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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."


2:57 am on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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System: The following 2 messages were spliced on to this thread from: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google_adwords/3583143.htm [webmasterworld.com] by brett_tabke - 10:44 am on Feb. 24, 2008 (cst -6)

I was hoping that adwordsadvisor could come on here and verify whether or not this feature is going to go live for everyone? It's very disturbing and could be disastrous for a lot of people.



7:06 am on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If true, in short, no thanks.

Since the system works so well, here is what we are keen about:

- see all keywords in “search query report”
- see new report similar to “search query report”, but for impressions that did not receive clicks
- make “daily budget” to be daily budget in respect of credits, stop calculating on monthly bases

In general, most of AdWords users have been asking for more control over their campaigns.

This feature, if true, is totally opposite to “more control”.

Now, keep in mind that there are advertisers that are willing to say “bye” to the rest of their budget. Some may actually be happy with this, as they can ensure they’ll spend their PPC budget to a last penny.

Those are at least:

- agencies
- companies (mostly bigger corporations) that have the PPC budget for the fiscal year. If they don’t spend it, they will not get it again.

From this perspective, there is nothing wrong about Google, as long as they explain what they are going to do with advertisers’ money.

As long as it’s optional, it’s ok. Just like content. Some hate it, other say it’s better than search.

Every product has its buyer.

Certainly, we all understand that many advertisers may get caught into this, and spend their budget only to learn that this feature did not work for them.


4:46 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Wanted to consoladate several of these posts.

I think it is a great feature actually. It is a way to gauge performance on kw's you never would have thought to try out.

I think the big question, is if the new (Ultra Broadmatch) kw's still fail, will they be disabled like normal kw's?


5:23 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Brett wrote:
I think it is a great feature actually. It is a way to gauge performance on kw's you never would have thought to try out.

While expanded broad match sounds good in theory, I've found the ROI to be terrible. If your keyword is running shoes and the user's query is slippers, then the relevancy is low, the quality score is low, the ad rank is low, the conversion rate is low, and the only thing high is the CPC. That's why I rarely use broad match keywords in my campaigns. "Automatic Matching" will make it even worse.

There are better ways to come up with new keywords and test them than to let Google do it for you with expanded broad match or ultra broad match.

smallcompany wrote:

This feature, if true, is totally opposite to “more control”.

And it's completely opposite to what AWA and other Google reps have long advocated -- tightly focused ad groups.


5:57 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Brett, I'm surprised to hear you say that it's a great way to guage performance of keywords you haven't tried before. 'Great' would imply that Google has a high probability of finding keywords with good ROI, yet this new feature appears clearly to have a #1 goal of spending unspent budgets.

I do agree that *some* advertisers who are opted in to this feature will find *some* good keywords in the process, but I think the history of EBM , Conversion Optimizer and CPA-based content network buying is not one replete with pro-advertiser outcomes. The advertisers who kick a$$ on AdWords do their own homework, leave nothing to chance and optimize with full visibility into ROI - and that is unlikely to change.

For anyone who has more details on this imminent beta, I'd be very interested to know if the plans post-beta are to make this opt-out or opt-in.


8:29 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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The thing I find disturbing is the fact that they will keep expanding your keywords until they have exhausted your set budget. Many have their budgets set way higher than they could afford, because they have found that otherwise google will not constantly show your ads. I don't know if they have since fixed this. But I think that stock prices would double on the day they ever maxed out my set budget.


9:43 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Until I try it - I'm not sure yet ShoreBreak. I could see it going either way. I think Google has high motivation to find kw's that produce good ROI and low signal-to-noise ratios.

Maybe I am giving them the benefit of the doubt, but I assume there will be an "off" switch if this is expanded to all accounts?


10:47 pm on Feb 24, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Venrooy's point is a very good one - I don't know what the statistics are on this, but I'll bet at least 25-35% of advertisers run with budgets higher than what they want/can spend to avoid less-than-full ad syndication. Anyone else care to venture a guess?

Brett, regarding an 'off switch', I think it's safe to say that many AdWords advertisers run with whatever default options G puts in front of them, so even if there *is* an off switch, an opt-out deployment of this new feature (should it go production) would have a noticeable affect on the overall market.



2:17 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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To be honest, I find this new 'feature' a complete outrage. Who is google to mess around with my cash? This is MY money they are playing with. I demand complete total control over where (read: which keywords) MY money is going. If I bid on a keyword (regardless of match type), I bid on it based on my keyword research and my perceived trust on its ROI. Google simply does not have to the right to recklessly hand my cash to a bot which obviously has more profit in mind. You shouldn't view this as a nice gesture or anything like that: google just wants to squeeze more profit out of our campaigns. That, in my opinion, is pure evil.

I think google would be very wise to make this opt-in (or suggestion-based), or people might just get very angry.


4:40 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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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 since there is great variance in actual spend according to the day of the week for me. To give an example of how this new 'feature' could be disastrous take this hypothetical scenario into accout:

My average daily spend is is $600. However, on Monday my average spend is $900 while on Fridays it is around $400. I therefore have set my budget at $1000 to ensure that my keywords are always showing. If Google forces me into this "Automatic Matching" then my actual spend will dramatically increase on Fridays and other low-spend days. Thus wreaking havoc on my actual budget.

I certainly hope this feature is optional. Othwerwise, it is as Johnie has said, pure evil.


5:01 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

First off, we're obviously all way ahead of events here. All we've heard is that an email's been sent to a few people announcing a private beta, so it's unlikely this test is finished before sometime in Q2. If it goes production after that (I assume not all AdWords features that were beta eventually went 'production'), then it'll probably be an opt-out feature. Opt-out's onerous enough, but I'd bet a dollar against a penny that you can, at least opt out, so there's no reason to be alarmed by this.


6:05 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google already has the 'external keyword tool' to help advertisers find new keywords.

I don't think this new idea is 'evil', just 'nasty'.


10:13 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Personally I don't think that this is a positive move for advertisers, though I have to admire it from a Google/business perspective.

Those who don't know Adwords well will end up spending a lot more (their full budget for the year).

Those who do know Adwords well will also end up spending a lot more - as they'll see many extra adverts appearing for their search terms, pushing up average costs.


10:58 am on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Let them do! Allow the smart people who turn it off to profit, whilst less smart competitors make a loss. It's all more money in my pocket.


1:18 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Yeah, i would be outraged about this as well. My budgets are usually expanded to buffer what is already known by experience - not something i want G to push as a revenue marker for them (As it doesn't translate to revenue for me unless the ultra feature will also ultra optimize my ROI)


1:37 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Administrator brett_tabke is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

> outraged

I am baffled as to why you and others would be outraged at G trying to help you work out excess inventory that you have never tried and may have value? G has been pretty consistent at giving people options that are off by default (broad match..etc). I would seriously doubt this option would be enabled by default. If you are running 10k+ keywords, this feature would be straight from ppc heaven.


1:57 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Outraged in the sense that if Google THINKS they know better then why aren't they helping MAKE it better? If they THINK they can optimize to spend my budget then why can't they help me make the MOST of my budget?

The outrage is because the process is entirely REVENUE driven on googles behalf and does absolutley NOTHING to solve ANYTHING on the consumer side.

I'm baffled as to why you and others have such blind faith in google?

The problem *I* have is *I* can optimize my campaign to spend MY budget yet 9 out of 10 times google will disable campaigns or increase costs until i can spend no more or the campaign is useless - mostly for reason google dreams up vs actual consumer demand/response/roi.

Why would i want to think what makes google the most money will automagically make me the most money? I put my heart and sole into research that fits my niche.

Are you telling me google knows more about my market then i do? If so then we have bigger fish to fry if there is any notion of "Free markets" to survive these uber corporations.

While i would LOVE to reach more people - opening up to someone elses automatic interpretation of reach sort of defeats the purpose of targeted marketing and gets you into the more costly ratings/branding marketing vs niche/target "Seek and destroy" PPC marketing. (by seek and destroy i mean marketing to someone in a position to buy and making a sale based upon your specific business solutions & services)

[edited by: ByronM at 2:00 pm (utc) on Feb. 25, 2008]


2:50 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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T_Media, I think this will cost everybody. You will likely see more (but less relevant) ads appearing on your terms, jacking up the bid price.

I for one would never indulge in this less-than-targeted traffic. If google think it knows how to increase my ROI, then they are welcome to suggest. And then it's up to me to decide whether I take the suggestion or not. My spend, my responsibility.


3:05 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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actually thats a fairly good point johnnie, I hadn't thought of that one :)

handsome rob

3:45 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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As if expanded broad matching wasn't buggy enough. This is a terrible move on Google's part. Continue to take control away from your advertisers and you may wake up one day to discover that you've become YSM.


5:20 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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If you are going to test Google's new tool...

Suggestion 1) test it on your brand keywords. From analyzing thousands of reports and digging into expanded match and how Google uses it...it does seem to work well with "most" brand keywords and campaigns.

Suggestion 2) set up a long tail keyword campaign and test it there. How interesting would it be to see what other keywords Google would come up with when your keywords are 4 to 6 words long and specifically targeted.

Google's Keyword Tool has come a really long ways and if you want to get a peak inside how Google thinks, try a few keyword searches with the "Use synonyms" box checked. Example: If you type in "red running shoes", you get variations that include runners shoes, sneakers, basketball shoes, tennis shoes...maybe you didn't think of all of those keywords before...but Google did.


7:23 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member adwordsadvisor is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

A few quick comments, as I see this subject is generating quite a lot of interest and speculation:

* First off, I have already passed your feedback along to the right teams - so your comments and concerns have been heard - and will continue to be heard.

* Please be aware that this is a limited beta test, available as an option to a small number of advertisers.

* Future plans for the feature will certainly be influenced by feedback from folks who participate in the beta. So if you are one of those invited, who then choose to participate in the beta, please be sure to comment early and often.

* Advertisers offered a spot in the beta may certainly turn off the feature if they wish.

* This feature is not intended to 'exhaust the budget' - rather it is only meant to deliver additional traffic where performance metrics such as CTRs and CPCs stack up well against the adgroups current CTR and CPC. If there is no additional relevant traffic to direct to the advertisers campaigns, automatic matching will not spend additional money.

* The queries will appear in Search Query reports.

As always, I'll continue to pass your feedback along - directly to the teams most involved with this beta



7:55 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member bwnbwn is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

It is being implemented if and I say "If" the campaign budget set has a surplus.
So I would assume if you don't want to be a part of it set your budget so it is used up and you don't need to worry with this.

I also wonder is there a set number of times the budget is not met for this to be kicked in or is this going to be determined by the algo and we will really never know when this feature has kicked in or not.


8:01 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Brett's right. at the end of the day, people only bid what gives them their desired ROI.

At the same time, Google has only everything to lose if they start showing irrelevant ads next to keywords.

The people that might not win with this are those who are creating misleading ad text for particular keywords. But I'm sure Google doesn't worry about harming those folks..


8:40 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member netmeg is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Until I know where it's going, I wouldn't object to being able to set a percentage of my budget to this ultra broad match - say tell Google it's okay to put 20% towards it, then I can evaluate and decide if I want to raise or lower the percentage, or turn it off entirely. I can see the benefits AND the potential problems with it. I wouldn't mind trying it, but I want some controls in place.

That said, it's all moot for me, because none of my accounts were invited to participate.

(And I find I have to allocate roughly $1100 per day in order to actually spend $700 on many of my client accounts)

travelin cat

8:58 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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

In the travel sector, we need to be as exact as possible with our keywords. The competition is way too intense to spend money on things that we have not properly researched.

We always turn off any type of broad matching. Nobody knows what works for us not Google, Yahoo or MS.

I can't imagine this would be forced on us. If so, we would cancel our account.


9:03 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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This reminds me of yahoo search marketing broad match, which seems to be designed to drain your account and rob you blind. I think broad match on yahoo, which is the default, does more harm to their ad network than all other factors combined.


9:19 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Google is being evil.

Imagine if other industries did this!

"you haven't used your entire budget for plumbing this month, so we upgraded your water softener. Hope you like it."

"The balance in your bank account was too high, so we've raised our transaction fees and added new services to help lower that amount"

"You didn't use the entire amount of your gift certificate, so we've added some other crap to your order to use up the rest"

...may certainly turn off the feature if they wish

Ahh, so it's opt-out, is it? Well at least it is Optable. I think something this stupid ought to be opt-in.

This "beta feature" is TRANSPARENTLY GREEDY.


9:23 pm on Feb 25, 2008 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

This is Horrible

This is such a blatent attempt by google to pad their bottom line and pull as much from advertisers as possbile. Its truely a shame and just a matter of time until Google gets hit with a big class action on this type of thing.

Here's a little tidbit about this story, and the commentators from Yahoo are as shocked as I am:

Sergey vs. Rupert: It's MySpace, Not Yours [finance.yahoo.com] (Yahoo Finance)

This story details how Google is not making their quarterly analyst estimates. Well neither are many companies, its just the economy. Google's response is to modify their algo once again to get more money from advertisers. It is not going to make things better, but just the opposite. What they are doing is making things worse for the small business at their own personal gain.

They are killing their own business 1 bad maneuver at a time. I have chosen to spend half of what i used to spend on Google because it is just far less profitable than it used to be. How is a move like this by Google going to make me more profitable? To automatically bid me on stuff I don't want to bid for?

[edited by: tedster at 3:19 am (utc) on June 30, 2008]
[edit reason] fix side scroll issues [/edit]

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