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Matching to Less than You Think

December 5th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

This is a lesson in why you should run Search Query Reports in Google. I noticed some jumps in spend and clicks for AdGroups for general destination terms, e.g., Rome Tours, which contains keywords like: rome tours, rome sightseeing, etc. I didn’t change any keywords, but everything is set to broad match, so maybe there’s some new queries that are matching. And thus, the running of the Search Query Report, solver of mysteries such as this.

I found that our keywords, in some cases, started matching to just the city name (e.g., rome). I think marketers mainly think of broad match as having queries match to more words than specified, not less. I don’t buy any city name keyword by itself. Maybe someday we’ll test these, but my gut says they are way too general to convert well, as well as fairly expensive and difficult to maintain a good quality score. Thankfully, this is easy to fix with some negative matching. I added “-[rome]” to our AdGroup, and now we don’t match to rome by itself, and rome tours, etc are still matching just fine. Hurrah for the negative exact match! Though why exactly Google thinks these more specific terms should match to a really general one is a whole other story.

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