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Automatic Matching Beta - Ultra Broad Match



4:33 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I'm surprised there's no word here about the beta Automatic Matching feature Google has quietly started to propose to some advertisers/agencies. From what I'm reading on SEOFastStart blog, Google's gonna start 2/28 a beta of a feature in AdWords that finds accounts where budgets aren't being fully spent and then automatically matches ads in those accounts to whatever additional queries Google wants to in order to spend 100% of the budget.

A few AdWords advertisers in the last 48 hours have received this email from their Google account manager:

"I'm excited to tell you that you have been selected to participate in a beta for our new Automatic Matching feature which will be starting on February 28th.

Automatic Matching automatically extends your campaign's reach by using surplus budget to serve your ads on relevant search queries that are not already triggered by your keyword lists. By analyzing the structure and content of your website and AdWords campaigns, we deliver more impressions and clicks while maintaining your current CTRs and CPCs.

For example, If you sold Adidas shoes on your website, Automatic Matching would automatically crawl your landing page and target your campaigns to queries such as: "shoes" "adidas" "athletic", etc., and less obvious ones such as "slippers" that our system has determined will benefit you and likely lead to a conversion on your site.

Be assured that automatic matching will try to never exceed your budget. If you're already meeting your daily budgets, automatic matching will have a minimal effect on your account."


11:46 pm on Feb 26, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I've made a few wild comments in the past about my suspicions with Google, expanded broad match, and how everything just seems designed to get more clicks out of you.......this is just one more thing to confirm that hunch.

I think webwitch is exactly right in the comparisons. This is exactly the same as my grocery store telling me "you haven't spent your whole grocery budget this month, so we added a couple items that you might like."

WHY does Google insist that they can do a better job of targeting my customers? If you don't let me decide on my own, how can we possibly perceive this as anything other than a frickin' rip off?


1:20 am on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

If they're looking for more money, why not loosen the quality score standards?

They should, i have quite a few words that are super targeted [buy blue widget] that i can't buy because of quality score issues my rep agrees its a super target ad and super targeted keyword. But i can buy broad matched keyword "blue".

They should enforce their policies better.


11:07 am on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

shorebreak: couldn't agree with you more...

I just wanted to add though that there may be a noble motive behind this feature (strong emphasis on may).

People here argue that they know their customers better than Google does. A fair assumption, but perhaps also a overconfident one. Through Google analytics and conversion tracking, Google probably has the ability to better predict your customer's behaviour than most website owners. (note: i said ability, they might not be there just yet). They have tons of data on each Google user which they can use to model their anticipated response to an ad.

That said, it's patronising not to provide the advertisers with that data to enable them to make their own decisions.


4:13 pm on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

A few notes... sorry I'm late to the party.

Adwords Advisor, I don't think there's anything wrong with Google trying to innovate, I just can't imagine why any advertiser would want this, if they know what they're doing.

If they don't know what they're doing, this seems like it will do little more than magnify their incompetence.

The example that was given in the solicitation for the beta is a good example. Why would any advertiser in their right mind want to send someone who searched for "slippers" to an Adidas shoe landing page?

Google tries to do a lot of "helpful" stuff that isn't helpful at all. I've never seen an optimization proposal on *any* advertiser account that would improve that advertiser's business results.

The right way to manage PPC campaigns is to tightly match the keywords to an ad creative and landing page. Google's quality scoring system reinforces this, but optimization proposals and automatic matching take advertisers in the opposite direction.

If the quality scoring system is intended to help advertisers and searchers (I am probably one of the few here who likes it), it's hard to understand the intent of automatic matching.

While you're taking feedback home, here's a feature we really need: broad matching. Not expanded broad matching where you decide that adidas=shoes=slippers, but a broad match that means "all of these keywords appeared in the search query." Give me that, and I will be able to spend a lot more.


6:27 pm on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

In my opinion Google makes the lions share of their money because of the the following few reasons:

1.) Adwords defaults all new keywords to broadmatch.
2.) Adwords reporting does not provide full transparency.
3.) Lack of understanding by average Adwords user.
4.) Most accounts don't employee a form of analytics on servers.

If most advertisers knew about the way that broadmatch currently works and displays results, G's revenue would suffer badly. And if you haven't looked at your true server logs, please do as you may be very surprised. Google reporting does not provide full transparency, and we didn't uncover much of this until we used our ACTUAL SERVER LOGS. In my opinion Google makes its money from advertisers not knowing how the process works, what to do to manage it well, and how to control costs.

By implementing UltraBroad match, they are continuing their ability to draw money from unsuspecting advertisers at a huge rate.

I equate googles maneuver to buying a car that defaults to the throttle at maximum. When a new car is built, the gas pedal isn't set to maximum RPM's or to run at maximum speed, is it? But Adwords is set this way. Adwords, by default will be set to pull as much money as possible from the advertiser. And now with this Ultra setup, it will get even worse.

What Google is failing to understand is that people are not stupid, maybe slow in many cases, but eventually they learn. As I learned over a good amount of time, how to properly manage an Adwords account. Most of us can't even imagine how many mom-and-pops are suffering as a result of these unscrupulous tactics.

handsome rob

9:18 pm on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

An excellent question from BDuns:

"WHY does Google insist that they can do a better job of targeting my customers?"

If you were to browse through Google's job postings at any given point, you'll see that they're mostly looking for people with computer, engineering or math backgrounds -- NOT MARKETING. In most companies, managing PPC campaigns falls in the lap of the Marketing department... so why assume that your software engineers know more than I do about marketing to MY customers?


10:04 pm on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Folks (and Google), this is really simple. Offer more optional matching types.

1. (Ultra Broad Match)
2. {Expanded Broad Match}
3. Broad Match
4. "Phrase Match"
5. [Exact Match}

I would use all 5 in various ways. The current lack of #3 is a giant pain. I would love to have 'widget news' broad matched to the query 'widget news research and trends'. However, I don't want it ultra broad matched to 'widget training in Alaska'.

All 5 options would be great to have, but #3 is a necessity.

Maybe someone should start a poll or a petition: How many people want to see the old broad match brought back?


10:21 pm on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Hey JBrown

When did the old broadmatch change...and how?


10:59 pm on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

It looks like Expanded Broad Match rolled out in October of 2003. See this thread: [webmasterworld.com...]

It has been further expanded since then, and many folks noticed a large expansion in the second half of last year. Here is the text from the original announcement:

So Broad Match used to take a keyword like 'red tennis shoes' and would match it to a query like 'cheap red tennis shoes'. Expanded Broad Match goes further and will match the keyword 'red tennis shoes' to queries like 'pink gym shoes'. That's a fairly tame example. Many times, Expanded Broad Match will stretch much further than that.

I imagine Ultra Broad Match goes even further afield as the addidas/slipper example seems to suggest.


11:06 pm on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Exactly, JBrown - it's untargeted traffic at targeted traffic prices. :D


11:44 pm on Feb 27, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Lets get some torches and storm the castle.


7:29 am on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Johnie, I completely agree with you. Just like it has been stated here, my budget is set much higher than my actual spend. There is a good reason for this too

For similar reasons, I'm in the same boat. Forgive me for not catching up on every post in this thread. It's a bad time of year for me to 'tweak' and I've got my campaigns where I want them for now while I work on other projects. I'm getting a decent profit and will refine it when time permits. My other projects pay by the hour, whether I do good or bad ;)

So can someone please provide the definitive answer on this one?

Will Ultra Broad Match be an 'opt-in' or the default when it goes live?

If it catches me by surprise, it will cost me plenty, likely for no gain.

"Expanded broad match" was crazy enough, but it too suits my purposes in certain ad-groups.

The "Ultra" version scares me!




2:03 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

The right way to manage PPC campaigns is to tightly match the keywords to an ad creative and landing page. Google's quality scoring system reinforces this, but optimization proposals and automatic matching take advertisers in the opposite direction.

1000% agree with this statement. More than anything this is what makes me shake my head about the new proposed matching option.

Quality score is the basis of ranking our ads, any problem we have with ads, keywords, accounts the answer we get from Google is to improve quality score, optimize your campaigns for better quality score, focus your keywords, ad text, make your landing pages more relevant...all to improve quality score.

yet, they give an example of sending someone who searched for "slippers" to a landing page about "Adidas running shoes"?

I cannot imagine this would be a targeted lead, and I also cannot imagine that bidding on slippers would improve this fictional advertisers quality score but it is a good fit for Ultra Match?

I know zilch about this new feature so all of this is just speculation but I really hope this is opt out.

And don't get me started about the Google Account Optimization, I have never accepted one of their proposals and have nearly doubled over in laughter a couple times. I think a better name would be the Google Account De-optimization.


2:51 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

I only do [exact match] nowadays. I no longer trust the alternatives.


2:51 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

With Adwords, Google's left hand is pulling against the right. I'd love to go to the meeting where the person who created quality scoring hears about this latest "innovation."

Try accepting an optimization proposal some time, and look at how many of the quality scores are "Poor" or "OK" on the keywords they suggest.


3:10 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Will Ultra Broad Match be an 'opt-in' or the default when it goes live?


In the email that one AdWords advertiser received about the beta, he was told that the feature would be 'opt out'.


8:42 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

If this is opt-out or preferably opt-in, I don't see a problem with it at all. I don't plan to use it, but that's because I'm like most people here, bidding for ROI (not branding) and I'm familiar with the system's inner workings, can find my own keywords and have the time and will to do that and have no problem spending my budgets (in fact, they're set at the point where I start to push too hard and roi drops off too much). But for every one like us, there's 10 lesser experienced operators asking why they can't spend all their budget and doing inadequate keyword research... so let G help those who don't have the time or will to do the detailed segmentation and research and testing, I'll still whoop 'em.

This will raise revenues for G, it'll fatten their ad inventory generated from their existing advertisers, and I think it's mainly people who have been begging for these types of features... G knows they shouldn't have them, so letting them have what they ask, like giving a kid too much candy, isn't evil by itself, but it ain't proud parenting... hehehee. G ain't my daddy, so no biggie if they're gonna allow themselves to be some people father, doling out the candy. Those big fat lazy kids step onto my court and I'm still gonna dunk on 'em.

If G gave volume discounts, I'd be pissed off. But free keywords to people who can't find their own, naw, ain't pissed here.

Besides, they already have a team that does free optimization, helping advertisers write ads and fatten their keyword lists, giving fat lazy timmy a big ol' candy jar won't make him an ubermarketer taking my spots, it'll just make him wider.


10:02 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

RhinoFish, I would agree with you if we still had old-school Broad Match as an option. As it is, I hope they don't do away with Expanded Broad Match and move exclusively to Ultra Broad Match.

Give me more control and more gradients, not less.


10:34 pm on Feb 28, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member


First off, I'm glad to see there are at least a few SEM folks who can dunk.

You specifically may well forever be able to rise above the zone defense and tomahawk while cameras flash, but this potential move by Google would significantly increase CPC inflation, which would very likely force even you, Count Dunkula, to improve your monetization (SEM hops) more than you otherwise might've had to.

At some point, moves like this could block even your shot.

Shorebreak, aka The Duke of Intergalactic Dunkmanship


2:08 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Still nope, Count Dunkula has studied the effects of varying strata within an auction based pricing system, and I'm telling ya, fat Timmy still won't clear a credit card.

The dude standing next to Timmy does get Jimmy'd, but only slightly. Some gaps resize slightly and jiggle, while jiggling is fun to watch, its not earth shaking (or moving) to those above and below.

Back on Lovetron, me and JBrown learned something cool though, something G is missing... aiding Fat Timmy doesn't help the bottom line like one would think, you focus improvement where it matters the most, and that's with the folks who get the higher priced clicks, they (we) need the control JBrown asked about above. If G would look back at every improvement (or change) they've made, they'll see the dollars are driven by those changes' impact on the smartest users, not the laziest. The ball's diameter and the hoop's diameter and height are fine, but expanded B blurs my vision, and I need G to realize that. Shoot, give me a switch to turn it off, no worries for G though, Fat Timmy won't even know to do that.

Among my many, many thousands of keywords, I've got dozens that I bid more than $10 on... helping Fat Timmy to double his $0.12 word count does widen the pyramid's base... but since consumers can't click 6 ads at a time, G's earnings are all about the upper third of the mount, not coincidentally, where the dunking happens. :-)

[edited by: RhinoFish at 2:10 pm (utc) on Feb. 29, 2008]


7:50 pm on Feb 29, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I've got dozens that I bid more than $10 on

You don't need to bid super high to be #1, just select it as your position preference. :-)


3:58 pm on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member



4:52 pm on Mar 3, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

>> For example, If you sold Adidas shoes on your website, Automatic Matching would automatically crawl your landing page and target your campaigns to queries such as: "shoes". <<

The only question left is - who hacked into Brett`s account? Or am I missing the irony? ;)


3:39 am on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member


hahaha. Sorry, Sir Ubermarketer, I must be delusional to think that G can give everyone a chance at being #1 so that more people can afford to keep advertising.

OK, back to my lazy "delusional reality" where G spanks everyone if you talk about your ROI.


3:53 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Tourz, since I see you understood my sarcasm, let's call it a dream instead of a delusion. And yep, it sure would be nice to use position preference in the way you described earlier. :-)


10:52 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I looked at my server logs today. How in the world can you get more broader than expanded broadmatch thats already in place?


10:54 pm on Mar 4, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Rhinofish, the delusional sarcasm part was a reference to Brett's relevant troll on another thread [webmasterworld.com].

The position preference statement was made after checking my adwords position stats, max bid, and CPC. The toggle is working here. I'm not #1 all day, everyday, but I am when the ad is shown -- which is enough. G can know it's enough by pause/resume feedback. G is probably doing that all over the SERPs, I think it ain't just a dream.

You could say that I'd just be getting the leftover's when the competition has used up their budget, but I doubt it -- I don't think my main competition is applying any brakes on their incoming traffic.

Focusing on the "folks who get the higher priced clicks" quickly leaves only a few left standing to support the empire. From what I can see, G is wisely trying to maximize profits from their traffic inventory with the long term goal of having happy advertisers.


8:10 pm on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

You're grossly underestimating the number of skilled advertisers, those in the upper third I mentioned... taken on the per capita basis I specified, that's one third of all the advertisers using AdWords... that ain't a "few" people... further, it's hardly an area where even if many did fall, there would ever be any scarcity.

That said, if I owned this search engine and I was trying to maximize profits, I'd do everything I could to make users (not advertisers) happy... G does that... after that, I would focus on providing tools to the advertisers that allow them to make the users even happier... out of necessity, that means the ads people are clicking on and are seeing, moreso than the others. Helping long tailers find 10,000 more keywords means slower searches or more hardware, these raise my costs as an engine owner. I wouldn't do any advertisers any special favors, but I definitely would respond to the needs of advertisers that were best contributing to making my engine's ads popular, interesting and compelling. Lo and behold though, I think is already doing this almost without exception.

Good news for all of us here though, adding automatic discovery tools is nearly moot now, the system has so many options, tools and buttons that non-pro's can hardly scratch their arse, they don't know how. I'm predicting more stratified feature sets in the future as G realizes most people can't grasp it all - maybe a "take this quiz to qualify for this feature" type thing...

And I understood your position pref comment, but go back and look at it as you wrote it - you're giving newbies the impression of something else entirely. You need to qualify that you're waiting for G's occassional roll-in at the position for CTR testing and that your volume is a tiny, tiny slice of that keywords volume. So yes, you can be a star in the full limelight of position 1, and the further your bid*quality score departs from the norm there, the tinier your slice gets... however this is not the optimal way to maximize roi or branding or visits or anything else, it's just a way you can satisfy your "I'm #1" ego desires (we all have it, i'm not criticizing you for it, i love seeing my ad there too) for a few seconds each day...


8:55 pm on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

You're right about keeping G-users happy, that's most important.

The talk about #1 spot wasn't about ego desires, it was about "where the dunking happens", as you say. I'm saying, 'don't drive prices way up, just wait your turn'.

most people can't grasp it all

I really doubt it. It's probably related to lack of time.

Whatever, it works, no complaints.


2:29 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator skibum is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

We got a call from Google about this a while ago. Were informed it would be opt-out, just like content when that launched. Many clients still won't use content because they got burned so badly on that or knew of people who did. All of these things should be opt-in. If advertisers benefitted from them, then they would go in and turn them on if Google provided the option to do so.

I'd love to hear the definition of relevancy at the plex. Apparently broad match contributes to relevancy so this must make things even more "relevant". We've seen variations of this for quite sometime. A campaign with some keywords that get great CTRs and generate good returns maxes out for the day and then the AdWords algo seems to search through the rest of the campaigns and find something to broad match out to the keywords that were in the maxed out campaign and the client flips out because the "wrong" ads are showing. Gotta keep as much as possible on phrase & exact.

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