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Closely matching bid phrase w/ real search increase chance of showing?

2:03 am on May 14, 2014 (gmt 0)

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10+ Year Member

joined:Aug 28, 2007
votes: 0

I sometimes see advertisers having keywords such as

great restuarants san diego
top restuarants san diego
good restuarants san diego
best restuarants san diego
great restuarants in san diego
top restuarants in san diego
good restuarants in san diego
best restuarants in san diego


To try to hit long tail phrases. This creates these bloated accounts where many keywords get 0 or very few impressions, but the idea is that it will somehow increase their chances of showing if the the term they are bidding on is closer to the actual searched term.

Here is my question. Say a user searches for "best restaurants in boston" (while physically in boston). Assuming everything else is identical (bid, ad, history etc), will either of advertiser A-I have an advantage for showing up (they have all set targeting to boston with option "People in, searching for, or viewing pages about my targeted location") ?

A: best restaurants in boston
B: best restaurants boston
C: restaurants in boston
D: "restaurants in boston"
E: [best restaurants in boston]
F: +restaurants +boston
G: +restaurants
H: best restaurants
I: "best restaurants"

In what order would these show up in for the phrase "best restaurants in boston" ? Are any searches exactly equivalent? Does more closely matching the search phrase with the bidded phrase give any boost in chances of showing?
12:22 pm on May 18, 2014 (gmt 0)

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

joined:Feb 13, 2003
votes: 8


This is a really complex question. The overall answer is that if you want to show for a keyword - you should add it.

Let's say that you have the phrase match term "restaurants in boston". Now, you could show for:
-best restaurants in boston
-restaurants in boston
-top restaurants in boston

However, based upon your quality score & budget, Google might not show you for terms that you can show for. Usually when you have QSs of 3-4, Google shows you for a lot less possible queries than if you have a QS of 7-10. Therefore, it can be useful to add these variations if you want to show for them.

In addition, if you add these queries and write ads that match the query, then you often get a higher QS for that word. If you just dump all of these keywords in a single ad group; then usually you won't see a CTR boost as you didn't write the ad for the query (or what the user is looking for).

In addition, if you add the query - then you can set a bid for it. If you find that when the word 'best' is used in any query, your conversion rate is 10% higher, then you can bid 10% higher for that query than for a query without that word in it.

Now, the issue of bloated accounts is very real and can cause management issues. So if you are only spending a few hours a week on the account, then adding all of these variations is going to cause you to spend time looking at these low impression words at the expense of your top words. If you are managing an account full time, then you can add more words as that's your entire job. There are times when its not worth adding everything since your top impression items will suffer from a time management perspective - so you always have to balance time with money spent.

Hope that helps.