Google's Search Query Report Groups Outliers, But Should It?

Sep 25, 2008 • 10:32 am | comments (6) by twitter | Filed Under Google AdWords

What happens when you're running a search query performance report on Google AdWords and you get the result "2 other unique queries?" What is Google saying here?

According to AdWordsPro.Sarah, the issue is that Google's computers are only able to process so much information and usually they put the relevant information (the higher trafficked keywords, that is) in one category with data. Anything else -- the outlier keywords -- are grouped together and not treated distinctly. To Google, those are the low traffic keywords, and Google denotes them as "other unique queries."

Sarah explains:

I like to think about it like this: If I am running on the keyword 'purple socks' a user might search 'where can I find a new pair of purple wool socks near me?'. This query would trigger your ad, but it is a highly unique search that is unlikely to happen more than once. I usually tell people that, if the keyword is lumped into 'other unique queries', is very low traffic and not a keyword you would want to add to your account. This also helps you figure out which keywords are the right ones to add without cluttering your account.

At the same time, while Google doesn't see it as such, your low traffic keywords may be your best converting keywords, especially if they are long tail keywords. Therefore, perhaps having them in the search query report is useful .

What do you think? Do you think Google should give us a report for outlier keywords?

Forum discussion continues at Google Groups.

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09/25/2008 06:25 pm

It goes the other way, too - what if those outlier keywords are performing poorly? Being able to see them might give insight as to what negative keywords you should add to your account. I'd like the data for both the good and the bad.

Richard Ball

09/25/2008 08:04 pm

Hi Tamar. For a company whose mission is "to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful" I do think they should organize this information on behalf of the advertisers. Advertisers should at least have the choice. I don't buy the argument that this would overwhelm Google's servers. ;-) BTW, in that thread, I requested that Google at least show all search queries that led to conversions. For advertisers using conversion tracking, the converting keyword searches shouldn't be lumped into the "other queries" line items. That's pretty poor.


09/26/2008 08:40 am

Hi Tamar, nice post! The problem with the search query report displaying x number of other search queries is that no only do we use it to expand our campaigns and find converting keyphrases, we also use it to find negative keywords that should be added to the campaign. This negative keyword research through SQ reports is becoming increasingly important, especially as Google now calculates the Quality Score and whether your ad will display for every search query individually... If I cannot ensure that might ads dont appear for irrelevant searches properly, this will impact the relevance of PPC ads. For example the other day, my broad match "background music" triggered ad display for "high school musical tracks"... that's just way too broad, and that's why we need the SQ reports to give more information. "It's all about results" :D


09/26/2008 08:43 am

just spotted a spelling mistake: "ensure that might adds" should be "ensure that my ads", sorry bout that.


10/02/2008 12:16 pm

while we're all waiting for Google to tell us what these "XX other unique queries" are, here is a fantastic plugin for Google Analytics that tracks exact search queries: Kudos to ROI Revolution for making this publicly available - its brilliant, you'll never need to run a search query report again!

Tom Hale

10/05/2008 08:54 pm

Yes. Show me the other unique data, please. I can handle it.

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