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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Google AdWords Strategy: Keyword Bidding

My blog post about a keyword bidding strategy for Google AdWords, Purple Flowers Are Not Pink Despite What Google Might Think, is now an article on Search Engine Guide. Read it there or read it here. Do read it though. It will keep you from losing money to Google.

After you read the article, I think you'll realize there's a fundamental flaw in AdWords. On the one hand, Google is driving up minimum bids and forcing advertisers to create very targeted landing pages that fit the keywords in an ad and also the keywords in an ad group's keyword list. At the same time, Google is taking some liberty in displaying those ads for related keywords. In many cases, these related keywords aren't quite as targeted. If that is the case, why should the advertiser pay the higher bid? There should be a discount for expanded matches. The expanded matching algorithm is contrary to quality score. They are opposing forces. Google even recognizes this. Consider the help text that answers the "How does broad match benefit me?" question:
Because your ads are associated with relevant keyword variations, they'll appear more often to your potential customers. This additional targeted traffic is likely to lead to more clicks on your ads and more conversions on your website... Also, your ads' performance on keyword variations doesn't influence your keywords' Quality Scores, minimum cost-per-click (CPC) bids, and ad positions.
Think about that. The keyword variations (expanded matches) are not factored into quality score and therefore aren't a factor in minimum CPC calculations. However, advertisers still have to pay that higher CPC even for these not necessarily targeted keywords. Can Google really have it both ways? Make sure your keyword bidding strategy takes into account the fact that broad matches are actually expanded matches.

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Blogger wkanaday said...

I know I am late to the party on this, but are you just saying that you shouldn't do broad match and just stick to phrase and exact match?

Have you used an analytics tool to back up your idea that broad match is really expansive match?

If you are saying something more than that I am afraid I have missed it.


Wilson K.

Mon Aug 27, 12:30:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Richard said...

Hi Wilson. No, I'm not saying to not use broad match. I'm saying don't only use broad match. And, bid lower for broad match than the other match types.

Also, there are a couple of simple ways to notice expanded matching:

1) Run a Search Query Performance Report
2) Use the undocumented {keyword} tracking feature on your destination URL and compare that in your logs to the query in the referring URL


Mon Aug 27, 11:32:00 AM EDT  

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