Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Only Google Could Remove “Exact” Matches from Adwords and Spin It as an Improvement!

Today in my Google Adwords account I was met with a notification that said:

New! Improvements coming to exact match and phrase match
Target your ads better. In mid-May, our improved exact match and phrase match options will include misspellings, plurals, and other close variants of your keywords.

My first thought was “How can targeting get any tighter than by using Exact matching on my Adwords keywords?” Well, apparently Google thought the way to make Exact matching better was to get rid of it. 

According to Google’s information in the “Learn More” article, "your ads may show for searches that include misspellings,  singular and plural forms, acronyms, stemmings, abbreviations and accents closely related to your “exact” match keyword." Hmmm, that just doesn’t sound very “exact” to me.

In the next paragraph, Google goes on to say, “This means you can broaden your reach to customers who search for close variants of your keywords, while still having more precise control over which search terms trigger your ads.”


This isn’t “more precise control.” This is complete loss of control. If I want to target a misspelling, then I target a misspelling…well, at least I used to. Now I apparently have no choice and Google has taken that over for me.

Experienced Adwords campaign managers know full well that a searcher’s intent can be quite different based on things as simple as singular or plural keywords. For example, a searcher typing in “video camera” most likely has a quite different intent than a searcher that types “video cameras.”

And what about those misspellings? A lot of smaller companies have found the one way the can compete with big companies is by bidding on misspellings that their competitors ignore. Generally those misspellings are extremely inexpensive clicks because there’s so much less competition. Well, guess what? Not only will the big companies ads be showing for those misspellings, the cost-per-click for what used to be affordable terms will skyrocket to 3-4, maybe even 10 times higher in price.

How many of you Adwords campaign managers out there think that Google’s removal of “Exact” matching is a good idea? How many of you have used "exact" match to target valuable, low-cost and low competition misspellings? Sound off in the comments below!