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Huge Increases in Broad Match Impressions/clicks/costs

Broad Match impressions are going thru the roof



5:26 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I run a variety of adwords campaigns that are primarily local and regional. Different business types in different regions. Regardless we are finding the same thing in every campaign--broad match impressions are going through the roof as are costs. Analysis is a bit tricky.

The campaigns are for brick and mortar businesses. They are invariably for a service.

so if the service is in any city at all..say detroit...one the service is for widgeting....and widgeting is the highest volume search terms

we'll run campaigns with the following sort of sequence:

widgeting (broad match)
variations on widgeting (also broad match)
exact match for the following:

[widgeting], [widgeting detroit], [detroit widgiting] etc. We have regularly reviewed terms and extracted hiigher volume search terms from the volume of broad terms to increase exact match terms. We have done that for years. We have also added negative keywords.

Regardless broad match impressions are skyrocketing from a few months ago, last year, and beyond, as are costs. We see no other indications of such increases in demand.

All we see is Adwords running dramatically more ads across the board.

Any others seeing things like this?


6:20 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

Yes, I have noticed similar. Have cancelled out some campaigns because of the cost of Adwords not being worthwhile.

Haven't you noticed? Almost all Google's latest changes seem related to shifting traffic and revenue away from the sites producing the actual content, over to Google sites, at any cost.

a) Apparent Adwords matching changes to increase Adsense display frequency across sites. (matching the highest number of destinations)
b) Google Preview. Keeping users close to the search page ad sections, so they do not have to pay Adsense revenue share. I get visited constantly by Google Preview, where they snippet out my content and show it on the preview pages.
c) Prioritizing Google Products, where Google gets the affiliate share.

... so on, and so on.

Anything to drive up their own profits, and take over what they can see might be profitable businesses. Google Products (taking traffic from NextTag, The Find, and others), Google Places (Yelp and others).

Search for any product, and Google Products links "shopping results" will be front and center on the first page search results, directing users straight to Google's own affiliate product site. Other search sites, such as TheFind and NextTag used to show in results, but have now been eliminated. (I think since Panda.)

Thats why last year they were called for an initial US Senate anti-trust hearing. (See [judiciary.senate.gov...] and [nytimes.com...] with other complaining CEOs testifying. I watched part of it on CSPAN.

More specifically I have noticed a shift in traffic, where a technical site (interesting only to geeks and admin types) suddenly gets the most traffic, because those searches on Google attract few ads on the search page, so Google is not interested. Also indicated by the fact that any Adsense resulting on sites are low-bid ads (for obvious reasons), with often only a 1-2 cent revenue share per click.

Notice, that we (web-site owners) are usually friendly enough to Google by providing them ALL the information they need to detect profitable areas to take over, by using Google Analytics and Adwords, and often the very convenient conversion tracking tools. Sending Google all the information they need to know exactly what amount of revenue is available in each business area they might decide to "take over".

We are our own worst enemy. :) Providing all the necessary information directly to our largest competitor.


7:01 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

DeeCee; I'm aware there are lots of issues with Google across the board. I'm particularly aware of this issue right now. I'm also seeing phrases migrate from a former broad phrase term to a new one with higher bid prices...all causing significant increases in monthly spend.

Really looking for confirmation of this phenomena and suggestions to counteract it.


7:57 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Hey earlpearl,

I've see this happen before as well. I would recommend pausing out all broad match keywords and moving forward with modified broad match keywords instead. These will match up with more closely related user search queries. Do this by putting a "+" in front of each keyword so that widgets becomes +widgets.

Also take a look at your search query reports and see if there are any new opportunities for negative keywords.


8:57 pm on Feb 23, 2012 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

NatronZero: LOL I could be way way behind the 8 ball. I've just been catching up on modified broad match. Has that been effective in narrowing down the volume of impressions while keeping effective ROI's in your case?

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