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Hey Sexy Lady, Come Check Out My Pet Photo Book

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I frequently run the search query report in Google AdWords.  I love this report because it gives you actual search queries that real users type in to get your ad.  It’s also a great way to see just how broad, broad match is. If you’ve heard about Google’s expanded broad match, you will realize that Google will show your ads for keywords that aren’t as relevant or targeted as you’d like.

I ran a search query report the other day and found some pretty funny search queries that people had typed in and received my ad.  Some of the search queries made me laugh even.  For example, search queries like, sexy lady and coffee table when the keywords I was targeting were photo book and pet photo book.  After giggling about the search queries I had found, it dawned on me just how non-targeted and irrelevant those queries were that my ad was shown for.  Then I became somewhat angry and confused.  These were search queries in which had absolutely nothing to do with my keywords or ads whatsoever, regardless of Google’s expanded broad match.

Here are two examples:

1.        ”Sexy lady” brought up two of my ads. The keywords for my ads were “photo book” and “pet photo book”.

2.       “Coffee table” was also brought up under a scrapbooking ad group

sexy lady new

Okay Google, how related is ‘sexy lady’ to ‘photo book’? Sure lots of people want to look at photos or even books of sexy ladies, but none of my other keywords or ads relate to sexy ladies. What surprises me the most, is that people typed in ‘sexy ladys’ (who obviously couldn’t spell ladies correctly), but actually clicked on my ad for online photo books and pet photo books!  Maybe they’re getting ‘pet’ confused with Pets of the month, as in Penthouse Pets? Any thoughts on this?

When I asked my Google rep to clarify some of this for me, this is the response I got,

That’s very interesting. I’ve never seen that before. I have to take this to the tech team.

The moral of the story:

1.       Be sure to run search query reports on a regular basis to find these non-targeted terms. By a regular basis I mean once a week.

2.       Be sure to add any non-targeted keywords you find from the search query report as negative keywords in your account.

About the Author

Amber

Amber is a former Account Executive at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through pay-per-click advertising.
  • JB

    And that is only Expanded Broad Match. Automatic matching is supposed to be even broader than Broad Match.

    I would love to see a strict Broad Match option. Thus, if I bid on ‘widget’ I only show up for queries that actually contain the keyword ‘widget’.

    This is long overdue. Google customers need a strict Broad Match option, and it’s past time for Google to provide it.

  • http://www.sitevisibility.co.uk/blog Eloi

    I think both Amber and JB are right, the broad match is now becoming just way too broad, and can trigger your ads for search queries which don’t even contain any of your broad match keywords…

    I realised through one of these reports that one of my PPC ads was being displayed in top position for “quality lamps”… looked into it, and it turned out it was the broad match conservatory shading that was triggering it… lol.

    The only way to weed out these unwanted queries is to negative them before they get clicked. Or only use exact and phrase, but I havent given up on broad match… yet.

  • Amber

    JB and Eloi, thanks for reading and for your comments. I definitely think there needs to be a happy medium between broad match, phrase and expanded broad match. There is no reason why Google should take the liberty to show our ads for unrelated keywords that they think is relevant. I’m just glad we have the search query report to find these instances!

  • http://www.adwordsprofessional.com/ Steve Baker

    Couldn’t agree with you more.

    When I was doing an account appraisal for a prospective client last week, I found that when they were bidding on slimming tablets and diet tables, they appeared for coin operated pool tables.

    Which aren’t the same thing at all. I can only think tablets are a bit like tables, you can have operations to lose weight, and the pool is a good place to go for exercise?

    I don’t use Broad Match at all any more – it’s just too hit-and-miss…

    CustardMite (Steve Baker)

  • http://www.ppchero.com Amber

    Hi Steve, thanks for your comments. Have you noticed any negative effects of not using broad match? I would like to try it but I’m slightly fearful my traffic and revenue will drop too much! ( :

  • Cristian

    well this is useful only when you use broad match. I normally use only phrase and exact match, analyse the keywords daily and add negative keywords when I need to :-)

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