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Am I Bidding Against Myself?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 1
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭

hey guys,

 

Might be a dumb question, but I have a feeling I'm bidding against myself here and haven't realized it.

 

I have 4 products that have about 3 different variations in one attribute and about 3 different variations in another attribute. Their titles are almost identical other than those small changes in those attributes. So essentially 4 products are now 24 products with extremely similar titles.

 

For example:

 

Red Shoe for Walking

Red Shoe for Climbing

Red Shoe for Running

Red Boot for Walking

Red Boot for Climbing

Red Boot for Running

 

Would those titles be bidding against one another? If so, how do I go about breaking these items out without competing against myself? Also, how does Google decide on which "red shoe" to show if someone doesn't search specifically for "walking, climbing, running"?

2 Expert replyverified_user
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Tyler C
June 2016

Re: Am I Bidding Against Myself?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

regardless of how users are searching, differentiating variants
can still be critical to helping google determine the quality of
individual variant items or (not to) favor one item over another.

this is one reason why google has rules and recommendations for variants.

be certain that each variant-group has identical item_group_id values.

be certain that each variant-group has at least one variant attribute
that is unique among all items within the variant group -- e.g. color,
size, material, or patten; the more accurate and valid the better.

be certain that each physical variant has proper and valid global-trade-data --
especially if the manufacturer has assigned different sets of global-trade-data
to differentiate each variant item.

in addition to variant attributes, be certain the title contains both the
required identical common part but also the recommended unique part,
that differentiates all variants within the group and all variants across
variant-groups, especially for similar items.
e.g.
Red Rockport Shoe for Walking - Men's Size 10.5 W - Twill Canvas
Red Rockport Shoe for Walking - Women's Size 7.0 M - Leather

using only the required common-part --
without the recommended unique-part --
for a title, will likely tend toward poor
quality and poor performance over time;

especially for short-tail search-terms.

be certain the description also highlights any physical item differences
between variants -- both with respect to variant attributes but also with
respect to physical uniqueness; e.g. silhouette: high heal; toe: steel;
waterproof; weight: 12.3 ounces; etc.

also, be certain the link attribute preselects the exact variant --
either via a server-side-script with url-parameters or by using
a separate landing-page.

also, google does require that only (variant) items that are physically
in stock be submitted -- but there is no rule to submit all variants;
for example, variants could be limited to only best-selling items.

related, the custom_label_ attributes can be critical in this regard --
for example, bidding higher on specific best-selling variant items
or much lower on specific poor-sellers.

as to search-terms, if users are using broad, short-tail terms, too often,
especially with respect to (poor) conversions, consider analyzing the
search-terms carefully and adding: specific terms as negative-words
or effort into improving the quality of those items or landing-pages --
otherwise, short-tail search-terms can be a rather costly playing-field.

importantly perhaps, and related to competitors, relevance, and quality,
both the user's search-history and the item's historic click-through-rate
are likely critical in this regard; for example, searching for red-shoes and
then clicking on only high-heels or leather shoes would likely eventually
disfavor canvas walking-shoes -- another reason why submitting more
but more accurate and specific information is generally a best-practice.

View solution in original post

Re: Am I Bidding Against Myself?

Top Contributor
# 2
Top Contributor
Hello, Tyler.

There's no such thing as bidding against yourself. For any auction Google will select the ad with the highest ad rank. That's the one that will show. So if several targeting criteria match a certain search query, Google will generally pick the one with the highest ad rank.

In the case of shopping ads, several might show for the same query and all you can do is to prevent some of them from showing is to use negative keywords in order to prevent certain products from appearing. Just as well as you'd do with regular search ads (keyword based).

Or, you can do something else: decide on a KPI (CPA, ROAS, clicks, etc.) and use that to optimize your bidding. When doing that, Google will use all the available signals in order to maximize your KPI. So if you decide for CPA, for instance, it will try to keep it as low as possible and keep serving the ads that converted for "red shoe" in the past.

If you don't do anything special, Google will rotate the ads for a while and after one of them has a higher ad rank, it will keep showing that one.

Either way, though, no advertiser can compete against itself. What she/he can do though, is allow Google to keep picking several variants for the same keyword. But that's not (quite) competing against yourself.

Hope I managed to make myself somewhat clear.
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Re: Am I Bidding Against Myself?

Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
# 3
Visitor ✭ ✭ ✭
Thanks Calin,

That leaves me with a misunderstanding about my PLA. I assumed that if certain search queries trigger a handful of my products, aren't those products (and my competitors) essentially competing against one another for one of those PLA spots? If that's the case, won't my CPC be increasing ever so slightly due to there being multiple products competing against one another?

Or is that something Google takes into consideration? I guess the question is is Google PLAs the same as if you were bidding on the same keywords twice in a search campaign.

Re: Am I Bidding Against Myself?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 4
Top Contributor

I'd look at it the same we look at ad display units. For every slot, you bid and you enter an auction. Sometimes you get the chance to fill all 8 (in shopping; I don't think I've ever seen 12 spots taken by the same advertiser but I've managed to get 7-8 every now and then), other times you don't get to fill any.

Your CPC only increases when you do worse than your competitors. And I'm pretty sure that Google does account for the fact that on one page (be it filled with display or with shopping ads, as it doesn't show more search ads from the same advertiser) you can only get one ad click. So it won't increase your CPC for ads B, C and D which also belong to you just because ad A got the click.

What it will learn though, is that for a certain search query, product A is more relevant. And it will improve its "quality score" which, in time, will bring you a lower CPC for that search term, because you've consistently received clicks with that ad/product.

Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.
Marked as Best Answer.
Solution
Accepted by topic author Tyler C
June 2016

Re: Am I Bidding Against Myself?

[ Edited ]
Top Contributor
# 5
Top Contributor

regardless of how users are searching, differentiating variants
can still be critical to helping google determine the quality of
individual variant items or (not to) favor one item over another.

this is one reason why google has rules and recommendations for variants.

be certain that each variant-group has identical item_group_id values.

be certain that each variant-group has at least one variant attribute
that is unique among all items within the variant group -- e.g. color,
size, material, or patten; the more accurate and valid the better.

be certain that each physical variant has proper and valid global-trade-data --
especially if the manufacturer has assigned different sets of global-trade-data
to differentiate each variant item.

in addition to variant attributes, be certain the title contains both the
required identical common part but also the recommended unique part,
that differentiates all variants within the group and all variants across
variant-groups, especially for similar items.
e.g.
Red Rockport Shoe for Walking - Men's Size 10.5 W - Twill Canvas
Red Rockport Shoe for Walking - Women's Size 7.0 M - Leather

using only the required common-part --
without the recommended unique-part --
for a title, will likely tend toward poor
quality and poor performance over time;

especially for short-tail search-terms.

be certain the description also highlights any physical item differences
between variants -- both with respect to variant attributes but also with
respect to physical uniqueness; e.g. silhouette: high heal; toe: steel;
waterproof; weight: 12.3 ounces; etc.

also, be certain the link attribute preselects the exact variant --
either via a server-side-script with url-parameters or by using
a separate landing-page.

also, google does require that only (variant) items that are physically
in stock be submitted -- but there is no rule to submit all variants;
for example, variants could be limited to only best-selling items.

related, the custom_label_ attributes can be critical in this regard --
for example, bidding higher on specific best-selling variant items
or much lower on specific poor-sellers.

as to search-terms, if users are using broad, short-tail terms, too often,
especially with respect to (poor) conversions, consider analyzing the
search-terms carefully and adding: specific terms as negative-words
or effort into improving the quality of those items or landing-pages --
otherwise, short-tail search-terms can be a rather costly playing-field.

importantly perhaps, and related to competitors, relevance, and quality,
both the user's search-history and the item's historic click-through-rate
are likely critical in this regard; for example, searching for red-shoes and
then clicking on only high-heels or leather shoes would likely eventually
disfavor canvas walking-shoes -- another reason why submitting more
but more accurate and specific information is generally a best-practice.