Google AdWords phrase match WARNING

Gerald Thulbourn, WebSanity Internet Marketing, HuntingdonBack in May 2012 Google changed the way that “phrase matching” worked in Google AdWords to include common plurals and mis-spellings. So, if you had the phrase “welding lathes” then your ad would trigger for “welding lathe” or “welding lathes” or, maybe, “weldin lathe”.

That’s a great time saver – you don’t need to list all plurals and try to think of mis-typings to add as individual keywords. It also meant that more ads were shown and clicked on, so Google made more money (but that’s fair enough as it is increasing advertising reach).

As readers of my blog will know, I’m not that trusting of Google (well, OK then, I think they’re a dominating bully of a company that is only after your money despite all the soft words). Today I have an example that does nothing to prove me wrong.

Having just setup a simple campaign using the keyword “welding lathe”, and then checked it the next day I was disappointed to see a CTR of 0.1% for “welding lathes”. But hold your horses – there were 2,000 impressions on that phrase in a day. You really think that “welding lathes” is searched for 2,000 times a day in the UK? I don’t think so – and Google’s Keyword Tool agree with me – we’re talking niche here, maybe tens a month.

So what’s going wrong? Well, it appears Google AdWords idea of a mis-spelling is different to the rest of the world and it is showing the ad for something completely unintended (e.g. “wood lathes” or something – I tried to track it down but didn’t have time to find it, and Google don’t supply any data to help). This leads to a very poor CTR which harms your whole AdWords campaign leading to higher costs and lower ad positions.

I’ve not seen such a stark staringly bad example before – the only solution (well, you could try to contact Google but they prefer to hide behind forums and FAQs pages) is to turn off this behaviour in Advanced Settings and put in all the keyword plurals/singulars/mis-spellings by hand.

Perhaps this is an isolated incident, but I’d recommend checking your own AdWords for similar (but possibly more subtle) clues of Google’s idiotic phrase matching update, after all, do they really need the extra money from your business?

In future we’ll be turning this off for all clients at the outset, for sure.

 

Help and advice on SEO in Cambridge, Huntingdon or Peterborough from WebSanity Internet Marketing.

Share
This entry was posted in Web Hints & Tips and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Google AdWords phrase match WARNING

  1. Angel says:

    This is quite an alien thing for me that google works like this. I have only two words to say you for this wonderful post and those are "Thank You". very well written informative article.

  2. Lloyd Irvin says:

    I absolutely love your blog and find nearly all of your
    post's to be what precisely I'm looking for. Does one offer guest writers to write content for yourself?
    I wouldn't mind creating a post or elaborating on many of the subjects you write about here. Again, awesome blog!

  3. Rita says:

    We're a gaggle of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community. Your web site offered us with helpful information to work on. You've performed an impressive activity and our whole
    group will likely be thankful to you.

About Gerald Thulbourn

Gerald Thulbourn setup WebSanity in 2004. He has a 1st class honours MEng in Microelectronics & Software Engineering (i.e. he's a techy), 5 A grades at A level (i.e. he works hard) and loves to communicate (i.e. odd for a techy). He hates tech speak, sloppy/badly tested code, and technology for the sake of technology's sake. He loves helping people understand marketing concepts and seeing how their application makes a real difference to their business. In particular he loves training; SEO, Website Analysis, WordPress etc. Read more about us on Google+