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Google Broadens the Broad Match

IAR: Google to Expand Keyword Matching

The Internet Advertising Report writes on Google's upcoming changes in the AdWords algorithm to broaden matching options. The Google email sent to account holders is a pre-announcement stating the changes will "…expand the scope of broad matching and offer you the ability to attract more prospects with no additional work." I have not had a chance to chat with the folks at Google yet, but their online FAQ is helpful. For the full email, see the extended entry.

Hello from the Google AdWords Team.

Next week, we'll be making two updates to Google AdWords. First, we're leveraging Google AdWords technology to expand the scope of broad matching and offer you the ability to attract more prospects with no additional work. Second, we're raising the quality standard for ads we show when a searcher's query contains one or more words that aren't part of a keyword you've chosen for your ads. Both of these changes will work to improve ad relevance and build the best long-term experience for users and advertisers.

Expanded broad matching

With expanded broad matching, AdWords will analyze your keywords, ad text, and the millions of daily queries and clicks on Google to automatically find relevant matches for your broad-matched keywords. So, prospects may see your ads even if they search for terms that aren't in your keyword list. For example, if your keyword is 'Honolulu hotels' your ads may be seen for 'Honolulu hotel,' 'Hawaii hotels' or 'Honolulu inns' as well as the traditional broad-matched variations, such as 'Honolulu hotels and resorts.' The result: you'll still have targeted ads–only now you can reach additional prospects with no extra effort.

How to prepare
Your ads are not yet showing on the additional matches. We're sending you notice now so you'll have time to learn about the extra targeting. Using our keyword suggestion tool, you can view examples of the additional matches for your broad-matched keywords, and see where your ads may appear. If you don't want your ads appearing through expanded broad matching, or if you have any questions, please read our expanded matching overview.

Increased ad quality

When we launch expanded broad matching, we'll also raise the quality standard of ads we show when the searcher's terms contain one or more words that aren't part of a keyword or keyword phrase you've chosen for your ads. Your non-exact keyword variations need to maintain a higher CTR than before in order to achieve a strong relevance factor (automatically determined by analysis of Google search queries, your ad text, keywords, and CTR).

If some of your broad- and phrase- matched keywords have variations with a low relevance factor, we will stop showing your ad on those variations. This doesn't affect your exact keyword's performance, though. Your keyword itself and its high-performing variations will remain active.

Why does Google evaluate ads and keywords based on clickthrough rate (CTR)?
One of the reasons that keyword advertising works so well is that searchers find that AdWords ads are relevant to what they are looking for. We use CTR to automatically judge which ads users think are relevant. To help ensure that users see relevant ads and that the ads you run remain highly effective, Google closely monitors ad quality.

What is Google doing to increase ad quality?
We've found that when we show searchers an ad based on keywords that are an exact match to their query, they are more likely to click on the ad. However, when a searcher's query contains extra words that aren't part of the advertisers' keywords (broad- and phrase- matched keyword variations), the CTR for the ad is often lower than an exact match. Consequently, we're changing how we evaluate the quality of broad and phrase matches.

Which CTR does Google use to evaluate ads?
We evaluate quality based on the CTR of your ad on Google. Note that this CTR is different from what you see in your reports, which includes ads shown on matches as well as ads distributed across the Google ad network. The CTRs from expanded broad matching and ads on our ad network do not affect the CTR we use to rank your ads or determine whether or not to show your ads.

How will these affect me?
If your keywords have high CTRs, you likely won't see any changes. For keywords with lower CTRs, you may see fewer phrase or broad matches and possibly fewer clicks due to higher performance requirements for broad and phrase keyword matches. If you notice fewer clicks, we recommend that you follow some of our tips for optimizing your ads. We're positive that Google's searchers and AdWords advertisers will all benefit from our commitment to increasing ad quality and providing you with cost-effective advertising.

We look forward to providing you with the most effective advertising available.

Sincerely,

The Google AdWords Team

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