Google Adwords Expanded Broad Matching Danger

August 26, 2008

Conclusion: Until Google Adwords allows advertisers to opt out of "expanded broad match", it might be a wise decision to just not use this broad match type, at all.

On a positive note: I bet that Google will one day allow advertisers to "opt out", which might make them less money, but would restore my faith that they are "not evil".

Support: Hello Dan. Thanks for contacting Google AdWords. How may I help you today?
dan: hi, re: broad match...
dan: can you tell me about expanded broad match, and when it was implemented?
dan: and how I can opt out of this service?
Support: You mean you'd like to know when expanded broad match was added as a feature and how you can stop your ads from serving on this option?
dan: yes
Support: OK. One moment pleASE.
Support: I apologize for the inter-capitalization.
Support: I will be with you shortly.
dan: sure
Support: Thank you for waiting, Dan.
Support: Unfortunately, I've not been able to find the exact date this feature was introduced.
dan: ok
Support: However, I can tell you how to opt out of expanded broad matching.
dan: great
Support: Would you like me to send you these details via email?
dan: no
dan: i'm available now
Support: OK.
Support: One moment please.
dan: thanks
Support: Expanded matching is an integral part of broad matching. When using broad matching, however, you can prevent your ads from showing on certain expanded matched keywords by adding those terms to your keyword list as negative matches.
Support: You can also change your keyword match types to phrase or exact matches, as our system only creates expanded matches for broad-matched keywords.
Support: To change the matching options for your current keywords, please follow the steps below:
Support: 1. Sign into your account at .
Support: 2. Click the campaign containing the keywords you want to change.
Support: 3. Click the appropriate ad group.
Support: 4. Select the 'Keywords' tab.
Support: 5. Click the 'Edit keywords' link at the top of the ad group table.
Support: 6. In the keywords field, add, delete or change keywords.
Support: 7. Click 'Save Changes.'
dan: so what you are saying is: there is no way to "opt out" of exanded broad matching?
Support: Yes, there is no 'Opt Out' feature, per se.
dan: that's too bad?
dan: any plans to change this?
Support: You can take the steps I mentioned above to prevent your ad from showing on expanding matched queries.
dan: why make life so difficult?
dan: why not just give advertisers an "opt out", and make broad match "more relevant"?
Support: I'm not aware of any up-coming updates to this feature, Dan.
Support: I apologize for your frustration.
Support: I understand what you mean.
dan: i would be happy to use expanded broad match, during a "research phase", but I would definitely appreciate opting out at some point.
Support: I'll make sure I share this feedback with the team.
dan: thanks. i've been reading about this issue, and I think it is one which needs to be addressed, don't you"?
Support: I'll read it as well, Dan.
dan: in this article, they suggest NOT to use broad matching, only phrase and exact, and use a permuation tool for phrase keywords, to "mimic" the original intent of broad match.
Support: Different advertisers have different needs.
Support: At the moment, many advertisers are happy with this feature.
Support: Like I said, I will share your feedback with the team.
Support: Thanks for your suggestions!
dan: i tend to agree that expanded broad match is a "cash grab", and does not really serve the "needs" of advertisers.
Support: I respect your opinion, Dan.
dan: thanks, and thanks for passing this on.
Support: For now, please follow the steps I mentioned above to opt out.
dan: i can give you an example?
Support: You're most welcome!
Support: Will that be all for now?
Support: Sure.
dan: adding negatives will not reimburse for this wasted traffic, and damage was done to the quality score as well...
Support: Yes, I understand. This is valuable feedback, Dan.
Support: Yes, because CTR took a beating, I'd assume.
dan: sure. and google is not going to reimburse for this nonsense, is it?
Support: I see what you mean, Dan. Like I said, some advertisers have given us positive feedback.
Support: Like you mentioned, we probably should have a stronger 'opt out' system.
Support: That's what I will share with the team today.
dan: yes. if you understand the system, and add the negatives, you can use broad to your extreme advantage, esp if you can't opt out of expanded match.
Support: That's right.
dan: against an advertiser who is not filtering, you can beat them bloody, silly.
dan: but 95% of advertisers don't filter... so its more of a money grab than a service.
dan: and its alot more work to find all the negative keywords, esp. when the search query report returns mostly "other unique queries".
dan: and analytics does not even support finding exact search queries, out of the box.
dan: for ppc
dan: only for organic, a convienient coincidence?
Support: I've noted all you mentioned, Dan, and apologize for the inconvenience this is causing you at the moment.
Support: Thank you for sharing this feedback with us.
dan: looking forward to the resolution, thanks.
Support: You're most welcome!
dan: billions of dollars
Support: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
dan: no thanks.

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Anonymous said...

ha ha, billions of dollars. but its reality, not a joke.

google admits that over 60% of clicks, meaning revenue is from broad matched keywords.

I'd guess that at least half that money are from totally irrelevant clicks.

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