.

I complained again and again to Google, but no response. That was a year a go and they have lost at least $2000 I would have spent.

However, as I want a broad search, do you think this new system can help me now?

Robsp




msg:1145704
 7:49 am on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

I've been following the relevancy discussions on this forum for a while now. Google started this because of the better relevancy (although more sales makes more sense to me :-).

Most people on the forum seem to agree that going to phrase and exact matching brings up your CTR but at a lower volume. This results in many advertizers redoing their campaigns (like we did)

The irony here is that Google is indeed bringing relevancy for their users up, not because of broad matching but because broad matching "forced" many advertizers to more specific matches!

As this is at lower volumes I wonder what is happening to G's revenue.....

Furmanov




msg:1145705
 12:33 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Google started this because of the better relevancy...

are you serious? ;)) if this all is about relevancy why not to cancel broad match as an option, automatically converting all broad-match ads to phrase-match and giving appropriate credits for the previously earned ctr? would this increase the relevancy? yes, absolutely! the question is 'would this increase g's revenue?' :)

because broad matching "forced" many advertizers to more specific matches!

I do not think that many advertisers moved in fact to more specific matches, but I do not have the numbers

As this is at lower volumes I wonder what is happening to G's revenue.....

yes, an interesting question, I think the revenue is up, mostly due to the fact that some advertisers had to increase max cpc, but I personally spend much less than would spend with the old-style broadmatch

SlyOldDog




msg:1145706
 2:42 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

pizza delivery budapest (broad match)

and your ad pops up for "songs about budapest"

Are you sure? Broad match should only show ads which contain all the words pizza+delivery+budapest+extra words.

defanjos




msg:1145707
 4:56 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Are you sure? Broad match should only show ads which contain all the words pizza+delivery+budapest+extra words.

SlyOldDog,
I think you are wrong, for example, I entered "homes for sale" - not in quotes - in the suggestion tool and these are the 5 top results for broad match:

houses for sale
estate for sale
property for sale
condos for sale
home for sale

As you can see "homes for sale" is not in any of the results.

Furmanov




msg:1145708
 6:51 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

Are you sure? Broad match should only show ads which contain all the words pizza+delivery+budapest+extra words.

I've stickymailed you a real example, I know these guys do not use one-word broad-match keywords, you can check by searching for each of the words separately, also my ad was there too until someone clicked it and I added this search string to my negatives. And the tool doesn't show this as possible broad-match and never did. And there is even more irrelevant staff in my log file

I entered "homes for sale" - not in quotes - in the suggestion tool and these are the 5 top results for broad match:

if the suggestion tool showed everything you are getting broad-matched for, I'd be just happy cause there is nothing easier than adding more negatives, I believe at present it actually shows 5-10% depending on keywords

Furmanov




msg:1145709
 7:32 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

what I also find interesting is that there was a similar problem in July, 2003, long before the expanded broad match was introduced I noticed some absolutely irrelevant strings in my log

for example, let's imagine I was bidding on

pizza moscow

and my add showed for
bird+butifull+mosco
(this is the original visitor's spelling :)

there was more staff like this in my log, so I contacted google and here is the quotation (not exact) from the response I received

"you are using broad match, so when you use
pizza moscow
as your keyword, your ad may be shown when someone searches for "moscow rocket" or "margarita pizza", I've emailed back asking the rep. to rtfm... she never emailed me back :(

by that time I just thought they had someone very unprofessional among their reps, but now I tend to think they were testing new engine and new canned responses getting ready for major changes :)

Dynamoo




msg:1145710
 10:32 pm on Nov 9, 2003 (gmt 0)

There's two threads here.. one is the issue of Broad Match for advertisers using AdWords (and to be honest I notice no difference in traffic between Broad Match being on or off) and the other is the impact of this on AdSense publishers, where this *is* a problem.

Maybe there could be an added feature on AdSense to turn off the Broad Match for the ads and stick to the targetted ones. I'd sooner have highly targetted ads, even at a lower earning per clickthrough.

derekwong28




msg:1145711
 1:57 am on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

martinibuster, you should reconsider this comment

<I would never ever recommend Overture or any other PPC program to a small business (body shop, small manufacturing company, etc>

Those of us who have inserted conversion counters on Adwords and Overture have consistently found that the ROI from Overture is 2-3 times higher than adwords, that is even before expanded broad matching was introduced. For a start the bids are much lower for exact phrases.

Troppo




msg:1145712
 4:32 am on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

It probably is industry dependent but in my space Overture has better ROI than Adwords. Having said that however the volume of business from Adwords is considerably bigger; just not as profitable.

Relating that back to the subject of this thread, our profit margin percentage has suffered from broad matching but the volume has gone up so we make more money. It was scary seeing the daily Adwords spend literally multiply but that forced a better understanding of how the program works. A key conclusion is that these days it doesn't go too well on auto-pilot.

Some of our market niches and/or geographic campaigns show a good return from content targeted ads while others end up with the copy displayed on soft porn forums and the like. That can burn the money up big time with broad matching but as long as you figure out what's happening from the logs, it's easy enough to fix. Arguably the ads end up better focused anyway and Google's relevancy improves.

austtr




msg:1145713
 4:50 am on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

At the request of Blue_Fin this is a repeat from a similar thread in the Adsense forum:

--------------------------------------

".... ads are targeted to the theme of my site, but totally mistargeted to the page where they are showing up."

I am seeing the opposite where ads seem to be triggered by isolated words on the page and not the page topic/theme. I have pages relating to Australia travel and vacations and the page content leaves no room for doubt about that.

However, the word "adventure" on the page seems to be what is attracting ads relating to adventure tours/travel/vacations/resorts/outfitters in Asia, Africa, India, Egypt, Latin America and other exotic locations. Same story with the word "biking" which attracts ads for biking tours in far off exotic locations.

The Australian context throughout the pages seems to have no influence on the ads delivered. As things stand at present, the ads serve no purpose for the advertiser, publisher or viewer.

I had read lots of earlier posts praising the accuracy of the ad matching and I have been somewhat disappointed by my own results.

SlyOldDog




msg:1145714
 9:56 am on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

So I read through the help file and it seems there are 2 features to broad match:

Broad Match: a phrase containing your chosen keywords.

AND

Expanded Match: With expanded matching, the Google AdWords system automatically runs your ads on highly relevant keywords, including synonyms, related phrases, and plurals, even if they aren't in your keyword lists. For example, if you're currently running ads on the keyword web hosting, expanded matching may identify the keyword website hosting for you. The expanded matches will change over time as we learn more about which new keywords best suit the true meaning of your ads.

I tested it out for Russia since we seem to be on that theme. I typed:

albergi moscow - which is Italian for Hotels Moscow. Alberghi is spelled incorrectly and Mocscow is the English spelling - not Italian. I am searching from a Czech IP address.

And guess what? English hotel ads show up. Clearly nobody is bidding on these keywords. To go from a spelling error in Italian and translating it to an English keyword, is for me....a little bit too broad.

In fact it's downright wrong!

johnnydequino




msg:1145715
 11:45 am on Nov 10, 2003 (gmt 0)

For search - it's all about relevancy. Isn't ironic that google algo search is the most relevant, but their adwords listings are not?

I think in the year and a half on using adwords, I may have had 2 or 3 keywords rejected for relevancy. Out of thousands.

Broad match will never work - we all know that. If google ever wants to be the paid per click king, start taking relevancy seriously for keywords.

Anyone can just throw up the terms widgets and get some clicks. It takes effort to come up with the term [widgets for tractor], but how relevant and targeted for the searcher - and advertiser.

Under this system, the one bidding on widgets broadly shows up, and the correct, exact match is below him. Sorry google, if this was an algo, it would be flawed.

jd

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1145716
 1:28 am on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

Sorry for 'radio silence' in the last day or so - I've been out of the office. Back now though, and ready to post.

I've stayed mostly in the background on this thread, and others like it - and have been forwarding your feedback to the appropriate teams within Google. So please know that your voices have been heard.

A few posts in this thread have caught my eye, though, and I thought I'd reply with what I hope will be helpful clarification.

In a recent campaign I was buried by broad matches. My term would normally be a 5 cent term. The broad match terms went all the way to page 2.

I wonder if you may be looking at ad title or text to guess the keywords the advertisers are using? Advertisers don't always include their keywords in their ad title/text, so it's possible that some of the ads you're tagging as broad matches are actually being triggered by exact matches.

Also, the quality standard for showing an expanded broad match is actually higher than the standard for an exact match. So if you are in fact seeing a bunch of expanded broad match results, it is quite likely they will be disabled before too long - and disappear.

On a related point: IMO, it is very much to the advantage of the advertiser to be targeted rather than general when selecting keywords. Very specific keywords will usually give you a better CTR, not to mention a pre-qualified customer - one who is searching for exactly what you have to offer.

[edited by: AdWordsAdvisor at 1:46 am (utc) on Nov. 12, 2003]

AdWordsAdvisor




msg:1145717
 1:45 am on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

My previous post was so long, I figured it best to create a new one to respond to Dynamoo, who wrote:

There's two threads here.. one is the issue of Broad Match for advertisers using AdWords (and to be honest I notice no difference in traffic between Broad Match being on or off) and the other is the impact of this on AdSense publishers, where this *is* a problem.

Maybe there could be an added feature on AdSense to turn off the Broad Match for the ads and stick to the targetted ones. I'd sooner have highly targetted ads, even at a lower earning per clickthrough.

This is a something that I wish I'd noticed earlier, Dynamoo, as it is well worth clarification.

Expanded broad matches are currently being shown on Google, and our search partner sites. However, they are not being shown on content partner sites. So the launch of expanded broad matches hasnít changed the types of ads that show up for AdSense content sites.

And, a brief side note:

I've mentioned before that I am not formally involved with the AdSense team, and so not fully up-to-speed on the program. (I'll be getting more deeply involved with the program in the coming months though, which is great!)

Please know that members of the AdSense team regularly review comment on the WebmasterWorld AdSense Forum, so posting to that forum is the great way to give feedback to the right people at Google.

johnnydequino




msg:1145718
 3:04 am on Nov 12, 2003 (gmt 0)

AdWordsAdvisor - That's what I love about Google - they love to tinker!

How about one day google determines advertiser position by CTR only? This way, if the keyword is exact, phrase or broad, it would not matter. Searchers would get the absolute most relevent results, and advertisers would serve more targeted ads.

I am pretty sure average cost per click would go down in the beginning, but not by much. In theory, advertisers ROI should go up and they would want to spend more. This would also level the field agains the large advertisers.

What's great is if the searcher is happy with relevant results, wouldn't that mean a lot more clicks on ads?

I wonder what would happen that day. Thoughts?

jd

SlyOldDog




msg:1145719
 9:49 am on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi AdwordsAdvisor

I notice you didn't reply on the translation issue. Is that because you consider it a small problem or because it is too sensitive to discuss?

I have no idea what extra revenues Google earns from translating foreign keywords and displaying English ads, but I guess it's not peanuts?

harvey_moon




msg:1145720
 11:54 am on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi everyone,

I'm trying to gage how the change to broadmatch has been for everyone, Good, bad or indiffrent.
Especilly intrested in larger advertisers as most people seemed to think this was going to be good for them.
In my opinion it has changed the adwords system completley round from being good for large advertisers to being a liability. We used to spend around $50k and was looking to increase the spend to $100k since the change we now spend around $20k because we opted out infavour of phrase match and the returns just aernt coming through. We just cant get the system to work well for us.

Are other large advertisers seeing the same?

Also are there smaller advertisers seeing a better ROI, I would imagine this to be the case as they can spend longer trying to perfect there niche terms.

Is this true?

To sumaries- how has the new changes made a diffrence. if possitive, what are you doing diffrent, because i cant get the new system to work and if nothing chnges by the end of the month i think ill just pull out of adwords for good.

ThomasAJ




msg:1145721
 9:46 pm on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hey I just replied to harvey_moon's *NEW* topic asking for positive feedback, now I find his and my posts at the end of this one.

Any Ideas Shak?

****************

I wish I could give some positive feedback as it would mean my sales were like they used to be.

No can do. No matter what I try in my field I cannot get those clicks back.

I am a tiny advertiser $500 a month (previously) and broad KWs that were working for me are now practically orphaned of ads. One main one is left and is paying peanuts.

I'm taking my current money, and future much bigger monies elsewhere.

So if big spenders are hurt as well as little ones then then who the heck is happy? The silent majority? Can there be one?

Also are there smaller advertisers seeing a better ROI, I would imagine this to be the case as they can spend longer trying to perfect there niche terms.

Maybe a better ROI is seen for small advertisers but that is only part of the picture. You need clicks and I am not getting them.

thaedge




msg:1145722
 11:03 pm on Nov 13, 2003 (gmt 0)

From publisher standpoint:

Had a major site outage and then came back online to find my Adwords had tanked. Reading what everyone said, and the timeline of when my earnings tanked it all makes sense. Im doing 50-70% less a day then I was before with the same if not more traffic and banner showings. And yes the same ad shows up everywhere. Even less relevant when you have a site about 2 or more totally differnt topics.

:(

shorebreak




msg:1145723
 1:25 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

We work with advertisers whose spends total several million per month on Google, and the net net of broad match is consistently negative.

I'll throw out a completely crazy idea - perhaps Google is doing this to temporarily dampen its revenues so that it can have more control over meeting and beating the Street's estimates once they do go public.

If they go public based on broadmatch revenues, they'll be able to slowly phase it out and return their system to the way it was before, and in so doing ramp up their revenues and please the Street.

Does that sound insane or plausible?

Tropical Island




msg:1145724
 2:46 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

We are in the small budget range.

Even though we lost some high CTR keywords due to the "Google only" rankings the total clicks and impressions are up and business is booming. Almost all of our terms are broad match. CTR across the board is above 2%.

We have used negative words extensively and even though we are a niche business (small independent tourist accommodations and activities) we must advertise under general regional terms to get to the people we want. A 2% CTR is great considering that most searchers aren't looking for us. Usually they are seeking general info on our area not our service. All we can hope to do is be there for the few that need us and keep our CTR high enough to keep the keywords we need.

AWA has stated that the broad match has a learning curve for the system. Talk of arbitrarily lower revenues in face of the IPO is a little out there (sorry shorebreak).

Powdork




msg:1145725
 6:34 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Wow!
This is the first I have heard of this. I just went and looked at the ads they are showing. Uggh!
Recipe page after recipe page with hotel listings. Some not even for my location.
Only one thing to do and its easier than adding negative keywords etc. Head to the competition.

skibum




msg:1145726
 6:45 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

If they go public based on broadmatch revenues, they'll be able to slowly phase it out and return their system to the way it was before, and in so doing ramp up their revenues and please the Street.

Unless lots of advertisers are pulling ads, it would seem like this would increase revenue growth instead of dampening it. More ads on more searches would seem to result in more $$$ for Google.

ThomasAJ




msg:1145727
 6:47 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

perhaps Google is doing this to temporarily dampen its revenues

shorebreak,
Do we know that revenues are down in Adwords overall?

I certainly hope so as it will make them focus extra hard.

A former Prime Minister of Aust. once said when asked about a thorny issue -

"If it is a question of a conspiracy or a stuff-up, go for the stuff-up everytime".

I think broadmatch is definitely a stuff-up.

johnnydequino




msg:1145728
 10:58 am on Nov 14, 2003 (gmt 0)

Broad match is a large budget advertiser dream move. I would guarantee that googles average cost per click has skyrocketed due to the change.

I have tried to combat broadmatch with exact match, and I seem to be winning and losing some battles.

Large advertisers will never understand or take the time to play the pay per click the way the game is supposed to be played, serving relevant, targeted results. I would argue the small advertiser who puts in the work would have a higher ROI and serve the best, relevant results to a visitor.

While google is private, they should tinker and rank results on CTR rate. Even though this may be a bit skewed, as ads in the top spots will get the most clicks by default. Tinker, google, tinker.

jd

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