Back in March I wrote a post on the new Google Adwords Automatic matching beta, as well as Joe my colleague wrote on the subject just last week. At the time none of my accounts qualified for the beta and I hadn’t quite formed an opinion of the new feature until now.

Last week I got an email from my Google rep. letting me know that one of my accounts has qualified for the beta, and although Google said it would be an automatic opt-in, it wasn’t. However, a large number of accounts are being automatically opted-in. To be safe I would double check your account either way. Since I was very interested in how this was going to work and what it was going to do to my traffic, PPC spend and overall revenue, I enabled the feature.

If you’re account is eligible for the new automatic matching all you have to do is go into your account campaign settings, in the advanced options settings there is a new option for Automatic Matching and all you have to do is check the box next to it that reads, ‘Show ads on more search queries without adding keywords.’


I’ve had a full week in running the new feature and I’m sad to report I only received one additional click from the automatic matching test. However, when I ran a search query report to find the term that showed my ad through the automatic matching feature, it wasn’t a keyword I wanted to target, therefore costing me $.25 in an irrelevant click to my site.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean that all automatic matching queries in the future will be irrelevant, however this particular test doesn’t give me much hope. The keywords in the ad group I was targeting were related to the sale of saxophone instruments. The search query Google showed my ad for was, ‘tenor sax solos’, which is related yes, but not something we sell, therefore irrelevant.

If you do have automatic matching enabled in your account, you can view the actual search query that displayed your ad and view stats on that particular search query.

Simply go to the reports section in your Adwords account. Create a search query report and select the specific campaign in which you have automatic matching set up for. Once the report downloads, the column titled ‘search query match type’ will display any search query for the automatic matching simply labeled, ‘automatic’.


I questioned after running the test for a full week ,why I hadn’t received much traffic since I had my daily budget set to $500 when I normally only spend about $130 a day. I turned to the Google help section about the new automatic matching and read the following on why I hadn’t received much traffic. They mentioned that if you recently enabled the new automatic matching the system actually takes a short period of time to evaluate your campaign before it begins targeted relevant (or irrelevant!) search queries. They also mention additional reasons why you may not be getting much traffic yet:

  • Your campaigns already meet their daily budgets
  • Your keywords already capture the majority of relevant traffic
  • Our system is unable to access your website or to find significant text or content on your site
  • Your ad groups have a small number of ads with little information

The Google help section also notes that: Automatic matching currently has no effect on campaigns that use position preference or preferred cost-per-click (CPC) bidding.

You can view a complete list of frequently asked questions about Google’s automatic matching.

My initial thoughts, it’s not going to be as big as we all thought it might be in terms of driving additional traffic, whether relevant or irrelevant. However, since I’ve only been running the automatic matching test for one week and haven’t received much traffic from it, I plan to write again on the test in a week or two.

What have been your experiences with this new Adwords feature so far?