RhinoFish - 8:45 pm on Dec 13, 2012 (gmt 0)
Look at your Search Terms Report... they know what search came in, your tactic doesn't.
"If Google does a good job splitting up broad-match queries, somebody should be able to define only a relatively small set of broad match 1-word or 2-word phrases and CO will take care of the rest. Does that work?"
Broad match 1-word... hahhaa.
No, this tactic won't work.
DKI and other reasons means you want to have segmentation by keyword.
I understand what you're asking, but no, that wouldn't be wise.
CO or no CO, the whole effort is always to focus your money where it matters most, so you'd never skip your prime exact match terms.
And you're imagining that, given enough time, the CO would work things out well for broad keywords - but the amount of garbage coming in on broad match will weigh down the outcome so heavily, it won't work.
If you engine is broken but runs all sputtery, setting the cruise control to 50 mph... what happens? A: bad things.
if the whole ad group can't meet the CPA, it'll turn it all off (eventually).
Think of it this way - each keyword is an adjustable gas pedal. the more good gas pedals you add, the better the auto optimizer can figure out how far to press each one.
if you slap one big ass (broad match) gas pedal in there, it's not going to work well.
The CO cannot overcome sloppy, loose PPC.
But hey, i do like your optimism.
"Do they keep your best interests in mind?"
Of course not.
In Googleland, they primarily concern themselves with their users (the searchers) - they know if they do them right, G itself will do very well, and many advertisers will want to come and spend.
Not knocking G, but you and me, we're last in line at the G feeding trough.
What G also knows is this... you will spend more if you make more sales.
So no, your interests are not a prime mover here.
Again, love your optimism!
If their CO doesn't work for you, you'll spend less...
Why would they do that?
If "scared" is the right adjective, explore it, if you can't shake it, then don't use the CO, it's not for you, and nothing I say matters. Scared means you'll turn it off a few hours later - that serves no purpose at all.
I think I'm trying to hard to talk you into to trying it...
There are many of my peers and competitors who don't use it, so know this isn't a "must do". To me it is, but I'm not myopic. Many very good PPC folks never use it.