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Negative keywords preventing ads from showing, but not really.

D4
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# 1
D4
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Hello. I'm an AdWords noob, and this is my first time posting in the AdWords community, so please be gentle! Smiley Happy

 

I'm having an issue similar to the one discussed on this thread: http://www.en.adwords-community.com/t5/Set-up-and-basics/Negative-exact-match-keywords-interfering-w...

 

My problem is slightly different (I think), and I'm posting this message here in hopes that someone from the community will be able to shed some further light on this issue.

 

So here goes...

 

I have setup a very granular account structure, consisting of (but not limited to) the following Ad Groups and Keywords:

 

--------------------------------------------

 

Ad Group:

Widget Suppliers

 

Keywords:

+widget +suppliers

 

Negative Keywords:

-"widget suppliers"

-[widget suppliers]

 

--------------------------------------------

 

Ad Group:

Widget Suppliers""

 

Keyword:

"widget suppliers"

 

Negative Keywords: -[widget suppliers]

 

--------------------------------------------

 

Ad Group:

Widget Suppliers[]

 

Keyword: [widget suppliers]

 

--------------------------------------------

 

I also have separate Ad Groups for the singular versions of "suppliers" as well as similar Ad Groups using "distributors", "manufacturers", "producers", etc.


I have used this account structure to ensure that a query for "widget suppliers", for example, will trigger an ad from the Ad Group that contains the exact-match keyword [widget suppliers]. Similarly, using this structure (in theory), a query for "awesome widget suppliers" should trigger an ad from the Ad Group that contains the phrase-match keyword "widget suppliers".

 

A few things are going wrong here, some of which are discussed in the aforementioned thread:

 

Firstly, for both +widget +suppliers and "widget suppliers", the Keyword Diagnosis Tool is saying "A negative keyword ([widget suppliers]) is preventing your ad from showing." But that message is clearly wrong, as ads from that Ad Group have many impressions and clicks, so the ad is definitely being shown.

 

When using the Ad Preview Tool, I get more strange behaviour:

 

Query: widget suppliers

Result: Your ad is showing for the keyword [widget suppliers]

 

Ok, that's expected behaviour - no problem there, but...

 

Query: awesome widget suppliers

Result: Your ad is showing for the keyword +widget +supplier

 

Now, unless I'm mistaken, this query should match the phrase-match plural keyword "widget suppliers", but instead it's matching the broad-match singular keyword +widget +supplier.

 

If this wasn't confusing enough, sometimes the Ad Preview Tool actually does what you'd expect it to. In the example immediately above, if I keep hitting the [Preview] button, it sometimes matches the phrase-match plural keyword "widget suppliers".

 

Which makes absolutely no sense!

 

Or does it?

 

Has anyone else experienced this type of behaviour? Does anyone have any ideas what might be going on here? Any insight or advice you could share would be immensely appreciated.

 

Thanks.

2 Expert replyverified_user
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Accepted by topic author D4
September 2015

Re: Negative keywords preventing ads from showing, but not really.

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi D4,

 

This stuff can get awefully confusing! Ok, when you place all three match types in the same AdGroup, with the same bid, the most restrictive match type wins. But when you place the three match types in separate AdGroups, the one with the highest ad rank wins. If your bids are all the same in this case, you can use negatives to help contol which ad gets shown. It helps more if you bid slightly higher on the phrase match, and higher still on the exact match.

 

I think you will find that, after adjusting your max CPC bids for match type, you will have more success predicting which adGroup your keywords will trigger. More precisely, the keyword that would produce the highest ad rank wins. Ad rank = MaxCPC * QS. If the exact match has a higher QS than the broad match (and it should), you can bid the same amount. Oh, and I want to add, if your exact match does not have a higher QS than the phrase or broad match keywords, maybe it's not the best keyword for you!

 

Best of Luck!

 

Pete

 

 

 

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

View solution in original post

Re: Negative keywords preventing ads from showing, but not really.

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor

Hi D4 Welcome to the community!  Don't worry we will always be gentle Smiley Happy

 

Answers below:

Question #1 - Firstly, for both +widget +suppliers and "widget suppliers", the Keyword Diagnosis Tool is saying "A negative keyword ([widget suppliers]) is preventing your ad from showing." But that message is clearly wrong, as ads from that Ad Group have many impressions and clicks, so the ad is definitely being shown.

 

Totally normal behavior from the diagnostics. All keywords are thought to be exact match because Google can not assume for what broad match modified or phrase match can expand to.

 

Question #2 - Now, unless I'm mistaken, this query should match the phrase-match plural keyword "widget suppliers", but instead it's matching the broad-match singular keyword +widget +supplier.

 

You would think so but sometimes Google uses a different keyword that may have a higher QS or be less expensive.  See this help center documentation on what happens when multiple keywords match a search query.  http://support.google.com/adwords/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=66292

 

 



Kim Clink, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Clink Digital Marketing
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the 'Best Answer.'

Re: Negative keywords preventing ads from showing, but not really.

D4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
D4
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Hi Kim.

 

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

 

I didn't know that the Keyword Diagnosis Tool considers all keywords to be exact match, so thanks for sharing that - makes a lot more sense now.

 

As for how Google handles multiple keywords that match a search query, I'm familiar with the page you referenced, but I guess I just assumed that because I'm using "negative keyword routing" that it would trump all the other logic that Google is using, but it looks like that's not the case.

 

So I guess my final question would be...

 

Is there anything wrong with the account structure I'm using, knowing what I'm trying to accomplish from above?

 

If not, is there anything I could tweak to the existing structure that would yield better keyword routing?

 

Thanks again for your help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re: Negative keywords preventing ads from showing, but not really.

Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

I don't know if you want to go with groups per match type. Personally I think you may drive yourself crazy with these cross served group issues.  If the account will house lots of keyword it may become a little unmanageable.  I usually enter all three match types into a group (if it makes sense for the account) and then watch search query reports to identify negatives and keep the CTR up.  If a match type proves it needs its own group then I segment it out.

 

If you want to continue on with the adgroups segmented by match type then that is not a problem, just add those negatives across groups to prevent the wrong group from serving but keep in mind that tool may give results that can be confusing Smiley Happy



Kim Clink, AdWords Top Contributor | Community Profile | Twitter | Clink Digital Marketing
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the 'Best Answer.'
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author D4
September 2015

Re: Negative keywords preventing ads from showing, but not really.

Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

Hi D4,

 

This stuff can get awefully confusing! Ok, when you place all three match types in the same AdGroup, with the same bid, the most restrictive match type wins. But when you place the three match types in separate AdGroups, the one with the highest ad rank wins. If your bids are all the same in this case, you can use negatives to help contol which ad gets shown. It helps more if you bid slightly higher on the phrase match, and higher still on the exact match.

 

I think you will find that, after adjusting your max CPC bids for match type, you will have more success predicting which adGroup your keywords will trigger. More precisely, the keyword that would produce the highest ad rank wins. Ad rank = MaxCPC * QS. If the exact match has a higher QS than the broad match (and it should), you can bid the same amount. Oh, and I want to add, if your exact match does not have a higher QS than the phrase or broad match keywords, maybe it's not the best keyword for you!

 

Best of Luck!

 

Pete

 

 

 

petebardo -- Deadhead doing AdWords

Re: Negative keywords preventing ads from showing, but not really.

D4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 6
D4
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

Hi Pete -

 

Thanks for your help. The problems were indeed related to the max CPC bids for each of the match types. All of the match types had the same quality score, as well as the same bid, so it looks like that's why Google was choosing the "correct" ad only some of the time. As soon as I adjusted the bids such that the exact match group had the highest AdRank, phrase match had slightly lower, and broad match the lowest, Google started routing the queries to the correct ad groups almost 100% of the time. There was still the odd occoasion where Google just seemingly abandoned all logic and did what it wanted to do, which is incredibly annoying, but I suppose I can live with it.

 

Thanks again to you and Kim for lending a helping a hand. Looking forward to doing the same in the near future Smiley Happy