The Adwords Long Tail Tunnel of Darkness

February 4, 2009

How is Adwords Broad match like an endless tunnel of darkness?

  • there is no end to it
  • goblins and irrelevant search endlessly haunt you
  • the merciless master beats you down
  • you never know from where the next punch will come
photo by: Oimax
Ok, I’ve dramatized the situation a bit, but the broad match situation is a very dire one, indeed, and to make matters much worse:
  • it is very difficult to see the exact search queries
  • the Search Query Report in Adwords does not show the long tail
  • The SQR shows us mostly “other unique queries” for the long tail
  • Google Analytics GA does not show us PPC exact search queries

Seems like Adwords indeed wants us to live “in this dark tunnel” ?

Yes, there is a solution to finding exact search queries in adwords using Google Analytics exact search query filter, but we are still faced with the negative keyword hypocrisy…broad match negative kws are not too broad in their targeting, unlike their cousin, positive broad match, which are “real sluts”, they’ll pair with just about anything that resembles a keyword.. ha ha.

not funny really

dan: i have a general question re: negative kws

Support: Sure Dan.

dan: i see that my broad kw: event ideas...

dan: triggered this query: suggestions for charity events

Support: Okay.

dan: i realize why this happened, not happy about this...

Support: I understand.

dan: if i used this negative kw: charity events ...

dan: would a query like: charity event ideas be filtered out?

Support: As your keyword is broad matched, it must have triggered this.

dan: i guess i'm confused how, what to do with negative kws

Support: Dan, I think you should add "charity events" as exact negative.

dan: which then would not filter out: suggestions for charity events

Support: So, if a user is searching for charity events your ad would not come up.

Support: It will Dan.

dan: exact negative would not filter that out

Support: Okay, you can use it as phrase matched negative.

Support: I am sorry for the confusion.

Support: What you said is right Dan.

dan: but then i would miss relevant queries like: tradeshow ideas for charity event companies

Support: Exact negative would not filter it out.

Support: Okay.

dan: seems like the broad kws game is a no win for advertisers... as the long tail goes on forever...

Support: Please clarify one thing to me.

dan: ok

Support: Would you like your ad to show up for "tradeshow ideas for charity event companies"

Support: ?

dan: and we can't effectively filter out irrelevant long tail queries with negative kws

dan: yes

Support: Okay, then you cannot use phrase matched also.

dan: and broad negative is not really too broad, its more like exact i've seen

dan: that is REALLY frustrating

dan: i had negative broad match: 18th birthday party ideas...

Support: Broad matched keywords function as broad matched alone. They do not act like exact keywords.

Support: OK

dan: and this negative kw did NOT filter out this query: 18 bday party idea

dan: jeez, that's not really fair, is it?

dan: seems pretty similiar to me, how about you?

dan: you see where the frustration is?

Support: I understand.

dan: a no win situation

dan: only good for adwords i think

Support: Then you might want to add variations of the keywords as well.

dan: who has thousands of hours to add thousands and thousands of negative kws?

Support: Like, add "18th birthday party ideas" and idea.

dan: there is literally no end to this process, as the long tail goes on forever

Support: I understand.

dan: i've done that, and STILL the system finds variations i didn't catch... a real theft

Support: However, a broad matched keyword should have stopped your ad from showing that keyword as well.

dan: seems broad negative is not really too broad at all?

dan: but it doesn't

Support: Dan, I think this is a serious issue and I should take this to my team.

dan: on a previous chat... i was told... if the query is different in two cases... ie. 18 instead of 18th and idea instead of ideas... that the broad kw doesn't catch it

dan: i agree its a very serious issue

dan: as most advertisers are not reviewing exact search queries....

Support: I understand your situation.

dan: and SQR shows long tails as mostly "other uniques"...

dan: advertisers are in the dark as to the seriousness of this situation

Support: I will discuss this with my team and get back to you via an email.

dan: i think greater transparancy in the SQR would relieve this problem...

dan: even though it will take more server resources...

Support: I understand your situation.

dan: i think its only fair considering the changes that have been made in the broad match algo...

Support: I will see that your feedback reaches our team.

Support: I will work this out with my team and will get back to you via an email.

Support: Is that fine with you?

dan: one thing...

Support: I appreciate your patience and understanding.

dan: its clear that, although adwords is now a monopoly...

dan: adwords is continually improving and listening to advertiser feedback...

dan: this issue on broad kws... is a very talked about issue

Support: I understand.

dan: i/we would like also to see an "opt out" of expanded broad match in campaign settings

Support: I will see to that all this feedback reaches our team.

dan: this would also alleviate the frustration level

Support: They should be able to work on this.

dan: thanks alot

Support: I understand.

Support: You are most welcome!

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Anonymous said...

Excellent work Dan, let us know what they say by email. This is currently the single more irritating thing about AdWords.

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