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|Broad match huts relevancy?|
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?
I agree with you completely. My comments are from a publisher's standpoint (AdSense). Starting within a day of when broad matching commenced about 2-1/2 weeks ago, we started seeing more than 50% of the ads displayed no longer being targeted to the page content but rather to the overall theme of our website. Not only are we no longer seeing targeted ads in a lot of cases, but we are seeing the same non-targeted ads repeatedly.
Prior to broad matching, due to the nature of my website, we rarely saw the same ad appear on more than one page. That's no longer the case. And I don't buy the argument about changing budgets when Google announced a 50% increase in the number of AdWords advertisers over the past 5 months.
Comparing 10/16-10/31 to 9/16-9/30, our CTR is down 10.2% and our earnings are down 14%. If I were the advertiser, I wouldn't want to see my ads on my website. Not only am I getting junk clicks, it's likely adding to banner blindness to the detriment of the targeted ads.
I wrote to Google about this almost 2 weeks ago, providing several URLs with examples. They responded they would look into it. Several days later, I followed up with additional examples and they said they would get back with me when they had something to tell me.
Broad matching is hurting everyone--the advertiser, the publisher and Google.
Broad match is for one reason only:
To crush the small business and have the larger one dominate.
The searcher suffers.
The small business suffers.
Meanwhile, the billionaire bigwigs of the world who sell widgets just spent another $5 for an irrelevant click.
Google loses the searcher because ads irrelevant. Small relevant business loses the customer. Everyone unhappy.
Broad match cannot ever by relevant. Don't care what anyone says.
Agree completely. From the advertisers point of view, some campaigns have maintained about the same ad spend per dollar of revenue generated.
It has decimated other campaigns to the point where ad spend is equal or greater than sales reveune. Despite a pullback to exact and phrase match which is TONS more work, campaigns that were profitable before are now break even - sales $$ to ad spend or money losers.
Its great for brand advertisers flush with massive marketing budgets but overall the extended broad match is a big step backwards and contradicts Google's relevancy mantra.
Why not bring back the old broad match, people liked that and it worked, kinda like Classic Coke.
We had a big problem initially, but now it's getting better.
I've given up on phrase match, and I'm going to use only broad match now with a zillion negative keywords.
If you use the keyword tool it generally hints at what -ve keywords you need. The tools need to be much better for this though. It takes plenty of time to edit all that text by hand. I'd like a tool which suggests -ve keywords so I can just click if I want them. I'd also like it to show up even the more whacky ones which aren't statistically significant so I can include them too.
Exactly why i do exact matching, i built up a keyword database a couple of years ago, and its all exact matching - i've got idea's of how much broad matching would cost in respect of ROI. No chance.
It would be like asking a PPC engine to evaulate your site, and then list all the terms that it thinks are relevant though they could be ultra competitive very expensive, and ultimately not yeild very much.
Caine - the problem here is greedy old google puts the broad match on top of the exact match. Irrevelent, junky, ads. Long term, now with MSN looking to start their engine, google better start paying attention to relevance.
If people were to understand broadmatch, it can work. I think part of the problem is the majority of people don't understand it and therefore aren't fixing the problems.
As an advertiser, I'd rather be able to make a strictly AdSense campiagn, as AdSense is becoming irrevelant as the broadmatch is making the keywords 'guessed' by G for a site way too broad, and they are often terms that we won't advertise for on G as they are too broad for G, but might work for AdSense.
After all the initial AdSense confusion, except for some techincal issues G is still trying to work out, our CTR, ROI are now back to where they were before this whole broadmatch nonsense started.
|Placement: Exact match, phrase, broad |
Agree. 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.
Some will argue that since my ad is more relevant my CTR would go higher. I did some number crunching and there is no way I can compete.
|... our CTR, ROI are now back to where they were before this whole broadmatch nonsense started. |
eWhisper, did you do anything besides adding negatives?
And how about your total number of clicks? Down? By how much?
|Some will argue that since my ad is more relevant my CTR would go higher. I did some number crunching and there is no way I can compete. |
I have found the same to be true.
What do you plan to do to combat this? Raise bids? Accept a loss of business? Wait it out? Other? I am trying to figure out what to do.
Unfortunately, the best alternative is to look at the tier-2 search engines and few other tier-1's if you're not already with them. Adwords has enormous potential, but the reason why it's in deep trouble (besides the fact that they don't give competing CPC prices OR keyword research data), is that the big pockets probably are not feeling any significant impact on their bottom lines, because the millions they earn in revenue is more than the millions they lose on broad/irrelevant terms. And since these big companies have nothing to complain about, nobody of significant power in google will know there is a growing problem with broad terms... in comes the challenger MSNBot, weighing in at 5 tons of servers, and with the backing of Don Gates and 40 BILLION dollars. It's showtime folks!
Wait until G is a public copmpany! My guess is broad match (random match) is here to stay.
Adwords to me is just like a banner service. The entire way adwords is setup I just don't agree with. There is so much junk, even before broad match.
After broadmatch, google adwords qualifies as a junk yard.
As much as I dislike overture, they have it right:
Specific - phrase - broad - in this order.
It's hard to say if searchers will leave google because the ads that are being served stink. But I can tell you AOL cannot be happy. I think many users are flocking not only from it's service, but also from it's engine. When irrelevant results show up in text links, it's just like receiving spam email.
Does the G in google stand for Greed? Yes - and ROI is decreasing for advertisers by the day. Good job google!
> I think part of the problem is the majority of people don't understand it and therefore aren't fixing the problems
But, surely it is Google's responsibility, not ours to ensure our previously perfectly targetted adverts are still be displayed relevantly. Not our responsibility. Putting the work on us for a system that was set out to work in a particular way which they change and expect us to bear the FULL COST of researching and finding negative keywords or phrase matches seems a highly irresponsible thing for Google to do. In fact, I don't even use Google for searching much because of this. FAST are starting to get more and more of my searches and I am introducing people to FAST. This is the by and far the worst thing Google have ever done, they are losing relevancy and this is AdWords and the ordinary search results.
I never thought I'd say this but: Google, going the same way as AltaVista. Maybe they are deliberately giving us pathetic results, maybe they will start crashing our computers, then they may be up to the standard Microsoft expect, if MS want to buy them ;)
I did a lot more than add negative keywords. I had several AdGroups that contained multiple keywords, and ended up having to seperate them further into their own ads and redefinee the negative keywords per AdGroup. Between this and regional targeting, I need to create either a new account for regional targeting (which would cause us to be listed twice for some keywords which is a no-no - or get my max campaigns expanded well beyond 25 - which is a different problem).
Our total clicks are up by about 10%. Our CPC did go up slightly, although a lot of that was due to more people suddenly bidding in our area, and our CTR going down for a period of time, which causes CPC to go up. I'm expecting our CPC to be just slighty higher than it was for this month.
Anohter cause of the CTR slippage was the fact that our ads were shown in the premuim position for a long time, and several of those keywords no longer have anyone in the premium top position any longer, which has caused those ads to fall by a couple points.
Since both of these happened over the same time period, it's hard to tell how much the broad match and the lack of a premium position played in the decreased CTR.
|After broadmatch, google adwords qualifies as a junk yard. |
And that is so strange since they built themselves on the "relevancy" mantra. Why place a single-word broad match ad above a three-word exact match ad? They don't in the natural serps. Could you imagine a searcher looking for stock red widgets and the first natural result is a site for gadgets with no mention of his three words? If a searcher is looking for something that specific - give it to him!
Or at least give the exact match a bump just like they do for CTR.
|I think part of the problem is the majority of people don't understand it and therefore aren't fixing the problems |
Part of the problem is that a lot of people did not understand how things worked before - or more likely, they would not take the time or spend the resources to find out. Google forced the issue with the expanded broad match by playing to the lowest common denominator. If most couldn't figure it out before, I don't think many will figure it out now in order to fix the problems.
I'll repeat it again for anyone from Google who is reading - give the exact match a relevancy bump just like you do for CTR.
|Part of the problem is that a lot of people did not understand how things worked before - or more likely, they would not take the time or spend the resouces to find out |
You hit the nail right on the head seasalt.
We have been involved with PPC since the very first with GoTo. To understand AdWords is an excersise in education. Without WW I would have been totally lost.
We are very fortunate (for the moment) to have few competing ads. This has made the whole process a lot easier and allowed us to experiment. That said we hesitate to change anything due to the review process and loss of clicks because of not appearing in the partner sites.
How does a new advertiser without WW begin to understand what is happenning when two terms with a 2.2% CTR are red flagged for poor performance. I still boil over this.
There is a service in London appearing for our country name widget because they haven't learned how to use the system and apply the proper filters and negatives.
It takes a tremendous amount of time to set your program up properly - most won't do it.
|I had several AdGroups that contained multiple keywords, and ended up having to seperate them further into their own ads and redefinee the negative keywords per AdGroup. |
eWhisper, I did the same thing and it helped.
My most natural keyword AdGroup had 40 plus keywords (keyword phrases) in it. It got more clicks than any of my AdGroups but Broad Match killed it and it got only 10 - 20 percent of it's original clicks.
I tried using negatives and had over 100. The number of clicks still stunk, however.
So, I split it up as you described and clicks for those keywords rebounded to original levels. Having more targetted copy would explain part of the improvement but I think there's something else going on as well. (Google may have also been tweaking their Adwords algo at that time, which may account for some of the rebound.)
Overall, Broad Match cut my click 33% to 50% but now they're only down about 15% to 25%.
For me, CTR is up and the conversion rate has improved to a level I haven't seen for several months.
So, overall, I'm in the same ball park as before broad match.
Nevertheless, I need to become less dependent on Adwords for clicks since the handwriting is on the wall - "Clicks are only going to get more expensive".
|Nevertheless, I need to become less dependent on Adwords for clicks since the handwriting is on the wall - "Clicks are only going to get more expensive". |
This is very true. IMO PPC has two purposes. First is to get exposure for the site and clicks while you raise in the search rankings.
The second is once you've risen in the rankings, to supplement your natural results. If AdWords (and the other PPCs) are you major source of traffic, I'd suggest taking some of that money away from AdWords and paying for some SEO.
|To understand AdWords is an excersise in education. Without WW I would have been totally lost. |
I think this is a very good point. From looking at my competition, and peole I know who do net ads, many people in internet marketing don't have degrees in marketing and advertising. A lot of advertisers seem to be webmasters or have other areas of expertise that also happen to do PPC as its a current web exposure trend.
This leads to a lot of people not understanding marketing who are forced to learn as they go, and hope they are getting it right.
It's a good thing we have a place like this to learn from each other to make the best of our ads and time possible.
I am under the impression the only way to get what you pay for on adwords is using exact match. Broad match is a complete joke. Phrase match you need thousands of negative keywords, but it can be done.
But what burns me the most about exact match is it is just that. Why can the removal of for, and, the, or noise words, also count for exact match?
Examples: Widgets for computers
This should show up for [widgets computers] but it does not. That's very weak on adwords part. At least eliminate noise words on exact match if you are going to implement broad match.
|I am under the impression the only way to get what you pay for on adwords is using exact match. |
For some people exact match is better but not for others.
For example, I couldn't get exact match to produce as many clicks as expanded broad match.
(Obviously, I preferred the old broad match.)
Google should introduce phrase match for exact match keywords and filter out noise keywords for exact match.
This way, for a searh of widget cost, this will show up under:
[cost for widget]
Much, much more relevant! Google contact me with questions =\
You know, we were ok for awhile, the last several weeks, but things went haywire again today. I'm so tired of this company. It's like playing hit the gopher in the head with a hammer. Hmmm....removed unfriendly comment
Hey, Google, guess what? I shifted some of our budget back to Overture, and I'm going to continue that.
[edited by: skibum at 3:16 am (utc) on Nov. 5, 2003]
[edit reason] removed unfriendly comment [/edit]
It's like playing hit the gopher in the head with a hammer.<<
Changing the rules of the game every so often is a good thing for the left hand side of the serps. (Keeps the over aggressive seo's and spammers on their toes)
But keep some stability for the paying customers please!
Just because some folks don't know how to use broad match effectively doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Moreover, 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.
And for those of us who make a living managing Adwords campaigns for clients, the complexity of the Adwords system is a good thing. To get optimal performance from Adwords requires some substantive expertise -- too much for smaller and medium size business to develop in house. It makes perfect sense for such business to hire consultants to do this for them.
For my clients the vast majority of the terms I target are broad match. I also typically use hundreds of negative terms. Such campaigns are a lot of work to set up, but they run circles around my clients' competitors that are running either exact match or unrefined broad match.
Give it time. The advertisers who don't understand Adwords will eventually either get a clue, get a consultant, or get out of internet marketing.
depends on what you mean by "broad match", if the "old good broad match", then that was a nice thing, very convenient, time-consuming and you could achieve a very good ctr and roi
if this new "expanded broad match" (I personally prefer "random match" name :) then it just sucks, list of negatives doesn't really help cause you never actually know what kind of search google will consider "relevant to your add" next time (I keep seeing some really crasy search strings in my log file)
I really hate that there is no way out of this, you cannot have an effective list of negatives, you cannot convert into phrase match since your avg. position would fall through the floor... and yes, if I convert my broad match ads into phrase match and pay approx $40 per click everything will be back to normal... except for the roi :)
google, do you still have that backup file? ;)
I don't have any problem with the expanded broad match. Just click on the keyword tool button and you'll see what you're getting broad matched for.
On the campaigns I'd been running prior to expanded broad matching virtually no campaign had any expanded broad matches. In the few cases where there were, they were almost always desirable, and I wondered why they hadn't come up in my keyword research. In just a couple instances were the terms undesirable; in which case they're easily removed by putting in appropriate negative terms.
|I don't have any problem with the expanded broad match. |
By clicking on the keyword tool you can get a whole bunch of keywords to negative match and others to bid on, which is great.
But so can your competitors, and loosely connected competitors and simile competitors, and plural competitors and synonym competitors.
4p clicks will now run to a lot more than that in most cases if you want to be in the same position.
Option 1. - Increase bid prices, keep position
Option 2. - Keep bid prices same, lose position
I don't have a problem with the concept of extended broad matching but the playing field has been levelled and made much wider.
<Broad match is for one reason only:
To crush the small business and have the larger one dominate. >
Not sure if this was their intention, but this will certainly be the result.
It is quite difficult for small business owners to compete with multi-million dollar corporations that are simply not that concerned with ROI.
Although it hasn't really affected me that much, it is a shame because PPC was a great way for small business to build a web presence and make sales.
One of the great aspects of the web is that location is, often, irrelevant. The flip side of this is that every little "mom and pop" has to compete with Internet giants for business.
In the offline world, one can run a successful little pizza shop without having to advertise on CBS against Pizza Hut. In a search dominated Internet culture, more and more, small business is forced to compete against every national corporation that somewhat relates to their market.
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