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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."
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:
- 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.
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.
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.
This feature, if true, is totally opposite to “more control”.
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.
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?
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.
I think google would be very wise to make this opt-in (or suggestion-based), or people might just get very angry.
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.
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.
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.
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]
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.
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.
* 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
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.
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..
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)
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.
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.
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]