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Friday, July 13, 2007

Why More Companies Will Now Notice Google AdWords Flaws

I've noticed some problems with the new Google AdWords Search Query Performance report. What this new report will really bring to light, though, are flaws with Google's expanded matching implementation. Consider a post today (on Marketing Pilgrim) which poses the question: Google AdWords Using Non-Selected (and often Non-Targeted) Keywords? I thought most search marketers were well aware of the fact that all broad matches are actually implemented as expanded matches. Those that don't will start to notice this as they run search query performance reports. Here's a quote from that post:
Today we were doing some experimentation at my firm, and we came across something very bizarre with Google AdWords. We were trying out Google’s new search query reports, which allow you to see the actual search queries searchers used to find your ad. This differs from the keyword reports in Google AdWords in that these reports show the actual queries versus the keywords that you establish in your ad groups.
Readers of this blog have known about these problems for well over a year now. Consider the Google AdWords Budget Tip from March 2006 which mentions: "Google's expanded broad matching has gotten out of hand lately and can lead to ..." Seems like a good time to highlight posts since then that explain problems with AdWords broad match and how to deal with those problems:

December 2006 - Be Careful with AdWords Expanded Matching

March 2007 - AdWords Flaw Could Cost Small Business Millions

March 2007 - Solution to Google AdWords City Targeting Flaw

May 2007 - Top 5 Ways Ignorant Advertisers Lose Money to Google via AdWords

It's important to understand what you're buying when you enter keywords into the Google AdWords system. I hope these posts save people money. Caveat emptor!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Speaking of Google, perhaps it's time to admit that the emperor is buck naked? Google is no longer an asset to small business. It's digressed into a black box designed to extract as much money as possible from small business while giving back as little value as possible. This piece explains why Adwords is something to be skeptical about: "Why Google Adwords is Not Helpful to Small Business"

Fri Jul 13, 04:23:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Interesting fable, but I don't agree. AdWords is still a useful tool for small business. I do agree that it is a black box and has become more difficult to use over time. The changes I've seen since 2002 do appear to help Google more than its advertisers. However, I don't think that's intentional. I think it's more a case of the AdWords/AdSense system becoming more complicated over time as Google tries to add more features and distribute ads to more places.

For example, by allowing advertisers to create a single ad in AdWords that is used on both Google and Google's content network (AdSense for content), I think they're trying to make it easier for advertisers. However, this saves advertisers time in the short run, but costs them money in the long run.

Mon Jul 16, 12:36:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous B2B SEO said...


I agree that the black box covering does not make Google harmful or necessarily a one sided venture. However, as you said, caveat emptor and you've done an excellent job in your posts highlighting some of the caveats. Our firm works almost exclusively with B2B manufacturing clients and they can have some very strong negatives to cross match against. 'Rubber tie-down' and 'stretchable thong' can mean several completely different things depending upon the audience.

That said, we can still create highly targeted ads and profitable campaigns by thinking through the undesirable connotations and working around them.

Mon Aug 20, 06:19:00 PM EDT  

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