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Why No Way to Exclude By Search Intent?

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# 1
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In many cases you want to target users in a geographic area with services only offered in that area.  However, many users will not include the targeted area name in their search keywords.  In Campaign settings, you can INCLUDE users in target area, users in target area and search intent in area, or search intent in area only.  However you cannot EXCLUDE users with search intent in exluded area only.  Why is this option missing?  It creates a significant problem. Example:

 

Advertiser offers plumbing services so naturally they want to advertise for keyword "plumbing service" in targeted area and most likely will include phrase match and sometimes also broad match.  As it is impossible to predict all relevant searches for plumbing service and include as exact match.  

 

What if user has rental home in another area, so user is in targeted area, but searches for "plumbing service {excluded area name}"  The ad will still be displayed!  The only solution would be to add negative keyword match for area names (cities, counties, states) for all non-targeted areas which would be extremely difficult, especially considering some city names are used more than once in the USA.

 

Best option would be a new option to allow "exclude users with search intent outside targeted area"  or at least allow Exclude by search intent only in excluded areas.  If this is not feasible I would be interested in the reasoning?

 

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Accepted by Ratan-Jha (Top Contributor)
November 2015

Re: Why No Way to Exclude By Search Intent?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

@Jeff C;

To exclude by intent, the system has to infer the user's intent. This is not always an easy task. For example, if I search  for a "lawyer licensed in New York" (i.e. A lawyer who is certified by the state of New York to practice law in this state),  does not necessarily mean  that I am looking for a lawyer who is  physically located in New York). Or if I look for a tour operator specializing in cruises to the Caribbean, my intent is not to find a tour operator based there.

These are just two examples to illustrate that it's not easy to let a machine to make a decision about the user's intent....

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
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Re: Why No Way to Exclude By Search Intent?

Rising Star
# 2
Rising Star

Hey Jeff, how are things?

 

Google have a page devoted for feedback like this. It's highly recommended that you make your suggestion there. Here it goes:
https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/176378?hl=en

 

As every suggestion, you need to keep in mind that Google may not consider this exactly by the fact that you can control this behavior using negative keywords, as you said.

 

Adding negative keywords is something that should happen frequently, if not weekly, at least every 15 days in my opinion. Advertisers can't escape from this. That's why keeping track of your Search Terms Report is very important, because form there you can find keywords to include as negative, and also those relevant search you couldn't think of at first, the kind that you'll only see with time, and include them as exact match.

 

 

Hope this helps.

 

Cheers,

Leandro Martinez


Leandro Martinez | Basta1Click

Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by Ratan-Jha (Top Contributor)
November 2015

Re: Why No Way to Exclude By Search Intent?

Top Contributor
# 3
Top Contributor

@Jeff C;

To exclude by intent, the system has to infer the user's intent. This is not always an easy task. For example, if I search  for a "lawyer licensed in New York" (i.e. A lawyer who is certified by the state of New York to practice law in this state),  does not necessarily mean  that I am looking for a lawyer who is  physically located in New York). Or if I look for a tour operator specializing in cruises to the Caribbean, my intent is not to find a tour operator based there.

These are just two examples to illustrate that it's not easy to let a machine to make a decision about the user's intent....

Moshe, AdWords Top Contributor , Twitter | Linkedin | Community Profile | Ad-Globe
Did you find any helpful responses or answers to your query? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer’

Re: Why No Way to Exclude By Search Intent?

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# 4
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Google offers the option to target only my location intent so obviously they believe they've figured out how to do it reliably. So that wouldn't be reason to not include and exclude by intent only option.... well... I guess you do have a point.  If they aren't that confident, mistakenly including by intent only makes the advertisers costs higher which makes Googles revenue higher.  Mistakenly excluding may be eliminating so potential clicks and revenue in error.  So maybe your point is the real reason!

 

 

Re: Why No Way to Exclude By Search Intent?

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# 5
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if you are selling a commonly searched product or service the issue is not usually finding enough search it's cutting it down.
so 'plumbing services' on broad would be a very expansive option to have live.
if you focus on just including things that have your specific geo area i.e. +plumbing +services +area/and variation of are by suburb/town/county/city then you can control your search volume and quality.

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Why No Way to Exclude By Search Intent?

[ Edited ]
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# 6
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I agree with Jeff C, there is no good technical reason Google can't exclude searcher intent of geo terms. I just sent a complaint last week for the exact same reason. Running a campaign for "ac repair" with a tightly focused geo region, but anyone in my area searching for "ac repair in xxx" with xxx=any other area, will see my ad, I have several clicks for this case.

 

The only way to exclude is building a list of neg kw's for EVERY city and town in my state, on top of excluding every other state. Seems a bit ridiculous to me.

 

I also don't think it's a technical issue as MosheTLV explained. The examples given are, IMO, rare. If you were searching for a physician licensed in NY, I'd be willing to bet that 99.9% of the time searcher is looking for a Dr in NY.

 

As a further example that Google is technically quite able to deal with this is look at the organic results. A search for "ac repair in kyle, tx" will yield ZERO organic results for businesses in Dallas, which is where I live. Clearly Google can understand the search intent, I'm looking for a business in Kyle, several hours away. On the other hand 3 out or 4 ads on top and all 3 ads at the bottom are for businesses in Dallas. Such results are so irrelevant it's not even funny. 

 

The only reason they do this is clearly to get more clicks, and Google doesn't care if you get a few errant clicks thrown in. Most people probably never notice if they don't check Search Terms carefully, and people that do larger scale campaigns probably just live with it. It may be a small percentage, but it adds up for small local businesses and it's a nice bonus in Google's profit.