March 25, 2009

Google Adwords 'Broad Matching', selling clicks for bad search queries.

Writing about web page http://www.cope-technology.co.uk/services/design.htm

I have been adding filters to extract the real search terms used by Google’s broad search match visitors. See my previous entry on why I am tracking these terms.

The main aim is to quickly identify the false hits and to add more negative keywords. So for ‘harness assembly’ I had already spotted ‘horse’ as a negative keyword but missed ‘dive’.

Circuit design AdSome of the clicks were so wide of the mark like ‘template for circuit chart in house’ for circuit design that I checked further. Template as a snyonym for design? OK, I can see this but why would the searcher click on the Ad, right? This echos back the search term but this was too long so it only shows ‘circuit design’. The ‘surface mount’ may also refer to light switches and mains power sockets but the rest is pure Gobledegook for house wiring.

The search results below reveals the problem. Sometimes even Google cannot find the right results for a search term. But Google Adwords has been finding ways to get clicks for some of these. The poor searcher will still have to refine their search after bouncing from the advertiser’s site but Google will have been paid! If you want to learn more about tracking Google follow this link.
Bad search term defeats Google


- One comment

  1. David Whitehouse

    Hey Rob, I’ve actually also just done a post on this Getting Search Queries for Adwords in Analytics – I think I’ve got an idea to show that actual search terms in Analytics – but perhaps you may have a better idea?

    My idea is to use a PHP script which strips out the referral string and sets it as utm_keyword. But I think I read somewhere on your blog that you would use a filter in Analytics. Is that right? If so I think that might be better, but I’m wondering how it would work…

    I know the following search engines use the following GET variables:
    Google – q=
    MSN – q=
    Yahoo – p=
    AOL – query=

    Have you got a way to filter in Analytics? If so I’d be interested to learn how, if not I’ll have a look and see if I can come up with something.

    I find it dispicable that Google don’t tell you the actual search term and instead inform you of the keyword you bid on – I think it is verging on the unethical side.

    Anyways – let me know if you fancy working together on this.

    17 May 2009, 10:44


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