Expanded Broad Match Hurting AdWords Advertisers

Jan 27, 2006 • 11:55 am | comments (5) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Google AdWords

Doug at Aderit Internet Marketing Consulting once again notified me of a great thread. I actually read the thread yesterday but then lost track of it. The thread is a Search Engine Watch Forums named Up The Creek With Google AdWords Broad Match. So what is the issue.

In short, Google's Broad Match has been getting broader and broader. What that means is that if you sell toner and broad match on "toner" you will now, today, get clicks for "NEC Supersrcipt 860" and other specific models. Google is just that good at expanding the keyword phrase "toner" down to the model numbers. Problem is, this advertiser does have that model number in stock, and doesn't have many other model numbers in stock. So those clicks are a waste of money.

Answer is simple, just use phrase or exact match. Well no, you can't do that, because if you do then you will lose your CTR factor in your ad rank. And your ads will drop in rank.

So what can you do, well you can use negative match, but that is a reactive strategy as opposed to a proactive strategy.

What should Google do? Doug, aka cline, has great suggestions;

Adwords needs to do one of the following:
* Allow the advertiser to turn expanded broadmatch off
* Inform the advertiser of *exactly* what terms expanded broadmatch will trigger
* Get rid of expanded broadmatch.

Forum discussion at Search Engine Watch Forums.

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01/27/2006 07:39 pm

Broadmatch (as it was first introduced is NOT a problem) -- It's the "expanded match" that is the problem! Broadmatch can be used very successfully if you know that your broadmatch keyword of colored widgets will get matches for cheap colored widgets, large colored widgets, variety pack colored widgets, etc. And you employ negative keywords. The problem is when the expanded match comes in and displays your ads for searches that DO NOT contain your broad match keyword --- like cyan widgets, pumpkinseed widgets, gold widgets!!!!!!!!!!! Adwords really needs to do THIS: * Separate Broadmatch and Expanded match * THEN allow the advertiser to elect which ones to use! * AND inform the advertiser of *exactly* what terms "expanded match" will trigger * OR keep broadmatch (as it was originally introduced) and GET RID of Expanded match.

Barry Schwartz

01/27/2006 07:55 pm

I didn't mean to imply broad match itself is the issue. You are correct, it is the "expanded match" which is the issue. Thing is, they are not separated, as you noted.

Jaimie Sirovich

01/30/2006 05:26 pm

Personally, I've come to the conclusion that the complexity of AdWords has degraded its utility. Overture is easier to track in terms of ROI in my opinion (price bidded, is price paid), easier to understand, and just plain easier to use. Maybe I'm just dumb, but am I the only one that finds AdWords powerful, but also much less user-friendly?


08/21/2008 04:46 am

This is ridiculous, I understand it "could" help the advertiser, but in my case it hasn't. It's like you say, they need at least give you a list of the possible keywords, then again, why not just give you "related keywords," oh wait, they did do that... I guess they just want more money at the cost of relevance for the advertiser.

No Name

10/04/2008 05:07 pm

My opinion is to give broad match a miss. I have read quite a number of posts mentioned the cons of this matching type. It can 'help' only you have enough list of negative keywords which will never be sufficient. My 2 cents.

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