Google has added another form of stupidity tax to AdWords. You can opt out of this stupid tax, and it is very important that you know what to do and why. If you’re paying close attention, this will work to your advantage. (As with all Google stupidity taxes.)
You really need to pay attention to this.
Google announced that they are “Improving” exact match and phrase match. Here’s what they are doing:
Exact match used to mean that if you bid on [guinea pigs] exact match, the only search that would make your ads show was the precise phrase
Now they are making “Exact Match” flaccid by loosening the definition of exact match to also include singulars, plurals or mis-spellings:
Cost Per Click across the board has dropped slightly for Google, and I believe they are compensating. (When the recession began, they opened the kimono on broad match in a similar way, and made their quarterly targets for the shareholders.)
I have no doubt they’ve analyzed this and scientifically determined that it will make them more money. Not only that, the way most people run their AdWords campaigns, it won’t hurt the average advertiser anyway.
But first I want to show you how to opt out of this, then explain how to profit from Google’s latest move. In your Campaign settings you’ll see this menu:
Click on the little plus sign on “Keyword matching options” and opt out:
Now let me explain why you want to do this and why advanced advertisers are going to benefit from this.
First of all, the vast majority of advertisers are dumb and don’t even use matching options anyway. Google employees actually tell people to bid on broad match. Most of the time, broad match is the WORST way to bid on keywords. It gets you the largest amount of low quality traffic. Horrible advice.
Secondly — pay attention, Planet Perry members — most people who do bid on phrase match and exact match treat ’em all the same anyway.
A lot of folks generate all kinds of misspellings using various keyword tools and whatnot, so they’re hitting all the bases. Google knows this, and they know they could be serving these ads to mediocre advertisers too.
So in other words, if you’re a typical, average Planet Perry advertiser, you’ve got an ad campaign that looks like this:
[guinea pigs] [ginny pig] [guinea pig] [ginny pigs]
For that campaign, you’ve written some ads and you’ve done a bunch of split testing.
But, if you’re a typical average Planet Perry advertiser, you don’t realize that people who search for “guinea pigs” are 2 weeks away from buying a guinea pig, but people who search for “guinea pig” are going to buy one today. (This is true, by the way. Glenn Livingston figured it out with his market research.)
This is a very common difference between singular and plural. If you’ve been doing Pay Per Click since the beginning, you remember that original Overture (now Yahoo) system made no distinction between singular and plural and it was a HUGE disadvantage.
My advice to you: Opt out of this option, but DON’T STOP THERE. Look at your top 10-30 keywords, pay very close attention to singulars and plurals and start marketing to people differently based on buying cycle. Those singulars and plurals should likely have separate ad groups and go to separate landing pages.
If you do this, Google’s latest changes will play right to your strengths, because even the above-average advertisers are going to start getting lower quality traffic – whether or not they opt out of this new feature!
The water level has risen. Evolve with the changes and you’ll still be in high cotton.
P.S.: Last call for 1 remaining seat at Thursday’s 4-Man Intensive. Call Matt Gillogly at +1 (704) 389-0165
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