January 7, 2009
This post will be regularly updated, with the “best broad bloopers”, a seemingly irrelevant search query triggered by broad keyword in your adwords account. Feel free to send in your “broad bloopers”, and I may include them in this list, “the infamous adwords broad keywords bloopers list” …
Be forewarned, broad keywords employ “search history permutation” and “relevant variants” algorithms… this probably explains some of the really absurd matches.
I hate this technology…
IT ROYALLY SUCKS!
How about you? Go Vote!
Send your bloopers to: email@example.com
photo: brian “doctabu” moore
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Dan: could you please return broad matching to the old
algorithm so that only relevant traffic is shown?
Dan: if i am bidding on "shop displays" in broad match, why
would i want my ad to show for "shopping carts"?
Dan: that is just stupidity, and a big cheat if you ask me
Dan: can you explain how this is not cheating the client?
Dan: if you were an advertiser, would you like paying $5 for
a stupid click like that?
Dan: you can buy a hamburger for $5
support: if you don't want to appear on something like shopping carts, you could always include 'carts' as a negative keyword.
Dan: who has the time to add hundreds... thousands of
negative kws to adapt to this nonsense?
Dan: i have 615 negatives in my campaign, and the irrelevant
traffic just keeps streaming in. sure, as most queries are
unique. very convenient scheme?
Dan: if the algo was more pure, this nonsense wouldn't
continue to happen, would it?
support: Well the idea again is that it's more traffic for
you. But you could also consider changing your keywords to
phrase or exact match if you're not happy with the traffic
you're receiving using broad match.
support: We're always working to improve the relevancy of our
search results for advertisers and users alike.
Dan: broad match could be fine, if it wasn't used as a tactic
to drive irrelevant clicks
Dan: this bastardizes the concept of search advertising,
turning it more into display ads... sure,lets "shopping
displays" to "shopping handbags"... nifty, but a real scam to
Dan: why not make exact match the default matching option
then? why default to broad match?
Dan: to receive relevant traffic, and "mimic' the intent of
broad match, would require tremendous effort in permuating
thousands of options... why not just make broad match more
support: Well many of our advertisers have the exact opposite
problem. Instead of receiving a flood of traffic, they're not
receiving enough. So we want to get them as much relevant
traffic as possible and typically broad match benefits them
since they can't possibly think of every search variation
users type in.
Dan: "as much relevant traffic"...
Dan: exactly... so please fix broad match, ok?
Dan: there is tremendous frustration and anger on this issue
support: I'll be sure to pass along that feedback. I can
understand how it's frustrating, but in the meantime we can
focus on strategies to help your campaigns perform well with
the current system.
Dan: i can personally attest to hundreds/thousands of
ludicrous search queries
Dan: and i'd be interested to hear you explain the rationale
behind this kind of practice
support: Well we generally recommend against using one word
broad match terms
support: We definitely wouldn't call them irrelevant clicks.
And it's possible that certain keywords may even merit being
deleted if you find that they're not converting well and you
don't believe they're generating relevant traffic. We're not
trying to scam anyone.
Dan: my point is: if an advertiser uses a one or two word
broad kw... should they really be forced to pay
this..."stupid tax", for not understanding how they are
really getting royally screwed?
support: As I've said, we're not trying to scam anyone. There
is a learning curve involved when people first get started
with AdWords but if they take advantage of the resources
we've made available online and our customer service they
have access to details about all of our best practices.
Dan: this broad match leniency is way too loose
support: Are there any other questions I can address
regarding your current account?
Dan: yes, why not make exact match the default match type?
Dan: not every new client is "savy"
Dan: shouldn't adwords try to "warn" their clients as to
support: Because the odds that a user will type in an exact
search query are so low, many new advertisers would see an
extremely low number of impressions.
Dan: or better yet... make broad match more relevant
Dan: and they would be less apt to waste money on clicks too.
who would benefit more?
support: Well keep in mind that if an ad is truly irrelevant,
a user won't click on it. Why they click on the ads they do
is difficult to predict, but if there are broad match
keywords which are triggering an ad when it's not very
relevant to what a user needs, we should see a lower click
through rate reflecting that.
Dan: i just recenlty read about paid search bots...
Dan: this really scared me
Dan: clicking every ad on a page?
Dan: why/who would create this?
support: We are always working to improve how the technology
works. We want to cut down on irrelevant traffic as much as
our advertisers do in order to be deserving of their trust
Dan: yes, a low ctr also hurts the account!
support: And yes, click bots are included in that so we've
put an advanced system in place to monitor for invalid
support: It can in the long run, but again when advertisers
reach out to us with data showing their account isn't
performing as well as they'd like we're always open to
looking at it with them to see how we can help them do
better. Really, it's in our best interests as well for them
to be happy with our services and the traffic we send to
Dan: in conclusion: I, as a veteran user, GAP...I am
profoundly dissatisfied with broad match
support: Thank you for making us aware of that.
Dan: its a catch 22, can't live without it, spend too much
time tweaking and adding negatives
Dan: i just checked a client's account today...
support: I understand. Well if there's anything else we can
do to help your campaigns perform better, just let us know.
Dan: 80% of budget went to broad match!
Dan: and i am certainly adding new kws, but broad match just
keeps trumping and getting the lion's share of...
Dan: irrelevant clicks... it is basically a losing battle
Dan: imagine how a "non savy" advertiser would normally just
get screwed, and not even know why
support: I'm sorry that I can't understand many of these
campaigns, or I'd be happy to offer some suggestions to
improve your performance. But if you see that there are
certain keywords which are noticeably low performing, you
should consider pausing or deleting them. And negative
keywords, as you know, as a key tool to cutting down on
irrelevant traffic. So even if it's frustrating at times, it
sounds like you have the tools to be successful.
Dan: my point is... without being extremely skilled and
experienced, and using all the tools at hand... most
advertisers are at an extreme disadvantage, and highly likley to be paying for irrelevant traffic from broad matched kws
Dan: i don't think this should be the rule, rather the
Dan: and for myself... i'm just tired of having to
"compensate" for this "broken algo"
Dan: which seems to me to benefit adwords primarily
Dan: at the expense of the client
Dan: relevance should be king
Dan: even for broad match
Dan: how are "slippers" related to "tennis shoes" for g-d
Dan: sure its easy to suggest i give up on broad match....
support: Relevance is still king. But some keywords are more
likely than others to branch out to variations that you're
unhappy with. We do our best to educate every advertiser with
the tools they need to continually monitor their performance
and improve it. Thank you for all of the examples which
you've passed along.