This is pretty amazing, Dan Thies reports some Google AdWords customers are being opted into a beta named "Automatic Matching." Automatic Matching is an algorithm that will come into play when Google sees that you are not using all of your maximum budget for the month or the day. If Google sees you have extra money in your account, they want it and will take it by automatically matching your ads for keywords you did not specify in your keyword match list. Here is the email being sent to some AdWords customers:
I'm excited to tell you that you have been selected to participate in a beta for our new Automatic Matching feature which will be starting on February 28th.
Automatic Matching automatically extends your campaign's reach by using surplus budget to serve your ads on relevant search queries that are not already triggered by your keyword lists. By analyzing the structure and content of your website and AdWords campaigns, we deliver more impressions and clicks while maintaining your current CTRs and CPCs.
For example, If you sold Adidas shoes on your website, Automatic Matching would automatically crawl your landing page and target your campaigns to queries such as: "shoes" "adidas" "athletic", etc., and less obvious ones such as "slippers" that our system has determined will benefit you and likely lead to a conversion on your site.
Be assured that automatic matching will try to never exceed your budget. If you're already meeting your daily budgets, automatic matching will have a minimal effect on your account.
I have emailed Google for some clarification and confirmation on the exact details of this new beta.
As you can imagine, most of the SEMs in the forums are not happy about this. But for the small advertiser who doesn't have enough time to manage their own campaigns, maybe this is a good thing? Who knows.
Update: Here is a statement from Google:
As part of our ongoing commitment to provide advertisers with innovative ways to reach users online, Google is currently testing a feature known as 'Automatic Matching.' This feature is currently in a limited beta with a small number of advertisers. We have no news to announce at this time regarding developments in our AdWords product offering.