Adwords Broad Match Danger Danger Danger!

November 12, 2008

Adwords default match type is Broad, that is if you add a keyword and do not specify the match type, adwords will default to Broad match.

The robot reminds us... "danger, danger danger, Will Robinson, I detect DANGER!" Let's talk a bit about the recent Adwords Broad Match Post from the Inside Adwords Blog...

Adwords admits that over 1/3 of all its "clicks" ie. revenues are generated from their default match type, BROAD.

If you haven't been burned yet from broad match, let us burn it in your consciousness, Danger Danger Danger!

What am I ranting on about? Ok, without going into too much detail... Broad match also employs expanded match, without giving advertisers an "opt out" of this dangerouos feature. Expanded match allows search queries that are "very loosely" related to your broad keyword to trigger your ad... example: if someone searches for "mccaian" your ad might be triggered if you have the broad keyword Obama, why? Well, if someone searched Obama, they might then search McCain, so these words are related, get it?

I don't and I don't want to be robbed, so we warn you to only use broad match if you are a pro, and even pros get burned, including us. How can you avoid getting burned by broad match?

  • Don't use it at all. I'd recommend this to most beginners and intermediate level advertisers
  • Turn it on and then pause it after 1 hour and then analyze search reports the next day, so that you can then add the appropriate negative keywords.
  • First thing though, use keyword tool to add as many negative keywords proactively, otherwise, a very low CTR will damage the quality score of your adgroup/campaign.
I need to watch an episode now and see that cute robot rant, "danger danger danger".

Scott Clark also brings up a good point, use broad for research, which PPCPROZ commonly does in fact. Sometimes we separate broad kws into their own mirror campaigns, with limited budgets, for long tail success as well as keyword research. Over time, once most of the damaging kws have been filtered out with negatives, you can then "open up" the budget, or merge into one campaign, without the mirror strategy.

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for the vital advice!
I think broad is for brand-building/recognition, while narrow is for conversion.

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