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How do I structure ad groups so I don't compete against myself?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

I'm having an issue structuring my account - it's one product, with many types of keywords, some broader to catch all the traffic, some with modifiers. The broader "head term" keywords are in one ad group, the ones with modifiers in other ad groups. For instance:


Ad group 1:

[red shoes]

"red shoes"

red shoes


Ad group 2:

[shiny red shoes]

"shiny red shoes"

shiny red shoes


The question here is, obviously a search for "shiny red shoes" could trigger an ad in Ad group 1 ("red shoes") or ad group 2 ("shiny red shoes.") How do I make sure these aren't competing against each other, and what are best practices around that? I could see this getting more complicated with further modifying, such as "shiny red shoes for rain"


Any help would be great - thank you!

2 Expert replyverified_user

Re: How do I structure ad groups so I don't compete against myself?

Community Manager
# 2
Community Manager
Hi there,

Thanks for posting to the Community! The most obvious way I can think to limit the overlap is through negative keywords--i.e. adding "shiny" as a negative keyword in ad group 1 in your example here. You wouldn't have any risk of overlap of course if you didn't have the broad match term, but as-is, there's probably a lot of crossover.

Have you thought about changing the broad match terms to broad match modified, at least for the more specific ad groups?


Re: How do I structure ad groups so I don't compete against myself?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

Hi @traveladventure further to Cassie's comment, bear in mind that when more than one Keyword can match against a search term, AdWords will usually select the Keyword that most closely matches that search term.  So, if you have "red shoes" in one Group and "shiny red shoes" in another, and the user searches for "shiny red shoes", with all other things being equal, AdWords will award the match to the "shiny red shoes" Keyword anyway.


Multiple Keywords don't "compete" in a way that causes any harm to the Account performance.  If there is more than one possible match for a search term, AdWords will automatically choose the best match using a number of criteria and, to be honest, you're more likely to cause harm to Account performance by attempting to force that match in a certain direction.


Ask yourself why you're using these separate Ad Groups.  If you have only one product and your Keywords are simply based around descriptive terms (rather than terms that suggest usage, reviews, support, etc.) then you'll probably have a single landing page, so all your Ads in all Groups will point to the same place.  If you want your Ads to include the Keyword for increased relevance (a good idea) then you can use Keyword insertion to achieve this within a single Group.


I'm not suggesting that you should have only a single Group (I almost certainly wouldn't) but clarifying why you're using multiples might help you decide how to approach the multiple match Keywords issue, if there is one.


More about how Google matches multiple Keywords



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Re: How do I structure ad groups so I don't compete against myself?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Jon - the reason I am segmenting those keywords out is because we have separate landing pages for each modifier. More specifically: we offer an educational product for various ages. So i have ad groups structured similar to the below:

Ad group 1
Reading app

ad group 2
reading app first grade

ad group 3
reading app 2nd grade

ad group 4
reading app 3rd grade

the first ad group is going to the general landing page, which links off to the different grades. the other ad groups go to the grade-specific landing pages for higher relevancy. my concern is the overlap, since i want to capture traffic for the general keywords, but also the grade-specific.