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Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi,

 

I've had a couple of PPC consultants call me recently advising that I could be driving my own CPC up by competing against myself in different ad groups. Here's an example of two of my ad groups both selling the same product but used with different ads so they are optimised for maximum quality score:

 

Ad Group 1 Keywords:

 

Pink Unicorn Fur

[Pink Unicorn Fur]

 

Ad Group 2 Keywords

 

Pink Unicorn Hair

[Pink Unicorn Hair]

 

Are my two ads competing against each other and driving my CPC up? Should I consolidate them all into the same ad group and increase quantity of keywords?

 

Many thanks in advance.

 

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Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
September 2015

Re: Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Laurence,

Really nice question and I am sure there are going to be a few of the forum goers here who will want to tuck into this one.

In essences, and the simple answer is: No, that is not true. Your keywords will never compete against each other in an auction. You could add Pink unicorn 17 times on broad match in the same or different ad groups and they would never compete against each other.

The reason why is that AdWords decides which of your keywords will enter the auction before the auction occurs. Thus the 'best' keyword will be entered into the auction each time and you will never have more than one keyword entering the auction driving your own CPC's up.

The competing against themselves aspect has a ring of truth to it, but as stated earlier this happens pre auction. The only time you could end up paying more is when Adwords selectes a keyword to enter the auction that has a lower ad rank and thus may have a higher CPC. Some reasons include, exact match of the users search query (but not always), and session based matching.

AdWords chooses the keyword based on a number of factors, only which some are known to us.

That being said I prefer to know which keyword is getting triggered when due to control of ad copy and landing page direction based on key term etc. So I tend to have stringent campaign structures to ensure that this 'competition' occurs as little as possible.

Hope this helps

View solution in original post

Marked as Best Answer.
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Accepted by MosheTLV (Top Contributor)
September 2015

Re: Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 2
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Laurence,

Really nice question and I am sure there are going to be a few of the forum goers here who will want to tuck into this one.

In essences, and the simple answer is: No, that is not true. Your keywords will never compete against each other in an auction. You could add Pink unicorn 17 times on broad match in the same or different ad groups and they would never compete against each other.

The reason why is that AdWords decides which of your keywords will enter the auction before the auction occurs. Thus the 'best' keyword will be entered into the auction each time and you will never have more than one keyword entering the auction driving your own CPC's up.

The competing against themselves aspect has a ring of truth to it, but as stated earlier this happens pre auction. The only time you could end up paying more is when Adwords selectes a keyword to enter the auction that has a lower ad rank and thus may have a higher CPC. Some reasons include, exact match of the users search query (but not always), and session based matching.

AdWords chooses the keyword based on a number of factors, only which some are known to us.

That being said I prefer to know which keyword is getting triggered when due to control of ad copy and landing page direction based on key term etc. So I tend to have stringent campaign structures to ensure that this 'competition' occurs as little as possible.

Hope this helps

Re: Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Clynton,

Thank you for an 'over and above' answer. Very helpful indeed!

Just to confirm, would you personally be more inclined to have just one ad group:

Ad Group 1 Keywords:

Pink Unicorn Fur
[Pink Unicorn Fur]
Pink Unicorn Hair
[Pink Unicorn Hair]
...etc

Is that right?

Very interesting how the PPC consultants who first mentioned it seem to have the wrong idea altogether!

Once again, many thanks!

Laurence.

Re: Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Participant ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Laurence,

Glad I could help.

I would personally structure it into 2 ad groups but as the following:

Ad Grp 1
[Pink Unicorn Fur]
[Pink Unicorn Hair]

Ad Grp 2
Pink Unicorn Fur
Pink Unicorn Hair
-[Pink Unicorn Fur]
-[Pink Unicorn Hair]


I would do this as I believe fur and hair are tightly themed enough, If I found myself adding more keywords and there was enough of a justification to break hair and fur out into separate ad groups then I would.

My structure above is done so that I know that the exact match search queries are going to the exact match terms (they are negatives in the broad match group). This is done for control mostly.

Others prefer match types in the same ad groups. At the end of the day use what works for you. I prefer the more control over matching user queries to user terms but as some other will advocate, allowing Google to match user queries to other keywords is beneficial due to the match taking place for specific reasons such as the users session history. They would be right on that count, but I am willing to sacrifice that kind of freedom given to Google for a more hands on control of matching my terms.

At the end of the day, go with what feels most comfortable to you.

Good Luck

Re: Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor
Great advice - there is one point that has been kicked around here previously... the "need" if indeed there is one - to use the negative exacts on Ad Grp 2 - in reality if someone searches for Pink Unicorn Fur - then the exact match from Ad Grp 1 "should" be the keyword that is sent forward into battle in the auction. But I know that common practice among many managers is to include them... this does sometimes seem like extra work.

Also, if a broad or phrase match version of the keyword is deemed a better candidate for the auction than it's exact match twin, then there is something wrong elsewhere - such as ad copy and landing page.... and that should be fixed before using the negative exact to force the issue.

Be good to hear other's opinions about using negative exacts in this way.

Re: Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Top Contributor
# 6
Top Contributor
Hi Steve,

As you said, "if someone searches for Pink Unicorn Fur - then the exact match from Ad Grp 1 "should" be the keyword that is sent forward into battle in the auction."

Google will tell you that the more exclusive match option will win the auction within your account. What they don't necessarily tell you is they assume the bid for the more restrictive match type will be higher than the less restrictive match types. If the bid is the same for the different match type is the same, the more restrictive match type should win, but that's not always the case. It's more apparent when you split your ad groups or campaigns by match type. Thus, if you want to assure the more restrictive match type in a different ad group gets the impression, it's a good idea to include negatives of the more restrictive match types in the ad groups of less restrictive match types.

Another case I've thought of but have never seen, how about an exact match keyword with a bid lower than the broad match. I could envision an exact match that converts well enough for a lower bid but not a higher bid. In that case, the exact match would have to be in a separate ad group with a negative in the broad match group or it would never get impressions.

Just a couple thoughts.

Pete

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Top Contributor
# 7
Top Contributor
Hi Pete,

Good points. I was assuming that all other things were equal - such as the bid, the ad copy and the LP - but keeping all this even as you optimise is always going to be an issue - using the negatives simply covers the bases for you. There are so many factors that contribute it becomes too complicated otherwise.

Presumably, an exact match should have a better QS than a "looser" equivalent...

I guess it's a "best practices" issue - Google would say the additional structure is redundant, experience would suggest otherwise.

Re: Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Top Contributor
# 8
Top Contributor
Hi Steve,

Let's say we have the same keyword in all three match types, and the search query can trigger the exact match. In this case, all three keywords will have the same QS for the given search query if all 3 match types are in the same ad group. If the bids are all the same, the system "should" pick the most restrictive match type. But the assumption is you are bidding higher for the more restrictive match types, giving them a higher ad rank.

When you have the ad groups organized by match type, the QS for the different match types may not be the same, but you will want to make sure the exact match gets the impressions. You can do that by using negative match types.

Yes, this can get complicated!

Pete
petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Ad Group and Keyword Structure - Competing against self?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 9
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Hi Steve and Pete,

interesting topic, as a good structure is basic for a good performance (need for a good segmentation). I have some ideas to comment to enrich the topic.

When the structure is organized by match type, it's a good idea to add the more restrictive match type as Negative Keyword in the less restrictive ones to split the traffic as desired, but there is one remark I would suggest... check if Google considers the more restrictive match type as "Low Search Volume".

If yes, then it's not a good idea to work this way. As the more restrictive KW won't be active, and the less restrictive ones won't show the ad for the exact search term because of the Negative Keyword.

This way of working is ok if you are sure that your KW portfolio is all active (enough search volume). If not you should analyze what brings you more benefits.

Also one more disadvantage is that if you are working with really big accounts, adding many many NKW will make the accounts heavier in order to get recent changes and other similar tasks; bigger accounts make some tasks slower.

Hope this helps.

Xavier Pinto
semtoolkit.com