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Lucy Griffiths

Broad Not Match?

27th Nov 2007 Paid Search, Google AdWords, Paid Search 1 minute to read


Google are well known for their technical innovations and when it comes to pay per click (PPC), their AdWords advertising system is the clear market leader.

However, they’re not perfect and recently seemed to have dropped the ball when it comes to using Broad Match. This is the most common type of matching used when you create an AdWords campaign with the others being Phrase Match and Exact Match.

In very simple terms, Broad Match previously meant that if you entered a keyphrase, e.g. England Football Team, those three words could appear in any order and still display your advert. For example, someone entering the search term, “What is the best football team in England?” could have displayed your ad.

In short, Broad Match has always given most exposures but not always relevant. To combat this, we add a large dose of Negative Keywords.

Now though, Google are developing their algorithms to enable synonym replacement on words. Carrying this example on, it may be that the system thinks ‘English‘ is a good swap for ‘England‘ and ‘teams‘ for ‘team‘ so someone searching for “English football teams” could display your ad. Not too bad? What about “England Rugby Team“?

Although this is a very frivolous example, last week we saw in our own campaign that we had paid for the click “John Lewis Website“. This had come from the broad term Website Marketing Company. Go figure!

The point here is that we’re seeing a lot of totally unrelated searches coming through and if you’re running your own AdWords campaign and have it full of broad terms, you may want to start running regular Search Query reports and scanning a critical eye over the search queries column. Go on, run one today… you may be in for a bit of a surprise!

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Lucy Griffiths
About the author

Lucy Griffiths

Lucy is an Internet Search Specialist focusing and working with clients on Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) strategies.

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