Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: buckworks & eWhisper & skibum

Message Too Old, No Replies

Broad Match Insanity



7:33 pm on Aug 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Holy Cow,

I just did a google search for a 4 keyword phrase, e.g.

"brown widget version 2"

and the adwords ads that showed up were so poorly targeted, that it was scary. I got ads for:

yellow widgets version 3
brown widgets version 1
green widgets version 2
yellow wackets
purple plunkets
purple plunket schools

etc... What is going on? I guarantee there were more than enough advertisers bidding on the phrase:

"brown widget version 2"

but Google decided to show more expensive ads that were barely related... Ouch.


1:49 pm on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

with search personalization, trying to make sense of one instance (or one search on one machine, whether repeated or not), isn't analytically sound.

in any case... i call this situation... an opportunity.

tons of big buck spending folks broad match and poorly structure their accounts.


1:51 pm on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

When you do a search, not all ads shown are advertisers bidding on the exact term. Some are bidding on "brown widget" and others simply on "widget". It's not Google's fault that advertisers don't know what they're doing and using irrelevant keywords. But by being so, the system takes care of itself. The last three results won't get any clicks, driving their QS down and over time, driving the ad down in position and that advertiser's costs up.


3:17 pm on Aug 10, 2010 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I should have been a little more specific....

The advertisers who's poorly targeted ads are showing are all also bidding on "Brown Widget Version 2", myself included. I know this to be true for at least 3 of the advertisers with poor ad targeting, because I follow this space very closely. Let's drill down a little more...

Say you bid on all of these keyword phrases:

"Widgets" = most expensive kw
"Brown Widgets" = a little less expensive
"Brown Widgets V2" = cheapest keyword, lowest volume

You structure your keyword list like this in an attempt to gain the most traffic possible and to cover expert searchers -> novice searchers. Your ROI goes up as the keywords and corresponding landing pages get more specific.

This entire strategy is based on the idea that, when someone searches on "brown widgets v2", Google will show the most relevant ad in your inventory.

This is not happening as often as I would like based on my keyword referral logging.

[edited by: jskrewson at 3:47 pm (utc) on Aug 10, 2010]


9:25 pm on Aug 12, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

I know exactly what you are talking about! I was having the same problem because i was adding Geo modifiers on the ends of my keywords to cut down on costs, but instead they just kept serving the less targeted adds without the geo modifiers even though this is against what Google and it's employees have told me will happen.

BUT I HAVE A SOLUTION. So it kinda sucks and takes some work, but it WILL solve the problem. It's funny because I actually just started testing it last week and it has lowered the avg CPC on my entire account by about 30%!

So what you have to do is, break up your ad groups into into categories of more specific (long tail) to less specific (Shot tail). Then, take ALL of your long tail keywords from the adgroup and add them as negative keywords in your short tail adgroup.



"Yellow Widgets"
"Yellow Widget"

Negative Keywords
"Yellow Widgets Version 2"
"Yellow Widget Version 2"
"Yellow Widgets Version"
"Yellow Widget Version"

Adgroup 2:

"Yellow Widgets Version"
"Yellow Widget Version"

Negative Keywords
"Yellow Widgets Version 2"
"Yellow Widget Version 2"

Adgroup 3:

"Yellow Widgets Version 2"
"Yellow Widget Version 2"

*quotations are on purpose - phrase match

Now I should add some notes here:
1. This does not work for broad match. I NEVER USE BROAD MATCH. Only phrase and exact.
2. This DOES take some work, and some careful work at that. you have to put some thought into this because it is going to be a little different for different types of products and keywords.
3. If you are using adwords editor this is much easier. you can select all and "copy keyword text" from one adgroup and add it to the negative keyword section of another.

So I know most of you are looking at this and thinking, f that, too much work. and i won't lie it did take me some time. but if you are serious about fine tuning your PPC accounts and giving Google the middle finger for trying to take your hard earned money by making you bid higher on keywords, then try it out! and let me know what you think, like I said I have only tried this out on two accounts for the company that I am working in-house for, but it has worked great for me so far and i would love to know how it works for others. oh and btw, my Quality Scores and CTR's are on the rise since implementation. Cheers!


1:03 am on Aug 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Micaheath is right, structuring your account the way he lays out is the way to go. It takes a lot of time and a lot of work to generate good results with AdWords.

You might try some Modified Broad Match keywords in addition to phrase and exact keywords.

Something like:
+brown +widgets
+brown +widgets +2


4:04 pm on Aug 16, 2010 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Thanks Azimuth,

I thought maybe everyone just thought I was crazy there for a minute haha. Yeah I am very excited about the modified broad match! I think there will be some really good opportunities and tactics to use the new match type, I just haven't really had the time to play around with them yet and figure out my strategy for them. It will be very interesting to see how different people incorporate the new match type into their existing campaigns!

Featured Threads

Hot Threads This Week

Hot Threads This Month